Monday, August 18, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 18 August 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

FLY ON TO WEST AFRICA. Unlike many fellow Kenyans, who have called on the national carrier, Kenya Airways, to suspend flights to the West African countries due to the Ebola epidemic, X.N. Iraki doesn’t think it is such a great idea.

Says he: “Liberians and Sierra Leonians are our bothers and sisters, whom we shouldn’t abandon over Ebola. KQ should continue flying there, but should take precautions. We should stand by the West Africans in good and bad times. That is what friendship is all about.”

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IN A DILEMMA. Kenya Airways has found itself in a big dilemma over the Ebola outbreak in West Africa that has already claimed scores of lives, says Joseph Musyoki.

The airline, he adds, “will suffer a heavy loss if it stops flights on its lucrative West African routes, but it will sink with the entire nation if Ebola lands in Kenya through one of its planes”. He quips: “It is like scooping oil from an oil tanker that has overturned – damned if you do and a fire breaks out and damned if you don’t!”

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OIL PRICE: BE HONEST. Some things, it seems, can happen only in Kenya! For D.W. Njoroge, the most compelling example of this has to do with the price of a commodity that drives the country – oil.

According to a recent report on CNN, Njoroge adds, the international crude oil prices hit the lowest mark in nine months last month. “How come the prices in Kenya keep rising? The government is not being honest with the citizens on this issue,” remarks a terribly disappointed Njoroge.

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WHERE ARE THE BOOKS? The claim that Kenyans have a poor reading culture is not entirely true, says Collins Musanga, also rejecting the claim that this is the cause of the declining standard of education. Kenyans, he adds, are good readers.

“Kenyans should not be expected to just read any book, simply because it has been written by one of their own.” The Kenya National Library Service, he urges, should stock in its marvelous new building in Nairobi books that the people will find interesting to read. His contact is collom@students.uonbi.ac.ke.

________

GOOD IDEA, THIS. The recent amendments made to the County Government Act which mandated senators to chair the County Fund Management Boards, Barre Shetto says, is a good thing.

However, he explains, it will only bear fruit if the senators and governors work together to ensure equitable and transparent resource distribution. In counties such as his own home region, Mandera, where the two do not see eye to eye because of their bloated egos, this simply won’t work.

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NAIVE OR IGNORANT? The words of the fellow who chided former Lands minister James Orengo over the Lamu land scam “betray either naïveté or ignorance”, remarks Francis Rangara. He wonders why the man has so much confidence in the police, knowing so well about the recent Kenya Police Service recruitment that was marred by bribery and yet nobody has been arrested and prosecuted.

According to Francis, Senator Orengo, a seasoned politician, must have seen the sheer futility of giving that information to the police. His contact frangara2@yahoo.ca.

Have a useful day, won’t you!

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

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

HOW IS IT BILLED? Though like many other Kenyans, Julie Mburugu has fully embraced the prepaid meters that have been rolled out by Kenya Power for several years now despite some initial resistance in some quarters, she simply does not understand how the billing is done.

Says she: “In July, I paid Sh1,500 and got some 85.3 units. This month, with the same amount of money, I only got 58.7 units – a difference of 26.6 units.”

Julie, whose contact is julie.mburugu@gmail.com, hopes the power utility will shed some light on this.

**********

COVER MANHOLES. There is urgent work for Governor Evans Kidero and his team to do to make the city attain standards to make it comparable to the best on the continent.

Ephraim Munene is appalled at the three uncovered manholes on Harambee Avenue in front of the Office of the President and the Deputy President.

“The covers have been missing for a long time, giving visitors the impression that nothing gets done, even if it does not require much effort.”

His contact is kianugu@yahoo.com.

**********

REMOVE HAWKERS. The county government has failed to effectively deal with the perennial hawker menace, says Stan Njoroge.

The petty traders, he adds, have lately been choking the streets in the city centre with their wares, with some displaying them in front of shops selling similar products.

Customers have a lot of difficulty accessing the shops of their choice, with the pavements occupied and entrances blocked. “Our businesses are collapsing,” he cries out.

**********

COPS ARE CROOKS. Have the Administration Police and GSU officers guarding the Canadian High Commission on Limuru Road, Nairobi, also been deployed to discharge traffic duties? asks Bharaiv Arvin Dhubal.

His wife, Bhairav reports, was harassed by some of the officers for allegedly speaking on her phone while driving and threatened with arrest.

She was only allowed to go after she coughed up some money. For the details, in case their bosses are interested, his contact bhairav@ecosaafi.com.

**********

NO IMPACT WHATSOEVER. Safaricom’s latest customer reward scheme, Tetemesha, on which the mobile phone service provider is going to spend a whopping Sh500 million is okay, but Wanyangiri Gitau thinks it is not generating the kind of impact anticipated.

“It would have been easier to just give every Kenyan Sh500,000, spending some Sh475 million and creating a bigger impact from the promotion in the whole country and beyond,” adds Gitau, whose contact is wanyangiri@yahoo.com.

Have a generous day, won’t you!

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

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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FOES TURNED FRIENDS: The political marriage shaping up between former presidential candidates Martha Karua and Raila Odinga is one Sammy Ang’ana says he would never have imagined.

He asks: “Who would have known that one day, the two erstwhile political opponents would be in the same camp”? Ang’ana is surprised she turned up for the launch of the Okoa Kenya initiative.

He wishes the two can stick together “to deliver the country to the promised land”.

His email address is sammyangana@gmail.com.

**********

IEBC MERELY PERFORMED DUTY: ODM candidate Stephen Kariuki’s win in the Mathare parliamentary by-election is not proof IEBC did a good job, says Livingstone Sakwa. He states it only means the party is popular.

Responding to Simon Ndung’u’s query on whether ODM will now change its attitude towards the electoral body, Sakwa insists the call for its disbandment is still on the agenda. According to him, IEBC officials only did what was expected of them in the Mathare poll.

His email address is omwikwe@yahoo.com.

**********

DISSOLVE ELECTORAL BODY: The IEBC should go because it has proved incapable of conducting an electronic poll, judging from the bungled biometric voting system in the General Election of March 2013, says Julius Richard.

He explains: “Having failed to deliver what fellow Kenyans had been looking forward to, we would rather constitute a smart team to do it to avoid being taken back to the archaic voting system. After all, the procurement controversy has not been resolved – almost two years later”.

Richard’s email address is rjulius24@hotmail.com.

**********

WHAT FAULU KENYA FORGOT: After being thoroughly entertained by the agile dancers that Faulu Kenya has put together to popularise its financial services, especially loans for small-scale businesses, John Gitau’s verdict is that the biggest beneficiaries are the TV stations that have been airing it, and the makers of the advertisement.

But the whole campaign, he says, totally ignores the most important point, which is: “Where are the Faulu offices, anyway?”. The answer can be sent to johngitau@africaonline.co.ke.

**********

A COLD LESSON: A former student of Alliance High School, Richard Mundia, remarks that in his time, the showers they had to take in school “were very cold”. And, he says, it was worse, especially in the coldest months of the year.

But Mundia is still convinced the “cold showers were a part of the good discipline the school was well-known for”. He explains they were taken at 6 a.m. and after games in the evenings, “but no one died from them”. Today, 30 years or so later, he still takes a cold shower.

**********

STRANGE ROAD PRACTICES: To the growing list of peculiar habits of Kenyans, John Maina adds passengers who risk their lives after safely reaching their destinations.

According to him, these are people who alight from buses and, without checking if the driver is seeing them, immediately cross in front of the vehicle, “oblivious of the grave danger they pose to themselves”.

The situation gets more dicey when, after getting away from the bus, they encounter speeding vehicles. His email address is chepkorio@yahoo.com.

**********

KENYANS VERSUS LIBRARIES: The new Kenya National Library Service building in Upper Hill, Nairobi, may be an architectural marvel, but X N Iraki is not sure it will produce an “intellectual marvel”, considering the poor reading habits of Kenyans.

He says: “Kenyans hate reading despite getting the power to read. We hope the new library will have reading incentives such as e-books and other technologically-driven reading material.” Iraki sincerely hopes it will help “bring an end to the gilded age of ignorance”.

His email address is xniraki@gmail.com.

Have a marvelous day, won’t you!

watchman@ke.nationmedia.com; PO Box 49010, Nairobi 00100
Fax: (20) 2213946

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 15 August 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
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TRACK MY PHONE! What use is it having tracking devices on the mobile phone handsets sold by Safaricom, Airtel and Orange if the technology cannot be used to track down thieves? asks Judy Obam.

Three years since her phone was stolen, she has been receiving messages from it, sometimes up to 10 times a day, and on asking Safaricom to help her out, she is referred to the manufacturer, LG. She has pleaded that the phone be disabled to no avail, despite involving the police. Its IMEI is No. 359240033763995. Her contact is juobam@yahoo.com.
________

CONVENTION CENTRE? Since he was in primary school some years ago, Frank Muya knew that the tallest building in Nairobi then, which was popularly known by the acronym, KICC, was the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.

He has, therefore, been surprised to hear some people referring to it as the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, yet he does not remember mention of a change of name for the iconic building. When was it changed? asks Frank, whose contact is muyafrank@yahoo.com.

________

ORENGO'S DEFENCE STRANGE. Former Lands minister James Orengo’s spirited attempt to clear his name over irregular Lamu allocations is full of irony, says Paul Otieno.

Quite intriguing, he adds, is that he claims to be in possession of a list of the individuals and organisations that illegally acquired the land, that he now “wants to use as a tool to repel those who might go after him as an individual”. Why didn’t the Senator divulge the information to the police?” His contact is Paul.Otieno@dvn.com.

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REMOVE BARRIERS. The Kilifi County Government is squarely to blame for creating a traffic mess in Mtwapa township, charges Caleb Kaminju Mathia. The county, he adds, recently erected metal barriers at the Kenol bus-stop, forcing matatus to pick up or drop off passengers on the road.

He wonders at the rationale behind the move which has caused a traffic clog-up, inconveniencing road users. “Remove the barriers to restore order in this fast-growing town,” he urges. His contact is kaminju@theprinthub.co.ke.

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CAR-WASH HAVOC. Car-wash gangs between Githurai and Roysambu near the Clayworks factory on Thika Superhighway are wreaking havoc on the road and the drains, says Julie Muthoni. The car-wash men, she claims, have blocked the drainage to trap the water they use, but they have also damaged the service lane.

As a result, Julie reports, whenever it rains, “the area is permanently flooded due to the illegal blockage of the drain”. Julie, whose contact is juliemuthoni81@gmail.com, wants the mess cleared.

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GANG EXTORTING HAWKERS. Can Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo rescue the hundreds of hawkers who eke out a living between the Globe Cinema area and Murang’a Road from the vice-like grip of an extortionist gang belonging to a resurgent Mungiki? urges Peter Karanja.

For about three months now, at 5pm sharp, the group of six young men has been collecting Sh50 from each hawker in what they claim is “a protection fee from county askaris”.  
 
Have a protective day, won’t you!

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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 14 August 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
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CAN'T BE TRUSTED.  The suggestion that counties be allowed to seek foreign loans is dangerous, says Shisanya Majanja, citing the external debt burden the National Government has been grappling with over the years. “Since we are not good at doing this at the national level, we will be digging our own graves if we allow counties to borrow.” With the bulk of the funds given to counties being blown on personal emoluments, foreign travel and entertainment, “they can’t be trusted with loans”. 

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DAILY GOATS INDEED? A group of farmers in Nyeri County is most probably not attracting the attention it had anticipated thanks to the mother tongue intrusion in the writing on their billboard, says James Karani. The farmers are in the business of rearing dairy goats, but the billboard just before Nyeri Town on the Nairobi highway, proclaims: ‘Daily Goats Association of Kenya’. Of course, they meant, Dairy Goats Association of Kenya, adds James, whose contact is jmainak2006@yahoo.com

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LITERALLY DISGUSTING. A mistake repeated too often can be quite irritating and one can, therefore, understand Harold Miller’s disgust at seeing the word, “literary”, wrongly used frequently instead of, “literally”, as the two do not only have different spellings, but also totally different meanings. He wonders how this continues to elude the hawk-eyed editors. “It is depressing, as I saw the anomaly yet again on August 11 in the Nation,” says Harold, whose contact is haroldfmiller@gmail.com.

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WHAT WILL ODM SAY NOW? As he congratulates ODM’s Stephen Kariuki for winning Monday’s Mathare parliamentary by-election, Simon Ndung’u says he is curious to know whether his party will now accept the verdict and change its attitude towards the IEBC. “Will ODM still call for the disbanding of the electoral commission in its push for a referendum?” The ODM position on this, he adds, will show just “how sincere the opposition is?” His contact is spndungu@gmail.com.

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ALLOW THEM HOT SHOWERS. Change is good, but not in every aspect, says Joe Ngige Mungai, citing some iconic schools whose legacy is maintained by sticking to their old uniforms and traditions. “Without the red shirts and blue pairs of shorts, for instance, there would be no Starehe Boys Centre. That uniform is the Starehe trademark that makes it stand out.” But Joe is unhappy that even in cold areas, schools still insist that students take cold showers. “Students, too, deserve humane treatment!” His contact is mungai6969@gmail.com.

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CANCEL THOSE TRIPS, KQ. As the deadly Ebola continues to claim lives in West Africa, Maria Muroko is worried that the national carrier, Kenya Airways, is still flying to the capitals of the countries, including Nigeria, where some of the deaths have occurred. “I hope it is not just about the money. KQ should take the cue from British Airways which has confirmed it will suspend flights to the region. Kenya Airways should do the same.” Her contact is murokom@yahoo.com.

Have a decisive day, won’t you!

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

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 13 August 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

ROAD WORKS IMPRESSIVE. During a recent road trip to western Kenya, Dave Tumbula was pleasantly surprised to note that as politicians continue bickering in Nairobi and other major towns, there is some good work going on to create better infrastructure and ease transport.

“The Kericho-Kisumu highway has been rebuilt and the job is almost done. And there is some impressive work going on to refurbish the nearly 50-kilometre Kakamega-Kisumu road. Keep up the excellent work.”

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ZUKU HAS FAILED ME. Customers of the Zuku Internet service on Westlands Avenue in Nairobi, Dipti Hitesh Shah moans, have been having network hitches for the past five months, and this despite calling customer care up to five times a day, sometimes.

The standard response to enquiries, Dipti adds, is that the problem is being looked into. “Why the numerous marketing promotions when service is insufficient? This is total nuisance!” Dipti’s Zuku contact is No 008661 and the contact, shahdiptihitesh@gmail.com.

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CALLING POLICE! On Sunday, July 20, at 3.30am, Joseph Kahuria reports, a six-member gang raided a Total Petrol Station on Karen Road next to Hillcrest School and made away with 15 gas cylinders. The robbers had three vehicles and he took down the registration number of one of them, which he is willing to pass on to the police.

Joseph believes the same gang broke into more than 20 shops at Kawangware on Tuesday, July 22, and brazenly did it for over an hour. For the details, Joseph can be reached through josephkahuria@yahoo.com.

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DRIVING ME CRAZY. Nairobi resident Ivy Koome says matatu crews are driving her crazy, and yet she must rely on them to get around. On getting into a matatu, she adds, she is “no longer sure whether I am in a club or at a reggae concert, when all I want is to use public transport”.

She cannot understand why the Transport ministry and Nema will not tackle the noise pollution in public service vehicles “before some of us lose our eardrums, as this noise is just too much”. Her contact is koomeivy@gmail.com.

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FAULU KENYA, WHAT'S UP? Getting a loan from Faulu Kenya is not as easy as the jig by various people in its advert implies. Marian Hussein Mohamed applied for a loan more than three months ago, and all the staff keep telling him is that it will be processed and issued soon.

“It’s quite frustrating for me and my family members because it is taking ages and I have to keep on travelling to Kericho from Kisumu to follow up on the application.” Marian’s contact is abdikarimhussein@yahoo.com.

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EXCUSE LAME. The lamest excuse he has ever heard from the police, David Mungai says, is that they could not crack down on truck drivers who, besides flouting axle load limit, smashed their patrol cars and sped off.

“Surely, a truck moves at an average speed of 60kmh, and the officers should simply have radioed their colleagues ahead to block them. This does not make any sense. After all, some officers were recently arrested for soliciting bribes from truck drivers.” His contact is mungaidave2@gmail.com.

 Have a sensible day, won’t you!

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

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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NOT IMPRESSED. Kenya Revenue Authority’s decision to go digital is a step in the right direction as it eases tax collection by making it convenient for taxpayers to file their returns, says James Wachira.

However, James is not entirely impressed by the performance of the officers deployed to the KRA’s i-Tax centre. After making numerous attempts to obtain his tax compliance certificate, one of the officers capped his frustration by rudely telling him: “Young man, I told you there is nothing we can do about it!”

**********

WE WANT POWER. The people of Kiwanja Ndege in Lugari constituency in Kakamega County are still praying that their dream of a joint project to supply them with electricity which was launched 12 years ago, will be realised one day, says Peter Alubala.

For now, they have to contend with darkness in the evenings and forget about watching TV, or perhaps go solar. But worse, some of their income-generating projects have stalled.

The reference is No B27102012090071 and his contact, peteralubala@yahoo.com.

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ISSUE SORTED OUT. Some good news for US-based Wamahiu Muya who travelled to Kenya three years ago and failed to convert his old Kenya Commercial Bank shares certificate into a CDS account.

Judith Sidi Odhiambo, the head of corporate and regulatory affairs, says the bank has finally sorted out Muya’s shares hitch. However, she adds, they have not been able to reach him through the email he provided, muya@optline.net, which appears to be no longer operational.

He should call Tel +254(20) 3270000 and speak to Jane Makale.

**********

TRUCKS A MENACE. There is some urgent work for the officer in charge of traffic at Kikuyu Police Station, says W. Chege, who is fed up with the antics of truck drivers.

They are so conceited, he adds, that they have shamelessly turned the bus stops between Uthiru and Gitaru into parking lots, “making driving through that section hell, especially in the evenings”.

The equally rogue matatu drivers now just stop in the middle of the road to drop off and pick up passengers.

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DOWN THE DRAIN. Once the lingua franca of East and Central Africa, Kiswahili is becoming more international, but, ironically, some people in Kenya are not giving it the status it deserves, says Betty Humbe.

The future of the language, she adds, lies in its youth, “but many secondary school students cannot express themselves eloquently in Kiswahili or in English”. Betty wants tough regulations on the use of the language enforced and radio stations that desecrate it sanctioned.

Her contact is betty.humbe@yahoo.com.

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DIGITAL OR PERISH. Job recruitment agency employee David Kimani’s explanation as to why employers do not acknowledge receipt of applications these days is a lame excuse, says Musau Matheka.

He adds: “Not in this day and age! One can have jobseekers apply online and set the website to send a ‘no reply’ acknowledgement of receipt, giving a timeline on when the successful applicants will be contacted. Serious employers the world over do it. Simply go digital or perish!”

His contact is musaumatheka@yahoo.com.

Have a smart day, won’t you!

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

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

OUT WITH THE OLD: Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has been lauded in various quarters for spearheading reforms in the Judiciary.

But Elijah Ogaya is even more impressed with a purely symbolic gesture: the decision to dispense with “colonial court attire”, including the sisal wigs.

And the Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate, he adds, also deserve praise for throwing out the robs and wigs.

Ogaya asks, “So when will administrators discard their khaki uniforms and the metal bowl-shaped hats?”

His email address is elijahogaya@gmail.com.

**********

GOVERNORS AND TRIBALISM: Julius Richard is skeptical that having governors vetted by Parliament and appointed by the President would have worked in Kenya, a country where tribalism reigns supreme.

“Posting people to work away from their home counties may be very okay, but the most unfortunate thing is that we would have ended up having the majority of governors from only one or two communities, promoting – instead of ending – tribalism,” Richard, whose email address is rjulius24@hotmail.com, says.

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FURTHER SUGGESTIONS, PLEASE: Lauding the idea of having competent governors hired on merit serving away from their own home counties, Asoka Itur says this “bright idea” is an indictment of the Constitution promulgated in August 2010.

He hopes more proposals will be presented for people to debate and finally make a decision after wide consultation. “Remember, not even a comma, full stop or typographical error was corrected in the draft. It was simply a matter of ‘pass now and correct later’,” he states.

His email address is itur46@gmail.com.

**********

SERIOUS MATTERS SIDELINED: The most disgusting thing about many politicians is their tendency to engage in silly fights, even over sensitive national problems such as the land scandal in Lamu County, remarks a seemingly disgusted Jim Webo.

He says: “As the loudmouths from the rival groups purport to muckrake and threaten to sue one another for trading demeaning insults, problems afflicting the country continue to escalate. How I wish the media could black out these clowns, or better still, the people could resolve to vote them out in the next elections!”.

**********

CROSSING A ROAD: The cry for construction of a footbridge across the Nairobi-Nakuru highway at Kinoo trading centre does not make sense, says Isaac Ngure.

He explains that the area has an underground tunnel, but “many would rather risk their lives dashing across the busy highway instead of using the tunnels,” hence “What we need is a change of attitude and increased awareness so that all appreciate that life is a personal thing and it’s precious”.

His email address is isaac.ngure7@gmail.com.

**********

PREVENT DEATHS: Also encouraging Kinoo residents to use the tunnels instead of risking their lives crossing the busy highway, Ngige Mungai says the increasing number of fatal accidents that have occurred along that stretch should be a source of concern to all, including local officials.

He is unhappy about the failure to ensure routine maintenance of the tunnels, which he believes, is what discourages some pedestrians from using them. His email address is ngigemungai@yandex.com.

**********

FOOTBALL GROWTH: Harambee Stars watching a Fifa World Cup match live in Brazil on June 26 cannot alone turn the team’s fortunes around overnight, says Danny Miguel.

He, however, lauds the chance for squad members to “see others in action and learn new skills and tricks”. This, he observes, should have been seen for what it was: an opportunity that can benefit the team in the long run.

“It pays to be patient,” Miguel says. “The seed has just been planted. Water it and wait for the crop to mature and harvest it.”

His email address is diemnjoroge@gmail.com.

Have a purposeful day, won’t you!

watchman@ke.nationmedia.com;

PO Box 49010, Nairobi 00100

Fax: (20) 2213946

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 9 August 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

HYPOCRISY. As the government gloats about the sterling show by Kenyan athletes in the just-ended Commonwealth Games in Scotland, Chester Elisha says that it is just trying to mask its hypocrisy. He is, particularly, disappointed to note that no effort was made to get the State-owned KBC to screen the games live. “We had to rely on Pay-TV to follow the exploits of the Kenyan teams. No wonder, the management of soccer and other sports is also lackadaisical.” His contact is Chester.e@gmx.com.

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CITY ASKARIS. The Nairobi City County should rein in its by-law enforcement officers, who behave as if they are a law unto themselves, Joe Ngige Mungai urges. “They will manhandle suspects, park their unroadworthy and unkempt motor vehicles anywhere”, and crudely dispense “justice” against supposed offenders. Joe is willing to bet that the vehicles are never inspected every year, as required by traffic regulations. “The paint is faded and dirty and in the place of window panes are pieces of cartons. They are junks, actually.” His contact is mungai6969@gmail.com.

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JOB APPLICATIONS. Unlike the jobseeker who complained about prospective employers not acknowledging receipt of her application letters, Caroline Maina says she is not at all surprised about that. According to her, the reason is that 90 per cent of all job application letters are never opened and that emails are automatically rerouted to the junk mail folder. And, Caroline is totally convinced “those to be hired are always known” beforehand, and any advertisements are just a formality. Her contact is carshima2000@yahoo.com.

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ROGUE CONTRACTOR. The contractor working on Elgon Road in the Upper Hill, Nairobi, has not only taken an awfully long time to get the job done, but has also made the lives of motorists even more difficult by erecting bumps that do not just slow down traffic, but actually damage cars, claims Howard Akimala. “The bumps are so huge that even big SUVs scrape their bellies as they crawl over them.” He wonders how the city road engineers could have let this happen. His contact is hakimala@yahoo.com.

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SOCCER SCAPEGOATS. A country’s size or its population cannot determine the outcome of a football match, says Telek Ongaro, rejecting the attempt to belittle Lesotho, which swept aside Harambee Stars to advance towards the Africa Cup of Nations finals. “Lesotho’s performance on our home ground was exemplary. And, after all, even a country as large as China fields only 11 players in a game of football. Let them look for other scapegoats,” adds Telek, whose contact is telekongaro@gmail.com.
  
Have a competitive day, won’t you!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 8 August 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

IMPLEMENT REPORT. Land is a sensitive matter, hence the need for the officials concerned to tread carefully in dealing with the numerous disputes, says Paul Otieno. He is particularly suspicious of Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu, whom he suspects “could be out to throw up a smokescreen” with her pledge to identify all the illegally acquired land in Lamu County since independence. “The government has the Ndung’u Commission report, which spells it all out. It should just implement it.” His contact is Paul.Otieno@dvn.com

________

EMPLOYERS INNOCENT. Responding to Winnie Chepngenowin’s criticism of employers who never acknowledge receipt of job applications, David Kimani, who works for a recruitment company, says it is not always possible. “For every job, posting companies usually receive hundreds of applications. In these days of lean budgets, it is no longer cost-effective for many firms to reply to each unsuccessful applicant. In some cases, companies simply file CVs for future use. So, you might be unsuccessful today, but get listed for a position in future.” His contact is kimani@peoplelink.co.ke

________

LET THERE BE POWER. Though quite happy with the rural electrification programme and Kenya Power’s spirited efforts to connect electricity to rural homes and trading centres, Bernard Ochieng says his only grouse is that sometimes the applications take too long to effect. Last February, he applied for electricity supply to his home in Ukwala, Siaya County (Ref No E24702013090020), and to date, he is still waiting. “I am frustrated because there is a tunnel but no light at the end of it,” he moans. His contact is Bochieng@howardhumphreys.co.ke

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DOONHOLM DARKNESS. A resident of Doonholm in Nairobi, Macharia Kabiru, says some sections of the Eastlands suburb have in recent days been experiencing frequent power blackouts, “which happen mostly at night when the electricity is needed most”.  He would wish to know from Kenya Power why the problem cannot be rectified once and for all “to save us the agony”. When the power utility should be moving forwards in service delivery, Macharia fears that it may be going backwards. His contact is collections.cm@gmail.com

________

FREE NEWSPAPER COSTLY. Free things are not always free in the long run, says Samuel Kamau, adding that the adage has come painfully true for motorists and their passengers on Kiambu Road, who have been experiencing heavy traffic jams, especially between Ridgeways and Muthaiga, “as a result of groups of girls dishing out copies of a free paper”. He wonders why traffic police cannot advise them to position themselves at one spot instead of walking up and down the road. His contact is samuel@rohan.co.ke

________

LAUNCH SICKLE CELL RUN. Many diseases, which are not easy to cure, but can be controlled, such as sickle cell, are not being given the attention they deserve by the health authorities and, therefore, there is a worrying general lack of awareness, says Willis Aguko. The Ministry of Health, he pleads, should set aside a special day for a run or awareness walk to educate the public about the disease. “Many people do not even know what it is and most teachers do not know how to handle children suffering from it.” His contact is masira_j@yahoo.com.
 
Have an informative day, won’t you!

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

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 7 August 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

SELECT GOVERNORS. Devolution will only work and be of value to ordinary Kenyans if a commision is set up to nominate 47 governors for vetting by Parliament before being appointed by the President, says Hezron Nambiro. Such governors chosen on merit, he adds, will serve the people and not their party bosses anywhere in the country, not necessarily in their home areas. “A governor from Nyeri should be able to work in Homa Bay and one from Busia in Machakos or Baringo.” His contact is nambiri_hezron@yahoo.com.

_________

WEBSITES DEAD. The government, Peter Mwaura says, encourages people seeking certain services to access them online, but the websites of its various departments are hardly ever maintained and, therefore, inaccessible. He wanted a passport application form and was advised at the Department of Immigration headquarters in Nyayo House to download it from www.immigration.co.ke, which he failed to do. But someone pointed out a shop nearby where he could buy one. “Shouldn’t they ensure the website works?’ His contact is pmuthaura@gmail.com.

________

NO SIGNALS. Calling the mobile phone service providers are the residents of Thogoto in Kikuyu, Kiambu County, who can neither make nor receive calls as there is no network in their neighbourhood, says Ruhiu Chege. “We move to a higher area in case we have an emergency call to make. Can Safaricom or Airtel come to our rescue so we can also enjoy telephone services like other Kenyans?” His contact is ruhiuchege@gmail.com.

________

IT’S OPPORTUNISM. Deputy President William Ruto’s pledge to have squatters removed from Mau Forest, one of the key national water towers, within two years, is something Ken Butiko finds rather intriguing, as it shows just how quickly some politicians can change their positions when a situation appears to suit them. “Why the apparent change of heart, when he used the Mau settler evictions to fight former Prime Minister Raila Odinga after they fell out before the last General Election?”

________

GRAFT A WAY OF LIFE. Bribery in job recruitment in the private and public sectors is entrenched, says Samuel Owiti, adding that he has himself been a victim, as he lost a great opportunity. An employee of a recruitment agency had warned him he wouldn’t be shortlisted if he didn’t pay a bribe, but he chose to ignore him, convinced that he qualified for the job. “I was asked to apepar for an interview on a Saturday at 10am, but when I turned up, guards at the gate told me they did not open at weekends.” His contact is icelblocks2002@yahoo.co.uk.

________

FOOTBRIDGE NEEDED URGENTLY. A Highway of Death is how Jeniffer Ng’ang’a describes the stretch of the Nairobi-Nakuru highway near Kinoo shopping centre where pedestrians are knocked down and killed almost every day as they attempt to cross after jumping over a concrete barrier. “It is  traumatising! Can a footbridge be erected as soon as possible to curb the numerous deaths at this particular spot?” Her contact is jeniffer.nganga@gmail.com.
 
Have a living day, won’t you! 

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

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 6 August 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

PAVEMENT GRAB. The ropes being tied at the front of some government buildings in Nairobi’s city centre serve only one purpose – to grab the pavement, says Joseph Musyoki. He adds: “These ropes cannot stop terrorists. What we are seeing is encroachment on the pavements, which forces pedestrians to walk on the road fighting for space with cars and risking getting knocked down.” Some of the culprits, Joseph adds, are the service lanes off Haile Selassie Avenue. His contact is joeaffli@gmail.com.

________

KCB'S DINASOUR WAYS.  So KCB wants a share of the diaspora business? asks Wamahiu Muya, adding: “Then it must modernise its dinosaur-age customer relations.” Wamahiu, who is based in New Jersey, US, says he tried converting his old share certificate into a CDS account three years ago and did all the paper work with his broker, Suntra. “The conversion was rejected and they demanded I must represent myself in Nairobi. I flew in but they still refused to honour it before the deadline because I did not have my birth certificate.” His contact is muya@optonline.net.

________

CORD FAILED US. Why would Cord leaders threaten to expose people fraudulently allocated land in Lamu and other places only when one of their own — former Lands minister James Orengo — is arrested? asks a disappointed Mwaniki Wanjohi. “Does this mean they have information they intend to use to blackmail their political rivals? This is being dishonest. Whose interest are they serving if they only reveal corrupt people when one of their own is implicated? They are failing fellow Kenyans.”

________

PROBLEMS AT SCHIPOL. The surgeon who complained about his two bottles of duty-free alcohol being tossed into a bin at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam should cheer up, “as he seems to have little travel experience”, says Violet Gachago. “The practice at all airports is that receipts must be enclosed in the bags of duty-free items. Shop attendants at airports know this and should have advised the doctor. It’s too bad that he had to learn this the hard way!”

________

LEARN YOUR ANTHEM. As he applauds his fellow Kenyans’ exploits in international competitions such as the just-ended Commonwealth Games in Scotland, Peter Cheserek is a little unhappy about their apparent failure to display their patriotism as emphatically as he would have wished. Says he: “As the National Anthem is played to honour them and the country for winning a gold medal, most of them either do not know it or just refuse to sing along. These superstars should learn the National Anthem.”

________

STARS A SHAME. For a team that was motivated with a trip to the World Cup in Brazil, which was fully paid for by President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Harambee Stars’ dismal performance against tiny Lesotho, which advanced in the Africa Cup of Nations at the Kenyans’ expense, is hugely disappointing, says Chrispinus Shiyonzo. “What did they learn in Brazil? Some of the players arrived only 24 hours to the game. We should drop them and scout for new players during the coming school games in Kakamega.” His contact is chrispinusshiyonzo@gmail.com.
 
Have a strong day, won’t you!

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

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 5 August 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

CALLING ORENGO. Can former Lands minister James Orengo shed some light on the land scandal in Lamu County that apparently happened under his watch? urges J.M. Mwangi. And he hopes that the government will name and shame all the individuals behind the companies illegally allocated huge chunks of land. Mwangi will also be happy to see heads roll at Ardhi House. “I hope the investigations will not be bungled. Someone surveyed the land and signed the documents.” His contact is jm_mwangi2@yahoo.com.

________

NO DISTRACTIONS. President Uhuru Kenyatta shouldn’t have gone to the US-Africa Summit in Washington, DC, to discuss gay rights and other flimsy issues, when there are more pressing problems at home that call for his attention, says Lawrence Chokera. According to him, the President should be channelling all his energy into creating jobs and empowering the youth to improve their lives. This, he adds, will only be possible through funding youth groups. His contact is lawrie.chokie210@gmail.com.

________

VISIT COAST NOW. The irony of the security threat hovering over the country is that now is probably the best time to visit the sandy beaches at the Coast, says X.N. Iraki, adding: “For once, there are few visitors and the hotels have good deals.” But more intriguing, he adds, is that there is a new kind of visitor – armed police. “A visit to a few hotels in Mombasa leaves no doubt that tourism is very sensitive to insecurity. However, there are signs of recovery and we hope the beaches will soon fill up with holiday-makers and their money.”

________

TOO MANY STREET FAMILIES. Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and his team of executives should spare some time to address the rising street children menace in some residential areas, says Shahi Bux. One of the most affected areas, he adds, is Parklands, and he cites Masari Road as a spot where the lives of some of the young people are under grave threat. It is not uncommon to see hordes of children running after cars to beg for money, “which is very dangerous, but they are encouraged by their mothers to do so”.

________

DISGRUNTLED OVER POWER. The long wait for power connection is agonising, says W. Mutua, who applied on January 3, when he was excited that finally, his home in deep rural Chulani location of Kitui County would soon be well-lit in the evenings. A Sh35,000 deposit was promptly paid but to date, there is not even an indication that the power supply will be connected soon. He has followed up several times but all he gets are promises that are never fulfilled. The reference is E25822012100021.

________

BOSSES BEHAVING BADLY. Looking for a job has been a harrowing experience for Winnie Chepngenowin, but worse, she says, is the attitude of some employers. While she does not expect to get hired every time she sends out an application, nothing hurts her like being snubbed as some of her prospective employers do not even acknowledge receiving her letters. “They should form a habit of sending regrets online or via post. It doesn’t take much to write back and say one didn’t qualify for the job.” Her contact is chepngenowin@gmail.com.
 
Have a consoling day, won’t you!

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

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

PRESIDENT WRONG. President Uhuru Kenyatta has erred by assenting to the law that puts senators in charge of funds in the counties at the expense of governors, says Kennedy Butiko.

By endorsing the County Governments Amendment Bill, the President has “usurped the people’s mandate that was given to the governors through the vote and handed it over to the senators through the back door”.

He poses: “What use is it electing governors then? They should be recruited by HR firms.”

His contact is kennedy.butiko@yahoo.com.

**********

IT'S A NIGHTMARE. Getting a Personal Identification Number (PIN) from the Kenya Revenue Authority is like performing a miracle, claims Peter Ndegwa, who applied two weeks ago and has not heard a word.

On calling the KRA, Peter was advised to take his company registration certificate to the I-Tax Centre, and assured it would take three days. Well, nothing happened.

“As a result, I cannot open a bank account and, therefore, cannot start my business,” says Peter, whose contact is Tel. 0712288398 or pndegwaw@gmail.com.

**********

WHERE IS MY LOGBOOK? Despite several visits to the KRA’s Kisumu office, Isaac Owiti says he has yet to be issued with the logbook of a car, Reg KAL 699U, which he bought from a parastatal way back in October 2010, and in January 2011, applied for transfer of ownership, duly paying the requisite fee.

His attempts to follow up the status of his application by sending emails to the KRA have also not borne fruit, he adds. His contact is Tel 0726100800 or isaacowiti@gmail.com.

**********

EXCELLENT SERVICE. During a visit to Amboseli National Park as part of a group of 23 who spent two nights camping, Jeff Onyango says they were impressed with the “eloquence and competence of the Kenya Wildlife Service rangers” both at the Kimana gate and inside the park.

As they departed on July 28, he adds, they were happy about the clean environment and facilities, including flush-toilets. The group is grateful to Tiberius, Priscila, Harrison, Ambrose and Kabarere for making their stay comfortable.

**********

REPAIR THE ROAD. The main road in Nairobi South ‘C’, especially the stretch between the Old Akiba estate, the mosque and the Greenbelt Movement offices, is a nightmare, thanks to the huge potholes, moans Carolyne Cheptumow.

If whoever, between the city county government and the Kenya Urban Road Authority, is unable to maintain the road, the tarmac should be scraped off to leave the murram. Her contact is carolyne.cheptumo@yahoo.com.

**********

HONESTY NECESSARY. Writing from his base in New Jersey, US, Wamahiu Muya is looking forward to fair recruitment of teachers.

Says he: “I hope the Teachers Service Commission will follow to the letter the academic criteria it has designed during the hiring of the 10,000 teachers and shame the National Police Commission whose recent hiring of new recruits was based on the highest corrupt bidder. Kenyan children need the best teachers, and not the most corrupt.”

His contact is muya@optonline.net.

Have a transparent day, won’t you!

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

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Cutting Edge 3 August 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

ROAD HOGS. The government should reduce matatu fares “as they are too expensive for ordinary Kenyans”, urges Mohammed Fazal Hussein. Other countries, he adds, have government-sponsored public transport, which charges nominal fares. “There are no standards regulating matatus and they are driven as if the roads are meant for them alone.” He cites Dubai as an example where public transport is well-organised and the “drivers very professional” because discipline is instilled through heavy penalties. His contact is mohammed78611021@hotmail.com.

________

MOTORBIKE ROBBERS. During the Idd-ul-Fitr holiday on Tuesday, Aunally Maloo reports, a duo of hardcore motorbike criminals had a field day, riding up and down Wambugu Road, robbing pedestrians and motorists of their belongings in the Parklands area of Nairobi, with shocking bravado and impunity. Aunally is thus appealing to the Officer Commanding Parklands Police Station to take measures to bring the menace to an end.

________

DAMAGED ROADS. Even as he appreciates the efforts Mombasa Water and Sewerage Company is making to expand supply, Martin Makundi is not amused at the wanton damage to roads to lay the pipes. “Most of the roads have been left in tatters and with blocked drains. Whenever roads are dug up to instal huge pipes, the trenches are filled up with loose soil, instead of restoring them to the original condition. The repair will cost the county even more.” His contact is makundih@yahoo.com.

________

CUSTOMER CARE. A Nairobi surgeon says that against his better judgment, he booked to fly economy to London on KLM via Amsterdam on July 25, paying extra to reserve “preferred seats” for him and his wife (KL0566). He was told the seats “have extra leg space”. When he checked on line, he failed to see the “preferred seats”. But he thought this would be rectified at the check-in. At the KLM desk, at JKIA, he was told the seats had been occupied and they could claim a refund. “It’s appalling to do this to a ‘Frequent Flier’, who booked four months in advance.”

________

MAKE PEACE. Japan, Germany, and Italy can never dream of war again because of the humiliation they suffered during the Second War, says Paul Mwangi. Instead, he adds, the three countries, which were defeated by the US and its Allies, “resolved to tackle their problems using artificial intelligence and advanced technology”. African leaders, he advises, should learn from the “peacocks of the 1940s” to avoid a similar humiliating fate. His contact is PMwangi@eacables.com.

Have a wiser day, won’t you!

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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 1 August 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

BE CAUTIOUS ON GMOS. As debate rages on genetically modified products, Lynne Bailey thinks there is more to the pro-GMO lobby than meets the eye. She asks: “Why are so many European and some African countries banning the use of GMO products, environmentally harmful insecticides that appear to be killing off pollinators, and ‘super weeds, until more studies are done, if it’s harmless?” The authorities should be more vigilant about the threat to Kenyans’ health “until all the claims are proven”. Her contact is lynne_safari@hotmail.com.

________

LIFT THIS TAX. The scarcity of land in towns makes a case for the construction of high-rise buildings, some up to five floors, but they have no lifts, as required by the building by-laws because these items are simply too expensive for many developers, says George Mburu. He is, therefore, appealing to the government to consider removing duty on lifts or the materials used to make them so that they can be more affordable for installation in the tall buildings coming up. His contact is mburugm@yahoo.com.

________

ELATED BY AQUAFRESH. A thoroughly elated Njoroge Kiratu says his favourite toothpaste, Aquafresh Extreme Clean, is back on the shelves of supermarkets and shops in Nairobi, thanks to an enquiry by a reader that was published by Watchie. Njoroge adds: “I believe the debate about its disappearance may have prompted the manufacturer to consider returning the toothpaste to the shelves in Nairobi and elsewhere. I am very grateful for this.” His contact is nkiratu@gmail.com.

________

BRIBERY IS TWO-WAY. As the recent police recruitment is condemned for the apparent rampant bribery, Vincent Mariita is disappointed that the finger is being pointed only at the Kenya Police Service teams sent out to do the job, and not the other side, without which the corruption would never have happened. “Why do we so conveniently forget that bribery is a two-way act? Why blame only the police officers and not the citizens who offered bribes for their candidates to be picked? We are all guilty.” His contact is mariitav@yahoo.com.

________

EMPATHY, NOT OBSESSION. The reason for what someone called “Kenyans’ obsession with death”, Lucy Ann says, is “that those affected either directly or indirectly by such devastating circumstances need empathy, and sometimes sympathy, to weather the storms”. The large attendance at funerals, she argues, “gives encouragement and hope to the bereaved”. According to her, “those celebrating the joy of newborns deserve it, but they do not desperately need to be joined by others”.

________

SPELLING ATROCIOUS. Many small kiosks often have misspellings in their menus, but they are not the only culprits, says Josiah Mugo, adding that many prime businesses in Nairobi, too, make a mess of signage and annotation. “From spelling mistakes, inappropriate font sizes and clashing colours to misplaced signboards, they make a mockery of the graphic design profession.” At the APA Arcade at Hurlingham, he adds, there is, for example, Puffins Stationary, as the name of a shop that sells paper, pens and ink. His contact is mugojosiahk@gmail.com.
 
Have a literate day, won’t you!

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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 31 July 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

CITY ON THE ROPES. Thanks to rising insecurity, what was once proudly referred to as the “City in the Sun” is increasingly becoming the “City behind the ugly ropes”, remarks Michael Mwania. “Many government buildings are now surrounded by ropes in the name of security, causing inconvenience to pedestrians, who are forced to compete with cars on the streets as the pavements have been blocked. He lists the General Post Office, Nyayo House, Times Tower, Parliament Buildings and the Treasury, as some of the buildings affected.

________

IT IS AN ORPHANAGE. The Animal Orphanage in Nairobi provides refuge to young animals either orphaned or abandoned, which cannot survive independently in the wild, says Kenya Wildlife Service official David Ndeereh. The KWS, Dr Ndeereh explains, in response to a recent complaint about “lack of variety at the orphanage”, does not take animals from the wild to stock the orphanage, “as this would defeat the conservation ethic”. The orphanage remains a permanent home for carnivores such as lions, cheetahs and leopards because of their inability to fend for themselves. His contact is dndeereh@kws.go.ke.

________

REMOVE THE KIOSKS. A resident of Westlands, Nairobi, Quince Viraj, is alarmed at the mushrooming of kiosks especially on Lantana Road in the recent past. Recalling that it took many years to remove similar kiosks from the neighbourhood, Quince says he is disappointed that county officials have turned a blind eye to the problem, which is now spiralling out of control. He hopes it’s not too late to act.

________

CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME. Concerned about the sharp drop in tourist arrivals, Peter Mburu says the government should be “more proactive in wooing the visitors to Kenya, and especially to the Coast”. The national carrier, Kenya Airways, should play a key role here. Peter wonders why it does not have direct flights from Europe to Mombasa’s Moi International Airport. “Why fly to many other world destinations and not Mombasa? Ethiopian Airlines and others do. Charity begins at home.”

________

NO POWER FOR BROTHER. Call him his brother’s keeper, but Joachim Mungania is unhappy that his sibling has not been treated fairly by Kenya Power. In early January, his brother applied for power connection to his house in Meru and has since made endless trips to the power utility’s offices at Maua, in vain. “Why should it take five months to drop a power line not so far away when there is a rural electrification authority?” The reference is E25332013030113 and his contact, jmungania5@yahoo.com.

________

IGNORE CORD CRITICS

With criticism of the government by Cord leaders coming “thick, fast and furious”, Barre Shetto says it’s not prudent for President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto to keep spending “valuable time on rebuttals” however trivial they may be. “They should quietly work on the genuine issues to improve the situation and ignore the rest. The responses only make their failure look more glaring. They should borrow a leaf from retired President Mwai Kibaki.”
  
Have an unresponsive day, won’t you!

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

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 30 July 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

SIX IS NOT TOO YOUNG. Children who are intelligent enough to join Class One at six years should not be blocked, says Chintan Gohel. He knows of children, including his own brother, who entered Class One at that age and went on to perform very well. The “exceptional minds” out there, he adds, should not have to waste a whole year, waiting to join school. In the United States and several other countries in the West, it is not unusual for students to join university at 18 or even younger.

________

BESEIGED BY CRIMINALS. Residents of Kinoo are under siege from criminals, moans Betty Wanyoike. Armed robberies, she adds, occur almost daily, as the 10 officers at the local police post, which does not have a motor vehicle, appear to be overwhelmed. “Why can’t the police be provided with the vehicles the government has been leasing lately? The criminals have been acting with increased impunity since the transfer of the Kabete police boss who was popularly known as Ocampo.”

________

CONTRACTORS SLUGGISH. The delay in the construction of two footbridges over Mombasa Road at Bellevue and at General Motors is to blame for the rising number of pedestrian deaths on the busy highway, says Patrick Musyoka. He has been particularly pained to witness some of the fatal accidents and hear about people being killed by speeding motorists while trying to cross the road. The city government, he pleads, should take the contractor to task for his failure to complete the projects.

________

LET THEM STAY AT HOME. Though happy about the proposed insurance policy for police officers, more needs to be done to improve the morale of the people who protect the lives and properties of citizens, says Denis Munuve. To ease the housing shortage at police stations, the officers should be paid commuter, risk, uniform and housing allowances so they can look for their own accommodation among the people to be able to gather intelligence more easily. “Only duty officers should spend the night in police quarters.”

________

DECENTRALIZE. The devolved system that has seen the creation of 47 counties is the best way to ensure that resources reach Kenyans at the grassroots to initiate development projects, says Edward Angira. To ensure the goal is achieved, he adds, all National Government departments should be replicated at the county level. The most surprising oversight is the failure to decentralise the office of the Controller of Budget. “Such an official will approve the county budget as he would understand its needs.”

________

KUDOS TO IMMIGRATION. Keen to “give credit where it is due” is Elizabeth Chater, who, during her long stay in Kenya, has had to deal with the Immigration Department to ensure that her papers are in order. She is full of praise for an officer, whose name she gives simply as Daniel, in Mombasa. Says she: “Visiting the office in the past was a much dreaded experience. It was dirty, disorganised and unfriendly. But last week, I found a complete transformation. It was clean and well-furnished, and the staff, charming and helpful. Congratulations!”

Have a welcoming day, won’t you!

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

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Cutting Edge - July 29 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

STOP THE ISRAELIS. As nearly 1,000 Palestinians, mostly defenceless innocent men, women and children, are killed in Israeli air and land strikes, the United Nations is merely paying lip-service, says Husseinail Dhalla. He wishes the UN, and, especially, the Arab nations, could take more decisive action against the Israelis to stop the atrocities. “We have seen Jews in Israel and other parts of the world protesting against the inhuman actions. What their government forgets is that God’s wrath could come soon and in any form.”

________

DOUBLE STANDARDS. When the Palestinian militants’ rockets started landing near Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, American airlines briefly suspended and soon afterwards restored their flights to Israel, remarks Kanyi Gioko. To him, this is a clear demonstration of who, indeed, are Kenya’s friends. “America and other Western countries are busy withdrawing tourists, diplomatic staff, and volunteers from Kenya, and banning miraa imports, among other sanctions. Why the double standards?”

________

WHERE IS PERU? Security consultant Mbijiwe Mwenda is frustrated that his holiday plans in South America cannot be realised though he is all set. He wishes to travel to Peru, but cannot get his visa, as he has not been able to reach their consulate in Kenya. The telephone numbers listed online, (+254) (2) 530156 / 7 / 8 or (+254) (2) 5530156/7/8, “are all dead or simply unreachable”. He has also been to Lautrop House on Enterprise Road, but didn’t find the consulate. His email is mbijiwe@eyeonsecurity.co.ke.

________

PEDESTRIANS NOT CRIMINALS. Although getting pedestrians to use footbridges saves lives, Job Momanyi is unhappy with the way police and National Transport and Safety Authority officers have been arresting people. “My beef is with people going to work being arrested like criminals, frogmarched to a roadside court, and fined. Unless the government is in the business of raising revenue through fines, askaris should be deployed to ensure footbridges are used.”

________

WRONG PRIORITIES. Many of the 47 counties have their priorities upside down, but taking the trophy, according to Ibrahim Ahmed Abdinoor, is Mandera, where he comes from. Ibrahim cannot understand why the county’s leadership would be thinking about constructing an international airport. “There are more pressing priorities, besides the fact that the nearby Wajir International Airport is already experiencing less passenger and cargo numbers. They should have consulted the locals.” His contact is dalahow@gmail.com.

________

WHEN SENSE BREAKS DOWN. Whenever a car breaks down, the driver should pull up to the shoulder and place warning triangles 20 metres in front and behind the vehicle to warn other motorists, notes Barre Shetto. But the rather peculiar habit of some Kenyan drivers, he adds, is to place twigs, tree branches, shrubs and stones on the road. “From where, pray, did they get this absurd idea? And as if that is not enough, they leave the stuff right in the middle of the road once their cars are repaired. Peculiar Kenyans, indeed!”

Have a proper day, won’t you!

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

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

CRACKDOWN TIMELY. The crackdown on pedestrians who cross roads at undesignated places in Nairobi is commendable, says Kamichore Mutindira. “The instant fines save the culprits the inconvenience of having to go to court.”

However, Kamichore is disappointed that police and the county traffic marshals only go for soft targets. “They should also arrest PSV drivers at Kencom and Ambassador bus stages who park their vehicles on the zebra crossing.”

His contact is kamichore7@gmail.com.

**********

REMOVING KIOSKS. A Nairobi City County Government official, acknowledging Tony N’s complaint about the erection of kiosks on road reserves in Lang’ata’s Southlands and Park estates, says they are working with “relevant agencies” to have the structures removed.

County executive Anna Othoro, who is in charge of trade industrialisation, adds: “As a long-term and sustainable solution, plans are underway to provide proper trading spaces to businesspeople. This will be done by redesigning existing markets and building new ones.”

**********

A YEAR LATER, NO POWER. Keen to see his mother’s home deep in rural Kisii County lit up, Oscar Nyamboki applied for power connection in November last year, paying the requisite fee of Sh35,000. To date, he moans, Kenya Power’s Kisii branch has failed to deliver despite his numerous visits to their offices.

“I hope my mother will some day be delivered from darkness. It will be my best present to her for bringing me up.” The reference is E24402013060202 and his contactoscarnyamboki@yahoo.com.

**********

END THIS AGONY. Also hoping Kenya Power CEO Ben Chumo will end his agony is Dan Murugu. At the beginning of the year, he called at the power utility’s office in Nakuru thinking an application for meter separation would be effected immediately.

Says he: “It has stalled despite more than 100 visits. The MD should intervene and also take action against the staff due to whose inaction we have gone without power for the last eight months. Some of them have worked in this office for over 20 years.”

His contact is Tel 0720988086 or murugugu@yahoo.co.uk.

**********

KRA CALL CENTRE USELESS. Kenya Revenue Authority may have had the best intentions when it set up a call centre at its headquarters in Nairobi to enable taxpayers to have their queries answered, but it hardly ever works, says William Kamau.

He asks: “Could it be me alone or has anyone ever phoned the KRA call centre and got assisted. The phone rarely gets through and if it does, you are put on voice-mail forever. I have never got any assistance on the phone.”

His contact is wkamau@rocketmail.com.

**********

BIRTHS PRIVATE. Advertising births “does not serve any practical purpose”, remarks Richard Mundia, in response to the criticism of Kenyans’ “apparent obsession with the dead”. According to him, deaths are advertised to “inform relatives and the public and give them details about funeral arrangements so that those who wish to can go and mourn”.

Whereas a death is public, “unless a family indicates otherwise”, a birth is a private affair, concludes Richard, whose contact is mundia@haritsheth-advocates.com.

Have an informative day, won’t you!

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

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 26 July 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

KRA WEBSITE. The Kenya Revenue Authority’s i-Tax system is simply not working, says Zoeb Tayebjee, fully agreeing with Mungai Kihanya. He is also convinced that “something is wrong” with the KRA’s web site, having tried, in vain, to register online. His frustration is compounded by the fact that his bank will no longer accept Pay As You Earn remittances using the P11 form. “Can the KRA advise on an alternative method?” urges Zoeb, whose contact is Tel 0733638171 or ztayebjee@yahoo.com.

________

PUBLIC SERVICE. Could the recent clean-up at the once notoriously corrupt Lands ministry headquarters in Ardhi House, Nairobi, be already bearing fruit? Fatma Kadada was there recently and was impressed by the attitude of the staff, who attended to her and solved her problem within a short time. “The days of the missing files are gone. And Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu goes around asking customers if they have been served.” But her trophy goes to Lands registrar B.K. Leitich, who “sacrificed his lunch hour to attend to clients”. Her contact is fkadada@yahoo.co.uk.

________

TRAFFIC RULES. The arrest by officials from the National Transport and Safety Authority of pedestrians who ignore footbridges and opt to dash across busy roads, risking their own lives, is a step in the right direction, says James Githinji. According to James, the crackdown is in the interest of the pedestrians. But he would like the dragnet extended to wayward motorcyclists, who brazenly flout traffic regulations. His contact is jgithinji2012@gmail.com.

________

ADMISSION. Can the Ministry of Education come up with a policy guideline on exactly at what age children should be admitted to Class One? urges Snafina Mulisa. “Should it be a child turning six or seven?” Private schools, Mulisa claims, are not as particular on the age requirement as their public counterparts who insist that a child must be seven to join Class One. If a student should be 18 years when sitting the KCSE exam, he should start Class One at age seven. Mulisa’s contact is snafina2mulisa@yahoo.com.

________

CABINET POLITICS. The drafters of the new Constitution, Alfonso Gribaldi says, “were spot on when they envisaged a Cabinet of professionals” instead of the previous ministers from the political class. However, he adds, the Jubilee Government included three “retired” politicians in its line-up, with a promise they would not engage in politics, but they still do. “A quick analysis of the past 12 months reveals that the Lands Cabinet Secretary leads the pack followed by the one for Labour and last but not least is the Mining one.” His contact is alfgribaldi@yahoo.com.
 
Have a professional day, won’t you!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 25 July 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

ROAD IN A MESS.Though his hands may be full, with all manner of challenges, Muhib Noorani still believes Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero should find some time to attend to the specific problems of some of the residents. He should, Muhib appeals, go to the rescue of the residents of Rose Avenue, “which is a very important link between Ngong Road and Hurlingham shopping centre”. The road, he adds, is not only “in very bad shape and full of potholes”, it is also the cause of traffic jams when dusty or muddy.  

________

TIRED OF WAITING.A resident of the city’s Eastlands, Kahihu Wamwere, is tired of waiting for the promised reconstruction of Outer Ring Road to begin, as it continues to degenerate. Many businesses, he reports, have moved out, as there is no sign that the reconstruction of the road, which is now in a shambles, will begin soon. As a result, he adds, traffic jams are the order of the day, and the feeder roads such as Komarock, Mutarakwa and Kangundo are equally in a mess. “Is the road project still on?” asks Kahihu.

________

LET DOWN BY AIRTEL. Has Airtel quietly increased its charges? asks Wangui Kamau. She recently noticed that something was amiss after being charged Sh6 for her first message of the day, while the subsequent ones “cost the normal Sh2 each off-the-net”. A loyal customer since the year 2000, Wangui is livid about being “cheated out of Sh4 every day”. She also wonders what became of the customer loyalty points scheme, Rewardz. At this rate, she warns, they risk losing a customer. Her contact is wanguikm@gmail.com.

________

MONITOR SUPERHIGHWAY. To get the best out of Thika Superhighway, Muhib Noorani says, there is a need to ensure some traffic discipline which has been sorely missing. The goal of the hefty investment – streamlining the flow of motor vehicles remains a dream. The first measure should be to have all slow-moving vehicles, including trucks and motorbikes, use the service lane. The second is to deploy police on motorbikes to monitor and help restore sanity on the road. His contact is muhibnoorani@hotmail.com.

________

KENYANS STILL HONEST. There are “still a few honest Kenyans” out there, says a grateful Dr Omija TB. His confidence in the goodness of his fellow Kenyans was restored following an incident at a hotel in Nakuru County. He was at Sentrim Lodge in Elementaita on Saturday, July 12, and as he checked out, he did not realise that he had dropped his mobile phone. “You can imagine my relief when I was called on my second line and informed they had my phone. Kudos to the staffer who found the phone in the room!” His contact is olootb@yahoo.com.

________

WHY FOCUS ON DEATH? Why do Kenyans “focus so much on the dead, either through accidents, wars or even suicide, but never on births”? asks X.N. Iraki.  While several pages of obituaries are published in the newspapers daily, there are none that cater for newborns. “Would it not be great to announce the births with the children’s photos? We are always talking about those who have died, but rarely about those born. Baby showers have fewer attendees than funerals. Why this obsession with death?”

Have a living day, won’t you!

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

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 24 July 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

GANGSTERS ON THE LOOSE: Nairobi resident Lucy W. Githinji has witnessed motorists being robbed and side mirrors plucked off their vehicles by street boys, nay, men, in broad daylight as they sit in traffic jams at the Globe Cinema roundabout. She has also seen pedestrians being mugged by the hoodlums, whose base is the overpass where the Thika Superhighway begins, and the racket goes on day and night. “Can Governor Evans Kidero and his team rid the area of these men? They are a nuisance!”

________

REPAIR THIS ROAD: The Satellite-Kabiria road in Dagoretti, Nairobi, is in a pathetic state, moans Lilian Anyango. With the recent drizzles, she adds, its huge potholes have now become muddy. The people of Kabiria have, despite sweet-sounding promises, never benefited from the present and past leadership and have to contend with overcharging matatus as they cannot afford to set up their own transport sacco. Her contact is onyangolilian90@yahoo.com.

________

USED DIAPER MENACE: The mindless disposal of used baby diapers is heightening environmental pollution, says Tabitha Maina. As more mothers buy the items, Tabitha adds, not many think about the impact of the dirty pieces they throw away, and which are scattered even further by stray dogs. She is, therefore, appealing to the Kenya Paediatric Association to engage manufacturers in educating mothers on the proper disposal of the items. Her contact is tabsmyn@gmail.com.

________

WE NEED WATER: The discovery at Changamwe of stolen water pipes belonging to Mombasa Water Supply and Sanitation Company would appear to explain why the residents of Bamburi-Mtambo and its environs have not seen a drop of water come out of their taps in the past four months, says Vitalis Mwakidedi. As a result of the acute water shortage, they have been forced to rely on boreholes and wells and some vendors. Vitalis hopes water supply will be restored soon. His contact is mwakidedi@gmail.com.

________

HOUSE A NIGHTMARE: When a dream house becomes a nightmare is how Edmond Odaba describes his tribulations at the National Housing Corporation’s Lang’ata flats in Nairobi. The roof to his Flat No D72-719 has been leaking and he has written two letters to the managing director about it, to no avail. The problem, he explains, is due to “poor workmanship and poor floor design, as water flows inside in case of a leakage or faulty gate valve”. There are also large cracks on the roof, through which water seeps into his living room, making a mess of everything. His contact is edmondodaba@gmail.com.

________

NO ROOM FOR VETS: At the risk of being shouted out of town for trivialising the issue of alleged bias in the recruitment of professional cadres into the Kenya Defence Forces, Bob Mukirae, in an attempt to downplay the need for veterinary services in the military, says: “Asoka Itur should be informed that horses and donkeys do not constitute a part of the KDF’s transport battalions anymore.” And though conceding that dogs have a role to play, he argues that “their numbers are negligible”. His contact is bobmukirae@yahoo.com.
 
Have a sensible day, won’t you!

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

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 23 July 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
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LAMU VICTIMS NEGLECTED

After the Westgate mall attack last September in which 60 people perished, there was an outpouring of grief and support for the survivors and the bereaved families, recalls Hawa Mohammed.

Safaricom and other corporate bodies even raised funds. But that solidarity has been conspicuously missing since the Mpeketoni massacre in which a similar number of people were killed. She wonders why the discrimination. Her contact is hawamohammed.hm@gmail.com.

________

PAY DAD'S PENSION

For over 30 years, Ahmed Mahfudh (No 2012) worked for the Kenya Wildlife Service with his last station having been Malindi, in the wildlife education and community

service, says his son Jamil.

But trouble began when the man died in 2004. To date, the family has not been paid his terminal dues, and his wife has been unable to raise money to pay college fees for Jamil and his siblings.

Appeals to the Mombasa KWS office for help have yielded nothing. For the details, his contact is jamilmahfudh@yahoo.com.

________

TOO MANY KIOSKS

Calling Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and his team is Tony N., who is alarmed at the mushrooming illegal kiosks “sitting pretty” on road reserves at Southlands and Park estates.

Most of them double as wines and spirits outlets and block entire pavements, forcing pedestrians to jostle for space with motorists.

“But worse, they are now dens for hoodlums and idlers who attack and rob residents at will. Who will come to our rescue?” asks Tony.

________

ORPHANAGE IN DECLINE

The Animal Orphanage in the Nairobi National Park, once a major attraction for city residents and visitors, is losing its shine as the variety of animals on show declines, says David Motari.

Currently, he adds, most of the cages have only lions, “which is not value for the fee paid at the gate”.

In the past, one would view several other species of wild animals. “The Kenya Wildlife Service can do better than this and should,” demands David.

________

MISTREATED BY ZUKU

Nakuru resident Charles Gitahi, who bought a Zuku decoder and satellite dish on May 30, hoping to enjoy the wide bouquet of entertainment promised by the pay TV company, says it never happened.

After the installation, the only thing he saw on the screen was the message, “No signal”. Since then, he has made several calls to the Zuku customer care section, but all he gets are promises that are never fulfilled and yet he continues to receive monthly bills.

“How can I pay for what I am not enjoying?” His account number is 460761 and his contact, Tel 0722239122.

________

FOOTBRIDGES PLANNED

Responding to an outcry on fatal accidents at Kenya Clayworks Factory and Brookside Dairy on the Thika Superhighway, Kenya National Highways Authority corporate affairs manager Charles Njogu says nine additional footbridges are to be constructed soon to replace the bumps in various places.

However, the authority wishes to encourage pedestrians to use passenger crossings that include footbridges, zebra crossing and underpasses for their own safety.
 
Have a secure day, won’t you!

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

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 22 July 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
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SACK THE POTBELLIES

As the Kenya Police Service insists on applying the strict requirements that some people have denounced as ridiculous in determining the recruitment of new officers, W. Chege says the leadership should be paying more attention to the fitness levels of those already employed.

He would, for instance, like to see all the notoriously pot-bellied policemen retired immediately. His contact is wchege2@gmail.com. 

________

COLOURED TEETH

Responding to the locking out of applicants with “coloured teeth”, Samuel Kamau says that “if fluorosis causes damage to the bones, ligaments and muscles”, then it would “automatically disadvantage the affected youth if recruited into the police or military”.

But with this source of possible employment shut, Samuel wants the government to consider favouring them in the awarding of tenders or other opportunities. His contact is samuel@rohan.co.ke.

________

PROBLEM SOLVED

Nairobi Water Company thanks Elais Junior whose complaint about “clean water gushing to waste” along Maai Mahiu Road between T-Mall and Moi Educational Centre at South ‘C’ led their technicians to discover the real cause of the discharge and fix it, says corporate affairs coordinator James S. Karanja.

“Our technical team established that it was not a broken pipe, but a blocked sewer manhole from where the water was coming. It was unblocked and the area is now not overflowing with water.”

________

WHO STARTED THE WAR

Cord leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s opposition to the Kenya Defence Forces’ continued mission in Somalia, Joe Wang’endo says, is akin to former US Vice-President Dick Cheney’s criticism of the Obama administration on Iraq.

“He was the VP to President George Bush who started the war on false information of weapons of mass destruction. Former President Bill Clinton reminded Cheney that they started the war in the first place.”

________

TAXPAYERS FRUSTRATED

Mungai Kihanya says that for several months now he has been trying in vain to sign up for the much-touted i-Tax online system of the Kenya Revenue Authority. Though a tech-savvy chap, Mungai’s is a tale of endless frustration he wishes the KRA could urgently address.

Says he: “Every time I enter my date of birth (picked from KRA’s online calendar), the system rejects it as invalid.” He poses: “How does the KRA hope to meet its targets if taxpayers cannot register?” His contact is mkihanya@yahoo.com.

_________

DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN

Yala bridge on the Busia-Kisumu highway in Siaya County is a disaster waiting to happen, warns James Owuor, citing the vandalising of the guard rails that has exposed pedestrians to grave danger as they walk closer to the road, risking being knocked down by speeding motorists.

He hopes the Kenya Highways Authority will move with speed to secure the vital crossing for pedestrians to avert fatal crashes. His contact is james.owuor@yahoo.com.

Have a safe day, won’t you!

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

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

REFUND CAUTION MONEY. A very disturbed guardian, Sammy K, would like to know from Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi just has long it should take a school to refund caution money after a student has completed Form Four.

Well, he and other parents of the students who sat their KCSE exam at Nyahururu Elite School last year have not got refunds of the caution money they paid, “even after having been asked to provide our bank account numbers”.

Having held the money for four years, why not refund immediately on completion? he asks.

*********

JAM TOO HEAVY. For the past two weeks, Manu Shah says, there have been terrible traffic jams on Jogoo Road in Nairobi in the evenings, especially between the Likoni Road junction and the City Stadium.

A distance of only 1.5 kilometres takes nearly an hour, gobbling up lots of fuel and man-hours and exposing motorists and their passengers to deadly fumes. The contractor working on the road, he demands, should be asked to speed it up.

Manu’s contact is chuimanu@jambo.co.ke.

*********

MARRED BY FRAUD. The just-concluded recruitment of police officers was marred by corruption, charges Abdikadir Aden-Devii, adding, however, that it has confirmed the high level of unemployment that is afflicting the youth of the country.

Abdikadir is not amused at a recruiting officer’s claim that some people could not be enlisted because they have flat feet and, therefore, cannot walk for long. That is one of the flimsy excuses being used to unfairly lock some people out of jobs.

*********

DISAPPOINTED. The recruitment left “many able youth very disappointed” after being left out, says Jimmy Ndirangu, upset about the “unfair” conditions set. “I believe that most of the young people who turned up were in good health but failed because they were not familiar with the methods used by the recruiting officers.”

Singling out running, Jimmy says, this disadvantages some communities. “The idea of height, body mass, and running ability as the criteria for picking good police officers and should change.”

*********

ESTATE A DUMP. The National Environment Management Authority, Harambee Sacco and Nairobi City County government have abdicated their respective roles in ensuring a clean environment for the residents of Doonholm in the Eastlands, says Florence Ambuche.

She is accusing the three of failing to stop the dumping of waste and growth of slums on Harambee Sacco’s Phase B plots.

“Please, ensure that the garbage is cleared,” urges Florence, whose contact is ambuchef@safaricom.blackberry.com.

*********

THEY WERE ALL GREAT. The World Cup in Brazil has confirmed that the days of giants and underdogs in football are over, remarks Antony Kabiro. According to him, “with diligent preparations, and determination”, any of the teams that qualified for the finals was capable of winning the trophy.

It was even more apparent, he adds, from the last 16, as most of the matches went into extra time and others were decided on penalties. Costa Rica, Belgium, Chile, Algeria and Nigeria, he argues, put up credible shows.

His contact is antonykabiro2014@gmail.com.

Have a competitive day, won’t you!

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

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 19July 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

REMOVE OFFENDING WORDS

Tribalism “is a serious thing, but, unfortunately, it’s also official”, remarks Allan Bukusi, citing the requirement to indicate one’s tribe and clan when applying for the national identity card. “Since the freedom of movement is guaranteed in the Constitution, can a person whose parents came from, say Kisii, but who was born and has lived in Mombasa County all his life say he comes from Kisii? The words tribe and clan should be removed and replaced with ancestry.” His contact is allanbukusi@mdi.co.ke.

________

WHY THE COMPLEXITY from the National Registration Bureau? asks Richard Kihara. The dossier, he adds, includes their national identity card numbers, which are unique to each person. He cannot understand why the same should not be used as the school or bank account number. His contact is richardkihara@ymail.com.

________

LOOK AGAIN

The claim by Martin Mola that the IEBC did not allocate 30 per cent of its recently advertised opportunities to special groups is untrue, says web and digital manager Andrew Limo, who adds: “We advertised in the newspapers and on our web site and specifically stated that Category D is reserved for youth, women and persons with disabilities. In it are a host goods and services, including the supply of flowers, repair of electronic equipment and event organisation. The submissions close on July 18.” His contact is andrew.limo@gmail.com.

________

SAFETY FIRST, SIR

Though the picture of President Kenyatta showing his prowess at riding a motorcycle, with his security detail in pursuit, during the opening of the Toyota Business Park in Nairobi was fascinating, Antony Alex Irungu says he was disappointed to note that he did not wear a helmet. “Considering the resources that have gone into encouraging riders and their passengers to wear helmets for their own safety, he ought to have been provided with a helmet. Safety comes first, and especially, for the Head of State.” His contact is antolex2001@yahoo.com. 

________

RECTIFY "ANOMALY"

The Ministry of Defence is recruiting specialist officers to serve in its various sections, but conspicuously missing from the list of the categories sought are veterinary doctors, says Asoka Itur. And he cannot understand why. Veterinarians form an integral part of the support services, for their role in disease control and surveillance and public health. “This anomaly should be immediately corrected by including them in the advertisement,” urges Asoka, whose contact is dvokwd@yahoo.com.

________

MAKE THEM PAY

The Auditor-General’s latest report has clearly shown how billions of shillings are being squandered in all the 47 counties, remarks Jackson Njamba. The money, he adds, is lost through various avenues, including the excessive foreign travel by members of the county assemblies. Jackson wants action taken against the culprits, who should be speedily prosecuted and surcharged for the wanton wastage, “unless this report was just for our information!” His contact is jackson.njamba@gmail.com.

________

E-mail: watchman@ke.nationmedia.com

or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 18 July 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

DISCIPLINE THEM

Boda boda motorcyclists have become a real menace on the roads because of their failure to observe simple traffic rules such as not overtaking on the left, says Richard Mundia.

Most of the riders, he adds, behave “as if they are riding bicycles instead of the potentially dangerous motorised machines”.

Mundia proposes that they be barred from carrying goods and restricted to ferrying only one passenger wearing a helmet. His contact is mundia@haritsheth-advocates.com.

_________

AWAKE AT LAST

The Mombasa County government is waking up from its deep slumber, says Collins Mwatati, impressed by the beautification of roads and the installation of traffic lights at the Tudor and Sabasaba intersections.

However, he adds, “more still needs to be done, especially on the improvement on roads, garbage collection, enhancing security and clearing of clogged drains.

He is also happy about the laying of fibre-optic cables and water pipes. “Kudos to Governor Ali Hassan Joho and his team!”

________

NEW SLOGAN

Though the old slogan of Nairobi Water Company, “…a new beginning…”, which was unveiled 10 years ago is still on some of the firm’s motor vehicles, there is a new one, says corporate affairs coordinator James Karanja, in response to Njeri Muathe’s query.

The new slogan, he adds, “…improving reliability,” has been in place for quite a while. “We apologise for this, but the few remaining vehicles are also being rebranded.

We shall soon be calling on our customers to help us come up with a new slogan in line with our newly adopted strategic plan.”

________

TOO MANY ACCIDENTS

Fatal accidents are occurring almost every day on the Thika Superhighway as pedestrians try to dash across it at the Kenya Clayworks factory and Brookside Dairy, says Macharia Kimani.

On July 14, he reports, a pedestrian was killed and another critically injured. 

Macharia has written several times to the Ministry of Roads and the Kenya National Highways Authority appealing for the erection of a footbridge, but has not heard a word from Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau.

________

A THOUSAND APOLOGIES

Tuskys Supermarket wishes to sincerely apologise for the “unfortunate experience” Roselyn Atieno suffered at their Tom Mboya outlet in Nairobi, where she was forced to pay for a product she had accidentally dropped.

A customer care official, who gave her name only as Veronica, says Roselyn should go and see the branch manager, a Mr Riba, so the matter can be amicably resolved.

The contact is customercare@tuskys.com.

________

REQUIREMENTS RIDICULOUS

The recruitment into the Kenya Police Service, Ruth Gituma says, has once again brought to the fore ridiculous requirements for the candidates which should by now have been modified or discarded.

“For instance, why should one be disqualified because of the colour of one’s teeth? How will the job of handling a gun be affected by coloured teeth?

We must start matching brains with the job because we need policemen more than before and physical attributes alone are not enough.”

Have a realistic day, won’t you!

E-mail: watchman@ke.nationmedia.com

or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 17 July 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

ACTION, NOT POLITICS

Residents of the counties in the former Nyanza Province have “some specific issues” they would like their members of Parliament to seriously address, says John Ragwar, adding:

“We are tired of decades of being the politicians’ punda (donkey) and now want a clean lake, an effective fishing cooperative society, and full utilisation of Kisumu International Airport.”

The voters, he adds, are not for the “referendum call as it is a roadmap to nowhere”.

________

WORK TOO SHODDY

The fellows who keep on digging trenches across Lang’ata Road in Nairobi are causing a lot of agony to some residents who rise early to walk for exercise and find their paths dug up, says Rose Simani.

She simply cannot understand why trenches cannot be dug and all the cables laid at once.

One path in her neighbourhood has been messed up three times and the soil shoddily put back. For the details, her contact is rose.simani@yahoo.com.

________

GOING TO WASTE

Hundreds of litres of clean water have been gushing to waste from a broken pipe on Maai Mahiu Road between T-Mall and the Moi Educational Centre in Nairobi South ‘C’, reports Elais Junior.

Nairobi Water Company should dispatch its technicians to fix the problem and curb the wanton waste of this valuable resource.

“Why should we be crying about not having water in our taps?” asks Elais, whose contact is elaisus@yahoo.com.

________

WOMEN RELIEVED

The end of the World Cup in Brazil is a blessing for the many women literally deserted by their husbands, who have been staying up late watching the football matches, says Lilian Kuhora.

According to her, the wives should now start celebrating because their men will “return and resume their responsibilities”, in what she describes as the beginning of the joy of a woman. Her contact is liliankuhora@gmail.com.

________

FORM UTILITY POLICE

Alarmed at the rate at which public facilities and amenities are being vandalised, Paul Mwangi has had a brainwave and is convinced he has now found a solution.

He says a competent team he proposes should be named the Utility Police should be immediately recruited and deployed to ensure power lines, road furniture, telecommunication installations and other vital infrastructure are guarded “instead of just whining” about vandalism. His contact is pmwangi@eacables.com.

________

HAS IT BEEN SOLD?

Not long ago, says Njora Waweru, there was a sign, ‘Plot not for sale’ on Eldama Ravine Road near the Peponi Road junction at Westlands, Nairobi.

But recently, he adds, a big sign was put up proclaiming that the plot belongs to the County Government of Nairobi, and warning that trespassers would be prosecuted.

He was, therefore, quite surprised when he passed by on July 13 only to see a perimeter wall had been erected, and some construction was going on. “

Is this a county project or has the plot been sold?” asks Njora, whose contact is njorawaweru@yahoo.com.

Have transparent day, won’t you!

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

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 15 July 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

KILLINGS CONTINUE

Whenever innocent Kenyans have been slaughtered by gangs, some top leaders and security officials have always vowed to bring the culprits to book. But nothing of the sort has happened and the killings continue, says Christopher Kibiwott.

Kenyans in every part of the country “deserve better than mere talk”. But even more disappointing for him is to see the “security bosses talking and behaving like politicians”.

________

ARM VIGILANTES

The wave of insecurity, especially at the Coast and in the north-eastern region, is worrying, says Thomas Yebei. But even more disturbing is the apparent inability by the government to figure out the people behind the attacks and come up with effective counter-measures.

“To deal with these challenges, the government should vet, recruit, train and arm vigilantes to protect villages under the supervision of chiefs. This is the best way to deter further attacks.” His contact is tomyebei@yahoo.com.

________

AMERICA FLAG?

Thankful that the much-hyped Saba Saba rally in Nairobi went on peacefully contrary to the fears expressed by security chiefs, Anthony Mugambi says he was disappointed by the unpatriotic display by some of the young men who turned up to listen to the address by Cord leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula.

“Why were they flying the American flag? Shouldn’t they have carried ours? Something is not right!”

________

COMPLAIN MISPLACED?

Contrary to Jefferson Mwiti’s claim that the Higher Education Loans Board has been unhelpful, corporate communications officer Olive Metet says his brother, Jonathan Ngiiri, was awarded a loan of Sh37,000 for the 2013/14 financial year, which has already been disbursed.

His second loan of the same amount for the 2014/15 academic year, Olive adds, will be paid on October 27. “The board ensures that everyone enrolled for higher education gets a loan as we work towards achieving Vision 2030.” Olive’s contact is OMetet@helb.co.ke.

________

WRITE TO REGULATOR

Nairobi resident Charles Omondi, who complained about being shortchanged by a solar power systems agent, can seek redress through the Energy Regulatory Commission, says Pavel R. Oimeke, an official of the regulator of the energy sector.

Its mandate, Oimeke explains, covers solar water heating systems, enforced through the Energy (Solar Water Heating) Regulations 2012. Charles, he adds, should file his complaint to the ERC through info@erc.go.ke or write to the director-general. Robert can be reached through Robert.pavel@erc.go.ke.

________

BODA BODA OPERATORS SUICIDAL

Boda boda motorcycle operators are unnecessarily endangering their own lives, those of their passengers and other road users, says Nairobi resident Robinson Ngano. But the most extreme, he adds, is the tendency to carry unwieldy cargo, including livestock.

“Imagine a big cow being carried on a motorbike! Is this ingenuity or the height of stupidity? Some Kenyans operate very very dangerously,” remarks Robinson, whose contact is robin.ngano@gmail.com.

Have a reasonable day, won’t you!

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

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

WE ARE UNDER CURFEW. Could a curfew have been quietly imposed at Mshomoroni on the North Coast? asks Mombasa resident Isaac Mukua. Officers from Nyali Police Station, he claims, have lately been moving from bar to bar ordering patrons out well before 11pm.

Not only have they been targeting drinkers during the just-ended World Cup matches, but also the mama mbogas who sell groceries in the evenings. Those arrested, he alleges, must cough up Sh3,000 each to buy their freedom.

**********

WHAT NEW BEGINNING? When Nairobi Water Company was launched slightly more than 10 years ago, its slogan, “...a new beginning...”, was imaginative, attractive, fresh and made plenty of sense, notes Njeri Muathe.

However, she adds, the same slogan is still inscribed on the water utility’s motor vehicles that she often comes across. “How long will their beginning remain new?” she wonders. Surely, not after 10 years of service to the capital city’s residents!

**********

UNHAPPY WITH MEDIA. A bitter critic of the media, Moses Kimutai, is unhappy about headlines that tend to glorify only the negative aspects. “Though I cherish freedom of the Press, I wonder whether they have a role to play in promoting the good of the country”.

He always finds media coverage polarising. “But the negative reporting will not promote the Brand Kenya, trade, stable exchange rates, tourism and so on”. According to him, the reporting should be more “ethical, developmental, positive, progressive and beneficial to Kenyans”.

His contact is kymuty@yahoo.com

**********

LET'S BE MORE POSITIVE. Convinced that the “many good things the government is doing” are not being highlighted as criticism or negatives get all the attention, Donald Oluoch has resolved to do something about it.

He wants to mobilise all the people who believe that the government is working well to rally with him. But he is also challenging the government to ensure its many achievements are highlighted to counter the “doom and gloom that is making many Kenyan lose hope”.

**********

DISEMPOWERED. Hannah W. Kariuki applied for electricity connection to her rural home in Timau last year, promptly paying the requisite fee of Sh34,980. But to her utter shock, all her neighbours who applied at the same time were connected last month, and only she was left out.

And last week, she got a letter, Ref PK3B/11-B/3/1, requiring that she pay an additional Sh314,342.00! “I don’t understand why I should pay 10 times more than my neighbours.” The reference is E25302013100178 and her contact, hannahk.wothaya@gmail.com.

**********

BAD TASTE IN THE MOUTH. Besides ‘Beecham’s Hot Lemon’, which Irvin Homem says is probably “the best reliever of cold and flu symptoms” he has ever used, also missing from the shops and supermarkets in Nairobi is his favourite toothpaste.

Says he: “Aquafresh Extreme Clean, in an orange and silver packet, seems to have quietly vanished, leaving a bad taste in my mouth. I’m really hoping GlaxoSmithKline could consider making these products available again.” His contact is irvin.dsv@gmail.com.

Have a nice day, won’t you!

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

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 12 July 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

STATE FEAR

Corruption and terrorism thrive in a country where the rule of law are on the decline, warns R. Hood, adding that Kenya is dangerously slipping downwards. The most damning signs, he explains, include the withdrawal of foreign investment and the sharp decline in tourism. “Foreign currency will evaporate, the country’s balance of payments sill widen and the IMF and other lenders will defer loans. The result is that the people will suffer,” concludes Hood, whose contact is grant.england@live.co.uk.

________

SHODDY WORK

Hardly a year since the Kangemi-Kinoo stretch of Waiyaki Way, Nairobi, was rehabilitated, potholes are developing, says Churchill Amatha. Convinced that such repairs should last a little longer before the job is redone, Churchill feels that naming and shaming poor job contractors is the best way to ensure that quality work is done. But for now, he hopes the holes will be patched up before they get too big, requiring a complete reconstruction of the section. His contact is amatha@hotmail.co.uk.

________

REWARDING LOYALTY

Petrol stations in Nairobi and other big towns may have stopped rewarding their customers with freebies, but deep in rural Runyenjes in Embu County, they still do, says Geoffrey Gatema. A good example, he adds, is Emmanuel Filling Station, which issues its customers with cards on which they record the number of litres bought every time they refuel. For every litre bought, a motorist earns a Sh1 discount, which is cumulatively paid at the end of the month. His contact is geoffreygatema@gmail.com.

________

WRONG RESPONSE

When three Israeli teenagers were recently abducted and killed by Hamas militants, an emergency Cabinet meeting was convened to come up with appropriate response — air strikes in Gaza — notes Mombasa resident Carey Yiembe, regretting that the slaughter of nearly 70 innocent citizens in Mpeketoni, Lamu County, only sparked a blame game between rival politicians in government and opposition. “God help us,” yells Carey, whose contact is yiembe@gmail.com.

________

CENSORS

Cord leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula’s tactful conclusion of the Saba Saba rally at Uhuru Park, Nairobi, on a peaceful note, has left egg on the faces of the TV stations, which refused to air such a newsworthy event live, says Jim Webo. “It is a pity that are being dragged back to the days of the Kanu dictatorship when the government would decide what we should watch or listen to on radio. But in this Internet era, such censorship is a waste of time. Shame on us all!”

Have a democratic day, won’t you!

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

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Cutting Edge - July 11, 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

ARM CIVILIANS

Desperate situations call for desperate measures, such as this appeal by Gideon Nguu to the authorities to arm all the adults as a means to curb the senseless killings in Lamu and Tana River counties.

The time, he adds, has come to liberalise gun ownership. “All have an obligation to not only protect their loved ones, but also themselves.

Gangs kill innocents and get away with it because no one in the neighbourhood has a firearm. Civilians should be armed to complement the security forces.”

________

MARRIAGE OF DEVILS

The growing bloody cooperation between Al-Shabaab and the Mombasa Republican Council that is becoming increasingly evident is a marriage between two devils that must not be allowed to continue, warns Barre Shetto, writing from Mandera in the northeast.

Both groups, he adds, are not only illegal, they are also murderous. “The recent attacks in Lamu and Tana River counties are regrettable as innocent Kenyans lost their lives and property was destroyed.”

________

ELDORET HAS IMPROVED

There is some remarkable improvement in Eldoret Town and other places thanks to the good work the Uasin Gishu County government is doing, says Michael Greven.

In the town, he adds, new litter bins have been provided, and the garbage is being collected regularly, trees are being planted, roads repaired and drains cleared.

“It is great to see these community initiatives in Eldoret and the whole county. Everyone benefits from the important initiatives. Ahsante sana!”

________

IT'S NOT ALTRUISM

Though he fully welcomes plans to rehabilitate Nairobi River, Anthony Kiano is suspicious about the real interests of the 20 firms said to be keen on taking part in the project.

He would rather the initiative was exclusively carried out by the city county government. Could they, he wonders, be motivated by a feeling of guilt over their involvement in the pollution and, therefore, wishing to exploit any loopholes to avoid punishment for their misdeeds?

A scrutiny or clarification would be in order, he believes. His contact is kianoantony@gmail.com.

________

COPS EXTORTING

Some police officers in Isebania township on the Kenya-Tanzania border are giving the force a bad name with their waywardness, charges Zaccheaus Muchiri.

They are involved in an extortionist ring, and he has been a victim. He was arrested, tortured and forced to admit to dealing in fake currency.

And to buy his freedom, he had to cough up Sh12,000. “I speak for many others who are suffering in silence,” says Zaccheaus, who can be reached through zaccheausmuchiri@yahoo.com for details.

________

CONTROL SELFISH MPs

MPs should be banned from erecting billboards with their names at public projects sponsored by the Constituency Development Fund, urges Kamichore Mutindira.

The disease, he adds, has now spread to members of county assemblies who are doing the same with Local Authorities Trust Fund projects.

“Some refuse to complete projects started by their predecessors so that they can start their own and have plaques bearing their names,” says Kamichore.

Have a selfless day, won’t you!

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

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 10 July 2014

TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE

The resurgence of killings by armed goons in Lamu County is “totally unacceptable”, remarks Ruth Gituma, in response to reports about the slaughter of another 24 innocent Kenyans, bringing the toll to nearly 70.

She is disappointed that this is happening “when the whole security apparatus is at the disposal of Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo and Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku”. The two in charge of security must be held accountable.

_________

WASTED MANPOWER

For his part, Wamahiu Muya is upset that 15,000 police officers had to be deployed to secure Cord’s Saba Saba rally, “while Al-Shabaab and their local allies have turned Lamu into Kenya’s killing fields”.

Inter- and intra-ethnic clashes, he adds, are still raging unabated, “as criminal gangs ravage our towns and villages, killing innocents, while white-collar barons fleece Kenyans.” Kenyans, he says, must not be held to ransom by megalomaniacs bent on dividing them along ethnic lines.

________

WHERE ARE THEY ?

Of the 10 presidential candidates in last year’s General Election, only three have been involved in seeking solutions to national problems, says Gitau Githii. President Kenyatta, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, and to a lesser extent, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, have been active. “Where are the others and what is their stand on the calls for national dialogue? They should not complain if no one takes them seriously again. Jesus healed 10 lepers but only one came back to say thank you. They, too, have abandoned us.” His contact is agithii@yahoo.com.

________

LET DOWN BY TUSKYS

While shopping at Tuskys Supermarket’s Tom Mboya Street outlet in Nairobi, on July 3, Roselyn Atieno accidentally dropped a Simba Mbili curry powder packet, and a shop attendant dashed towards her, demanding she pay for it. “My plea that it was an accident fell on deaf ears and the manager snubbed me.” Roselyn was so upset she gave back all her shopping and paid Sh90 for the curry powder, leaving her Sh10 change behind. “They have lost a loyal customer,” declares Roselyn, whose contact is roselyn_nerea@yahoo.com.

________

THEY ARE NOT ALL MEAN

Not all the petrol station owners in Nairobi are mean to their customers, says John N. Gikima, adding that he knows of one that still offers freebies to attract more customers. But one, he adds, would have to get out of the central business district and head for the Kasarani-Mwiki road on the city’s northern outskirts to reach Amikev Petrol Station. The management not only offers monthly rebates on the fuel purchased, “their pressure checking machine is always working”.

________

GREAT WORLD CUP

The World Cup in Brazil has been a success, says Alnashir Walji, adding: “From the fixtures, one can see there has been the best football organisation, with no hitches in any of the pitches, and good reporting.” Though Brazilians protested against hosting the tournament terming it a waste of national resources, their country has enjoyed global attention. “The fans have had a lot to cheer about and I hope Harambee Stars learned a lot from President Kenyatta’s sponsorship to watch some matches.”

Have a thrilling day, won’t you!

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

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 9 July 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

WHY SENATORS ESCAPE

There have been numerous election petitions against governors, some of which still pending in court, but none against senators, notes a rather curious Thomas Yebei.

The reason for the petitions, he adds, may not necessarily be about integrity, “but rather a fight for the control of the massive resources put in the hands of governors”.

“How else could one explain courts choking with petitions against governors only?” His contact is tomyebei@yahoo.com.

________

INNOVATIVE KENYANS

Kenyans have been fully involved in innovations in the public transport sector that have led to the introduction of the cashless payment systems, says Chintan Gohel, who keenly follows the developments as a Google student ambassador.

“Most, if not all the payments systems, are homegrown. Bebapay was developed by the Google office in conjunction with Equity Bank.

My1963 and Abiriacard were also developed here in Kenya. And, of course, M-Pesa is Kenyan.”

________

WHO MOVED MY HOT LEMON?

Some products become so iconic that their sudden disappearance often causes heartache among regular users.

They include Daniel Mungai’s real favourite, Beecham’s Hot Lemon, which has gone missing. Daniel says he has gone “to every shop and pharmacy in Nairobi, to no avail”.

To him, even the thought of seeking alternatives does no arise. He will settle for nothing else and he is hoping the manufacturer and distributors will make it available. His contact is danmung@gmail.com.

________

MCAS FLYING TOO MUCH

Members of county assemblies have been inflicted by the frequent flier syndrome, remarks Kanyi Gioko, not all impressed with the claim that their expensive travels to Israel and other countries are for their education on problem solving.

“Israeli agronomists are working with experts at our universities on new farming technologies. Egerton University is attracting visitors from beyond our borders. Our ICT engineers are building Rwanda and Botswana industries. Why are MCAs travelling abroad?” asks Kanyi.

________

WHO ARE 'SAMPLE BOYS'?

A newspaper advertisement of vacancies at an agricultural organisation at the Coast caught Gitere Kimari’s eye because of the somewhat curious category of “sample boys”, as he wondered whether this was an error, and if not, who these could be and precisely what their role is.

“Could this potential employer come up with a more easily understood title for this position?” And since the Constitution prohibits discrimination, why should this job be the preserve of only one gender?”

Gitere is waiting for answers at gitereb@gmail.com.

________

CURIOUS NAMES

Days of the week provide some popular names for newborns among the Samia community that straddles the Kenya-Uganda border, notes Dave Tumbula, listing Mande (Monday), Tuesday, Friday, and Sande (Sunday).

However, he adds, he has never heard of people called Wednesday, Thursday or Saturday, and wonders just why not.

“There is no doubt that in this Luhya sub-tribe, many people are born on those days as well. Can sociology gurus shed some light on this?”

Have an interesting day, won’t you!

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

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 8 July 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

REPAIR RUNDA ROAD

The Nairobi City County government should repair the dilapidated Runda Road, urges local resident Iqbal Omar.

Whereas the entire Ruaka Road was completely rebuilt a few years ago, he adds, theirs has been totally neglected by the city authorities for the past five years, “and yet we also pay taxes and other levies to the government”.

He hopes Governor Evans Kidero will get the county’s roads department to fix the two-kilometre stretch as soon as possible.

________

AND THIS ONE IN KIAMBU TOO

Also sending out a passionate appeal for the repair of a road in his neighbourhood is David Mwangi, who wants Kiambu Governor William Kabogo and his county executive in charge of that portfolio to pay some attention to the Raini-Limuru Road.

The worst section is the gradual slope towards Banana Hill Township, which is full of car-wrecking potholes.

Says David: “Hardly a day passes without an accident occurring as drivers going downhill swerve to avoid the potholes.”

________

HELB UNHELPFUL

What has gone wrong with the Higher Education Loans Board which only a few years ago was a robust and effective organisation that enabled many students from poor families to pay for their university education? wonders Jefferson Mwiti.

His younger brother, an orphan, who scored an A- grade in the KCSE exam, applied for a loan last year but got nothing.

“He is now faced with a huge fee balance. Is there any hope of him ever getting a Helb loan?” asks Jefferson, whose contact is mwitijefferson@gmail.com.

________

ZUKU, I'M SUFFERING

Can the Zuku management ensure that subscriber Mutai Cheruiyot enjoys the reliable satellite TV he was promised when he enlisted?

The service, he moans, has become synonymous with signal breakdowns requiring frequent rebooting. Even worse, this often happens as he becomes engrossed in an interesting programme.

On calling customer care, the standard response is: “Our engineers are working on it.” Mutai is now demanding value for his money.

His account number is 305195, and his contact, welmutai@gmail.com.

________

OPERATOR TOO SMOOTH

There are some really smooth operators out there exploiting the desperation of others, moans Charles Omondi, still reeling from an encounter with a Nairobi solar systems distributor.

He is not sure whether there is a solar water heater regulatory body that he can file his complaint with. The company in South ‘B’ charged him “a cool Sh148,000” for the installation of a gadget last September that never worked.

Efforts to resolve the matter have hit a brick wall.

________

STILL TOO ANALOGUE

While many international businesses boost sales through the Internet, Kenyan firms have totally failed to fully make use of this vital communication tool, says Donald Oluoch.

Also faring dismally in online communication are government ministries and departments whose web sites are utterly wanting.

“The firms have merely ceremonial email addresses listing products and services they can’t provide.

The phone numbers given hardly function and if you are lucky to get through, the staff can’t explain what they offer.”

Have a vibrant day, won’t you!

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