Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Cutting Edge -

HEAD IN THE SAND: The gruesome images of the horrendous xenophobic attacks in South Africa, once touted as the all-inclusive Rainbow Nation, are “extremely unfortunate”, says Fredrick Mukabi. The situation, he adds, is made worse by the fact that the South Africans are killing fellow Africans. But even more disturbing to him “is the ominous silence of the African Union, a body meant to unite the continent. Can someone, please, help me understand the relevance of the AU today?” His contact is [email protected]

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WARPED PRIORITIES: The silence of the AU and the various leaders following the drowning of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea has been rather deafening, says Allan Agade Indiazi, adding that the “illegals are mainly from Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and West Africa”. He poses: “Could they be fleeing from dictatorships? The tragedy of being a poor African is that you suffer and your government does nothing. But if a leader had been indicted by the ICC over crimes against humanity, the AU would have held an emergency session.”

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CHOKING IN FILTH: The posh suburbs of Lavington and Kileleshwa in Nairobi and their environs risk becoming one huge slum unless the city county government takes some urgent steps, warns Diana D’Souza. The residents, she says, would, for instance, like to know when the officials plan to implement a “Jica-funded solid waste management system for Zone 7”.  Diana is also calling for the education of the residents to understand their situation and appreciate their civic obligations. Her contact is [email protected]

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CORPORATE MESS: Safaricom, being the biggest corporate brand in the country, should ensure that the organisations it contracts to do some work for it do not mess up its image, says Moses Nderitu. He singles out the contractors who have been digging trenches all over Nairobi to lay cables and leave them open, with the soil lying there for days. “This is not only an eyesore, especially in this rainy season, but also an inconvenience to the pedestrians. Please, protect your brand.” His contact is [email protected]

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ALCOHOL ADVERTISING: Nairobi resident Festus Mbuimwe has been keenly looking around and needs an assurance from the city county government that the rule against the outdoor advertising of alcohol within a radius of three kilometres from schools is still in force. If it is, he says, then it is not being enforced, as right opposite the All Saints’ Cathedral, on Kenyatta Avenue, there is an alcohol-branded bus stop and yet within the church compound, there is a nursery school. His contact is [email protected]

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WASTEFUL LIARS: Nothing irritates Fanuel Masika more than watching people lying all the time without batting an eyelid while speaking on the phone, he says, fully agreeing with Wollen Morara’s remark that the bad and wasteful habit is quite rampant. According to Fanuel, the truth is sacred and people should always strive to uphold it at all times, “instead of just wasting money on phone airtime telling lies in these difficult economic times”. His contact is [email protected]

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VETTING SHAM: The spectacle of senior police officers turning their public vetting into a forum to flaunt their ill-gotten wealth is a reflection of all that has gone wrong with the society, says Taabu Tele. None of the officers, he adds, presented as proof of their ability any serious crime-busting achievement. He concludes: “We must all hang our heads in shame for allowing these people to insult our national conscience.” His contact is [email protected]

Have a respectable day, won’t you!

PO Box 49010, Nairobi 00100
[email protected]

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

ILLEGAL TURN. Service lanes are meant to ensure the smooth flow of traffic on the Thika superhighway, says Kethi Ngoka, who is disappointed that some motorists now illegally use them to avoid jams. The worst, Kethi adds, is the service lane between the Traffic Police headquarters and Mathari Hospital, where the errant drivers go on to make an illegal right turn to get back onto the main road, making a mockery of the officers often stationed only a few metres ahead. Kethi’s contact is [email protected]

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GAPING HOLES. There are far too many potholes on Ngong Road, especially near Karen Shopping Centre in Nairobi, moans city resident Liladhar Bharadia. A meticulous Liladhar has painstakingly counted 20 of them, which, he says, are of varying sizes, and he is laying the blame at the feet of the contractor who worked on the road recently. There are 10 more potholes near Jamhuri Park, he adds, which have been gaping at motorists for the past five months. “Can the authorities speed up the road repairs?” he urges. His contact is [email protected]

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PROBLEM FIXED. Following a complaint by Begum Thobani about clean water gushing to waste near the Lab & Allied Company, off Mombasa Road, Nairobi Water Company dispatched technicians, who fixed the broken water pipe last Thursday, says corporate affairs coordinator James Karanja. Assuring Begum and others that there are no more leakages in the neighbourhood, James lauds her for being “a good citizen by reporting the problem”. His contact is [email protected]

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ANNOYING. There is a very angry customer out there that Kenya Power should urgently have a word with. It is Ednah Mayieka, who is upset about lack of a reliable electricity supply. Says she: “There is nothing more annoying than paying for electricity and not having it for up to two months. When it is restored, it is only for an hour. Can they explain to me why I can’t have power all the time or come for their meter?” Her account is No. E21132014120318, and her contact, Tel 0721530705 or [email protected]

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FRUSTRATED CUSTOMER. Also calling Kenya Power is another frustrated customer, Jean Lidvi, who has to make do without electricity despite not only badly needing it but also being ready and quite willing to pay bills. A resident of the Supaloaf area, off Kangundo Road, on Nairobi’s northeastern outskirts, Jean’s prepaid meter, No 14228639212, under the name, James Karani, went off after being connected two months ago. Jean has called the Kenya Power offices and sent emails, in vain.

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SPREAD GOODWILL. Appalled at the “despicable xenophobic” attacks in South Africa in which several people have been hacked or burnt to death by mobs, Sam Muthamia says the biggest irony is that the Zulu king, who is alleged to have made the comments that sparked the violence, is known as Goodwill Zwelithini. Though the royal has come out to reject the attempt to link him to the killings and displacement of immigrants by armed hoodlums, Sam wishes they could stop the animosity and spread some good will. His contact is [email protected]

Have a loving day, won’t you!
E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

DANGER WARNING. There is a need to erect signs on the Naivasha-Nakuru highway, warning motorists about the possibility of wild animals crossing the road, urges Josephine Wandago.

About a fortnight ago, she reports, three zebras were knocked down by speeding vehicles between the Naivasha flyover and the Gilgil toll station.

This area, she explains, also teems with warthogs, baboons, gazelles, and zebras that often hurtle cross the road.

Her contact is [email protected]

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WASTED TALENT. What happens to all the generals and other senior military and top police officers after they retire? asks Ruth Gituma.

According to her, the expertise of these well-trained and experienced people should not be left to go to waste, as they could still contribute to the country while in retirement.

“They should be used as consultants, especially to advise on security matters, as happens in Israel. After all, the government can afford to pay them.”

Her contact is [email protected]

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GOOD SAMARITANS. There are still some decent and hardworking officers out there who deserve kudos for their dedication to duty, says Helphine Mageto.

A Sergeant Wahome and Constable Omari, both from the Administration Police post at Hamza in Nairobi, Helphine says, recently assisted a person who had been lured from Eldoret, conned, and dumped at Makadara.

They not only took him to hospital, but also paid his bill and offered him a place to spend the night.

His contact is [email protected]

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WHAT A SHAME! Police officers patrolling the domestic arrivals section of the JKIA in Nairobi have become notorious for harassing taxi drivers and private motorists dropping off or picking up travellers, says Mary Kinuthia.

She would like the Kenya Airports Authority and the airport police boss to intervene and stop the wayward officials from extorting bribes from the drivers after blocking them from unloading or loading luggage.

“Stop this corruption,” pleads Mary, whose contact is [email protected]

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BLATANT VIOLATION. The pulpit is a sacred place of worship that should be respected, but it is often violated by selfish politicians, says Charles Akelo.

According to him, the politicians will seize every opportunity to “turn the pulpit into a podium to advance their selfish agendas”.

He wishes the men of the cloth would not allow the politicians to use the pulpit “to tear into one another with boring comments” that have nothing to do with worship.

His contact is [email protected]

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WHITE LIES. Of the peculiar habits of some Kenyans, Wollen Morara says the tendency to lie on the phone about one’s exact location is the most prevalent.

He adds: “You will hear someone telling a person waiting for him, say, in the city centre, that he is near the City Stadium, whereas he is still at Umoja and has not even boarded a matatu. By the time they meet, the other person will have made numerous unnecessary calls, only enriching the mobile phone firms.”

His contact is [email protected]

Have a truthful day, won’t you!

E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

OLD SOLUTION. The decision to build a wall on the nearly 700-kilometre border between Kenya and Somalia is the best proof that the supposed digital government of President Kenyatta cannot think of a 21st century solution to Al-Shabaab’s terror, says Michael Odhiambo.

Michael would also like to know just how the “conceptualisation, planning, tendering, and implementation of this mammoth project fits in with the new decision-making and planning framework spelt out in the Constitution”.

His contact is [email protected]

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DOWNGRADED. Not long ago, Patrick Chege recalls, Nairobi’s Yaya Centre, Kilimani, and Hurlingham shopping centres were no-go zones for hawkers, but not anymore.

Makeshift kiosks have sprung up and there has been an influx of hawkers selling sugarcane and who often hop from bus to bus and hordes of street children pestering pedestrians for money.

Extortionist freelance matatu touts have also taken over the bus stops. Where is the county inspectorate? asks Patrick, whose contact is [email protected]

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NOISY NUISANCE. The notoriously noisy nightclubs in Malindi Town are, after a short lull, wreaking havoc once again, moans Salome Msendama. One club near Ngala Estate Phase III, she reports, kept the residents awake all night on April 17.

“Whoever has licensed these clubs to operate in the residential areas is needlessly punishing the residents. We are sick and tired of these noisy clubs and just want the officials to take action against them,” pleads Salome, whose contact is [email protected]

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INCONSIDERATE NEIGHBOURS. Also complaining about the impunity of club owners are the residents of Raphta Road in Nairobi’s Westlands suburb. Milkah Chege says the patrons of the club have been blocking a large part of the road, especially on Sunday nights, making it difficult for two vehicles going in opposite directions to squeeze through.

The club’s parking, she adds, can only take a few motor vehicles, hence the spillover onto the road. “Can the authorities take action before something ugly happens?” For the details, he contact is [email protected]

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NEGLECTED HERO. The Tom Mboya monument on Kimathi Street in Nairobi, Elvis Muthoka says, has always been his favourite place for relaxation, as he enjoys listening to the water coursing through the rocks at the base of the sculpture of the former freedom fighter and Cabinet minister.

Adding to the beauty of the impressive carving are the birds that land and sip the water. Elvis is, however, disappointed to note that the monument has been left to sink into disrepair.

“Someone, please, repair the monument in Mboya’s honour.” His contact is [email protected]

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CRIMINALS IN UNIFORM. Some senior police officers have been lying through their teeth to the vetting panel on how they made their spectacular wealth, says Ahmed Hassan, adding: “They should, in fact, be behind bars by now.”

According to him, one “need not be an Einstein to know that most of them have actually gotten rich by abetting crime, protecting drug cartels, engaging in corruption, gun-running, blackmail and involvement in other serious crimes”.

His contact is [email protected]

Have an accountable day, won’t you!

E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Cutting Edge

SHOW OF MIGHT. President Kenyatta has slipped up in decision-making on several occasions because of poor advice from his aides, says Samuel Nyagucha Oresi. He cites the directive to admit police recruits who had been blocked by a court order over bribery claims. “Why not think of investing in technology as one drone can do the work of 1,000 soldiers? What happens to the show of might on display during national celebrations? We need paratroopers dropped at crime scenes and not at Nyayo National Stadium.” His contact is [email protected]

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BLATANT CORRUPTION. There is an almost permanent police roadblock near the ACK Kyanika Church on the Kitui-Wikililye road that is nothing more than “a toll station for the officers to extort money from motorists”, says George Nthenge. Besides the easy money from matatu and lorry drivers, George adds, the officers have no scruples about picking up “even 50 bob a day, from boda boda motorbike riders. When will these things ever end?” For more details, his contact is [email protected]

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IMPOSSIBLE TASK. The talk of some 30,000 headteachers of all the primary and secondary schools from across the country reporting directly to Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi, in line with the new rules that he has issued, sparking widespread national debate, is also disturbing Njeri Muathe. She poses: “How on earth does he plan to directly supervise all these headteachers? I wish I could shout from a roof top that this is not possible!” Her contact is [email protected]

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NATIONAL LANGUAGE. How come the newspaper vendors on the streets of Nairobi do not sell the Kiswahili newspaper, Taifa Leo? asks university don X.N. Iraki. He adds: “I need to catch up on Kiswahili, a language that’s increasingly becoming more and more complicated by the day. It seems there is a deliberate effort by some of the Kiswahili linguists to exclude most of us from this language, which was meant for everyone.” His contact is [email protected]

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REAL SOLUTION. When he suggested that the animals in the Nairobi National Park be distributed among various game reserves and the land used to properly plan amenities for the city, Peter Cheserek recalls, he came in for flak from various people, but he says he is also convinced that the blocking of roundabouts will not solve the traffic mess. The solution, Peter adds, is to expand the roads and construct overpasses and underpasses “and the traffic jams will be gone once and for all”. His contact is [email protected]

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THINK FIRST. Clearing the traffic mess does not require a genius or workshops for talk, but to try and understand the problem and adopt practical measures, remarks Richard Kihara. The way to go about it, Richard adds, is to start by building an overpass junction, and “do one roundabout after another and see the wonders that will follow”. But even more important, according to him, is for the officials concerned to apply the simple logic: Think before you act. His contact is [email protected]
 
Have a thinking day, won’t you!
E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

SILENT CHINA: Where is our new-found friend, China, in the war against terrorism? asks Christopher Kibiwott, adding that he is baffled by the deafening silence from Beijing. “We have been made to believe that we should embrace China and shun the West. We have lately been hit numerous times by terrorists, the worst being the Garissa University College and Westgate shopping mall massacres. Many European countries and the US have supported us, but China has not even uttered a word. It seems their only interest is business.” His contact is chriskib2000”yahoo.com

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FIGHT SHABAAB: Unless local leaders from the northeast mobilise their people to take the war to Al-Shabaab and their local sympathisers, many fellow Kenyans will shun working in Garissa, Wajir and Mandera, denying them the face of Kenya that is so vital in forging national unity, warns Dave Tumbula. “It is good for the country if all the citizens are free to live, work, study and do business in any part of it. Al-Shabaab’s ultimate aim is to further marginalise the region. This must never happen,” he declares.

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KUDOS, MR PRESIDENT: President Kenyatta deserves praise for agreeing to eat humble pie by rescinding his directive that the 10,000 police recruits barred by a court over corruption allegations be admitted for training, says Onyango Alare. He hopes the new recruitment will be done fairly and in accordance with the law so that those picked can immediately begin their training at Kiganjo Police College. “I hope we are going to change the forest and all its monkeys this time.” His contact is [email protected]

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LONG WAIT: Nairobi commuter Esther Khamala, feels short-changed by Kenya Railways, which removed the Imara Daima Station’s platform nearly a year ago, ostensibly to allow for expansion. To date, commuters are still using the temporary platform, which forces them to go up a creaky wooden flight of stairs to reach the train. “It is a harrowing experience. When will the corporation complete this project?” asks Esther, whose contact is [email protected]

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EARLY GOLF: South African Haydn Porteous, who won the just-ended 2015 European Tour golf tournament at Karen Country Club in Nairobi, is only 21, says X.N. Iraki, adding: “Jordan Spieth, who won the Augusta National Golf tournament in USA, is also 21. The lesson is simple. If we’re to raise the standards of golf, we must start nurturing golfers early. We start playing golf too late, the reason we produce no Tiger Woods despite weather that allows us to play 365 days a year.” His contact is [email protected]

Have a youthful day, won’t you!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Cutting Edge

MADAM PRESIDENT? There are several factors that make Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency an uphill task, remarks Michael Mburu, adding: “She is not the right candidate for the Democrats. Being a female, the gender factor may favour her, but other issues will work against her. The main one will be the voters’ fatigue, having seen her in the roles of First Lady and Secretary of State. The other is her age, as Americans seem to prefer younger people like President Obama, when he first vied in 2008.” His contact is [email protected]

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FRUSTRAED. Could the Advocates’ Complaints Commission be shielding one of their own? wonders Joseph Duya, who has waited for over a year to see action taken against his lawyer, in vain. Since September 1, last year, he has not got a response to a letter he wrote to the commission. Joseph claims his lawyer was paid Sh1,402,107.40, on his behalf, but paid him only Sh56,000. He was entitled to only 30 per cent, but retained a cool Sh841,107. “I am very frustrated because I need money to go to India for medical treatment.” His contact is [email protected]

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OLD SIGN. Makadara Railway Station in Nairobi’s Eastlands was officially opened more than two years ago by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, but there is still a signboard, proclaiming, “Proposed Makadara Railway Station”, notes Joram Isika. The apparent oversight, Joram adds, begs the question: Did Raila open a non-existent railway station? But of even more urgent concern to him is the need for a flyover on Jogoo Road to enable safe crossing of the busy road by train commuters. His contact is [email protected]

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FAST SERVICE. Opening a retail customer’s bank account is “very simple and fast”, says National Bank’s Marketing and Corporate Communications Director Bernadette Ngara, disputing Dan Owiti Awidi’s claim about sluggish service at the Nkrumah Road branch in Mombasa. “We gave him the digital option but he opted to queue. Also, the branch has metallic seats lined with leather cushions. We have been in touch with Awidi and apologised for any inconvenience suffered.” She also clarifies that the picture of customers queuing was not of their Kisumu branch. Her contact is [email protected]

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PAY ATTENTION. A user of Safaricom’s internet service, Brian Maitai, is not impressed with the delivery of the mobile phone service provider’s latest modem. Says he: “It disconnects every five minutes and sometimes fails entirely to download zip files. One also has trouble accessing mail after 9pm, and the interface disrupts the loading of an MSN Yahoo or Google homepage. There is a Facebook page dedicated to complaints about the internet service provision and Safaricom needs to pay attention.” His contact is [email protected]

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TRIAL AND ERROR. Much as he supports Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero’s “new trial to reduce traffic jams”, Frank Laurence says the plan might seem to be working for Westlands, but not in his neighbourhood in the southern part of the metropolis. “We, the residents of Nairobi South ‘B’ and ‘C’ and Nairobi West, feel we are being punished as a journey of 15 minutes now takes us two hours. Do the roads engineers have new ideas to try out before schools reopen?” His contact is [email protected]  
 
Have a workable day, won’t you!
E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

UNFAIR INCREASE. The National Hospital Insurance Fund’s decision to quietly more than triple the monthly contributions of unemployed members from Sh160 to Sh500 is shocking, says Paul Mwangi, who fears that this will effectively cut out a large number of those holding casual jobs.

He is personally affected, he adds, being the benefactor of some elderly people for whom he has been remitting the contributions.

His contact is [email protected]

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SERVICES PROVIDED. Consumers are gradually winning the war to have them charged only for services actually provided, says Churchill Amatha.

Among the organisations that charge for what the consumers really use he lists Safaricom, Kenya Power, and Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company.

According to Churchill, the time has come to have metered TV decoders as well.

“When I pay a monthly subscription and I am away for three weeks, then for what service am I paying?”

His contact is [email protected]

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IS IT EFFECTIVE? After running its new traffic system in Nairobi for about week, in which some roundabouts have been blocked, David Mbindyo says the time has come for the county to evaluate whether or not it has eased congestion.

During the peak hours between the Nyayo National Stadium and the Haile Selassie roundabout, he notes, some lanes are not fully occupied, with motorists being forced to use only two.

Secondly, “motorists from Lang’ata to Industrial Area are staying longer on Uhuru Highway and occupying more space”.

His contact is [email protected]

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ICONIC ART. Before the expansion of the stretch of Nairobi’s Lang’ata Road between the Kenya Wildlife Service headquarters and the Bomas of Kenya junction, Allan Muigei recalls, there were some beautiful animal sculptures that had to be removed to clear the way for the road works.

With the construction now completed, Allan wants the “iconic sculptures” restored, and he wishes they could be installed in the space in the middle of the dual carriageway, facing the gate.

His contact is [email protected]

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NO CHANGE. As the authorities launch a new police recruitment drive, Stevenson Karanja says he is still sceptical about the possibility of this one succeeding because he does not see how it will be any different from the previously botched one.

“The people who gave and received bribes to influence the recruitment last time are still free out there.”

All indications, he claims, point to the possibility of even this latest attempt ending up being challenged in court, too.

His contact is [email protected]

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WSTE. The leaders who have retinues of personal police guards, Sylvester Butoyi urges, should surrender some of the officers to join the rest of the force in combating the rising cases of terrorism.

The leaders’ bodyguards, he adds, are only notorious for throwing around their weight and bullying other road users to clear the way for their bosses and some of them are mired in actions that raise integrity questions.

His contact is [email protected]

Have a secure day, won’t you!

E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

ENEMY WITHIN. The revelation that well-educated Kenyan youth are being recruited into Al-Shabaab calls for a change of tactics in tackling the problem of terrorism, says I. Misheck.

Having lawyer Mohammed Abdrahim Abdullahi, who led the attack on Garissa University College and was felled by the elite GSU team, he adds, is proof “that the enemy is now within”.

All Kenyans, he demands, must now be sensitised about the danger of getting recruited by terrorists.

His contact is [email protected]

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EXCHANGE PROGRAMME. Though supporting the decision to carry out a fresh police recruitment, Edgar Muriithi says there is still more to do to make the force more effective.

He is proposing that senior officers from Uganda and Rwanda be invited in an exchange programme to help in the choosing of the new recruits.

“This will ensure that the process is fair and corruption-free so that each of the 47 counties can get its fair share of the 212 candidates. The remaining positions can be filled by professional cadres.”

His contact is [email protected]

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REAL MESS. Nairobi resident Darsheet Shah is not convinced that any planning was done prior to the decision to remove roundabouts and narrow the lanes on the key roads into and out of the city centre.

The situation that was meant to be corrected, he says, has turned into a real mess, with people not only losing hours on the road as they go to work, but also being penalised for reporting late, even if they leave home at 5am.

He wonders whether the Kenya National Highways Authority cleared the project.

His contact is [email protected]

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FORGOTTEN LOT. While he agrees with the concerned authorities on the decision to remove the roundabouts on Nairobi’s key roads, Joe Wanjohi is appalled at what he sees as a glaring omission that will just hamper the implementation of the programme.

“They totally forgot about pedestrians, even at the Westlands roundabout, where many people often cross the road. Motorists are speeding, and to make matters worse, the traffic lights no longer work and the police do not seem to have a clue as to what to do.”

His contact is [email protected]

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FRANTIC CUSTOMER. Why does Kenya Power encourage the estimating of bills for some consumers, especially in remote areas, after installing expensive meters at their premises? Vincent Onyango is worried that his account, No 4262843-01, could be disconnected without prior notice as he has not received any bills since late last year.

His frantic efforts to have the correct billing restored, he claims, have totally failed and he fears that he will be made to pay for it.

His contact is Tel. 0726939110 or [email protected]

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DIGITAL AGE. The elections of the student organisation at the University of Nairobi have once again brought out the worst in those seeking the mandate to run social and other affairs on the various campuses, says Ruth Gituma.

The walls, all the way from University Way to the halls of residence, she reports, have been plastered with posters, creating an ugly mess. “I thought these students were digital and have many online platforms to campaign on!”

Her contact is [email protected] 

Have a dotcom day, won’t you!

E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Cutting Edge

MILITARY MIGHT. That a terrorist attack could go on for a whole seven hours at a public national institution, Garissa University College, makes a “complete mockery of the military might often displayed during public holiday celebrations” at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, remarks Daniel Njaga. “Where were those jets that stage fly-pasts when the country was under attack? What are they for if they cannot be used to swiftly rescue Kenyans in distress? I hope we are not waiting to see them on Madaraka Day, June 1?” His contact is [email protected]

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RULE OF LAW. Kamau Gatwechi, who had hoped that President Kenyatta would rescind his order to the 10,000 police recruits whose selection was found by a court to have been fraudulent to report for training, must be pleased that there is to be fresh recruitment. Kamau thought the directive would send the wrong signal to the public on the President’s commitment to fighting corruption. He thought a repeat recruitment done in just about a week would be better than “disregarding a court order in a country governed by the rule of law”. His contact is [email protected]

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RUTHLESS ENEMY. The country is under siege and the enemy is “ruthless, merciless, and demonic”, remarks Wambua Musembi, writing from Nakuru, on the terrorism threat. However, he adds, “whether we like it or not, this is not the time to apportion blame or castigate anyone.” As the people quarrel over who should have done this or that, “the enemy is smiling and planning more evil against us”. According to him, the time has come for all to rally together for a lasting solution. His contact is [email protected]

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CUSTOMER-FRIENDLY. At a time when there is competition for customers, Dan Owiti Owidi says opening an account at the Nkrumah Road branch of the National Bank of Kenya in Mombasa is “not for the faint-hearted”. He adds: “After surviving the paper work in this ICT age, you proceed to the tellers and sit on old wooden chairs. This is not what former CEO Reuben Marambii envisaged when he brought the bank back from being a cash cow for the big boys to profitability. Management can do better than this.” His contact is Tel 0731604935 or [email protected]

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POOR SERVICE. Over a year since Joe Oduor applied for a replacement of his lost driving licence, No 1419332, at the Kenya Revenue Authority offices in Nakuru town, he is still waiting for the document. But even more disappointing for him is that there has been no official explanation of the delay in issuing the licence. He demands: “Can the KRA, please, issue me with my driver’s licence, which I have fully paid for. This is very demoralising.” His contact is [email protected]

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PUBLIC HOLIDAY. US President Barack Obama’s planned July visit to Kenya is worrying Zoeb Tayebjee. Says he: “Given the chaotic traffic situation in Nairobi, and that most roads will be closed and those that will be opened will be clogged up, motorists should brace themselves for overnight sleep in their vehicles.” The solution, he proposes, is to declare public holidays during the visit. “After all, didn’t we enjoy a public holiday when he was first elected President in 2008?” His contact is [email protected]  
 
Have a convenient day, won’t you!
E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

UNITY IS CRUCIAL. The bloody attack at Garissa University College, in which 142 students perished, is a horrible tragedy that must never be able allowed to happen anywhere in this country again, says John Kavoi.

The sovereignty of the nation, he adds, must always be jealously guarded and placed above any other interest.

“The time has come for us to put aside all our differences, be they political, ethnic or religious, and unite to seek a lasting solution to the terrorist threat.”

His contact is [email protected]

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TERRORISTS IN PRISON. There have been a number of people linked to Somalia’s Al-Shabaab or other terrorist groups, who have been charged and remanded and others jailed for crimes committed in Kenya, and who, Mike Mwenda fears, could be a bad influence on Kenyan inmates.

“Keeping them together with Kenyans is giving them an opportunity to spread their evil beliefs and recruit followers. They should be kept in separate cells far away from our petty offenders.”

His contact is [email protected]

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NO EMPATHY. Following the massacre, Antony Irungu says he would have expected the politicians to “abandon their daily routine of endless politicking” to comfort the bereaved and fully rally support for the campaign against terrorism.

“Elsewhere, it is not unusual for even presidents to cancel their diary engagements to console victims of natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes and other tragedies. Where is the empathy for the families now grieving day and night?”

His contact is [email protected]

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NO POWER SUPPLY. Kenya Power owes loyal customer Milton Andati Osako an explanation and, of course, an apology for an inconvenience he has suffered for the past three weeks due to no fault on his part.

The power utility’s staff disconnected his power supply (Account No 4004092-01) at his home in Buchenya in Lunza Division of Butere Sub-County despite having been overpaid his bill.

In case the management wishes to have a word with him, his contact is Tel 0724108032 or [email protected]

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MILITARY TOWNS. Driving from Gilgil to Nyahururu, X. N. Iraki notes, one comes across a township called Captain’s, another called Major’s, and across the valley towards the Aberdare ranges, another place called Colonel’s. “Was this area once a battlefield or where did all these military titles come from? Nyandarua County, which was once a part of the White Highlands, has neglected the former colonial houses, which would be a great tourist attraction. Where are the former owners of these houses?”

His contact is [email protected]

Have a historic day, won’t you!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Cutting Edge

NEW TACTICS. The frequency with which security organs have been bungling hostage rescue operations is annoying, remarks Erick Oyugi, in response to the Garissa and Westgate Shopping Mall massacres. This, he adds, is due to shortcomings that call for an immediate review of the training of rescue personnel. “Sending a whole garrison does not make things any more effective. Just a few highly trained individuals on standby and a back-up crew is enough.” To hone the tactics, he recommends Tom Clancy’s book, Rainbow Six. His contact is [email protected]

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DEFEND COUNTRY. As part of the effort to boost the numbers of security teams to tackle the terrorist threat, Nixon Ochieng says the government should reinstate the well-trained and experienced officers dismissed on flimsy grounds. “They should be vetted and those cleared brought back into service, as training the 10,000 new recruits will take a longer time. “I am willing to put my skills to use in defence of my country. I hope Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery are listening.” His contact is [email protected]

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FORTRESS. Though Steve Munga says he would find it rather difficult to fault the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi for turning their premises into some kind of fortress, complete with sand bags for snipers, considering the high terrorist threat, he feels that some of the measures have been overdone. He cites the high wall, but mostly the constricting of the section of Limuru Road that passes near the high commission’s gate. This, Steve claims, is mostly to blame for “the heavy traffic jams that were never heard of before”. His contact is [email protected]

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HYBRID SYSTEM. Traffic flow can be streamlined without having to remove roundabouts, says Stephen Ngigy. Constructing overpasses across the roundabouts, whose pillars can be integrated into future road modifications, is the best option. “Heavy trucks and matatus should continue using the roundabouts, while personal vehicles, which form more than 80 per cent of the traffic, use the overpasses. A hybrid system is what we need to address our unique traffic challenges.” His contact is [email protected]

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COSTLY EXPERIMENT. Following the absolute chaos on the roads in Nairobi in the past few days after an attempt to remove roundabouts in an effort to ease the traffic flow, Gachanja Njoroge is accusing city county officials of experimenting with ideas they hardly understand themselves. Such a proposal, he adds, should have been seriously thought through before being implemented. “Nairobi will experience super crazy jams unless these theoretical solutions are abandoned.” His contact is [email protected]

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TRIAL AND ERROR. Alarmed at the rate at which “all manner of experiments” are being carried out on Kenyans, Samwel Nyagucha Oresi remarks: “We are always in the trial-and-error mode.” Top on his list is the digital migration, “which makes our living rooms look like nuclear sites with so many set-top boxes”. Others include the matatu fare payment cards and “all manner of bank and other smart cards that we can no longer use after putting billions of shillings in them”. His contact is [email protected] 
 
Have a useful day, won’t you!
E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

YOU HAVE FAILED. The African Union has failed to rise to the challenge and provide the leadership and material support needed to confront notorious Muslim militant groups Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab, which pose a grave threat to two of the continent’s biggest economies, Nigeria and Kenya, respectively, remarks George Nganga.

“Why should we have the AU, when it cannot help to eliminate such a threat? How many innocent people are going to be killed before something is done about the militants?”

His contact is [email protected]

**********

FAST AND EFFICIENT. Expressing his “deepest condolences” to the families of the students slain in the Garissa University College attack, Kanyi Gioko also has a word of praise for the security forces, especially the Recce Company, for battling the militants.

“Outside the slow wheels of decision-making within the high command our boys are the best in the world. They have always neutralised the enemy within half-an-hour of deployment. I urge the security leadership to make it possible to deploy them in the shortest time possible.”

His contact is [email protected]

**********

CORRUPTION DRIVE. The most curious thing about the renewed campaign against corruption, Ruth Gituma says, is the timing of the release of the List of Shame that contains the names of top government officials implicated in mega scandals.

This, she adds, has coincided with American President Barack Obama’s announcement that he will finally visit Kenya in July.

“Also, the time frame for investigations is 60 days. I hope the war on graft is not meant to sanitise the government ahead of the visit, then we go back to our normal way of life.”

Her contact is [email protected]

**********

POLITICS AND INTEGRITY. By handing over the List of Shame to the National Assembly, President Kenyatta has made a huge misstep and ended up merely politicising the anti-corruption campaign, says Andayi Mushenye.

The best route, he explains, would have been to summon the Attorney-General to assemble his team and verify the list. “If upon examination, they found a case for corruption prosecutions, the Director of Public Prosecutions should have started taking action against the culprits within 60 days.”

His contact is [email protected]

**********

PLEASE HELP. Once the proud owner of an M-Pesa agency, Diva Communications Mukhonje, in Kakamega County, which she has run for many years, Carolyne Khalwale is devastated.

Says she: “One day, my business disappeared just like that.” She has followed up the matter of her allegedly stolen business with Safaricom who say it is merely an administrative matter for her company to deal with. “I am confused because the local M-Pesa agents administrator says he can’t help me.”

Her contact is [email protected]

**********

TRAGIC NEGLECT. Quite revolting to Jane Hughes is the report of the collapse of yet another building under construction in Nairobi. She cannot understand why measures cannot be put in place to avert such tragedies.

She poses: “For how long are we going to continue witnessing loss of lives in avoidable circumstances? I am one Kenyan who is tired of politics right, left and centre, with nothing tangible benefiting Kenyans. Greed will ruin our beloved country.”

Her contact is [email protected]

Have a preventive day, won’t you!

E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

TERRIBLE ATTACK. Sending her condolences to the families and friends of the students slain in last Thursday’s Garissa terrorist attack, Ruth Gituma says that more than ever before, a lasting solution must now be sought.

To begin with, she would like the KDF troops in Somalia withdrawn immediately. Secondly, she believes that more sensitive coverage of the incident, without overly focusing on those who have lost their loved ones, is urgently called for.

Her contact is [email protected]

**********

DETERRENT MEASURES. For his part, Joseph Macharia says major decisions must be made in combating terrorism. One, he proposes, is moving the massive Dadaab and Ife refugee camps deep inside Somalia to prevent militants posing as refugees from easily entering Kenya.

The second step should be to build a wall on the border and step up intelligence gathering on the militants and a thorough screening of all the refugees.

His contact is [email protected]

**********

STRANGE REVERSAL. Walking around the streets of Nairobi lately, Wollen Morara says he has noted that there are “more and more mentally ill women than ever before”.

Experts on mental health, he adds, say that part of the reason “there are more men than women in the mental hospitals is that the former are more likely to be introverted. Does this common occurrence on the streets of Nairobi now mean that more women are becoming introverts, too?”

His contact is [email protected]

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EXPENSIVE LOSS After a four-day power blackout, Jitesh Shah says the residents of the Westlands suburb of Nairobi, especially on Muthithi Road, have been left with huge losses.

For him particularly, it is the “damage to some perishable medical test kits” that were in stock. Jitesh had no electricity on account Nos. 0091737-03/0091919-01/2109738-02 since Sunday, March 29. The emergency complaint number he was given is 1888895 Muthithi Road.

His contact is [email protected]

**********

PUZZLING FEE. The directive to all public schools to pay Sh2,000 each to Musau Ndunda’s Kenya National Parents Association will see some Sh65 million go to an outfit that Ben Njenga says, “has no place in the newly devolved Kenya”.

He adds: “Each public school has its unique problems, which can be better solved by having a local parents’ association. This was the whole idea behind devolution. So, why give money to this national parents’ association?”

His contact is [email protected]

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NO WARNING. While he applauds the resolve to clear the endemic traffic jams in Nairobi’s central business district by knocking out the roundabouts, Jim Webo is unhappy with the haphazard manner in which this is being done.

“Motorists just woke up one day to find the roundabout at the junction of Bunyala Road and Uhuru Highway blocked without any prior warning. Why wasn’t this announced in advance? No wonder there have been several bad accidents at the spot already.”

Have a systematic day, won’t you!

E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

INSENSTIVE. The people circulating on social media and the internet the ghastly pictures of the slain Garissa University College students are doing a greater disservice to the bereaved families and the country, says Benard Ngetich. He is appealing to anybody coming across them not to distribute them further to avoid inflicting double suffering on the parents, siblings, other relatives, and guardians of the victims. “It’s rubbing salt into the wound!” His contact is [email protected]

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ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY. The Garissa attack could have been averted had police taken steps to secure the institution, given its proximity to the Somali border and following intelligence reports about an impending attack at a university, remarks Maurice Barasa. According to him, it is high time senior security officers accepted responsibility for the deaths of innocent Kenyans. “The officers who failed to protect lives in Baragoi, Westlands, Kapedo, Mandera, and now Garissa, should be dismissed and charged.” His contact is [email protected]

**********
TOO LONG. For how long will innocent blood continue to be spilled? asks Simon Ndung’u, in response to the massacre of nearly 150 Garissa University College students by Somalia’s Al-Shabaab militants. The intelligence and security personnel, Simon remarks, are not doing their best to stop these dastardly attacks and he wants to see heads roll. The establishment of more KDF bases in the northeast, he believes, is part of the long overdue solution to the problem. His contact [email protected]

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BOUNCING CHEQUE. Nearly three years ago, some unscrupulous fellow issued a personal cheque to Mwenja Gichuru, which bounced after she banked it. Since then, she has tried, in vain, to get the police to arrest the fellow, but without any luck. The cheque was for Sh150,000, and has definitely passed its due date. However, Mwenja is not about to give up and wants help to get her debtor compelled to pay up. She can be reached through Tel 0788700193 or [email protected]

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SHOCKING CHARGES. A member of the Kenya National Library Services, Allan Kipchirchir, has always patronised the Eldoret branch, where all he has always done is pay an annual fee of Sh300 and he could borrow two books for a fortnight. The daily fee for non-members has been Sh20 daily, and, therefore, Allan was shocked the other day to find out that even members are now required to pay an entry fee of Sh20 and Sh20 to charge a phone. He thinks the new charges are suspect. His contact is [email protected]

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WE'RE ALL BAD. Not all the people offering fumigation and pest control services in Nairobi’s Kayole and Umoja estates in Eastlands are cheats ripping off unsuspecting residents, says Gero Onyango. The mere fact that some of them are often seen with sprayers on their backs and not in branded motor vehicles, he explains, does not mean they are quacks. “Most of us are good, honest, dependable and hardworking. We offer real solutions, eradicating bedbugs and other insects in houses.” His contact is [email protected]
 
Have a professional day, won’t you!
E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

USELESS EXERCISE. Of what use is the vetting of public servants when those who were cleared by the various panels, including Cabinet and principal secretaries, are among the people now being investigated for involvement in mega corruption? asks Janet Koi. She wonders why people of integrity who cannot be easily compromised cannot be found and appointed to these senior positions in government and elsewhere in the public sector. Her contact is [email protected]

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SHAME OF LOOTING. If the allegations of the corrupt deals by senior officials in government in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission report are, indeed, true and accurate, then the taxpayers have a right to withhold payments until the massive graft network is dismantled, says Stephen Ondiek. He adds: “Only a fool would pay into a system that is being looted on a daily basis, with the thieves going scot-free and laughing all the way to the bank.” His contact is [email protected]

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POWER WOES. Residents of Buru Buru Phase Two in Nairobi’s Eastlands are sick and tired of power outages that occur almost every evening, says Julius Mugoya. The worst affected areas, he adds, include the neighbourhood of Bidii Primary School and Shepherds Junior School. At this rate, Julius warns, Kenya Power should brace itself for lawsuits seeking compensation for damaged electronic equipment due to power surges, “rotting food, lost business, and other woes.” His contact is [email protected]
**************

REPAIR SEWER. A broken sewer on Road A in Nairobi’s Industrial Area has been discharging the smelly muck on the surface, making the murram road nearly impassable, moans Munira Mohamed. The road, Munira adds, has been left with numerous craters, with no hope of repairs being done soon, as reports made to Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company more than two months ago have yielded no response. “We urgently need repairs,” she pleads. Her contact is sasuhsha@yahoo.com.
**************

MISLEADING ADVERT. An advertisement for the Bamba TV digital set-top boxes is misleading and unrealistic and should be tweaked, says Njeri wa Kimundu. She adds: “When a parent tells his children that they can watch TV for 24 hours, this is misleading. The children should be told, ‘Yes, you can watch TV after you finish your homework and only up to 10pm’. Some might argue that this is just an advert, but it will affect these little impressionable children.” Her contact is lkimundu@yahoo.com.
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RIPPED OFF. Bedbugs are wreaking havoc in Nairobi’s Eastlands, especially in Kayole and Umoja estates, remarks David Motari. However, he is alarmed that “suddenly, various specialists have sprung up, putting up posters all over the place, claiming to have powerful fumigation chemicals to wipe out the household pests”. And desperate residents are calling up, seeking help, only to be ripped off by the con men. “Can the city county government take action against the cheats and also assist the residents to get rid of the pests?” His contact is dmots2005@yahoo.com.

Have a genuine day, won’t you!

E-mail: watchman@ke.nationmedia.com
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

EXPLOITATIVE CHARGES. Commercial banks are still robbing their customers in broad daylight despite a reduction in the cost of doing business in the country, charges Joe Ngige Mungai.

He asks: “How can one justify the 28 per cent interest charged on an overdraft or an unsecured loan and a negotiation fee of between 1.5 and two per cent? Someone should come to our rescue. On the right are banks and on the left, their cousins, the shylocks!”

His contact is mungai6969@gmail.com.

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NATIONAL DISASTER. Of the last 10 funerals he has attended in the recent past, Naivasha resident Joseph Macharia says six of the deaths were as a “result of the so-called lifestyle diseases — cancer, diabetes, and hypertension”, with the rest attributed to Aids, road accidents, and alcohol.

Joseph now wants to know when the government intends to declare cancer and diabetes national disasters “so as to attract more donor funding and save more lives”.

His contact is joemacharia@yahoo.com.

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LOGBOOK HITCH. With the rains finally coming down, Peter Davies Otsuanda should be getting down to the business of cultivating his land, but he is unsettled.

The proud owner of a Ford tractor, Reg Ex-KUN 357, Peter has yet to receive the logbook, though it has already been registered as KTCA 186B, following an application he made to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

He hopes the registrar will intervene to speed up the issuing of the logbook. His contact is 0724553656.

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DANGEROUS ROAD. Can the NTSA spend some of the money it has collected in the fines slapped on drunken and speeding drivers to mark the lanes on the winding and hilly Keroka-Kisii road to make it safer? asks James T. Makori.

Driving along the road, especially during the current heavy rains, James moans, is not only a nightmare, it is also quite dangerous. “Even if one is completely sober, it takes a lot of effort to avoid veering off the road and plunging into one of the valleys.”

His contact is jt.makori@emm.co.ke.

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HELP! Frustrated about the failure by traffic police at Karen, Nairobi, to assist him, a desperate Robert Mathu asks: “Who should I bribe?”

While cycling on the Karen-Dagoretti Road, Robert says, he was knocked down by a matatu and admitted to hospital. On his discharge, he recorded a statement at Karen police station.

A week later, he learnt that the matatu driver had been charged with driving under the influence of the alcohol and that the vehicle was not even insured.

His contact is Tel 0714548348 or robert@fortiskenya.com.

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LIPSTICK JUNGLE. Looking at some women in the streets of Nairobi lately, Tevin Nzei, a self-proclaimed grooming guru, says he often feels like someone in a lipstick jungle.

Kenyan women, he adds, are “naturally beautiful” and he just cannot understand the obsession with “applying mounds of lipstick and other make-up”.

According to him, it does not make them any more beautiful and instead they end up looking like a bunch of clowns walking along the streets.

His contact is nzeimusyoka@gmail.com.  

Have a pretty day, won’t you

E-mail: watchman@ke.nationmedia.com
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

CLEAN SWEEP. The ongoing resignations of top government officials implicated in corruption, in response to President Kenyatta’s directive, have been quite humbling, remarks Fred Mukabi.

However, he wishes “the clean sweep” that has seen Cabinet secretaries step aside for the allegations made against them to be investigated could be extended to the lowest level in the public service.

“It stinks down the ladder, too, and cleaning up the top only will not clear the stench.”

His contact is fredrick.mukabi@ksg.ac.ke.

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CORRUPTION CLAIMS. What Stephen Ndegwa finds intriguing is the “heavy presence” of Cord leaders on the list of suspected corrupt officials that the anti-corruption commission submitted to President Kenyatta, and which he recently handed over to Parliament.

However, Stephen adds, all the officials named must step down until their names are cleared as “they are only suspects and not criminals”.

Noting that this has shown the government’s commitment to fighting graft, he concludes: “Only the truth shall set you free.”

His contact is ndegwastephen22@gmail.com.

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TECHNOLOGY HITCH. The government’s efforts to “bring basic public services to the people using technology sometimes become a big joke”, remarks Antony Irungu, amused at the circus in the issuing of passports by the Immigration Department.

One, Antony notes, is advised to register online and download an application form. But the applicant is then required to physically submit the completed form to an immigration officer. “So what difference does it really make?”

His contact is antolex2001@yahoo.com.

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POWER OUTAGE. Any persons planning to visit Kakamega Town soon should brace themselves for the inconvenience of frequent power shortages, warns local resident George Njeru.

The problem, he adds, has persisted for so long that he is now convinced that Kenya Power is “unable to provide a reliable service to the people of western Kenya”.

And adding salt to injury, he claims, is the power utility’s local office, which has not been of much help.

His contact is georgenjeruk@gmail.com.

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EXAM WOES. Something is wrong with the Kenya National Examinations Council’s website, says Allan Sogoni, who is alarmed that this is happening at a critical time — the registration of candidates for this year’s exams.

For the past three weeks, he claims, the KCSE and KCPE exam portals “have either been inaccessible or have been responding painfully slowly”.

Queries to the council’s Facebook and Twitter handles, he adds, are ignored and yet the registration deadline is fast approaching.

“Who will clear the mess?” asks Allan, whose contact is sogoni81@gmail.com.

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NOISE POLLUTION. God is not deaf, says Dr Hussein Dossajee, on the places of worship that assail the eardrums of the residents of Highridge and Parklands, Nairobi.

“Three different denominations have been competing with their loudspeakers. A mosque, five times a day, temples, twice a week, and two churches at Highridge Girls Secondary School grounds, twice a week. We have no issue with prayers but, please, turn down your volume. To top it all, two nightclubs blare music two nights a week. Nema should stop the noise pollution.”

His contact is husseindossajee@gmail.com.

Have a considerate day, won’t you!

E-mail: watchman@ke.nationmedia.com
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

TRAFFIC HEADACHE. Lack of creativity is hampering the decongesting of Uhuru Highway, remarks Kithinji Kiruja.

The Bunyala Road-Uhuru Highway roundabout at the Nyayo National Stadium, he adds, clears traffic from five different feeds, “a pure recipe for a gridlock all the time”.

He poses: “Wouldn’t it make sense to block the two entries that allow traffic from Upper Hill to Industrial Area and from Industrial Area to town/Upper Hill so that the vehicles turn at the next available roundabout to ease traffic flow on the highway?”

His contact is kithinjik@gmail.com.

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TOKENS RECEIVED. Kenya Power MD and chief executive officer Ben Chumo says investigations that were conducted following customer Leo Kinyoi’s complaint about much-delayed prepaid meter tokens established that there was no error or system hitch at the time he tried to buy some units of electricity.

CEO Chumo adds: “I wish to give an assurance that the customer, indeed, bought tokens worth Sh200 and received 30.9 units on the same day.”

**********

BILL US. And could Kenya Power boss Chumo also look into the plight of a couple, David and Catherine Marks, who are quite willing to pay their electricity bills but frustrated about their inability to do so.

Since January, David moans, they have not received any bill or invoice from the power utility for account No. 2388196-02. “How are we expected to pay what we owe? Please wake them up!”

His contact is ambaleirving@gmail.com.

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DISAPPOINTED VIEWER. DStv is no longer the exciting pay TV service provider it once was, remarks Tom Lepski Ochola, adding that the menu now consists mainly of soccer, “tired movies and repetitive wildlife documentaries”.

It is, he states, “a far cry from some years back, when there was a wide choice of top-flight entertainment”.

He is also unhappy about the discontinuation of several programmes, including the ESPN sports series, featuring top-level boxing and world rally championships.

His contact is tomlepskiochola@gmail.com.

**********

WHERE ARE THEY? There was a time when the country representatives of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Nairobi were household names, but not any more, says Wollen Morara.

In the 1990s, in particular, any Kenyan could tell who they were in a picture, he states. “Remember Harold Wackman? Is this a sign that Kenya has economically turned the corner and no longer needs the frequent interventions by the two Bretton Woods institutions?”

His contact is moraraw@gmail.com.

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OLD IS GOLD. A connoisseur of golden oldies music, Enoch H. Opuka, is elated that an appeal he made last November has yielded results. He is the proud owner of his favourite old song, Nyoka na Chura.

Now, he adds, he has been enjoying listening to a rural man lamenting how he is struggling to prevent his greedy neighbours from grabbing his family’s land, “for once, forget the hullabaloo about who should or should not step down” over graft allegations.

His contact is enoch.opuka@africainternational.edu.

Have a memorable day, won’t you!

E-mail: watchman@ke.nationmedia.com
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

WASTE OF TIME: The construction of a wall along the Kenya-Somalia border to prevent infiltration by Al-Shabaab would be “an exercise in futility”, George Gopal remarks, saying that there are already many members of the terror group on the Kenyan side today wreaking havoc in various places.

George is not convinced the government has the capacity to man a 600-km-long wall and keep out the militants considering the challenges being experienced in maintaining infrastructure such as roads and sewer systems.

His email address is georgegop@yahoo.com.

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A MATTER OF SPEED: There are two challenges in enforcing the 50kph speed limit in Nairobi, Ben Ashuma says.

According to him, most motorists pretend to be complying with the limits, only to speed off immediately they go through a police roadblock.

He writes: “At night, it is even worse, as many know they can speed and go scot-free. As police and the NTSA pursue drunken drivers, especially at night, can they also enforce the 50kph limit, please?” Benjamin’s email address is xbenjy@gmail.com.

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ELECTRICITY PROBLEM: A resident of north coast, P Atwell, says the past two weeks have been terrible as far as power supply is concerned, especially in Nyali and Mtwapa, where there have been frequent outages lasting between two and eight hours.

Last Sunday, Atwell reports, residents did not have electricity from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and on Monday, from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. This, he moans, is not good, particularly for hotels, which have been hit by declining tourist numbers.

Atwell’s email address is patwell121@yahoo.co.uk.

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FIVE STOPS: Nakuru could easily win the dubious accolade of being the ‘County of Roadblocks’, Paul Okwemba says. While travelling from Eldoret to Nairobi on March 23, he recalls, he came across five police roadblocks and all of them were along the stretch of the highway that is in Nakuru county.

His vehicle was flagged down in Salgaa, Lanet, Mbaruk, Gilgil and Flyover, and all the traffic police were interested in were its insurance and his driving licence.

“I find it ridiculous to ask for these things at 3 a.m.,” Paul remarks.” His email address is okwembap@gmail.com.

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SORRY FOR THE MESS: Nairobi Water Company says a blocked sewer that is to blame for the “smelly mess” that has been spilling over into the roundabout on Ngong Road, near the Junction Mall and that someone complained about has already been fixed.

A corporate affairs department spokesperson for the company has apologised to people living in the area and also to motorists and passengers who have experienced this while passing through the section.

**********

A THOUSAND WORDS: Allan Agade Indiazi says that the photograph of Bureti MP Leonard Kipsang kneeling before Deputy President William Ruto, is perhaps the best proof that the more things change the more they remain the same.

The picture, he states, reminded him of similar photos he saw when he was in secondary school during the reign of President Daniel arap Moi.

He asks: “Couldn’t Kipsang just bend and whisper into the DP’s ear whatever he wanted to say?”

**********

RED AND GREEN: Traffic police have been causing confusion at roundabouts in Nairobi by stopping motor vehicles when the green light is on and waving at those that should have stopped when the red light is on, Mahendra Adalja states.

To show that the officers are courting danger, Mahendra says he witnessed an accident in which a motorist drove on having seen the green light.

“I have never seen this in any of the 25 countries in which I have driven,” he writes. “Police should be there to stop anyone going across red lights.”

His email address is mahendramedicaf@yahoo.co.uk.

Have a dignified day, won’t you!

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