Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

WHO ARE YOU, KIND SIR?: Just over the scare of a near-fatal crash on the Kericho-Nakuru highway, three kilometres from the Total junction, on July 7, Samuel Ooko wishes he could meet the Good Samaritan who rescued him and his passengers that night.

The driver, Samuel has been informed, works for Solel Boneh International in Kericho.

He took them from the scene and drove them to Siloam Hospital on the town’s southern outskirts.

“Kindly get in touch with me,” pleads Ooko, whose e-mail address is samjasiala@yahoo.com.

**********

KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES: Members of the Kisumu County Assembly should go slow on their clamour for car grants and give priority to fighting insecurity as well as providing water, Freddy Oguo urges.

“Unless they end the insecurity, where will they be driving their big cars?” he asks.

Oguo is also disappointed that people are not being encouraged to harvest water from their roofs when rain falls — something he would have expected women representatives to champion.

His e-mail address is fredyoguo@nokiamail.com.

**********

CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME: The government’s Sh87 million aid pledge to West Africa to fight the Ebola outbreak is the height of irony, considering that some Kenyans are starving to death in parts of Baringo and Turkana Counties, Oscar Okoth says.

Keen to remind leaders that charity begins at home, before lending a hand to strangers, Okoth remarks, “I believe that money could have been put to better use at home, to fight hunger, assist the needy and pay teachers’ dues to avert a strike.”

His e-mail address is oscarokoth@gmail.com.

**********

THEY'RE JUST AS DANGEROUS: As he drives in Nairobi, Peter Cheserek says he sees fellow motorists making phone calls, composing and sending text messages and reading newspapers.

But what he finds disappointing is that traffic police will pay attention to drivers speaking on their phones and let others go scot free, yet they also pose grave danger for road users.

Police, Cheserek pleads, should target those texting first, followed by newspaper readers, and those who answer their calls last.

His e-mail address is prokipchumba@yahoo.com.

**********

CHECK BEHAVIOUR, NOT SPEED: The 80kph and 100kph speed limits for highways are unrealistic for modern vehicles and vastly improved roads, says Daudi Nturibi.

Joining the debate on the crackdown on motorists in Nairobi to enforce a 50kph speed limit, Nturibi says it is the behaviour of drivers that is to blame for increasing fatal road accidents.

He feels more sensible and practical speed limits should be 100kph and 130kph on highways and 70kph in built-up areas.

His e-mail address is dnturibi@gmail.com.

**********

POLITICS AND MEDIA: James Githinji, mad about pronouncements by some leaders and the coverage they are given, asks whether politicians and the media deliberately trying to drive Kenyans up the wall.

He has been particularly enraged by reports of MCAs campaigning for allowances for their “bored and lonely wives”, and senators seeking a pay rise.

“These and other selfish schemes and demands by the politicians can lead to civil unrest,” Githinji warns.

His e-mail address is jgithinji2012@gmail.com.

**********

OFFICER IS RIGHT: A driver joining a roundabout and exiting to the right must indicate at all times, says N Albert, disagreeing with the criticism directed at a traffic policeman on this page last week.

“Assuming you are coming from Haile Selassie Avenue, driving along Parliament Road and turning into Harambee Avenue, you should signal the cars from (the) InterContinental Nairobi side so that they are aware of your intention and give you way,” he says. “It’s simply logic for competent drivers to know the norms. The cop is right.”

Albert’s e-mail address is n.albert010@yahoo.com.au.

Have a logical day, won’t you!

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By EDITORIAL
More by this Author

STOP INTOLERANCE: While rowdy youths were shouting and throwing shoes to disrupt a public meeting addressed by President Uhuru Kenyatta at Migori, in Kisauni, Mombasa, a man was being beaten up for shouting slogans against the opposition Cord’s push for a national referendum, notes Ken Butiko.

The two incidents, he explains, demonstrate how “politically immature and intolerant Kenyan society has become”.

He poses: “Must we resort to violence when confronted with a different view. We are destroying the fabric that holds the nation together!”

His contact is kennedy.butiko@yahoo.com.

**********

TRAFFIC FLOW: The authorities in charge of the Kiambu Road have become real jokers, says Mumbi Njoroge, not impressed with the attempt to “improve” the flow of traffic by erecting two sets of bumps at the entrance to Ridgeways Mall, which she dismisses is “ludicrous”.

As a result, she moans, there are snarl-ups every morning and evening. According to her, an expansion of the road, with an accelerating and decelerating lane at that point would have sufficed.

Her contact is njoroge.mumbi@gmail.com.

**********

MISSING PARCELS: Nairobi resident Shainaz Khan is worried that her two book parcels sent from the Good Book Guide of the UK over five months ago, have not been delivered.

Her enquiries at the Village Market Post Office have yielded nothing, and she now wonders whether other GBG members have experienced a similar problem. “If the parcels have been seized by Customs for VAT, I wish to inform them that the invoice is tucked under the address label.”

Her contact is shainazkhan302@gmail.com.

*********

MATATU STAGE: Nothing upsets Mombasa resident Nancy Kamugane more than having to wake up every morning to go to work, only to be frustrated by traffic police and county askaris on Nyali Road.

“We are confused as we don’t know where the matatu stage is supposed to be. Every morning we are taken to a different place to board matatus from Kongowea Market. We are forced to wait for 30 minutes for the matatus. Are we being mistreated because we are poor?”

Her contact is nancyw112@gmail.com.

*********

LOST CAUSE: Having keenly followed the “Bring-back-our-girls” campaign that featured American First Lady Michelle Obama, Pauline Atieno is disappointed that the attempt to free the 200 girls abducted by Nigeria’s Boko Haram militants has gone rather cold.

She poses: “How come the drive seems to have suffered the nine-day wonder syndrome! Or have they resigned themselves to bringing back grandmothers some day?”

Her contact is paulacoguna@gmail.com.

Have a hopeful day, won’t you!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

CASH-LESS FEE EXPLAINED: Nairobi County’s new cashless system for parking fee payment allows the use of M-Pesa, Airtel Money and 20 other electronic methods, Jambo Pay CEO Danson Muchemi clarifies.

Users create an account on their phones by dialling *217# or signing up at http://epayments.nairobi.go.ke. One can top up using any mobile money options, Visa, MasterCard and various banks.

“The system is convenient as parking and other bills can now be paid through the phone.” He can be reached on Tel. 0709920000 or dmuchemi@webtribe.co.ke for details.

***********

EDUCATE CROOKED COP: There is crooked traffic policeman on a motorbike who has been preying on motorists between the entrance to the National Assembly and the Parliament Police Station in Nairobi, Quince Viraj reports.

He will, for example, insist that at the roundabout, drivers indicate the direction in which they are going. “Can someone drum into his head that vehicles at a roundabout have the right of way and it is impossible to indicate where one will exit. Another officer openly solicits bribes.”

***********

WHOSE BUILDING IS THIS? Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu has been doing a commendable job at Ardhi House, notes David Jasondu.

However, he wishes she could liaise with the city government to establish whether a huge building coming up at the intersection of Mbagathi and Langata roads, directly opposite T-Mall, was officially cleared.

“The property is just next to a roundabout and touches on a river bank at a location that was clearly demarcated as riparian land. “Its allocation is a mystery that Ngilu and Governor Evans Kidero should help unravel?”

***********

DISTRESSED: For how long will motorists and pedestrians continue to suffer the consequences of the frequent clashes between hawkers and the Nairobi City County askaris at Ngara? asks Damaris Ngigi.

Quite often, she moans, motorists suddenly get caught up in the mayhem with their cars getting stoned though they have no idea about the cause of the conflict. As they swallow teargas, nearby schools are also affected. Who will put an end to this impunity? She wants to know.

***********

WRONG PRIORITY: Mt Kenya University’s idea of building latrines at a cost of Sh1 million for the people displaced by post-election violence may sound like a good corporate social responsibility project, but it is ridiculous, considering that what they need most is something to put in their stomachs, says Phoebe Okullu.

According to her, the priority should have been a programme to boost the IDPs’ economic status “so they can build their own latrines”.

Her contact is okulluphoebe@gmail.com.

***********

STANDARDISE BUMPS: Bumps being erected on roads in densely populated areas should be standardised as part of efforts to boost safety, urges Naro Moru resident T.B. Muckle.

He adds: “The shape and dimensions of all future bumps should be made so that they allow a vehicle to go over smoothly at low speed, but create severe jarring when one is speeding. The second step is to mark them with quality paint for longevity and good visibility, particularly for first-time drivers at night and in the rain.”

Have a secure day, won’t you!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

WHAT A SHAME! It is wrong, idiotic, and a mark of backwardness to heckle a national leader, says Wambua Musembi, upset about the ugly scenes in Migori on Monday, where rowdy youths disrupted President Kenyatta’s rally.

Terribly embarrassed at the shameless show, Wambua adds: “I might not agree with you, but I must respect your opinion and make a decision based on my assessment of your credibility. What happened is not only in bad taste, but also totally against our traditional respect for leaders.”

His contact is fwmusembi@gmail.com.

**********

STOP THIS IMMATURITY. Also appalled at the behaviour of the youths in Migori is Paul Otieno, who sees this as a demonstration of political immaturity.

Says he: “In a sound democracy, if one has views contrary to those of leaders holding a political gathering, then one should not attend that meeting.”

In a politically sound system, he adds, it would “be advisable for one to hold a parallel rally or protest elsewhere because the convenors of the meeting have a right to express themselves uninterrupted.”

His contact is Paul.Otieno@dvn.com.

**********

A LESSON FOR OUR LEADERS. British politician Mark Simmonds recently resigned as Foreign Office minister and MP because he felt the salary and allowances were not enough for his family’s upkeep in London, notes Njuguna Maitiri, adding that there is a lesson here for Kenyan leaders.

“If the senators who are clamouring for higher pay honestly believe they are poorly remunerated, they should ship out and pave the way for those willing to work within the current salary scales.”

His contact is nsmatlaw@gmail.com.

**********

AGONY OF PAYING TAX. The Kenya Revenue Authority must do better to ease the payment of taxes, urges Michael Nyangi, unhappy about the delay in issuing him with a Personal Identification Number for an investment company.

Nyangi applied in April, and nearly five months later, the certificate has not been issued and he continues to suffer needless agony.

If the bosses at the KRA headquarters in Nairobi can spare some time to speed up the processing, the reference is KRA201400078568 and the company’s contact, gatundu.fifty@gmail.

**********

THE RIGHT THING. Though the blowing up and sinking of the drugs-laden ship in the Indian Ocean in Mombasa witnessed by President Uhuru Kenyatta was an act in contempt of court, it was the right thing to do, says Joe Macharia.

According to him, the benefits, including the increased stature of Kenya in the eyes of the international community in the war against drugs, “outweigh the disadvantages of the action”.

He is, therefore, appealing to the opposition to “look at the bigger picture and stop blowing the matter out of proportion”.

His contact is joemacharia@yahoo.com.

**********

IT IS THE WAY TO GO. The criticism of the Nairobi City County’s new e-payment system is out of ignorance, says Victor Oyango, writing from Accra.

The complainant, he adds, was wrong to claim that for one to top up and be able to use the system, one must visit a Cooperative Bank branch.

“I live in Accra and I am able to top up my Nairobi County wallet using M-Pesa paybill No. 147147 or Airtel Mobile Money. Kudos, NCC! The critic should get serious and move with the times.”

Victor’s contact is victor.oyango@gmail.com.

Have an e-compliant day, won’t you!

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

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

DOUBLE STANDARDS. Though happy that the stolen presidential limousine has finally been brought back to Nairobi from Uganda, Shisanya Majanja says this confirms the double standards that have, sadly, become the hallmark of the Kenya Police Service.

“The zeal with which the police went about recovering the limo is admirable. They can actually do it! But when it comes to Wanjiku losing her wheelbarrow, where are they? I wonder if they asked the President for fuel before embarking on the hunt. We are all taxpayers, you know!”

His contact is trackers05@yahoo.com.

**********

LOST OPPORTUNITY. While the recent destruction and sinking into the Indian Ocean of the hard drug-laden ship at a ceremony witnessed by President Kenyatta signalled the government’s resolve and tough commitment to fighting the menace, it has just ended up being a wasted opportunity, says Paul V. Otieno.

The government, he adds, could have destroyed the drugs but spared the ship. “I would rather the police seized the assets of drug dealers and poachers, auction them, and use the funds to combat crime.”

**********

PAVE THIS ROAD. Kenya Railways built the new Imara Daima Station, hoping to earn money from it, but it needs to do more to realise this, says Maina Muchara.

Though the station is clean and the compound paved, he adds, accessing it is a nightmare, especially when it rains as the road becomes a mud bath!

“The station is only 800 metres from the tarmacked Tecla Loroupe Road. Why not tarmac this short stretch to encourage more people to use the station? They could bring in Kenya Power, which is constructing a base station just next to it.”

His contact is mainamuchara@gmail.com.

**********

CALLING LANGUAGE GURUS. As the season for university graduation ceremonies is here again, with the learners being granted the power to read, Silas Nyambok is calling on English language gurus to unravel an issue that has preoccupied his mind for quite a while.

“Can anyone explain why degrees are ‘awarded’ and diplomas ‘conferred’? Is it wrong to confer a degree and award diploma?” he asks.

After consulting some dictionaries, he adds, his view is that the two can be used interchangeably as they are synonyms.

His contact is ogutawinyo@yahoo.com.

**********

PLEASE HELP. Calling Safaricom is Purity Mwangi, a resident of Kahawa Sukari, just off the Thika superhighway, who cannot enjoy its services because of poor network coverage.

Purity says she has failed to catch Safaricom’s attention via email to boost the area’s network coverage, “which has lately become nil”.

She no longer can use her modem in her house for internet service. “Please ease our communication as we must step out of the houses to call.”

Her number is 0722302900. She can also be reached through wanjirupk2006@yahoo.com.

**********

THIS IS ILLEGAL. The latest trend in which people who feel aggrieved about something block highways is dangerous, unlawful, and inconsiderate, remarks Wanjiru Ciira.

She cites the Narok-Mai Mahiu road protest against deaths from illicit liquor. And a few months ago, she adds, some parents blocked the Nyeri highway to protest the death of a private school pupil.

She warns: “It is criminal to interfere with other people’s freedom of movement. Protesters should only direct their anger at those concerned with their grievance.”

Her contact is wanciira@yahoo.com.

Have a reasonable day, won’t you!

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

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

ONLY ONE SENSIBLE PLEBISCITE: The only referendum the country needs is for reducing the number of counties from 47 to eight, remarks Macharia Kimani.

He would also like the number of senators reduced to eight and to have only eight women’s representatives, or to have the position scrapped altogether.

To further cut the bloated system, Kimani proposes the reduction of constituencies to 20 per county, to create a total of 160. And the number of MCAs should be slashed.

********

MISUSE OF MONEY: Devolution is the best thing that has happened to Kenya since independence, says Dr George Michuki, noting that transformation is underway in all counties.

However, he is appalled by the rampant wastage in the devolved units, especially the heavy spending on furniture, red carpets, communication gadgets, and so on, which “add no value to the ordinary Kenyan”. Leadership, he adds, is about service and humility, not the comfort of the office holders.

Dr Michuki’s e-mail address is mikinduri2002@yahoo.com.

********

SUMMON BACK GRADUATES: Just like General Motors and Toyota Motor Corporation recall cars to sort out technical problems detected after sale, universities may soon be forced to invite back graduates to sharpen their skills and make them more employable, says Father Eugene Birrer, a Swiss missionary: “After graduation, many don’t find jobs because their knowledge and skills are not marketable. They may have to go back and learn the professions that are now occupied by people from India, China or the West”.

His e-mail address is narap@iconnect.co.ke.

********

A THING TO SMILE ABOUT: The decision to give the City Market a Sh100 million facelift is the best news ever for its scores of vendors and thousands of shoppers, says Dr Sat Ramrakha.

And he is grateful to Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero as well as industrialist and philanthropist Manu Chandaria for the plan to create a more hygienic environment for the sale of fresh vegetables and other groceries.

“This is music to the ears of residents who will, once it is completed, buy and consume the food without fear of infection,” he says.

His e-mail address is satramrakha@gmail.com.

*********

EMBARRASSMENT: Martin Ndila says it is a crying shame that right at the entrance of Tassia Estate in Nairobi, where he lives, the access road is almost impassable, having been flooded with muddy water and a murky discharge from a blocked sewer.

He cannot understand why whoever is responsible for its maintenance, be it the city county government or Kenya Urban Roads Authority, has turned a blind eye to the eyesore, masking a possible cholera outbreak.

Ndila’s e-mail address is ndilamathew@gmail.com.

*********

OLD SPEED LIMITS: There is no point in having five-lane highways and cars with engines above 1500cc “with speed limits set at archaic levels”, remarks David Mwangi, stunned by the latest crackdown on motorists in Nairobi.

According to him, many accidents occur when some drivers attempt to overtake slow-moving vehicles. He cites, as an example, developed countries in which it is a crime to drive below set speeds on specific lanes and some highways.

Mwangi’s e-mail address is david.mck.dm@gmail.com.

*********

THEY'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING: The 50km speed limit being enforced in Nairobi poses a grave risk, warns Jane Muthoni. “Imagine trying to avoid being hit from the back while driving at that speed on Mbagathi Way,” she says.

On Mombasa Road, she observes, this is causing mayhem, as motorists try “not to overtake one another even in clear traffic”. Muthoni laments that it is “no longer possible to gain the time lost in traffic”. She hopes “they are taking the statistics to evaluate in a couple months’ time to see whether it works”.

Her e-mail address is is janemuthoni711@gmail.com.

 Have a rational day, won’t you!

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

WRONG PRIORITIES. The government’s proposal to splash billions of shillings on MCAs is annoying, considering that it has failed to pay teachers’ outstanding dues for years, says Charles Mwabili.

That Sh12 billion can be found to please politicians and not the teachers, who mould productive future citizens through education, is something Charles cannot take.

“Teachers have every reason to believe that they can only get money out of the government by going on strike.”

His contact is cmwabili@yahoo.co.uk.

*********

TRAFFIC JAM. The National Transport Safety Authority has been collecting millions of shillings from traffic offenders in its latest crackdown, notes Ben Njenga, adding: “But the law of reciprocity demands that when a driver is held up for hours in a traffic jam, he also should demand some compensation from them for failing to ensure an efficient traffic flow.”

The authority, county government and Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau should seek an urgent solution to the perennial traffic jams.

His contact is bnjenga77@gmail.com.

*********

ATTRACTING TOURISTS. The Kenya Tourism Board, D. Njuguna Kinyanjui says, is lagging behind its Tanzanian counterpart, which for several years now, has been advertising and getting the attention of the millions of soccer fans who religiously follow the English Premier League matches on TV.

The Tanzanians, he adds, place advertisements on their tourist attractions in prime locations in the stadiums used by the Barclays Premier League. Kenyans should follow suit.

His contact is kdnjuguna@yahoo.com.

*********

TICKET THIEVES. This is a scandal, yells Dr S. Wabwire, who on leaving the parking at the JKIA, Nairobi, on August 31, was told to pay Sh1,500, but on reaching home and looking at the ticket again, was shocked to find that he had been ripped off. The ticket indicated clearly that he had paid only Sh90.

“The chaps made a cool Sh1,400 from me.” But Dr Wabwire won’t let this one pass.

He is appealing to the firm that provides the ticketing service and the Kenya Airports Authority to get in touch with him for the details.

His contact is wabsil@yahoo.com.

*********

TRAFFIC OFFENDERS. Kiambu Road has become a zone for rampant overlapping during rush hour by public service vehicles and private car drivers, says Anne Mbugua.

The government, she adds, is letting an opportunity to rake in revenue go by failing to slap the traffic offenders with heavy fines.

Enough money, she adds, could be raised to pay the striking doctors and nurses.

“Law-abiding motorists are harassed and get home late. Please, sell this idea to the government.”

Her contact is njerimbu@gmail.com.

Have an orderly day, won’t you!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

GREAT IDEA: The introduction of an e-payment system in Nairobi County is a great idea, says Victor Oyango, extolling the convenience people wishing to pay their rates, levies, and other fees now enjoy.

Though based in Accra, Ghana, Oyango says he is able to pay the land rates for his property and his account is updated instantly. “Previously, I would have to ask someone to go to City Hall and queue to pay for me.

This is definitely the right path to a brighter future and kudos to them!” His contact is victor.oyango@gmail.com.

**********

TAKE THE GARBAGE AWAY: Garbage has become a menace in Nairobi, remarks Iqbal Omar, urging Governor Evans Kidero to intervene. The recently built Eastern Bypass, he adds, has attracted several businesses, especially eating houses, and the result is that roadsides have been turned into dumping sites.

“Garbage is dumped every few metres. The governor must find a solution to keep the city clean. Cities around the world have proper garbage disposal systems. China, with almost a billion people, earns revenue from this.” His contact is iqbal.omar@hotmail.com.

**********

SHAMELESS VANDALS: The city authorities not long ago spent a tidy sum of money to install a razor wire between the Fig Tree Hotel and the footbridge to City Primary School, which hawkers have vandalised, reports Evans Macharia.

This, he adds, is the consequence of failing to take the bull by the horns.

The solution, Evans adds, is to remove the hawkers from the area. “They should stop wasting money as the hawkers removed the fence simply because they did not want to use the footbridge over the busy highway.” His contact is evans_macharia@yahoo.com.

**********

MONEY CAN'T BUY ME LOVE: Now that MCAs want their spouses to be “paid or compensated for being lonely”, Dr Samwel Oresi asks: “What will they do with the money? Will they buy company with the money?

I guess their wives will now afford to purchase the company of younger men, gardeners, and watchmen. The fact that most of these MCAs are illiterate is coming out, as they don’t seem to know that money is not everything. Money can buy you a bed but not sleep!” His contact is samwelnyaguchaoresi@yahoo.com.

**********

STATE OF CHAOS: Nothing saddens George Gitau like watching boda boda (motor cycle) riders hurtling at full speed on the wrong side of the road or on pavements while overloaded. Handcart pushers, too, will be outwitting one another as pedestrians cross at the wrong spot.

Worse, he adds, are hawkers who have encroached on Moi Avenue opposite Ambassadeur Hotel. The authorities, he pleads, must crack down on these people who break rules and endanger other people’s lives under the noses of traffic police and county askaris.

His contact is gitsangele@yahoo.com.

**********

IS THIS PUNISHMENT? Are the people of Kisumu County being targeted for punishment for supporting the call for a referendum? asks Oketch Aoko Richard. “Going by the rhetoric from some people, this seems to be the new ‘ebola’.

We feel we are being punished for being in a pro-referendum region.” And for evidence, he cites “the countless police roadblocks and daily mobile courts on all major roads, Alcoblow/money-minting police checks, and the steady rise in the crime wave.” His contact is oketaokoh@yahoo.com.

Have a curious day, won’t you!

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

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Cutting Edge - Wednesday September 3, 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

MOVE WITH THE TIMES. The 80kmh speed limit for matatus “is very slow and does not make economic sense”, remarks economist X.N. Iraki.

According to the university don, the limit was set when cars had carburettors and no ABS brakes.

“We have put a speed limit of 100km/h even on superhighways. Life is getting faster everywhere else except on our roads. Do we realise how much we slow down the economy with such limits? What is more annoying is our zealousness in making laws on technology, yet we produce none of these technologies.”

His contact is xniraki@gmail.com.

**********

WELL DONE, KCB! All is well that ends well, the saying goes, and it could not have been more appropriate for KCB shareholder Wamahiu Muya, who is based in the United States.

A problem that has nagged him for three years has finally been sorted out. Thanks to the intervention of CEO Joshua Oigara, he adds, his share certificates have been converted into a CDS account.

He is also grateful to KCB Contact Centre, Nairobi, official Jane Makale and Peter Mbau “for making sure the problem was resolved”.

He quips: “That is the way to go, KCB!” His contact is muya@optonline.net.

**********

CURIOUS ROAD PROJECT. Some time back, the Kenya Urban Roads Authority put up a billboard indicating the completion of the Mtindwa Road project at Umoja in Nairobi’s Eastlands as August 2014, and yet to date, the contractor has not arrived on the site, says Joseph Ndung’u.

With the date having elapsed, Joseph is curious to know if Kura will revise the deadline.

“The road now looks like a cattle track. Does Kura monitor and supervise its projects to ensure their completion?” His contact is ndousch@gmail.com.

**********

MUCH ADO ABOUT PARKING FEES. While welcoming the new cashless payment for parking in Nairobi’s city centre, Ebenezer has some serious reservations about the operation.

He tried to register using the code *217# and was simply put off by the “incredible amount of personal information required”.

On entering his name, he was prompted to put in his national ID card and phone numbers, date of birth, and address, “basically all the information needed to steal your identity when all I want is to pay for parking”.

His contact is mamuliti@outlook.com.

**********

WATER SHORTAGE WOES. Nairobi Water Company is giving customers in its southern region a raw deal, moans Abdikani Ahmed, accusing some of the firm’s unscrupulous employees of sabotaging supply for their personal gain.

Abdikani, a businessman on Ngong Road, says one cannot fail to see the apparent connection between the lack of water in their taps and the flourishing business of water vendors.

He hopes management will seriously look into the problem.

His contact is Tel 0728598227 or abdikani@nextautozone.co.ke.

**********

YES, THERE'S A LOT IN A NAME. Job Momanyi says he has an answer to the perennial question: What is in a name?

“It is the rather peculiar link between some people’s names and their destiny in life. Arsenal Football Club’s coach is Arsene Wenger, Man City former coach is Roberto Mancini and the President of Kenya is Kenyatta.

One of the wealthiest Kenyans is Kuria Kanyingi and the US President is Barack (baraka) Obama.”

And sadly, Kwekwe, the name of the Kwale girl killed by police, was also the name of a police squad that liquidated outlaws.

His contact is jobmomanyi@yahoo.com.

Have a meaningful day, won’t you!

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

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

THEY’RE DRIVING US NUTS: The National Transport Safety Board and Nema should crack down on the noisy minibuses plying the Kawangware Route 46, Nairobi, urges Wilson Karuri.

The matatus, he reports, are fitted with horns that are so loud that “they could make an elephant deaf”.

The cacophony, Wilson adds, begins at 4.30 a.m. daily, waking up entire neighbourhoods.

“We have had peaceful and silent mornings for years, so why are these new operators being allowed to break the law with impunity?” His contact is wilsonkaruri@gmail.com.

**********

IT’S NOTHING UNUSUAL: The fellows who, after failing to attend funeral services, ask about what may have transpired do so in good faith, says Antony Njugi.

“When they ask, ‘How did it go?’, it is out of curiosity or remorse,” Antony adds. According to him, “many things are bound to happen, especially in the western region, where the dead sometimes “refuse to go, forcing the mourners to whip the bodies”.

Without giving any evidence, he insists that it is, “indeed, a true story”. His contact is antonynjugi@gmail.com.

**********

PLEASE, NOT FAMILY PROPERTY: Though not opposed to the reintroduction of the Capital Gains Tax, Isaac Githuthu has a word of caution, and he sincerely hopes President Uhuru Kenyatta and the National Assembly will seriously consider it.

The tax, he pleads, should not be levied on family properties, especially when sharing out inheritance. Also, he urges, it should not apply to family residential houses when transferred from one spouse to another.

“The Bill is bound to create endless family wrangles.” His contact is githuthu@wananchi.com.

**********

SCARY PLACE OF WORSHIP: The most surprising thing Stephen Ngure has seen lately, he says, is the extraordinary security measures taken at St Stephen’s Cathedral on Jogoo Road, Nairobi, which he finds rather unusual for a place of worship.

“There is a high perimeter wall, complete with razor wire, an electric fence and a CCTV camera at the gate, and a security guard to boot. What would thieves hope to steal from this humble place of prayer? It looks scary!”

His contact is ngurekabau@gmail.com.

**********

OPEN HAZARD: That there is plenty of work for the Nairobi City County government authorities to do is not in doubt, says Kelvin Keya. But what he finds more irritating is the petty pilferage that has left many manholes, even in the central business district, without covers.

One potentially dangerous one, he adds, is to be found at the junction of Tom Mboya Street and Lagos Road. “There are many other trenches and potholes that pose a threat to pedestrians.”

His contact is keyakelvin@gmail.com.

**********

A customer’s cry: On May 3, N. Waweru received a text message on his Safaricom line, informing him that he would be receiving free Bible quotations “for your own benefit”.

But soon afterwards, he noticed that he was losing Sh15 in airtime on receiving a quotation. Since then, he has been pleading with Safaricom’s customer care on No. 100 to discontinue the service, to no avail.

And as a result, he continues to lose money. “To date, this service that I didn’t want has cost me more than Sh1,000.” His number is 0721381783.

**********

DUBIOUS DISTINCTION: One of Nairobi poshest residential areas, Kileleshwa is, ironically, also served by some of the “oldest and dirtiest” matatus in the entire metropolis, says Dr Jeremiah Akumu.

This, he adds, is apparently the dubious distinction of all the matatus that ply the Kileleshwa No. 48A route, taking commuters from the estate to the city centre and back.

“Can anyone dispute this?” poses Dr Akumu, whose contact is drakumu2009@gmail.com.

Have a comfortable day, won’t you!

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

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

WHAT'S IN A NAME? Some members of the Senate and the National Assembly have “really colourful names,” notes Patrick Mbataru, adding that central Kenya has very good examples of these.

Patrick cites Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria (Mwangi of Milk) and Kiambu Senator Patrick Kimani Wamatangi (a dealer in water tanks), adding: “But the most curious of all is Kieni MP’s Kanini Kega, which loosely translates into, ‘Small is beautiful.”

His contact is pmbataru@gmail.com.

**********

CRUCIAL MEAL. Whoever came up with the saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, has never slept hungry”, remarks Gitonga Muriithi.

According to him, “it’s such a mediocre saying and very un-African to be precise”. Supper or dinner, as it is sometimes called, he declares, “is the most important meal of the day as one gets a good night’s sleep, which is very essential in starting a new day in the morning”.

His contact is samg82@ymail.com.

**********

POWER BILLS. Kenya Power needs money, so why would it frustrate a customer who likes to pay his bills in full and on time? Isaac Githuthu says the power utility is no longer as efficient as it was a few years ago.

“I used to get my bills for accounts 2006924-2 and 2037555-1 regularly but no longer do. So tell me, how do I plan my monthly payments?”

A disappointed Githuthu hopes the matter will be rectified as soon as possible. His contact is githuthu@wananchi.com.

**********

OFFICERS' MESS. The hallmark of the military is smart uniforms and nicely polished shoes, completing a neat picture, says Ibrahim Hassan, adding that one would expect them to have beautiful homes as well, but that is not the case.

At Mugoya Estate in Nairobi South ‘C’, where some senior military officers live, he claims, the houses are in a “pathetic state, the drains dirty and the gardens not tended”, unlike other houses in the neighbourhood.

“The offices deserve better than this,” says Ibrahim, whose contact is abetternairobi@gmail.com.

**********

HIGHWAY CODE. Over the years, Benjamin Ashuma notes, the rule of the road for pedestrians has always been, “Look right, then left, then right again, and cross the road”, which should now give way, with the advent of overpasses, footbridges and flyovers.

According to him, it is time to push counties to build safe road crossing avenues. “Unless this is done, we shall continue to see pedestrians dying even on the zebra crossing,” warns Benjamin, whose contact is xbenjy@gmail.com.

Have stylish day, won’t you!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Cutting Edge

While the formal money lending industry is regulated by the Central bank of Kenya,  informal money lenders, such as shylocks, are not regulated. PHOTO/DENISH OCHIENG

While the formal money lending industry is regulated by the Central bank of Kenya, informal money lenders, such as shylocks, are not regulated. PHOTO/DENISH OCHIENG  NATION

THIS IS A SHYLOCK. As the government tries to rein in commercial banks that have been milking their customers dry with high interest rates, Peter Wanyama says it should not turn a blind eye to its own financial organisations that engage in similar exploitation.

The Kenya Industrial Estates, for instance, increases the cost of loans with high levies and administrative charges, including valuation fees, “and takes ages to disburse loans even after deducting the fees”. He yells: “We are being fleeced.” His contact is peterwanyama75@yahoo.com.

**********

KUDO WATCHIE! Nairobi resident Agnes Wahome, who complained about a pothole bang in the middle of Uhuru Highway opposite one of the newest and best hotels in the metropolis, Villa Rosa Kempinski, is elated at the quick response by the county authorities. Says she: “Thanks Watchie for highlighting this. It has been done fast, and I hope it is just a quick fix and that full repairs on the road will be carried out as soon as possible.”

**********

STRANGE OFFERS. The problem of “funny choices” forced on students admitted to public universities is widespread. Peter Murigi says his son also scored an A- in last year’s KCSE exam, “with a strong showing in the sciences”.

He wished to study Computer Science, but was offered “an unspecified diploma course”. Peter then wrote to the Education Cabinet Secretary and the young man was offered a BSc course in Environmental Science that he won’t be taking up. His contact is petermurigi41@gmail.com.

*********

GRADE A - TOO LOW. Not impressed by some parents’ complaints about their children being denied admission to prime university courses, Martin Makundi says a Grade A- in the KCSE exam is “too low for Engineering”.

He adds: “Much as I empathise with them, the competition is so stiff that it is hard for a male student without a straight A to land a prestigious degree course such as Medicine, Computer Science and Engineering. For the girls, the bar is a little lower. And, after all, there are far too many As these days!” His contact is makundih@yahoo.com.

*********

DRIVING A NIGHTMARE. Driving along James Gichuru road at Westlands, Nairobi, in the evenings is a nightmare, moans Ken Oketch, pointing the finger at the recklessly driven matatus. The drivers, he adds, have been flouting traffic rules by overlapping and carrying excess passengers, and anyone who complains is forced to alight. But, ironically, this plays out even in front of the gate to Muthangari Police Station. For the details, Ken can be reached through kennoketch@yahoo.com.

*********

HOW WAS THE FUNERAL. ? To the growing list of the peculiar habits of Kenyans, Catherine Njoroge is adding the weird conduct of mourners. Says she: “How is one supposed to reply when one goes to a funeral service, and those who did not attend later ask one: ‘How was it?’ ” She has been asked that question numerous times and she wonders what answer one expects, when it is obvious that such an occasion will be “mournful and sombre”. Her contact is wairiche@yahoo.com.
Have a solemn day, won’t you!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

A JOB WELL DONE. A resident of Dagoretti North in Nairobi, Ronald Osiemo, is impressed with the construction of roads as it has opened up the Kawangware area.

Muthiora Road and the Gitanga to Stage 2 and Amboseli roads, he adds, had been impassable for years, but since they were rehabilitated, matatus have been using them, easing transportation for the residents.

“I hope MP Simba Arati and his CDF team will fix other roads as well. Thanks for a job well-done.” His contact is ronosiemo@gmail.com.

**********

STRENGTHEN BRIDGE. The Lodwar Bridge which was constructed during the colonial era, Patrick Ikaale says, still looks “firm and strong”. However, he feels it is not adequate, considering the increased use with more vehicles now plying that route.

“It is so narrow that it cannot accommodate two vehicles going in opposite directions, and pedestrians.” But even more worrying, he adds, is that age could be beginning to take its toll on the bridge, as it makes an unusual sound when stepped on.

He wants the bridge fixed.

**********

EXCELLENT FINISH. Giving credit where it is due in the Nairobi County is Joseph Kiragu who says the contractor working on the pedestrian walkway along Haile Selassie Avenue from the Railway Club towards Upper Hill is doing a superb job.

Though the work has not been completed, Kiragu is pleased with the excellent and attractive finish.

However, he is worried that as soon as it is completed, the fellows who dig up roads to lay cables will arrive and mess it up. “I hope not!”

**********

WHAT ARE THE LIGHTS FOR? Since the new traffic lights installed at roundabouts in Nairobi are not being used as police officers continue to man them just like before, Rita Njiru says top city county officials must be surcharged to recover the money being needlessly spent on the electricity to power them.

This, she adds, is the only way to get the county bosses to prevent wastage of tax and ratepayers’ money. If it is the case that the lights cannot be used, she proposes that they be switched off.

Her contact is njiru_rita@yahoo.com.

**********

NEGLECTED ABROAD. Following a complaint to Watchie last November about delays in paying the stipends of some Kenyan PhD students in Germany, one says the allowance was paid almost immediately.

But the situation, he claims, has got worse, and he is accusing the Kenyan Embassy in Berlin of neglecting students on the DAAD/NACOSTI scholarships in Germany.

“We are a frustrated lot as we have not received this month’s allowance and efforts to contact the embassy have been met with insults.”

**********

DECEIVED BY ADVERT. Attracted by an advertisement and keen to spruce up her looks, Mary Muthoni bought a curling hair chemical that she now regrets ever putting on her head.

Says she: “It felt very itchy after I used the chemical and my hair is now falling off. I need help. I am upset that manufacturers advertise products that people desperately go for and yet they are not the best.”

If anyone can assist Muthoni, her contact is muthonimary28@yahoo.com.

Have a hair-raising day, won’t you!

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

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

WHY ARE FUEL BILLS SO HIGH? The Energy Regulatory Commission must be working against the interest of ordinary Kenyans, charges Christopher Kibiwott. And for the evidence, he cites the high fuel prices.

The price of petrol, diesel and kerosene at the pump has been rising for quite a while now yet the cost of crude oil on the international market has dropped.

His second example is the cost of electricity, which, he claims, “is too high”. Where is the consumer federation? asks Christopher.

**********

ADMISSIONS STRANGE. Something is terribly wrong with the system of admission to public universities, says Nyaga Njuki, giving his own son’s example.

The young man scored an A- in last year’s KCSE exam, his worst subject being a B+. He had hoped to study either civil, electrical, electronic engineering or computer science.

To his utter surprise, he was offered a tourism management course. “The board does not seem to consider students’ career choices or even follow the cluster points.”

His contact is njukibennyaga@gmail.com.

**********

KP, EXPLAIN BILLING. Back home after a stint abroad, Andrew Munyua was pleased to find that prepaid electricity meters had been introduced, as they are convenient to use. However, he is baffled by the billing.

On August 9, he paid Sh1,000 for 58.9 tokens, and was encouraged to spend more.

But on forking out Sh3,000, he got only 117.5 units. On enquiring why he didn’t get three times more, he was told the “more you spend the less you get”.

Can Kenya Power shed some light on this. His contact is 0721394625 or andrewmunyua@ymail.com.

**********

IRONIC DEMAND. The height of irony in Cord’s push for a referendum, Benjamin Maira says, is the fact that the IEBC, which is also a subject of their bid, will have to approve the vote.

And Cord principal Raila Odinga, Benjamin adds, has been only too eager to announce that the IEBC has already given its okay, and yet one of the key issues is its abolition.

“It is like a person signing his own death warrant,” he quips. His contact is benjaminmaira0@gmail.com.

**********

KU, SPRUCE UP THIS SCHOOL. Driving along the Thika Superhighway past Kenyatta University’s Main Campus, one cannot fail to see the many magnificent new buildings that have come up in recent years, says S. Njeru.

However, she adds, they stand in stark contrast to the rather drab and “unattractive Kenyatta University Primary School buildings”.

She wonders why the university cannot extend its corporate social responsibility to give the school a fresh coat of paint and refurbish its playground to “put a smile on the pupils’ faces”!

**********

BAD BOYS OF SOCCER. Confessing from the outset that he is not a football fan, Barre Shetto gives himself away with an obvious indication that he has been keenly following the English Premier League footballers’ transfer news in the ongoing season.

He says he cannot help faulting Liverpool Football Club for its tendency to sign the bad boys of the game. “There was Senegalese star Alhaji Diouf who was notorious for spitting on his opponents, and the biter, Luis Suarez. The latest is the volatile Mario Balotelli.”

Have a sporting day. Won’t you!

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

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

BANKS SHYLOCKING. Most commercial banks are reaping where they have not sown, it seems!

According to Evans Macharia, the Central Bank has totally failed to rein in the greedy banks which continue to manipulate the exchange rate, “milking their customers dry!”

A bank, he adds, will, for instance, receive a customer’s dollars and exchange it at Sh82 each, but will sell it at Sh90, pocketing the huge difference.

“No wonder they keep posting billions of shillings in profits year in, year out.”

**********

WAKE UP KIDERO. Nairobi, which many had expected Governor Evans Kidero and his team to put a shine on, is getting dirtier by the day, remarks Chris Wasike.

In many places, including prime residential estates and the city centre, street lights no longer work, garbage is hardly collected and the standard of education in public schools is plummeting.

Chris is also worried about horrendous traffic jams and other shortcomings. “We need career civil servants to be given a free hand to put things rights.”

**********

SOUTH ‘B’ ROTTING. Once a neat residential area with a nice shopping centre, Nairobi South ‘B’ is a pale shadow of its former self, says Patricia Ndewa.

Heaps of rotting garbage that have not been collected for several weeks are all over the place, with the stench making life difficult for the traders and shoppers.

She is, therefore, disappointed that the Kidero team has only been obsessed with raising council rates and levies since coming into office over a year ago. “How can they justify the increases with such poor services?”

**********

AN ACT OF KINDNESS. But it is not all doom and gloom at Nairobi South ‘B’ as Joyce Njeri witnessed recently, thanks to the action of one young man.

Joyce was in a matatu which was stuck in jam and there was a woman, whose child was so thirsty that he kept crying for water. The man got out of the matatu, ran to a shop at a nearby petrol station and returned with a bottle of water for the child.

“It was a selfless act. I wish others could emulate his example instead keeping aloof when fellow Kenyans are suffering.”

**********

THIKA ROADS PATHETIC. Thika Town and its environs are synonymous with pathetic roads, moans Arthur Rubia, adding that the cries of the town’s residents have fallen on deaf ears.

The residents have to contend with horrible traffic jams.

Should the proposed referendum take off, he adds, the authorities should be prepared for a mighty show of displeasure by the people over the lack of proper roads, other amenities and essential services.

**********

THE CATS WILL BE SAFE. Why all the hullabaloo about Kenya donating a few lions to Rwanda? asks George Gathu, adding that this would have been an issue if those complaining could prove the animals would be mistreated on arrival in their new home.

But it would be even better, George adds, to have some kind of exchange, where Kenya receives some mountain gorillas which are a major tourist attraction in Rwanda.

The ideal place for the gorillas, according to him is the Mt Kenya National Park.

Have an attractive day, won’t you!

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

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

A PECULIAR BROOD: Kenyans will always be a rather peculiar lot, remarks Dr S.N. Oresi, amused that some Jubilee politicians are reportedly planning to amend the Constitution to have the presidential age limit set at 65, just to lock out one person, Cord co-principal Raila Odinga.

“Why focus on an individual when dealing with a national issue? Will they amend the Constitution again when their preferred candidate attains that age? Leadership requires wisdom, which is abundant in old age.”

His contact is samwelnyaguchaoresi@yahoo.com.

**********

BRING BACK OUR CITY: Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and his team are increasingly losing control of the capital, especially in the central business district, claims John Njau.

Part of his evidence, he adds, is the matatus and taxis “taking over almost all the available parking slots in the city centre, and Tom Mboya Street becoming a no-go zone for motorists due to insane traffic jams or some shoddy road repairs by contractors.”

He pleads: “Can, we, please, see some action to reclaim our city?” His contact is john_njau@yahoo.com.

**********

ITCHING FOR ANSWERS: Human behaviour can be quite amazing, remarks Barre Shetto, wishing the gurus could explain some actions people engage in without thinking very much about them and their real necessity.

He, for instance, is curious to know why people often scratch their heads when in deep thought or in search of an instant solution to a solution.

“Is it a primordial urge or are our brains literally itching to get an answer? I would really want to know the scientific or medical explanation of this phenomenon.”

His contact is alibarre@hotmail.com.

**********

CONSTANT DANGER: Having witnessed an accident on Mbagathi Way, Nairobi, in which a lorry carrying sand damaged nine cars in a traffic jam at 5 p.m. on Thursday, C. Chabeda wonders whether the roadworthiness of these heavy commercial vehicles is ever checked, as they pose a grave danger to other motorists, their passengers and even pedestrians.

The trucks, he adds, are more deadly when going uphill in the traffic jam, as there is the likelihood of them stalling and rolling back, especially near the Montezuma funeral home. His contact is chabedac@gmail.com.

**********

LEARN SOME ROAD RULES: A motorist, Kariuki Gichuki, is not amused by violent protests by students of Laikipia University that have forced the erection of bumps on the Nyahururu-Subukia road, covering some three kilometres.

Several primary schools along the same highway, he adds, do not have such bumps at their gates. The solution, he adds, is to give those students some basic road use lessons and immediately remove “these disgraceful bumps”.

His contact is kariukigichuki@yahoo.com.

**********

CRYING OUT FOR ATTENTION: The contractor refurbishing the Nakuru-Nyahururu road should get serious, says Dan Gioshe, appalled at the snail’s pace that has seen only about three kilometres redone in a good three years.

He lays blame on the Nakuru County government for the apparent lack of supervision. “The workers disappear for some time, return and work for two months and vanish again.”

The worst, he adds, is the Heshima Centre-Maili Saba stretch, which is crying out for repairs. His contact is gioshe@outlook.com.

**********

ARE THEY NORMAL?: Speaking on the phone while driving is not only illegal, but also dangerous, but some people are simply incorrigible, says Jim Webo, amazed at how easily one will put one’s life at risk.

On Friday morning, on Uhuru Highway, near Nakumatt Mega in Nairobi, Jim could not believe what he saw.

“There was this smart woman scooping food into her mouth with a spoon, with one hand on the steering wheel. A new clause, ‘Do not eat while you drive’, should be added to the traffic rule forbidding the use of mobile phones.”

Have a cautious day, won’t you!

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

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Cutting Edge

CHINESE INFLUX: When she flew from JKIA to Entebbe recently, Sharmi Bhalla says she was disgusted with the pampering of Chinese travellers.

“They did not have to stand in the queues at the Immigration. They were all escorted by police in and out of Immigration. I am a Kenyan and I follow rules — so why not these Chinese? What is it about the Chinese?

Their influx frightens me as many billboards in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda now advertise Chinese products.”

Her contact is sharmi@soulonfire.org.

************

LOOTERS: The media are awash with reports of how billions of shillings have been squandered in dubious transactions by some leaders, notes Antony Irungu.

Government ministries, parastatals, county governments, Senators, MPs and MCAs have all been fingered for involvement in the scandals.

“If only these billions could be channelled into development projects in urban areas and the far-flung villages, we would not be extending begging bowls to the East and West.” His contact is antolex2001@yahoo.com.

*************

JOB APPLICATIONS: Even as she appreciates the fact that companies are finding it hard to reply to all job applicants, Margaret Wanjiru says there is a way around the challenge.

According to her, it would be “really nice” to indicate that only short-listed applicants will be contacted and give a specific date. Her template would be something like: “If you do not hear from us by…, please note that your application was not successful.” That way, applicants will not be kept in suspense for too long.

Her contact is mwmuriithi@gmail.com.

*************

NO POWER: What a long wait it has been for the parents of Zack Gaya in Kendu Bay, for whom he applied for electricity installation at their home (Ref No. 24402012091269) in December last year, paying the requisite charges.

To date, nothing has happened and yet the home is two poles away from power.

Zack is also not impressed with the prepaid meter service. “I’ve been using it since April, but it is so erratic that one cannot budget. How do explain buying 20 units for Sh250 and 6.5 units for Sh300, a few days later?” His contact is gayazack@yahoo.com.

*****************

STREET FAMILIES: Whenever he comes into Nairobi’s city centre before 8am, Vincent Mariita says he has been encountering hordes of street families, and “they are not a very friendly lot”.

He is, therefore, surprised to note that the city county government appears not bothered about the apparent increase in the number of street dwellers in the recent past. Vincent would like to see steps taken immediately to remove those already in the CBD and block new entrants. His contact is mariitav@yahoo.com.

 
Have an organisable day, won’t you!

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

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 22 August 2014

WHERE IS THE TRUTH ? The contradictory talk about the food situation is causing unnecessary confusion, remarks Peter Cheserek. While Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei assures Kenyans that there is enough food for all, Kenya Red Cross boss Abbas Gullet has raised the red flag, and this has been echoed by Devolution CS Anne Waiguru, who has warned that some 1.5 million Kenyans are facing starvation. “Stop the circus and tell us the truth,” demands Peter.
________

BE MORE LIKE KIBAKI. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto should learn from retired leader Mwai Kibaki “not to take their political rivals too seriously”, Ken Chirchir advises, adding that they should also “never be too quick to react” to anything said about them. The easiest way for the two to gain national popularity is to simplify their leadership style. “It calls for more than the style of dress or dishing out goodies,” says Ken, adding that he dearly misses Kibaki’s light-hearted approach.  

________

RAILA CONTRADICTIONS. ODM leader Raila Odinga deserves kudos for the sacrifice he has made to enhance democracy, but he has lately been full of contradictions, says Prof Chris Macoloo. Odinga and “his sycophants”, he claims, “are opposed to holding harambees in Nyanza, but last week, he was at a fundraiser in Busia County”. The second contradiction is holding the moral high ground on democracy despite his party having bungled its own elections. “His stature is being eroded by his court poets.”

________

FIX THIS SHAMEFUL POTHOLE. Just outside one of the best and newest hotels in Nairobi, Villa Rosa Kempinski on Chiromo Road is a huge pothole that should shame the county government in charge of the nation’s capital, says Agnes Wahome. She wonders how come the authorities have not seen the need to remove the eyesore in the middle of the road in such a prime location, as it has been mockingly staring at all for over a month now. “Fix the pothole before a fatal accident occurs at the spot.”

________

GAPING POTHOLE. Also alarmed at the appalling state of roads in some prime areas of Nairobi is Ashiembi wa Ndukwe. He is particularly concerned about the “gaping craters and potholes” on Waiyaki Way opposite the CFC Stanbic Bank branch at Westlands. “Can Governor Evans Kidero and his people get out of their comfort zones and deal with this problem.” This road, Ashiembe states, is a key artery in the city and it is simply unacceptable that it is in such a poor condition.

________

DRAINAGE VERY POOR. Most roundabouts in Nairobi have undergone beautification through a partnership between the county government and the private sector, observes David Jasondu. However, one thing the contractors have failed to properly deal with, is the drainage. The Ngong-Mbagathi-Valley roads intersection, he adds, “is permanently flooded”. The same case near Nyayo National Stadium’s Mombasa and Langata roads roundabout. With the rains falling, Jasondu urges, the authorities must unclog the drainage and try to do better in future.
 
Have a proper day, won’t you!

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

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.”

________

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!”

________

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.

________

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.

________

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
More by this Author

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
More by this Author

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.

________

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.

________

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.

________

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
More by this Author

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”. 

________

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

________

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.

________

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.

________

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.

________

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.”

________

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.

________

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.

_________

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.

________

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.

________

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
More by this Author

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.

**********

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.

**********

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.

**********

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.

**********

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.

________

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.

________

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.

________

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.

________

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

________

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
More by this Author

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
More by this Author

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.