Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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OVERDUE PAY: Nearly two-and-a-half years since he worked as an election official, George Kiburi is upset that the IEBC has not only never paid his dues, but is not showing any signs that it will do so soon. George, who worked for the IEBC in the March 4, 2013 General Election, wants chairman Issack Hassan to intervene.

He has been to the IEBC’s offices in Limuru and Nairobi several times and only got empty promises. His contact is Tel. 0708647271 or [email protected]

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WHY THE SECRECY? In this era of transparency and accountability, Onyango Omari just cannot understand why the Teachers Service Commission has not been keen to publish in the newspapers the names of the teachers it has recruited recently.

Onyango says he has been surprised to learn that some of the new recruits have already quietly been issued with their letters. “I can smell a rat should the TSC not publish the names of the successful candidates.” His contact is [email protected]

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CALLING KENYA POWER: After an electricity pole fell on a house at Budwong’i, near Sio Port in Samia District on July 16, Felix Okumu rushed to Kenya Power’s office in Busia town to report, fearing that a disaster could easily have occurred.

The staff took the matter seriously and rushed to the home, disconnected power, and removed the pole from the house. They then promised to return soon and restore power, but have not been seen since then. Felix’s account number is 3805157-01, and his contact, Tel 0715677262.

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WHAT NEXT? The tents that had been pitched at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit have been removed, with the exhibition now over, but the question that has been ringing in Ruth Gituma’s head is: What next?

According to her, besides the many innovative ideas exhibited, many more could not find space. “I think we need a fully fledged ministry to incubate and nurture these ideas.” Her contact is [email protected]

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DISCRIMINATION: As the dust settles on US President Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya, X.N. Iraki has been reflecting on an issue close to his heart and poses the question: Where was the boy?

Whenever such high-profile dignitaries come calling, Iraki argues, it is girls who are always given an opportunity to present bouquets of flowers to them.

“Why not a boy or even a boy and a girl? It seems we start discriminating against boys early in life.” His contact is [email protected]

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GIRLS MISSING: Watching the TV footage of President Obama’s arrival and his reception at the JKIA in Nairobi, Moses Mjumbe says that quite conspicuous were two smartly dressed young men in the welcoming team.

He has in mind President Kenyatta’s sons Jomo and Jaba, who, he adds, had a good chat with the visiting leader, but he wishes his daughters Malia and Sasha had been there to complete the picture. “Even the young men’s sister, Ngina, was absent. Could it have been intentional?” His contact is [email protected]
Have a perfect day, won’t you!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

WASTE OF TIME: Kenyans spend too much time politicking and discussing tribal issues, unlike the case in many other African countries, remarks Abdi Mohamed, adding that he is sick and tired of this.

During the entire five-year period after elections, “it is like campaign time every day in the mainstream media and also on social media”.

Abdi wishes the energy being expended on politics could be channelled to development, investment, youth empowerment and other issues.

His contact is [email protected]

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NO AGENDA: The clamour by students, hawkers, human rights activists and other groups to meet President Barack Obama during his visit, Joe Ngige Mungai says, was irritating wishful thinking.

Most of those groups, including the people of K’Ogelo in the Siaya, the American leader’s ancestral home, Joe believes, had absolutely no agenda for him, adding that if he had a chance, he would have confronted him with issues of climate change, terrorism and disease in sub-Saharan Africa.

His contact is [email protected]

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LEARN YOUR LESSON: As the grass and flowers planted along Uhuru Highway and other roads as part of the preparations to welcome President Obama had not taken root by the time he arrived in Nairobi, Ruth Gituma says she hopes Governor Evans Kidero and his team have learnt their lesson and should do better next time.

“If they need to impress high-profile visitors again, they should just hire grown-potted plans and line the streets, given business to flower vendors and less hassles.”

Her contact is [email protected]

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PERENNIAL GRIDLOCK: During the project to remove roundabouts from Nairobi’s major roads that was later abandoned, Fakhruddin Iqbal says a triangular lane diversion was created at the shopping centre along Muhoho Avenue.

The triangle, he adds, prevented motorists coming into South C from the flyover from turning right towards Nairobi West. However, about two weeks ago, the triangular lane diversion was removed, and the perennial gridlock has returned!

He wants the Kidero project fully implemented. His contact is [email protected]

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NO TV BLISS: The television-watching bliss that had been promised to come with the digital migration that happened some months ago has not been realised, claims Eliab Otiato.

Trying to tune in to any channel, he adds, is often frustrating as the message that appears on the screen is “searching”.

It was promised that the digital signal, he recalls, without naming any service provider, would enable access to TV programmes without any hitches.

His contact is [email protected]

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GIVE UP: The National Transport and Safety Authority and traffic police appear to have given up on the speed control of public vehicles after launching their campaign with a lot of vigour, says Njeru Gatumu.

He was a fortnight ago along the Nairobi-Embu-Meru and Nairobi-Matuu-Garissa roads and swears that most of the matatus and buses were speeding, as they easily overtook cars doing 110kph along those highways.

For the details, his contact is [email protected]

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A MATTER OF GUNS: Nairobi resident Mwaura Waithaka says he was shocked to see a toy gun that looks almost real on display at a supermarket at the new Garden City Mall.

He poses: “Is this legal? This one is not like the plastic toy guns we have been seeing.”

Then as he settled down to enjoy a cup of coffee, he adds, he was struck by an uncanny coincidence: a newspaper report about four armed robbers killed in Nakuru.

“You guessed right. It was toy guns,” he quips.

His contact is [email protected]

Have a realistic day, won’t you!

PO Box 49010, Nairobi 00100
[email protected]

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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HIGHWAY DANGER. Someone has erected “platforms” smack in the middle of the Thika Superhighway at the Ruiru weighbridge that pose a grave risk, says Mungai Kihanya.

“The platforms can cause an accident since they are never visible — and after all, who expects to find platforms in the middle of the road. Can the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) have these dangerous structures removed. Or will they wait until people are killed, blame it on speeding and erect more speed bumps?”

His contact is [email protected]

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VISITORS' AGONY. The road that runs from Peponi to the United Nations offices at Gigiri, Nairobi, which appears not to have caught the attention of the officials behind the recent flurry of repairs in preparation for US President Barack Obama’s visit is a pathetic state, says Pallavi Shah.

“The road is so full of potholes that some of the dignitaries in Nairobi for the global entrepreneurship summit will go back home with back problems.”

Pallavi’s contact is [email protected]

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DARK STREET. As Lang’ata Road in Nairobi is lit up in the ongoing refurbishment, James Gakuo cannot help wondering why the streetlights at the National Housing Corporation estate in the neighbourhood have never functioned for the last seven years.

Also irritating to the residents, he adds, is the growth of a slum on Cabro Road under the very eyes of city county government’s personnel.

“Can these people rouse from their slumber and do some work?” demands James, whose contact [email protected]

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DRY TAPS. The residents of the area bordering Bishop Magua Building opposite Uchumi Hyper, off Langata Road, Nairobi, have not had even a drop of water in their taps since early May, moans Cathy Muiruri.

And as Nairobi Water Company fails to deliver, mobile water vendors are taking advantage of the situation to make a killing.

But what worries Cathy even more is the possibility of a cholera outbreak. She hopes the water firm will help to avert.

Her contact is [email protected]

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NEW WORDS. Just the same way words such as elevator, selfie and thug (Indian origin) slowly got into mainstream English, X.N. Iraki says he can see another one on the way: Nyerification, which he defines as one getting beaten by one’s wife and possibly injured.

“I, however, do not think Nyeri women are more violent than others. They are only more forceful in demanding, their conjugal and other rights. I admire them for that.”

His contact is [email protected]

Have  a newish day, won’t you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

POWER RESTORED. The frequent blackouts in Kiminini Township in Trans Nzoia County, which Isaac Njenga complained about recently, rightly pointing out that the cause was a faulty transformer, are now a thing of the past.

Kenya Power CEO Ben Chumo says the bad transformer was replaced with a new one of the same capacity on July 4, and power supply fully restored to the affected section of the township.

“We regret the inconvenience suffered,” concludes Dr Chumo.

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OVERLOADED. Can the Kenya Power boss also look into the plight of the people of Kisumu Ndogo at Tuwani in Kitale Town, who have had to put up with daily blackouts from 6.30pm for the past four years? urges Raphael Oduori.

On enquiring from the power utility’s staff, the only explanation they keep getting is that the transformer serving the area is overloaded.

“Can’t this problem be solved once and for all? Who will come to our aid?”

His contact is [email protected]

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DARKNESS. The delay in switching on the high-mast floodlights installed recently near the bypass at Rwaka on Nairobi’s northwestern outskirts towards Limuru is already fuelling rumours, with Mathenge Mutahi saying he has heard talk that the Kiambu County leadership wants an official opening.

He wishes the contractor could just go ahead and switch on the lights as the authorities get ready for their public relations pitch.

“We are tired of having a dark bypass,” moans Mathenge, whose contact is [email protected]

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DO SOMETHING! As one leaves the leafy suburb of Karen, on Nairobi’s southwestern outskirts moving towards Dagoretti Market, Janet Koi reports, one is suddenly assailed by the stench from a heap of garbage under the railway bridge that is an eyesore.

“From then on, there is more rubbish, matatus, boda boda, handcarts and goats, all blocking the narrow road, which is a rude welcome to the people going to the shopping centre.”

Janet wants the MCA and traders at the market to do something about it.

Her contact is [email protected]

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ANNOYED PATIENT. The National Hospital Insurance Fund is unreliable, claims Fred Wafula, livid after being turned away at the Kitale District Hospital on July 4, despite producing his membership card.

He has tried out several other hospitals in Trans Nzoia County and suffered the same humiliation.

“Why am I paying my hard-earned Sh500 monthly if I cannot get treatment?”

He is demanding a refund, as he has decided to quit and seek an alternative.

His NHIF number is 4606339 and his contact, [email protected]

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FOR OURSELVES. The unblocking of clogged drains, the fixing of potholes on roads and the marking of lanes in Nairobi are some of the benefits of US President Barack Obama’s impending visit to Kenya that M. Muhoss is really cherishing.

However, he asks: “Can the same energy and effort be used to spruce up the city for the wellbeing of citizens and not just visitors? We have done it for the world, now let’s do it for ourselves.”

His contact is [email protected]  

Have a beneficial day, won’t you!

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

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

SUPERVISE THEM: Though a staunch supporter of National Youth Service projects, J. Maina says he would like to see closer supervision of the young men and women as they carry out their duties.

This was not the case, he claims, on July 14, on Ngong Road, Nairobi, where nearly 50 of them were assigned to dig trenches.

Only one group of 26 men and women seemed to be working while another just stood outside Faulu Kenya.

“They should be split into smaller groups that are easier to supervise.” His contact is [email protected]

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DANGER SPOT: A section of Outer Ring Road in Nairobi that is slated for reconstruction soon has just become a danger spot for motorists after someone deposited huge concrete bollards near the Mutindwa junction, reports Collins Otieno.

Since no signposts had been put up, he adds, many motorists were surprised to come upon the “life-threatening obstacles”.

He hopes the Kenya National Highways Authority, Kenya Urban Roads Authority or city county will move quickly to make the place safe for motorists and passengers.

His contact is [email protected]

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COUNTY TASK: The function of enforcing the law against noise pollution has been devolved to counties, says National Environment Management Authority (Nema) official Samuel K. Irungu in response to Nairobi resident Aziz Fazal, who complained about matatus blaring horns from as early as 5am.

Nema, he explains, now has only a coordinating role, with counties given the mandate to control and come up with any additional legislation.

The matter, he advises, should be reported to the city county government for action. His contact is [email protected]

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NHIF SAGA: The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is not living up to its billing despite the increased monthly contributions, says Francis Macharia, a registered member and employee of an engineering firm in Gilgil, Nakuru.

On July 8, he adds, his seven-year-old daughter was taken to an NHIF-accredited hospital but could not be attended to and he had to pay cash for her to be treated.

He has also been turned away at a government hospital. “Why now, when I am paying three times more than I used to?”

His contact is [email protected]

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SLOW PROCESS: Safaricom subscriber John Onyango attempted to withdraw Sh1,900 from his M-Pesa account but accidentally entered the “buy airtime” command on July 11, at 12.45pm.

He promptly called customer care and was assured the transaction would be reversed within 12 hours.

It did not happen and it was not until another 12 hours that it was finally done. He would like to know why such a simple transaction should take so long to undo.

His contact is [email protected]

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TRUTHFUL MEN: There is some “honesty in the generally dishonest society”, says an elated Frank M. Muya. Recently, he refuelled his car at Shell Plateau Petrol Station in Machakos and only realised much later that he might have dropped Sh5,000 as he paid for his fuel.

On returning to the station to enquire, the supervisor was only too happy to see him and hand back the money, saying he had picked it up.

“Now I know that there still some good people in our corrupt society.”

His contact is [email protected]

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WELCOME TOPIC: A news story tucked away on the back page of the Nation on Thursday on space exploration by American scientists, university don X. N. Iraki says, was “refreshing to see”, adding: “We need more of such news to distract us from political noise and fog. We hope that someday, we shall encounter extra-terrestrial intelligence (ETI). I do not believe we are so lonely in this vast universe. But if the ETI call, I hope I will not be on the phone…”

Have a hopeful day, won’t you!

PO Box 49010, Nairobi 00100

[email protected]