Friday, November 21, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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MINISKIRTS: History is repeating itself with the stripping of women wearing miniskirts, says Zoeb Tayabjee, adding that the primitive behaviour has returned to haunt Kenyans after nearly four decades.

He adds: “I vividly remember the miniskirt issue being discussed in the Parliament after which the then powerful Attorney-General Charles Njonjo declared: ‘If you don’t like it, close your eyes’.

This message should be repeated to put the issue to rest again.” His contact is [email protected]

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LONG WAIT: Can’t the delivery of public services ever be speeded up, despite several spirited past campaigns initiated by top government officials of the day? Well, Mjidho Dhidha wonders just how long it should take to change the name on one’s national identity card.

He applied for a change of particulars on his ID, on August 28, and to date, all he is told whenever he enquires about the progress is: “Just wait.” His ID card number is 21821483, and his contact, Tel 0720766003 or email: [email protected]

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CITY ESTATE: There is, indeed, a Nairobi South ‘A’, says Joe Muiruri, in response to a question by Silas Nyambok, who wondered why there was only B and C. According to Joe, it is the area around the Nairobi South Power Station near Doonholm in the Eastlands.

Says he: “In the late 1960s, Kenya Power used to have its staff quarters in the vicinity with a sign indicating, Nairobi South’ A’, which I saw with my own eyes! I am not sure whether the sign or the staff quarters still exists.” His contact is [email protected]

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INTERNET PRICE: Shouldn’t the price of the Internet service be decreasing? asks Dr Said Osman, disturbed about Zuku Wananchi’s 100 per cent increase, effective from next month.

He used to pay Sh1,099, but will now have to cough up Sh1,999 monthly.

Zuku, he charges, is behaving like a monopoly, who does not care about customers’ complaints, apparently being the sole service provider. At this rate, he adds, “they seem to have the blessings of the regulatory authority.” His contact is Tel 0724229670 or email: [email protected]

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RUAI MUGGERS: Worried about the mounting insecurity in Ruai Ward in Kasarani constituency in Nairobi, P. Wambugu wants to know when the high-mast security lights promised five years ago will ever be switched on.

Taking advantage of the darkness, Wambugu says muggers are having a field day, and homes are broken into even as early as 8pm. During the last election campaigns, he recalls, some masts were erected, but the project was abandoned once the poll was over. For the details, his contact is [email protected]

Have a secure day, won’t you!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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BLATANT CORRUPTION. The damning allegations coming out of a British court in the trial of a printing company’s bosses are a real eye-opener on the “chicken-eating” IEBC officials, says Stevenson Karanja.

This blatant corruption alluded to in the testimony of the Britons in their dealings with the Kenyan officials, he adds, “explains the reason why the tendering for electoral materials is always delayed until the last minute”.

Kenyan poll officials, he argues, “deliberately create a chaotic environment for kickbacks”.

His contact is [email protected]

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END MONOPOLY. Kenya National Examinations Council officials “eating chicken” in procurement deals means that such “meals” could have been “eaten” over exam content, putting a huge dent in the reputation of the Knec, remarks X.N. Iraki.

“The solution is simple; end Knec’s monopoly. There is no good reason why the fate of our children must be decided by a monopoly. Even Kanu’s power monopoly ended. Let one or two other bodies examine the children. The competition will spur innovation and efficiency and reduce cheating.”

His contact is [email protected]

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LEGENDARY INEFFICIENCY. Orange Telkom’s inefficiency is simply incredible, as Wycliffe Kemboi has found out, to his chagrin.

Says he: “I am tired of being told by customer care, ‘We are waiting for the concerned team to come up with a resolution’, ‘The problem is being worked on’, or ‘We will call you back’.”

Over a month since he started calling, no action, but he is still asking when they will credit his account with the airtime he has been pursuing.

“My patience is running out as they give me the same answers every time.”

His phone number is 0771507181.

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CHOKING NUICANCE. For the past one year, Joseph Ochanda Ogada, who lives in the curiously named Dafur in Kariobangi North Estate in Nairobi, has had to contend with free-flowing sewage around his house, with no help from the county inspectorate or the public health department.

At one point, the murky stuff flooded the path to his house, nearly blocking the entrance, and it gets pretty messy when it rains.

Protests to the city water company’s depot in the neighbourhood have not yielded any assistance.

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REPAIR THIS ROAD. Running parallel to Waiyaki Way from the Westlands shopping centre roundabout to Church Road, Nairobi, the Slip Road is in a pathetic state, moans local resident Mahendra Adalja.

The road, he adds, has not been given any attention by the maintenance section of the county government and the former city council for years.

Dr Adalja hopes the county leadership will ensure the repair of the road, which eases congestion on the highway, carrying fairly heavy traffic to the residential areas.

His contact is [email protected]

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NOT FUNNY AT ALL. The popular Churchill Show is nothing but tribal slur, says Michael Mburu. “There is nothing funny if you don’t know the alleged peculiar characteristics of some communities.”

He watched it with a “young adult who knows nothing about tribes and she could not understand what people were laughing at”.

He poses: “Can’t we have comedy that does not mock or promote tribalism?”

To him, the best Kenyan show ever was the political comedy, Reddykyulass, “which even a foreigner could enjoy”.

His contact is [email protected]

Have a rib-tickling day, won’t you!

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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RISKY RIDE. Nearly all the old minibuses plying Route 25 from Nairobi’s city centre, Elizabeth Nganga says, have sealed windows, which can be particularly risky if the vehicles are involved in an accident and uncomfortable for the passengers, who cannot open them to let in fresh air.

She simply cannot believe that these vehicles, which have valid Transport Licensing Board licences, were inspected and cleared or “could the inspectors have been compromised to overlook this?”

Her contact is [email protected]

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EASING TRANSPORT. Here is a project S.K. Goro feels Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua and his team should consider as a matter of priority.

For the safety of the residents, he proposes construction of a footbridge between Lenana Primary School at the railway crossing and the town centre.

Such a flyover, Goro adds, will be a good link to the Old Patel Brotherhood building, heading to the main market in the town’s central business district.

According to Goro, this is the best way to ease the traffic congestion at this spot, which is heavily patronised by matatus.

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DEFYING LOGIC. The much-anticipated reduction in electricity bills following the recent commissioning of a big geothermal generating plant is a sham, says Juma Tadesa.

Despite the hype on power cost reduction, he adds, his bill for July was Sh4,008. In August, it was Sh4,979, in September, Sh2,845, and in October, Sh5,757!

“Someone tell President Kenyatta, who launched the plant, that the power bills are rising instead. Who will come to our aid?”

His account number is 2348389-01 and contact, [email protected]

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SNAIL MAIL. With the national examinations having been just completed, James Nyaga is now turning his attention to Posta, which he is accusing of frustrating him in his time of need by failing to deliver success cards to some candidates he had hoped to inspire to excel.

He posted three success cards at Kiserian Post Office and some four weeks later, two had not been received by the students.

“Just how long does it take to deliver a card? Is there a mechanism to follow up this?”

His contact is [email protected]

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EXTREME MEASURES. Universities requiring their graduating students to deposit their national identity cards, driving licences, or passports as security for hiring gowns is something Willis O. Aguko finds rather strange, as one is supposed to leave the document for several days until the ceremony is over.

He cites Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, whose graduation ceremony is set for November 24.

“Having to leave one’s ID behind for two days is asking for too much, as this has become a part of our lives.”

His contact is [email protected]

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PREDICTABLE WEATHERMEN. The weathermen’s unreliability has become predictable, notes Makueni County farmer Alex Kioko, adding that the El Niño rains they had forecast would pound Nairobi and other parts of the country have not materialised.

“It is November and there is still not enough rainfall for planting, especially in the larger eastern region. When will they ever do it accurately? Can’t the government buy them new equipment so they can stop doing the mganga kutoka…-type predictions.”

His contact is [email protected]

Have an accurate day, won’t you!

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

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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SLEEPING ON THE JOB. Nairobi resident Philemon Wachara, frustrated about the delay in the expansion and reconstruction of Outer Ring Road in Eastlands, wants a firm word from the authorities as to when the work will begin.

Since April, he claims, five deadlines for the start of the project have been missed and there is no indication as to when it will take off.

This and the Eastleigh road projects that have never been completed, he adds, confirm that the Kenya Urban Roads Authority is sleeping on the job.

His contact is [email protected]

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LIGHT THIS STREET. One of the key roads west of Nairobi’s city centre, James Gichuru Road, becomes a haven for muggers targeting pedestrians as soon as the sun sets, thanks to the lack of street lights, says Ruth Gituma.

City County chiefs, she pleads, should go to the rescue of people returning from work or strolling in the evening by lighting the road that runs through some upmarket residential areas.

The worst stretch, she adds, is between Acorn House and Lavington shopping centre all the way to Gitanga Road.

Her contact is [email protected]

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KNEC TO THE RESCUE. The Kenya National Examinations Council has noted Ebrahim Sheikh’s cry that he has not received his KCSE examination results slip for 2013.

Public communications officer Dorothy Saina says Sheikh’s school wrote to the Knec about the missing results slip on October 8, “and not over a year ago as he alleged”.

However, Dorothy wishes to assure him that his case is being looked into and that the “results slip will be ready by the end of this month”.

For any further inquiries, Dorothy can be reached through [email protected]

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RIGHT OF WAY. It is only in Elburgon, Nakuru County, where sheep and motorists fight for equal space on the major road that passes through the township, reports Carol Mosiany.

“The lone sheep or flocks of them usually look undeterred when they are bang in the middle of the road and a vehicle hoots for them to get out of the way.”

As a frequent user of the road, Carol says that more often, it is the motorists who give way by driving around the animals.

Her contact is [email protected]

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WHO WILL PAY THE VENDORS? On October 26, a minibus carrying rowdy Gor Mahia football club fans stopped at the KMC junction at Athi River and the occupants came out and picked up bottles of mineral water from several vendors, Philip Mutua reports.

After the football maniacs had helped themselves to nearly 100 bottles of water, he adds, the driver zoomed off, though his passengers had not paid the vendors.

“Who will compensate these people?” asks Philip, who should have taken down the vehicle’s registration number, but did not.

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PRIMITIVE BEHAVIOUR. Joining in the condemnation of the barbaric mobs stripping women naked to ostensibly punish them for perceived indecent dressing, Silas Nyambok says the primitive male perpetrators of the crime must be brought to book.

However, he has a question he thinks might just unlock the stalemate on the freedom of dressing.

“How come some of these women feel uncomfortable or simply won’t allow their house helps to wear miniskirts, especially when hovering around their husbands?”

His contact is [email protected]

Have a civilised day, won’t you!

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

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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PRICE OF FUEL. Kenyans are being short-changed on oil prices, charges Samuel Wangatia, adding: “In the past few weeks, oil prices have hit the lowest level in the past four years. The price of a barrel has declined by more than $30 since the mid-June high of $115. But in Kenya, pump prices remain high. The prices should be ranging from Sh87 to Sh100 a litre.”

Where is the Energy Regulatory Commission? His contact is [email protected]

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STINKING SHAME. The old saying that cleanliness is next to godliness, it seems, does not apply to the numerous public service vehicles in Nairobi, other towns, and the remote rural areas, says Felix Lilechi.

The minibuses plying the Githurai-city centre route in Nairobi, he adds, are not only terribly untidy, with badly torn seats, they also stink.

“Can’t we keep our buses neat and clean?” asks Felix, whose email is [email protected]

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DISMAL SERVICE. On November 7, Amos Ngugi applied and paid for Zuku’s fibre package service (account No 132736).

He has not been connected to date and this despite making more than 10 phone calls to customer care, each of which was answered by a different employee, who asked the same routine questions.

He has even visited the company’s Mombasa Road offices in Nairobi, to no avail.

“Please provide the service or come for your gadgets and refund my money,” demands Amos, whose contact is [email protected]

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PAYING FOR YOUR DEGREE. The season of university graduation ceremonies is here again, notes Peter Bor Kibet, adding that “it is a good period for the institutions in terms of revenue collection”.

They are not only collecting convocation fees, but also hiring out academic gowns. “Assuming that 5,000 students are graduating and each pays Sh4,000, that is a cool Sh20 million. Why should students be charged to get a certificate they have rightfully earned? Let’s forget these ceremonies and just hand out the certificates.”

His contact is [email protected]

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VISA TO HEAVEN? Not at all impressed with the way South Africa handles Kenyans applying for visas is Betty Round-Turner.

She would like the High Commission in Nairobi to explain why Kenyans are required to submit “a complex and detailed application, a pre-booked airline ticket, a letter of invitation, and an introduction letter, with travel dates clearly marked”.

But to her utter shock, she adds: “They will still issue a visa that expires before the day you intend to travel. Is this a simple human error or deliberate?”

She can be reached through [email protected]

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WRONG APPROACH. The controversy surrounding the tetanus vaccine campaign would probably never have arisen had the government consulted widely or involved social scientists, particularly anthropologists, notes Kennedy Mochabo.

“Targeting a specific gender and age group, it was bound to encounter problems as it looked suspect. The church has a right to guide its flock and the Catholics have raised concerns that need to be addressed. If the government wants to implement or adopt anything, it should use a participatory approach.”

His contact is [email protected]

Have a straightforward day, won’t you!

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

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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THE PRIDE OF AFRICA? Kenya Airways’ record Sh10 billion half-year loss is mind-boggling, but Vincent Mariita just cannot help but lay blame at the feet of the airline’s bosses.

Says he: “Management can give all the reasons for the poor results, but what is evident is that the carrier’s over-reliance on international operations is taking its toll. Being the pride of Africa that it boasts to be, KQ should go back to the drawing board and strategise on how to woo more Kenyans to use its services by reducing its rates.” His contact is [email protected]

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STRANGE EXCUSES: As Nairobi wallows in crater-like potholes, choking traffic jams, and mounds of uncollected garbage, Governor Evans Kidero is busy politicking, remarks Antony Irungu.

He is, therefore, not surprised that Kidero was recently declared the worst performing governor. “But in his defence, Kidero asserted that the city is getting better because street families are trooping in from other regions.

This is nonsense. Street urchins are not investors but an indication of society’s failure, especially in urban areas.” His contact is [email protected]

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TO THE GOVERNOR: Driving on the diversion on Lang’ata Road next to Uhuru Gardens Estate in Nairobi, one is suddenly assailed by the stench from raw sewage flowing into the undeveloped land that faces the Kibera slums, moans David Jasondu.

This mess appears to have been going on for long but was not visible to passersby until the area was opened up with the recent road diversion. “Whatever the case, this is an eyesore and health risk that must be fixed,” adds Jasondu, hoping that Governor Kidero will take action.

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NSSF, AS USUAL: There is appalling inefficiency at the NSSF, charges Benson Mwakina. After being allocated an apartment at the NSSF Nyayo Estate at Embakasi, Nairobi, in March, last year, his employer agreed to pay the entire amount through Housing Finance in June last year.

The deal was sealed with HF’s lawyers, but the NSSF has not signed the agreement transferring the house to him. To his surprise, a gang was sent to evict the occupants while he was away, over alleged arrears. “What madness is this?” His contact is [email protected]

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WORRYING DELAY: Over a year since he sat his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam, Ibrahim Sheikh has not received his result slip.

He checked with his former headmaster, who confirmed this and wrote a letter of complaint to the Knec. On handing over the letter at Mitihani House in Nairobi, he was assured that it would be ready in 30 days. “Well, I am worried that I might not beat the deadline for the January university intake.” His index number is 46820101/052 and his contact, [email protected]

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EATING HEALTHY: American fast food chains coming to Nairobi is not good news, says Mathew Mwangi, adding that their presence will only “lead to more health problems for Kenyans”.

Most Kenyans, Mathew adds, “still regularly eat healthy traditional food”, warning that they should shun the “unhealthy easy-to-prepare food that is to blame for obesity and other health problems in the US and Europe”. To counter this, he is urging the government to support only joints that serve “healthy traditional meals”. His contact is [email protected]

Have a wholesome day, won’t you!

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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LANE CONFUSION: Driving in Nairobi is a big headache because the lanes on most roads are not marked, says James Kamau.

Whereas driving schools have booklets they use to train new drivers on which lanes to take, especially when approaching a roundabout, he adds, on qualifying, they hardly find any.

“This causes confusion, forcing motorists to drive ‘by sight’ as another vehicle could move in from any direction. Paint lanes to improve the traffic flow,” pleads James. His contact is [email protected]

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COST OF POWER: Without disclosing the location, which Kenya Power should figure out from the reference number, 25802007010867, Lawrence Maingi says he cannot believe he was slapped with a Sh1 million quotation for power connection to his rural home, which is only 700 metres from a transformer.

His other grouse is that his application has been pending since 2007. “As the power sector is liberalised, they will soon be knocking on our doors as Telkom did when mobile telephony came.” His contact is [email protected].

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MIRACLE CHURCH: The people vilifying Victor Kanyari don’t seem to appreciate his creativity, remarks John T. Mukui, adding: “The Sh310 offering is based on Malachi 3:10 (Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house).

As a mark of repentance, he should now lower it to Sh87 or Sh73, based on John 8:7 (Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her) or Matthew 7:3 (Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?).”

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THEY'RE BACK: Street families are back in droves, says Gladys Mutiga, adding that Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero must have noted this as he is driven around the city.

The new beggars, she adds, come with smartly dressed children, who pursue pedestrians as their equally smart mothers watch from a distance, waiting for the loot.

“Our streets don’t feel safe any more, with these people almost in every corner. Forget all the other projects and give us a clean and safe city first.” Her contact is [email protected]

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HIT AND RUN: The driver of a minibus that knocked down a student at Hamza on Jogoo Road in Nairobi, on Wednesday, November 5, and failed to stop will, hopefully, be savaged by his conscience to learn that his victim succumbed to the serious injuries suffered, says Alex Diang’a.

The incident occurred between 7.30pm and 8.30pm. However, Alex still sincerely hopes that someone, who might have witnessed the hit-and-run accident, will drop him a line through: [email protected] to help nail the culprit.

Have a remorseful day, won’t you!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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WHY PAMPER THEM? The idea of President Uhuru Kenyatta inviting Lands Minister Charity Ngilu and National Land Commission boss Muhammad Swazuri to State House, Nairobi, to get them to reconcile and agree to work together amicably does not sit well with Willy Kirui.

According to Kirui, “it is quite demeaning for the President and the country, at large”, as there are constitutional provisions that should guide the operations of the two public offices.

“It does not warrant pampering by the President,” argues Kirui, whose contact is [email protected]

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WRONG MOVE. President Kenyatta’s decision to reinstate the 14-seater matatus has eroded all the gains made in eliminating traffic jams in Nairobi, remarks Jacob Onyango.

“Their size and flexibility allows the drivers to perform all manner of road acrobatics, including lane abuse and driving on narrow footpaths and pavements.”

The announcement, he adds, reminds him of the past nuisance of retired President Daniel arap Moi’s roadside declarations that had no solid foundation.

His contact is [email protected]

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BLAME ENGINEERS. Contractors only do what they have been instructed to do and should not be blamed for the shoddy construction of roads, says John Gitonga.

“They are supervised and build what has been approved. Contractors do not works on their own instructions. They are paid on the basis of approvals for payment made on the strength of an engineer certifying that the work was done as specified. So if a road is bumpy and uneven and without drainage, ask the supervising engineers and not the contractors.”

His contact is [email protected]

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LEAVE KANYARI ALONE. Stop the hypocrisy, says Jairus Musumba, rejecting the condemnation of the “seed-planting’ antics of “Pastor” Victor Kanyari.

He asks: “Why should people find Kanyari’s entrepreneurial mind revolting and yet that is what most of us are doing all the time? When a gospel musician sings in praise of God, is he not paid? When an author of Christian books gets paid, is it any different? Aren’t they exploiting the same Lord for personal gain?”

His contact is [email protected]

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TIME TO LEAVE. Nacada boss John Mututho should quit, having just publicly apologised for the continuing deaths among Kenyans after consuming illicit brews that he had vowed to eradicate, says George Mburu.

“The apology is an admission that he has failed in his duty and hence the right time for him to resign so that somebody more capable can be appointed to lead the fight against the alcohol and drug menace. History will judge him well if he leaves now.”

His contact is [email protected]

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DEMOLISH THEM. What Jim Webo sees as a campaign to preserve Nairobi’s “endangered heritage” by retaining some old houses is nonsensical and backward, says Patrick Chege.

The old estates in the Eastlands, he adds, sit on land in prime locations within walking distance of the city centre, yet the rent paid for the hovels ranges between Sh600 and Sh3,000 and most residents have illegal water and electricity connections.

“They should have been demolished like yesterday.”

His contact is [email protected]

Have a logical day, won’t you!

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

VISA WOES. The South African Embassy in Nairobi is not the only place where Kenyans face serious hitches when seeking visas, remarks Caleb Opuka.

At the Indian High Commission, he adds, the “process is very cumbersome”.

He was there last Wednesday, at 8am, and could not even reach the visa window, as there were too many people.

He went back on Friday, at 7.45am, and failed again.

“Why should Kenyans suffer? Indians visiting Kenya get visas at our points of entry without much ado.”

His contact is [email protected]

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TRUE DEMOCRACY. The people demanding that ODM boss Raila Odinga step down to pave the way for youthful leadership to the ballot in 2017, and those who want him to stay on unchallenged are wrong, says Kennedy Butiko.

“The ODM must open up the democratic space and strengthen its organs so that those who wish to challenge Raila for the presidential ticket to vie in the next General Election are free to do so. Isn’t that what the middle name of ODM stands for?”

His contact is [email protected]

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DO NOT INTERFERE. Politicians should not derail the campaign to disarm people responsible for the bloody lawlessness in some parts of the country, says Joe Ngige Mungai.

“All the guns in the wrong hands must be recovered, but the military, which is carrying out the task, must abide by the rule of law. Just let the military do what the police and others are unable to do. In fact, there should be permanent camps for soldiers in Kapedo, Baragoi, and other hotspots,” suggests Joe, whose contact is [email protected]

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TRANSPARENCY. In the spirit of transparency and accountability, Carlos Kamau would like to know how Collins Macharia, a bright boy who was unable to raise his school fees but eventually got help and joined Form One, is faring today.

Carlos was among the well-wishers who responded to an appeal to assist him, but has not heard anything about him since January 20. The money was paid through an M-Pesa paybill, No. 500944. “I would also like to know how much money was raised,” says Carlos.

His contact is [email protected]

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WHERE IS THE MONEY? Kenya Ferry Services has seen tremendous growth over the past five years, and now reportedly carries 6,000 motor vehicles and 300,000 pedestrians daily.

And Mike Round-Turner’s calculation is that the daily collection is Sh750,000 — a little over Sh273.7 million a year.

He asks: “Where is all this money going if they are only now thinking of adding to the ageing fleet of five ferries? Maintenance, fuel, and wages, I presume. But what of training and safety?”

His contact is [email protected]

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PRIORITY. There is this high-end Toyota Land Cruiser VX that caught Timothy Maina’s eye in a showroom in Nairobi recently, but it was the number plate, GVN 012A, which had him momentarily transfixed.

And this is why. County No. 12 is Meru and the price of the machine is between Sh15 and Sh17.9 million.

“Is this a priority for the governor, when there are many other needs the money could have been put to?” asks Timothy, hoping to hear from Governor Peter Munya.

Timothy’s contact is [email protected]

Have a frugal day, won’t you!

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

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

PRICE TO PAY. The polluter-pay principle should be applied to curb the deadly fights over resources by some communities, proposes John T. Mukui.

“The national government should consider charging any extraordinary security spending on the county budgets of the rival communities in West Pokot-Turkana, Baringo-Turkana, and Mandera-Wajir. A troubleshooting fee for conflicts within a county such as Lamu should also be charged on its budget. The same principle is used to meet the cost of environmental pollution.”

His contact is [email protected]

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NEW TACTICS. To effectively tackle insecurity in the northwest of the country, the security forces should learn from the spectacular failure of the US military mission in Somalia in the 1980s and change its tactics, Dave Mungai advises.

According to him, the trick is to use less force and rely more on local intelligence networks. Alluding to the security operation to flush out the killers of nearly 20 Administration Police officers recently, he says the financiers and suppliers of firearms must be tracked down.

His contact is [email protected]

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SHAME OF A ROAD. The roads leading to Limuru and those within the little farming town that was once synonymous with a prosperous Bata Shoe Company are in a shambles, moans John Ngure.

John was in the town recently with his friends to attend a funeral and was embarrassed to see roads that look like shambas ready for planting crops and others dotted with potholes and gulleys.

The county and national governments must do something or during his next trip he will carry tree seedlings, he vows.

His contact is [email protected]

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LONG WAIT. A trip to Egypt and Israel that 79-year-old Samuel Kariuki, a devout Catholic, has always dreamt about now hangs in the balance. He is expected to leave Nairobi on November 19, but a passport he applied for on September 22 (Tracking No. 111771485), and was assured would be ready within two weeks, has not materialised.

Whenever he goes to the Immigration Department headquarters in Nairobi, he is told to check again after two days, and one fellow had the cheek to suggest that he should postpone the trip to next year.

His contact is Tel 0722842887.

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FRUSTRATING SERVICE. Samsung Service Centre in Nairobi is the source of sheer agony for Jane Mugo, who has been deprived of a gadget that she can hardly do without.

It is her favourite white Samsung Galaxy S4 phone, which the Trimo Security Services employee took for repair on October 20 after it malfunctioned.

To date, and despite calling at the repair centre several times, she is still without the phone, “which has very important data”.

Jane is expecting some good news on Tel 0722237547.

**********

COMPLEMENTARY OPPOSITES. Besides politics, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Cord leader Raila Odinga have one other common characteristic — business acumen, remarks Barre Shetto.

“A closer look at their affairs reveals a business side. The President’s politics, just like the milk he sells, is placid, cool, base, and an ingredient for building a strong backbone. Odinga’s politics, just like the gas he sells, is hot and volatile and yet necessary as we sometimes need to heat the milk so that it doesn’t get spoilt.”

His contact is [email protected]

Have an identical day, won’t you!

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

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

UNDIGNIFIED TREATMENT. Police should show some respect to fellow Kenyans, says X.N. Iraki, wondering why a motorist should be arrested and handcuffed after committing a minor traffic offence such as changing lanes on an unmarked road.

“Who can run away, leaving a car behind? The police are just violating our rights. Motorists deserve some dignity. I fear I might be the next victim… What do the human rights crusaders have to say about this?”

His contact is [email protected]

*********

UNFAIR PENALTY. Why punish the innocent and the guilty equally? asks Robert Manaka, questioning the Sh5,200 fine slapped on all Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology students following the recent riots on the main campus in which property was damaged.

“I wonder who assessed the damage and came up with the fine? With a population of 5,000 students, Sh26 million will be collected. In which account will you keep this money, miscellaneous or other incomes?”

His contact is [email protected]

*********

QUESTIONABLE ENGINEERING. Kenyan companies cannot construct smooth and durable roads such as the Thika superhighway, remarks Thomas Yebei.

Most of the roads built by Kenyan firms, he adds, have uneven surfaces, are bumpy, rough, and have a short life span.

“The roads are narrow and characterised by poor drainage, and this despite our universities churning out civil engineers of high repute in the past 40 years. What is wrong with our road contractors?”

His contact is [email protected]

*********

DON'T BLAME PHONE. The mobile phone is innocent, remarks Geoffrey Mwangi, disagreeing with Edward M. Djivetti’s tirade following a tragic incident at Maasai Mara University, in which two students drowned.

“The camera on the phone often comes in handy because it is convenient and easy to carry.”

Recalling an incident in which a man drowned in a river, trying to recover a borrowed basin that had been swept out of his hands, as he tried to fetch water, he asks: “Would you blame the basin for his death?”

His contact is [email protected]

*********

TALE OF NUMBERS. To stand out in the crowd, the owners of expensive luxury fuel-guzzling limousines sometimes go to crazy lengths to showcase their prized possessions. But Raphael Kiige says their choice of number plates is a tale in itself.

He cites the use of unique number plates that are not easy to forget, such as those ending in 777X, 222S, 254K, and 888G.

“Take your time to observe and you will see them on the road,” adds Raphael, whose contact is [email protected]

*********

A SLICE OF HEAVEN. Forget “Pastor” Victor Kanyari of the “seed-planting miracles” con; he is small fry compared to the religious leaders who often come visiting from the Indian sub-continent, says Mahendra Shah.

One such leader, he adds, sells jannah (heaven) to his followers, who pay huge amounts of money for reservations.

“To his ardent followers, he is genuine, but many know he is a con artist. In a democratic society you have a right to make a choice. It can be a good or bad buy.”

His contact is [email protected]

Have a godly day, won’t you!

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

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

SHAME ON YOU! While driving in Nairobi recently, Diana D’Souza says she hooted at a driver in front of her to draw his attention to his folly of throwing an empty water bottle out of the window of his car.

The bottle, she adds, landed in the “path of a house whose owners I am sure, pay to have the inside and outside of their home cleaned”.

The driver gestured rudely to her, but she was able to take down his car registration as he haughtily pointed at the red number plate on the Land Cruiser.

For the details, her contact is [email protected]

**********

UNSCIENTIFIC TEST. There was nothing scientific about the hand test that years ago determined admission to Standard One, says Richard Mundia, recalling his own experience.

“I was tested by hand in 1968 in Nyeri and failed the test. As a result my admission to Standard One was delayed until my uncle persuaded the school to take me in a month later. I came No. 3 in the first term. After that I was No. 1 throughout my seven primary school years except for one term that I came second. My record has never been broken. So there you have it!”

**********

WHY THE SILENCE? The government’s deafening silence on the financial woes ravaging Mumias Sugar Company is worrying, remarks J. Mahinda.

He wishes Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed could shed some light on what is actually happening at the biggest sugar miller in the country.

“It seems the looting at the firm started a long time ago. The Jubilee government’s pledge of transparency and accountability should not just remain a pipe dream. Heads must roll.”

His contact is [email protected]

**********

ENDANGERING USERS. The double tragedy at Maasai Mara University in Narok, where a student slipped and fell into the Great Mara River while taking pictures and both she and her boyfriend, who dived in to try and rescue her, drowned, is sad, indeed.

However, Edward Mulaama Djivetti wonders just why manufacturers put cameras on mobile phones.

“Why should the phones have cameras at all, endangering the lives of users?” He is demanding that they recall all their gadgets with cameras.

His contact is [email protected]

**********

THOU SHALT NOT JUDGE. The only reason Eric Mbugua says he will not judge Nairobi “Pastor” Victor Kanyari of the “seed-planting” saga is because this would go against the “sound biblical teaching not to judge others”.

But squarely to blame, Eric adds, are the “innocent sheep” that blindly follow such preachers.

According to him, the only saving grace from the whole episode is that the exposure of Kanyari’s cheating is a “wake-up call to all to delve deeper in the word of God”.

His contact is [email protected]

**********

BLIND FAITH. As debate rages on how some preachers are conning gullible believers out of millions of shillings, Ken Ogare says the people have themselves to blame for allowing the smooth operators to take them for a ride.

One way to tell that a pastor is fake, he advises, is to check how the church’s finances are managed.

“If the pastor solely controls the financial affairs of a church and is the only signatory to the bank account, and no audited accounts are available, there is definitely a problem.”

His contact is [email protected]

Have a suspicious day, won’t you!

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

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

ROGUE COMRADES. A University of Nairobi student is alarmed at the high incidence of muggings and insecurity, especially along State House Road.

The student, who has asked not to be named, fearing being targeted, says he strongly suspects that some of the culprits, who have been laying boulders across the road just after the YMCA turnoff, where motorists who slow down have their windscreens smashed before being robbed, include some of his colleagues.

“They do this after 10pm. Motorists should avoid this road,” he advises.

**********

ROAD TO HELL. The road from the Kisauni police dog section through Kadongo Bar all the way to Mishomoroni Mwisho is the worst in Mombasa County, declares Derek Liech Onyango.

Although numerous modern buildings have come up, the road is covered with potholes.

Past attempts at repair have been a disappointment as the stones and soil poured into the holes later disappear, leaving deeper potholes.

Commuters are paying the price through high matatu fares, moans Derek, whose contact is [email protected]

**********

WHY THE FEE? Safaricom subscriber J. Wanje Karisa says he recently had a balance of Sh3 airtime on his phone and topped up with Sh20 through his M-Pesa account. His total airtime should, therefore, have been Sh23, but to his utter surprise, he claims, Safaricom deducted a transaction fee of Sh5 worth of airtime, leaving him with a balance of Sh18.

“Why deduct Sh5? This is not fair and Safaricom should explain,” demands Karisa, whose contact is Tel. 0629337550 or [email protected]

**********

FADED QUALITY. When Kenya Airways received the first of its several Dreamliners, Prof Maina Muchara recalls, the airline had issued some “Fly our B787 Dreamliner” stickers that looked nice, but which later faded, or rather got “sunburnt”.

As a result, the cars of those supporting the national carrier “are now stuck with ugly patches on their backsides, which raise queries on KQ’s quality policy”.

He asks: “Can KQ recall those fliers from them and clean up its soiled image?”

His contact is [email protected]

**********

NETWORK WOES. Calling Safaricom is Josh Edwards, a resident of the fast-growing suburban township of Ruaka, north-west of Nairobi.

The mobile phone service provider’s network, he moans, is so poor that it is really annoying.

“I can’t even use my Internet modem, having just moved to the place recently from the remote township of Isiolo, where network problems are unheard of”.

He did not expect to get such a low signal in Nairobi, near Quickmart supermarket as one heads towards Limuru.

His contact is [email protected]

**********

ENDAGERED HERITAGE. Joining the “Save-old-Nairobi” campaign is Rufas Watsulu, agreeing with Jim Webo that the proliferation of the tall, ugly glass buildings in the city centre threatens to wipe out the city’s proud legacy.

But Rufas is even more concerned about talk of demolishing the old residential estates in the Eastlands and replacing them with skyscrapers.

“The old houses in Eastlands should only be renovated and left intact or Nairobi may soon wipe out its heritage in the name of modernisation.”

His contact is [email protected]

Have an authentic day, won’t you!

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

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS. Even as he condoles with Zambians following the death of their leader, President Michael Sata, Chris Macoloo says the circumstances painfully bring into focus a “very unfortunate situation in Africa”.

The public health care system, he adds, is in tatters more than 50 years after independence.

“People continue to die of preventable diseases while essential drugs are unavailable in hospitals. But our leaders are rushed to the Western capitals whenever they fall ill!”

His contact is [email protected]

**********

WHAT A LEGACY! Mama Wahu Road at Ngando in Nairobi’s Dagoretti area could just be the biggest ghost project ever in the city, warns Clara Wanjiku.

Following the death of founding President Jomo Kenyatta’s widow, Wahu, in 2007, she recalls, promises to tarmac the road were made, but seven years later, nothing has happened.

A local politician, she adds, came up with the name Mama Wahu Road, but there is just a dusty path with raw sewage discharged into it daily. “Is this how to preserve Wahu’s legacy?”

Her contact is [email protected]

**********

WHERE'S THE WATER? The water companies dotted around the country are doing a lousy job, it seems!

Reacting to a complaint by Sayed Hassan Alhaddad about Nairobi Water Company having not supplied his neighbourhood with the precious commodity for over three weeks, Ivory Dougan says it is not any better in Kwale County.

Kwale Water and Sewerage Company, he adds, has not supplied some properties on Tiwi Beach with water since mid-August, and still counting.

His contact is [email protected]

**********

POLITICAL WARS. When ODM executive director Magerer Lang’at was being unceremoniously ejected from the party’s headquarters in Orange House, Nairobi, Thomas Yebei says he felt pity for him.

However, he found himself thinking about the meaning of the name Magerer in the Kalenjin language, which is “that which cannot be torn”.

The irony, he adds, was to see the marauding MCAs tearing Magerer’s clothes.

“I hope he will patch up his differences with some of his fellow party members,” quips Thomas, whose contact is [email protected]

**********

MEANING OF DEMOCRACY. Is there democracy in the political parties? asks Ruth Gituma, appalled at the intolerance being exhibited by these organisations.

She cites Wiper Party reading the riot act recently to its MCAs and other leaders to toe the line or quit.

“Jubilee has done the same, with veiled threats against members with dissenting views.”

But the trophy, Ruth adds, goes to ODM, whose Nairobi MCAs evicted a top party executive from a meeting at its headquarters. “Or has the meaning of democracy changed?”

Her contact is [email protected]

**********

PRIVATE CLUBS. The political parties in Kenya have failed the true test of democratisation, says Kennedy Butiko, adding that such organisations have done much better in Tanzania.

In Kenya, he adds, the parties are run like “members-only’ clubs or private family business ventures”.

According to him, Tanzania’s ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi “has set a good example for others, even on how to handle succession, an area in which the Kenyan parties have failed miserably”.

His contact is [email protected]

Have a democratic day, won’t you!

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

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

WAVE OF CHANGE. The unprecedented civilian-inspired coup in Burkina Faso that last week dislodged Compaoré after 27 years in power should send a powerful message to other African countries whose leaders have been clinging to power against the popular will, notes Peter C. Kairu.

“Just like before the wave that swept across the Arab countries of Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, the leaders of Uganda, Zimbabwe, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, and Cameroon must watch out.”

His contact is [email protected]

**********

MOST POPULAR? The tyranny of numbers is not only applicable to parliamentary politics, where the majority reign supreme in times of voting, but also in mobile telephony, remarks Thomas Kipruto.

The most dominant mobile phone number, he strongly believes, is Safaricom’s prefix 0722…

He asks: “Who can dispute the fact that this prefix is the most trusted of them all? Nearly all the top corporate sector CEOs, governors, and top professionals have the number 0722…”

His contact is [email protected]

**********

TIME, AGAIN. The fellow who wants to get the most correct time in Kenya should not just rely on TV stations, but should try to synchronise his smart phone with his location so that it can be updated automatically, Michael Rono advises.

Other reliable sources of the most accurate time in the world, he adds, are the websites of some international organisations that indicate the accurate world times for all the major cities and time zones.

His contact is [email protected]

**********

THE REAL PIRATES. Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) inspectors are having a field day extorting heavy bribes under the guise of fighting piracy, remarks James Bulimo.

The most notorious gang, he adds, goes around in a Toyota Probox (registration number withheld) and has been harassing people in the Embakasi area of Nairobi.

The extortionists, he charges, only pretend to be fighting for the artistes, while their real aim is to enrich themselves.

For details, James can be reached through Tel 0739352930 or [email protected]

**********

GROW UP, KENYA! Why would all the sugar factories close for maintenance at the same time every year, causing severe shortages that necessitate imports? asks Wilson Awili.

This, he adds, is hardly the kind of thing one would expect in 2014.

“When will this country ever grow up?” Awili asks, disgusted with reports of hoarding of the commodity and price increases.

“Foreigners reading about these things must either laugh their heads off or shake them in pity.”

His contact is [email protected]

**********

TARGET AUDIENCE. The Trust condom advert on a billboard erected on Maai Mahiu Road, overlooking the Moi Educational Centre in Nairobi South C, is in bad taste, remarks Susan Kahuki.

She takes special exception to the “more pleasure” message, but more importantly, the billboard’s location near the primary school as the pupils are not the target audience.

“This is not good no matter how civilised the society may be deemed to be.”

Her contact is [email protected]

Have an appropriate day, won’t you!

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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

RECOVER THE MONEY. While he has nothing against the government buying land to resettle the people driven from their farms and homes during the post-2007 election violence, Samuel Nyagucha Oresi says the nagging question for him is who now owns what they lost?

He wants the government to take over the land and sell it to recover the taxpayers’ money being used to buy and settle the victims on alternative land.

“The illegal occupants should be identified and prosecuted,” urges Samuel.

His contact is [email protected]

**********

CLEAR UP THE MESS. Though technology is a costly necessity, firms digging up streets and pavements to lay data cables have been quite disappointing, says Fregustus Musyoka.

Across many streets in the central business district, he adds, one finds gaping holes, loose soil, and stones abandoned at the sites.

The restoration of roads and pavements after cables are fixed, he demands, must be done properly or even made better and should not be left to the county government.

His contact is [email protected]

**********

GENUINE MISTAKE. Total Kenya Limited’s dividends for the financial year 2013 were paid into the right bank accounts by EFT on 31 July, corporate affairs manager Maurice K’Anjejo clarifies, in response to complaints by two shareholders.

However, he admits that in printing the dividend warrants, “there was some transposition of data, which resulted in the account details of some shareholders being shifted to others. The error was noted and fresh warrants will now be sent to the affected shareholders by the paying bank.”

His contact is [email protected]

**********

HIDDEN CHARGES? Safaricom’s advertisement that says “Pay by M-Pesa for no charge”, is not exactly true, remarks D’Jivetti Mulaama, of Maasai Mara University.

He adds: “In fact, there is a big charge, just like when you withdraw cash via M-Pesa. I found out the bitter truth when I paid by M-Pesa in a Kisumu supermarket and was charged nearly Sh20 for the transaction, FV750Q964! Safaricom, is this service really free or is there a charge? Why don’t you just tell us the truth?”

His contact is Tel. 0715259208 or email: mulaama_infonet@yahoo.

**********

QUEST FOR JUSTICE. The “arrogance and impunity” some South Sudanese youths display in Nairobi, especially at Hurlingham, Kileleshwa, and Lavington, is sickening, says Elias Makori.

Last Thursday, his car was rammed as he slowed down, while approaching a bump on Riara Road, behind Nakumatt Junction.

“As I got out, a young driver pretended to be pulling over but sped off, almost running me over.”

Elias, who reported the hit-and-run incident at Kilimani Police Station, has vowed to pursue the matter “until I am compensated and the goon punished”.

**********

TESTING BY HAND. Waxing nostalgic about an old test that was administered several decades ago to determine whether or not children were ready to join Standard One, X.N. Iraki recalls that the procedure was to ask the candidates to pass one hand over the head and touch the opposite ear.

“If you touched the ear, then you were ready for Class One.” The test, he believes, was popular because birth records were rare then. “But just how scientific was this test? Is it still in use?”

His contact is [email protected]

Have a tested day, won’t you!

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

NAIROBI FILTH. While wine is said to get better with age, the same does not apply to the City of Nairobi, which is becoming filthier by the day, remarks Sam Siloya.

Besides horrendous traffic jams, the city is full of uncollected garbage and notorious for noisy hawkers and matatus.

“There are many other negative aspects that make Nairobi unworthy of being the capital city. No wonder cases of stress and other ailments among residents are on the rise. Who will save us all?” asks Sam, whose contact is [email protected]

**********

POLICE ATM. There is this nearly permanent police roadblock on Mombasa Road, just before the Machakos turn-off that serves no purpose apart from “being an ATM for the wayward officers”, says Ken Ogare.

The officers, he adds, will accuse a motorist of overlapping or some other flimsy offence and demand money.

“To cover their tracks if you do not have cash, they will force you to withdraw the money from an M-Pesa agent and give it to them. On August 25, at night, I even saw them assaulting some motorists.”

His contact [email protected]

**********

TAXED TO DEATH. The tax slapped on an item she bought online, Shamim M. Ali says, has convinced her that the authorities are taxing Kenyans to death.

She paid Sh3,000 online and on its arrival at the JKIA, Nairobi, her shipping company, Aramex, informed her that the “total Kenya Revenue Authority charges plus handling were a whopping Sh9,000”.

She debated whether to leave it with Customs or “incur the extra, almost triple the cost of buying it”. Shamim, whose contact is [email protected], quips: “I have learnt my lesson.”

**********

ROAD MENACE. Two key roads in the busy Gikomba area of Nairobi are in a terrible mess, moans Raju Shah, appalled at the official neglect that has seen rivulets of sewage flowing freely day and night into Kombo Munyiri and Quarry roads.

The roads, Raju adds, have become almost impassable, what with sections flooded with the murky water that is threatening the livelihoods of many small-scale traders, including food kiosks.

“Can the authorities act on this menace?” he pleads. His contact is [email protected]

**********

FITTING TRIBUTE. Though the burial of scholar Ali Mazrui in his hometown of Mombasa recently finally brought down the curtain on an illustrious international career that spanned several decades, Edward Ndinya’s interest in his works has just been kindled.

And there is no better place to start than with Prof Mazrui’s internationally acclaimed documentary, The Africans: A Triple Heritage, which was screened on the BBC some years back. He asks: “Where can I buy a copy of the epic documentary?” His contact is endinya@yahoo.com.

**********

WHAT'S THE TIME? Who keeps the correct time in Kenya? asks Norman Olembo. On October 26, he switched on KTN to watch the 9pm news, and there was a minute to go.

He tried NTV, “and the signature tune for the start of news came nearly 10 minutes after KTN had started reading their bulletin”.

He asks: “Why the huge difference between the times indicated by the two TV stations? Which one should be relied on? Or should we listen to the BBC and turn our clocks three hours ahead of the GMT?”

His contact is olembonorman@gmail.com.

Have an exact day, won’t you!

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

THE WORST ROAD: Nairobi’s worst road is the stretch of Outering Road at Pipeline Estate in Embakasi, says Susan Wangeci.

For the past two months, she adds, she has gone through agony visiting a friend in the neighbourhood.

“The road has huge potholes and no longer has any tarmac.” Susan is also voting it the dirtiest in the metropolis. “After alighting at Tumaini bus stage, my stomach turns, my nose gets blocked, and I feel really tired and hope someone at my destination will make me smile again.” Her contact is wangeshi54@nokiamail.com.

***********

STOP THIS SILENCE: A key road for the transportation of milk, tea and other farm produce to markets, the Litein-Cheborge-Kibugat road in Bureti sub-county of Kericho is in such a mess that “it makes a cattle track in Baragoi look like a highway”, moans W. Kimariech.

The road, he adds, is almost impassable whenever it rains. “Ironically, it was not among the 2,000 kilometres of roads the government announced would be constructed soon.” Quite worrying, he adds, is the local leaders’ deafening silence.

His contact is wkimariech@gmail.com.

***********

NOT SO GOOD: Safari Boots, once Bata Shoe Company’s flagship product and the most popular brand, are no longer as good as they were some years back, moans Stephen Kambi.

“A day after buying a pair, the sole begins peeling off the leather top.” Accusing the company of “shortchanging its loyal customers”, Stephen wonders whether the shoes are manufactured at the Limuru Bata Shoe Company plant, which was always reputed for quality footwear. “I am about to give up on these shoes,” he warns. His contact is muriokambi@gmail.com.

***********

SHAME OF SORE LOSERS: The fans of the big guns of Kenyan soccer, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards football clubs, should learn to accept that in any game there is either a loser or a winner or the teams share the spoils, remarks Collins Otieno, disgusted at the hooliganism that just refuses to go away.

The behaviour of the Gor fans at Machakos last Sunday, where their team lost 2-3 to Sofapaka FC, he adds, was in bad taste. He is calling for stern action on the fans soiling the game’s reputation. His contact is collotieno40@gmail.com.

***********

DID YOU HEAR THAT, KENYA POWER? Kenya Power “is playing tricks on us”, charges Anne Kimani, from Gatongu Village in Kabazi Location of Nakuru County.

For a fortnight now, they have been in the dark, the transformer serving the area having broken down. On calling customer care, Anne claims, they were assured that the transformer would be replaced, but nothing has happened.

“The technicians they claim to have dispatched have never arrived. The whole village remains in darkness and our businesses are suffering.” Her contact is amydelvis@yahoo.com.

***********

POOR SERVICES: Most public service institutions have become black holes through which funds are being lost, says Mohammed Fazal Hussein. “They are really great in collecting revenue, but the services they offer are limited. Just look around.

There is poor healthcare, bad roads, no signage or lighting on roads, insecurity, huge salaries and allowances, ghost workers, no garbage collection, etc.” These institutions, he adds, must strive to offer better and reliable services to justify their retention.

His contact is mohammed78611021@hotmail.com.

Have a beneficial day, won’t you!

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

SUPPORT OUR SOLDIERS. The Kenyan soldiers battling Al-Shabaab in Somalia deserve the best show of support from the very top, says Barre Shetto.

Since the Kenya Defence Forces crossed into Somalia in pursuit of the militants, conquering territory and the strategic Kismayu Port, he adds, neither the Commander-in-Chief, President Uhuru Kenyatta, nor the Chief of Defence Forces, General Julius Karangi, has visited the troops to give them a morale boost.

“I hope they will do so as the festive season approaches.” His contact is alibarre@hotmail.com.

*********

DO SOMETHING. Can Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and his team do something about the deteriorating security in the central business district, which has lately been invaded by hordes of mean-looking little urchins? urges Joseph Guchu.

On Kimathi Street, he adds, he was stunned to see four street boys clinging to the back of a moving pick-up, with the askaris just watching, “as if that is a normal thing”.

Says Joseph: “It took a lot to bring Nairobi to where it is today. Please don’t let it go back to where it was.” His contact is guchunjoseph@gmail.com.

*********

OBEY THE RULE. The rule requiring matatus to drop off and take on board passengers in designated areas makes plenty of sense, says Nairobi resident Paul Gikundi.

Letting the matatu drivers and conductors decide where to stop and let passengers alight or board, he warns, would create unimaginable chaos, terribly hampering traffic flow, especially through the already congested city centre.

Such discretion, he argues, can only work in a responsible society, “which ours is not”. His contact is paulgikundi@yahoo.com.

*********

TOTAL WORRY. A shareholder with Total Oil Company, Wamahiu Muya, writing from New Jersey, US, has been keenly monitoring the payment of dividends as the companies trading on the Nairobi Securities Exchange announce their results, and is a very worried man.

A notice dated 13 October, he adds, indicates that his dividend was paid into a Bank of India account, although he has none there.

Company secretary John Maonga, he pleads, should recall the notices and ensure that the money is paid into the correct accounts.

His contact is muya@optonline.net.

*********

WHERE DID THE SHARES GO? Also not amused is Nairobi-based Total shareholder JKA, whose CDS account number is 0000000065129/LI-0.

His dividend payment notice indicates that he holds 336 shares, which has left him wondering where some 14 shares went as he has always had 350 shares.

JKA says he has never instructed his broker to sell the shares and was, therefore, expecting the dividend on 350 shares and not 336, “which unfairly denies me a few coins”.

Can this matter be rectified and the balance paid to him immediately? he pleads.

*********

PAINFUL LESSON. To the stinging potent armies of bees and wasps that some people have said they would want to send to attack their enemies and teach them a lesson, Emma Wanjiru Ng’ang’a wishes to add safari ants.

To her, the ants are the most effective for deployment to deal with social misfits.

“The wasps would provide proof of execution of the mission by leaving sting marks on their victims, but the fast ants would certainly help speed up the expected outcome.”

Her contact is emmawanjirugichuhi@gmail.com.

Have speedy day, won’t you!

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

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Cutting Edge

SECURITY LAPSE. Whenever he walks around Nairobi, Jamie Omari says he can hardly suppress his security concerns on noticing a glaring lack of precautionary measures, especially at some of the tall buildings. The worst culprits, he adds, are those that have basement parking lots, “as there is little evidence of a sense of heightened security”. He poses: “Why don’t they have barriers capable of stopping cars, should suicide bombers try to drive into those buildings?” His contact is appexon@gmail.com

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POWER QUERIES. Reading Nema’s Maureen Ratemo’s praise to Kenya Power for introducing prepaid meters, Robert Wanyoike says he was left wondering “what science she used to reach that conclusion”. He adds: “As an engineer, I know prepaid meters are not designed to have any ‘limits’. They are meant to reduce labour costs by eliminating monthly meter readings. They neither limit nor increase the efficiency of energy use.” He also disagrees with the insinuation that “using less energy is something of an achievement”. His contact is Robert.wanyoike@kpc.co.ke

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BATA SHRINKAGE. Every two years since 1985, Kinyanjui Kinuthia says he has been buying a pair of his favourite Safari Boots from any Bata shop and they have always been of high quality and the right size for him. However, two weeks ago, he bought a pair at the Taj Mall Bata shop at Embakasi, Nairobi, and on trying them out found they were too tight. “I spent a harrowing morning in those shoes and I have blisters to prove this, but they won’t take them back ‘because the factory is making shoes smaller – Size 42 instead of 43’.” His contact is paipow1@gmail.com

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KALONZO LIMELIGHT. Could it be a mere coincidence that whenever Cord leader Raila Odinga is out of the country, one his co-principals, Kalonzo Musyoka, seems to suddenly drop out of the national limelight until the former returns home? asks Njora Mucui. When Odinga was in the United States for a three-month tour, Njora recalls, Musyoka was not seen much in public, but returned for the launch of the Okoa Kenya campaign in Nairobi. “So how can these leaders be said to be equal partners in Cord?” His contact is njoramucui@gmail.com.

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MALINDI NOISE. The resort town of Malindi is becoming synonymous with noise pollution, for allowing bars and nightclubs to play “very loud music all night”, even deep in the residential areas, says Salome Msendana. One nightclub in Ngala estate, she adds, begins the noise on Thursday, which gets louder on Fridays and much louder on Saturday, until 6am, denying the residents their sleep, peace and quiet. Salome hopes Nema will hear her cry and immediately take steps to stop the noise. Her contact is salimwi@yahoo.com

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SAVE OLD NAIROBI. As much of the old Nairobi disappears, especially in the city centre, with new tall and ugly glass structures coming up, Jim Webo is pleased that one street is resisting that change — Moi Avenue, which still retains some squat two-storey buildings with corrugated iron roofs. One of his favourites, he adds, is Imperial Chambers, which is “quite welcoming with a little pub”, though the name of the joint dwarfs that of the building. “We need a friends-of-old-Nairobi lobby to make some noise before everything vanishes,” Jim pleads.

Have a magnificent day, won’t you!
E-mail: watchman@ke.nationmedia.com
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

NO NEED TO CRITICISE KDF: Marshalls Kinyanjui remarks that the people joining in with the condemnation of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops, are being unpatriotic.

He rejects Paul Otieno’s reliance on a UN report that accuses KDF of abetting Al-Shabaab smuggle charcoal through Kismayu port.

He says: “This is a disheartening message being sent out to the young Kenyan soldiers and their commanders, who are doing a sterling job fighting Al-Shabaab.”

Kinyanjui’s email address is marshalls.mail.admin@gmail.com.

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FINISH THE FIXING: Anthony Mkindi moans that the repair along Mombasa-Malindi highway, which began in April, has been going on at a snail’s pace, terribly inconveniencing people who regularly travel along the road.

The worst-affected, he says, are residents of Kiembeni, Utange and Bamburi neighbourhoods, who have to contend with rough patches. Mkindi is asking the county government to give an idea as to when the work will be completed.

His email address is anto2013ke@yahoo.com.

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STRICT TIMING: Jambojet regrets the inconvenience suffered by Lilly Koech, who missed a flight from Eldoret to Nairobi. Customer care official Mary Mwangi says the airline’s priority is ensuring needs of customers are met.

Check-in counters, she explains, open two hours before departure. She says: “We are sorry that you checked in at 8 a.m., which was too late. We are very strict to avoid delays. The fee for change of reservation is Sh2,950, plus the Sh2,600 fare difference that you declined.”

Their email address is customer.experience@jambojet.com.

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RESPECT THE LIGHTS: Wayward motorists are making a mockery of the modern traffic lights installed at the roundabout at Westlands shopping centre in Nairobi, Dr Mahendra Adalja remarks.

Drivers, especially those on the highway, he says, continue “to sail through the red lights with impunity”.

For the investment in the lights to make sense, he wants to see traffic police intensify efforts to ensure that the signalling devices are used to streamline traffic flow in the busy suburb.

Dr Adalja’s email address is mahendramedicaf@yahoo.co.uk.

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WASPS VS BEES: The idea of forming a bee force that one can send to attack one’s enemies, Githuku Mungai tells from his experience a young boy, is potent, but it is not the most lethal.

Wasps, he says, would be a more harmful force to unleash against one’s foes.

Mungai explains: “I have been stung by both a bee and a wasp before, and there is simply no comparison. After being attacked by a wasp on the hand, it just turned greenish and I had to visit a doctor.”

His email address is githukumungai@gmail.com.

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WE NEED WATER: Sayed Hasan Alhaddad, a resident of Juja Road Estate in Pangani, is accusing the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company of giving his neighbourhood a raw deal as far as water supply is concerned.

For a good three weeks now, he says, taps in most of households along Hombe Road have remained dry, and the residents’ agony continues, despite them having reported the case numerous times to the city water firm.

Alhaddad can be contacted through 0729407080 and hasan@tripac.biz.

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REASON FOR SCRUFFY CASH: On a recent trip from Nairobi to Garissa, Isaac Gakobo says he saw why Sh50 notes are “mostly dirty and worn out”.

He witnessed about 10 transactions in which the note was used. The worst, according to him, was the bus conductor “who would drop on the road”, though Gakobo does not say what for.

He is, therefore, appealing to the Central Bank to urgently consider issuing a 50 bob coin instead as a solution to the problem.

His email address is gwangosho@gmail.com.

Have a noteworthy day, won’t you!

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

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

SENSELESS RULES. Nairobi City County’s new traffic marshals should stop coming up with unreasonable demands, says Jeff Irungu. In the recent past, “no matatu tout can dare let a passenger alight, especially along the Tom Mboya stretch”. While having designated points to drop off and pick up passengers is fine, Patrick simply cannot understand why people should not be allowed to alight, especially when there is a gridlock. “They would rather one gets late sitting in the jam than alight.” His contact is irungujeff@yahoo.com.

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BEYOND REPAIR. They do not make Bata shoes as good as the ones they used to manufacture at their Limuru factory some years ago, remarks Sam Pirbhai. In June, Sam bought a pair of industrial shoes and noticed a day later that the holes for threading in shoe laces were defective. He returned the pair to the Sarit Centre branch at Westlands, Nairobi, and it was replaced. But a few months’ later, that pair is torn beyond repair. “Industrial shoes are supposed to last at least two years.” His contact is shaisam@hotmail.com.

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PERENNIAL DRY TAPS. A resident of the posh Nyali neighbourhood in Mombasa, Harish Shah, has only one regret: perennial water shortage. His residence on Links Road has not had any tap water for nearly two years, and yet the local water company continues sending estimated bills to him. Worse, he adds, is the sharp rise in bills from Sh611.95 in January to Sh5,523.95. Mombasa Water and Sanitation Company, he charges, does not seem bothered. His account is No, MAJ/77574716211 and his contact, Tel 0733717381.

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WHY THE LEVY? Safaricom subscriber Abdulrahman Ogutu Osemo, writing from Malakisi in western Kenya, makes a serious allegation the firm should shed some light on. He claims that every time he buys airtime through M-Pesa, a shilling worth of his airtime is deducted though there has been no explanation as to whether this is a transaction fee or not. Abdulrahman wants an assurance from Safaricom that “this is not a charge that was meant to go undetected by customers”. His contact is isalezahra@gmail.com.

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HARD WATER. With boreholes being sunk around the country, soap manufacturers should consider introducing a product that works effectively in hard water, urges Willis Aguko. The special hard water soap, he adds, should be sold for use, especially in the remote arid and semi-arid areas, and in other areas where water from boreholes tends to be rather salty. Talking from experience, perhaps, Willis says washing clothes with ordinary soap using hard water is not an easy task. His contact is masira_j@yahoo.com.

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WELL DONE. The more you use electricity, the more you are charged for it, says Maureen Ratemo, an environmental scientist at Nema, praising Kenya Power’s introduction of prepaid meters as a means of promoting the use of green energy. Each prepaid meter, she explains, has a limit. “You will recall that President Kenyatta was recently in New York to attend the UN General Assembly and spoke on the need to reduce our country’s carbon footprint. Kudos, Kenya Power!” Her contact is mkwamboka2001@yahoo.com.

Have a saving day, won’t you!
E-mail: watchman@ke.nationmedia.com
or write to Watchman
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100
Fax 2213946

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

END THIS DARKNESS. The good news about the launch of a new geothermal unit at Olkaria, near Naivasha, to ease the electricity supply shortfall has, ironically, not brought any relief to the residents of the Donholm suburb in Nairob’s Eastlands, says Erastus Macharia. In fact, as if to mock the people, the same day the power generating project was commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta, “the Donholm residents were in the dark, as usual.” He quips: “It is just crazy!” His contact is collections.cm@gmail.com.

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MILITARY DISCTINCTION. The light-coloured boots President Kenyatta wore as part of his uniform as the Commander-in-Chief when he recently officiated at the Kenya Defence Forces’ day, Amos Kiboi explains, have absolutely nothing to do with the Navy, though it is a key segment of the units he leads — the others being the Air Force and the Army. According to Amos, “those were desert combat dress boots”. They are “made from sand-coloured canvas” to protect the wearer from the extreme heat in the desert. His contact is amoskiboi@live.com.

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PAIN AND AGONY. Residents of Valley View and Sheshe Gardens, off Mombasa Road, between Mlolongo and Athi River in Machakos County, are bearing the brunt of the ugly side of the sand business, remarks Reuben Kongo. The only access road to the 450 units, he adds, has been largely covered by mounds of sand on both sides. Their complaints to the county government, he moans, have not yet yielded a response, but with the current rains, water now flows into the two estates. “Who will end our pain and agony?” His contact is reuben.kongo@surgipharm.com.

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ARE WE DIGITAL? Nakuru County may gloat over being the first to initiate a project to provide free Wi-Fi services to the residents, but it is far from the digital administration it purports to be, says Mark Kariuki. “Operations in most of the sections are very analogue,” adds Mark, who had the misfortune of having his car clamped for failing to pay the parking fee. At the county offices, he was given a chit to pay the fine at the bank and take it to the governor’s office for endorsement and take it back to have his car unclamped. His contact is kariukimark@yahoo.com.a

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WHAT A SHAME! Low-cost airline Jambojet may be popular because of its affordable fares, but it needs to up its game, says Lilly Koech. On October 4, Lilly was meant to fly from Eldoret to Nairobi at 8am. She arrived at the airport at 7.09am and was told the flight was full. It left at 7.30am. On asking to be booked on the evening flight, she was told to cough up an extra Sh5,500. She was also not impressed with the attitude of the staff. “What happened to customer satisfaction?” His contact is lillykoech24@gmail.com.

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SPIRITUAL HONOUR. Cartoonist Gado’s presentation of the after-life, in which he had Chinua Achebe and Nelson Mandela welcoming Prof Ali Mazrui on his arrival on the other side, though a befitting honour to the scholar, who died recently, was inaccurate, says Thomas Yebei. The Bible, he adds, says that “when we die we assume a bodily form that is neither young nor old and one that does not age”. The depiction of three old men, Thomas claims, contradicts the teachings of the scriptures. His contact is tomyebei@yahoo.com.

Have a youthful day, won’t you!
E-mail: watchman@ke.nationmedia.com
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The cutting edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

ABETTING TERRORISM. A Kenyan in the United States, Paul Otieno, is alarmed at a UN report that accuses the Kenya Defence Forces of abetting terrorist group Al-Shabaab’s charcoal exports through Kismayu Port. The revenue generated from the illicit trade, he adds, is used to buy assault weapons, grenades, and IEDs and to train and pay the terrorists. “Yes, pay them, for terrorism is not a volunteer activity. The result is dead and maimed Kenyan security personnel and innocent civilians.” His contact is Paul.Otieno@dvn.com.

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WRONG MESSAGE. A new National Council for Population and Development advertisement on family planning may have been well-intended, but could be just stigmatising and humiliating certain professions, remarks Robert Kimutai. The humour injected into the advert, he adds, could easily be seen as encouraging people to laugh at others for their perceived incompetence instead of boosting family planning. It features a couple that tries to justify having many children. His contact is robertkimutai@gmail.com.

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TRAFFIC NIGHMARE. Travelling from Nairobi’s city centre to the Eastlands along Jogoo Road is a nightmare that is not going to end soon, moans Samm Siloya. “The cost in terms of manpower and fuel runs into millions of shillings every day. We should emulate China, as we are now looking East, and create a bicycle lane. This will also help curb the motorcycle menace as Nairobians will be able to ride to and from work. Sometimes the solution is not as difficult as it seems.” His contact is samsiloya@gmail.com.

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SORT THIS OUT, AIRTEL. Airtel customer Wanja Mburugu is frustrated, having lost 8,600 “Zawadi” (customer loyalty) points without any explanation from the management despite her efforts to follow up the matter with customer care section. At some point, she had been assured that once the upgrading of the system was completed, the points would be restored. Nothing happened and she has been engaged in a cat-and-house game since then. “They should give me what is rightfully mine.” Her contact is mburuguwanja@gmail.com.

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GIVES US WATER. What is happening to the water supply to the residents of Joseph Kang’ethe Road in Woodley Estate, Nairobi? asks Natasha Wangui. Whereas other parts of the estate get water, taps in her neighbourhood remain dry and yet bills arrive promptly every month from the Nairobi Water Company. Reminding the water firm of the obvious fact that “water is life”, Natasha is demanding that the water shortage hitch be sorted out immediately. Her account number is 1186257 and her contact, jonyawira@gmail.com.

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NEW WEAPON. Talk of the possibility of someone sending a swarm of bees to attack other people in some parts of Kenya has caught X.N. Iraki’s attention. Says he: “If that is true then the engineers and defence experts should stop wasting their time designing better drones. They should just send the bees, as they can even kill. I would like to meet or get the contact of the bee sender. I have a few enemies I would want to intimidate using bees. What is the rental fee for these insects? Are wasps available, too?

Have a swarming day, won’t you!
E-mail: watchman@ke.nationmedia.com
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

THE STANDARD BRIBE? The mention of a Sh3,000 bribe allegedly demanded by a senior police officer who recently impounded Zulikar Jamal’s pick-up, rings a bell, says Hellen Waikunu, who says she has also been a victim of police harassment in Nairobi and more than once. She adds: “In the past six months, I have been arrested twice, and both times, they asked for a Sh3,000 bribe. It seems as if they have set this as the base bribe price.” If the police bosses are interested in the details, her contact is hwaikunu@gmail.com.

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HAPPY AT LAST. A prominent Nairobi surgeon who flew KLM to London via Amsterdam in July did not get the promised ‘Comfort Seats’, for him and his wife, which he had paid for well in advance. And to add insult to injury, his duty-free alcohol was confiscated at Schiphol Airport, “in an extremely rude manner”. But the doctor is now pleased to report that the airline’s customer care “profusely apologised to him on his return” and refunded the money he had paid for the special seats and also for the duty-free items.

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ITS NOT VANITY. Having the very last word in the debate on the “pricey models” with lights switched on during the day which drive Mathew Mwangi crazy, Paul Otieno says the installation of the daytime running lights on motor vehicles is “about visibility and not vanity”. All the new models of cars, he adds, are fitted with the road safety measure which operates automatically, “but they ought not be so bright as to distract oncoming drivers”. His contact is Paul.Otieno@dvn.com.

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FRUSTRATED. The obscene profits being made from M-Pesa services seem to have gone into the heads of some of the supervisors, claims Andrew Mbugua, particularly upset with those operating in the Ngara area of Nairobi. He says new agents are not being trained and are never issued with banners. Since June, when he opened his agency, he has never been visited by his supervisor who won’t even pick up his calls. “You can imagine the frustration,” yells Andrew, whose contact is andmbugua@yahoo.com.

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ENFORCE AXLE LORD LIMITS. The Transport Ministry must strictly enforce weight controls on the roads, says Diana D’Souza, who is disappointed that “every time there is talk about axle weight limits, a few filthy rich transporters kick up a fuss and the government cows down”. As a result, numerous overloaded trucks continue to literally crawl at 10kph, while wrecking roads. Her contact is diana@encompas.co.ke.

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IT'S A CONTRADICTION. The appointment of Cabinet secretaries had to be endorsed by Parliament after being nominated by the President, notes Andayi Mushenye, who wonders why the same National Assembly should now be barred from summoning them. He adds: “If President Uhuru Kenyatta and his government are now saying the doctrine of separation of powers prevents this, aren’t they violating the same doctrine by telling Parliament who to summon or not to summon?” His contact is mushenye@gmail.com.

Have a logical day, won’t you!

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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Cutting Edge- Monday October 20, 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

STUDY ZANZIBAR: Mombasa County government has to come up with new strategies to improve our public recreation places to win more tourists. The county has been doing the same thing every day; clean up exercises and putting up litter bins which are not really improving anything. They should borrow a leaf from neighbouring Zanzibar. I recently visited the island on holiday and was impressed with their public the recreation place called Forodhani. Tourist were there enjoying the breeze. MCAs should tour the place.
MARY MTAWA, Mombasa

SEPARATION OF POWERS: President Kenyatta recently asked the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to look into some rulings that the courts had made which were bringing about confusion.

However, we need to dig deeper and ask ourselves where the source of the problem is. I think the Senate and Parliament ought to look afresh at the way they have been doing things. The Executive, Parliament and the Judiciary are headed by reasonable people and if each wing does its work guided by reason, everything will be well.

GITHUKU MUNGAI, Nairobi

EXCLUSIVE DAY: Today is Mashujaa Day, the day we celebrate some few people who we believe liberated this country. We say Kenya a sovereign state. But to me and to most Kenyans, there’s nothing to celebrate. Corruption is still rampant and enriches a few. Only the elite is celebrating the day preserved for the them to gather and enjoy what they’ve gathered, collected and robbed. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening. Those celebrating this day are the same people who make us fight every year.

JUSTIN N. NKARANGA, Mombasa

TRIBELESS MAZRUI: One of the greatest scholars in Kenya passed on this week. I have no doubt that anyone who has achieved basic Kenyan education knows Prof Mazrui.

Mazrui has been mourned with Kenyans of all walks of life and all the mourners have had almost the same message! He was an upright thinking human being who existed.

Mazrui comes from Kenyan Coast; a place that is rich in culture and has maintained it to date! I have no doubt that Mazrui respected his culture and that is why in his will he had insisted to be buried in the family graveyard. One this fascinates me! It is not only the Coast people who have mourned Mazrui! He has been mourned by everyone and for the last few days, his death has become a unifying factor! Mazrui didn’t capitalize on his tribe at all. He didn’t seek favours from his tribesmen! This is a great quality that Kenyan scholars and those aspiring to scholars need to pick and pass it to future generations.

Majority of modern intellectuals unlike Mazrui base their arguments on tribe. This can be evidenced from opinionates in newspapers and talk shows in our radio stations and televisions whose panelists are scholars. They argue and base their scholastic researches on tribe! May the good spirit of Mazrui be upon such scholars that they may look at things in a better way regardless of their tribes!

RIP Mazrui. You changed the world!

JULIUS MATEI MOGA, Nakuru

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

TEACHER'S DEMANDS RIDICULOUS. Some of the 37 demands by the teachers’ unions are simply outrageous, says Paul Otieno. What they expect the taxpayers to foot, and, which have flabbergasted him, he adds, include “entertainment, and children’s education allowances”. Others are car and motorcycle mileage claims. “The MCAs, MPs, doctors, university lecturers, civil servants and now, teachers, are treating the Exchequer like their own piggy bank, but do not want to be held accountable for their low standards.” His contact is Paul.Otieno@dvn.com.

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VANITY OF VANITIES. Nothing puts off Mathew Mwangi more than drivers with their headlights on during daytime. This, he says, is another of the peculiar habits of Kenyans, “especially the owners of some pricey models”. He poses: “Of what use is it having headlights or parking lights on during the day? Isn’t this just a way to show off your high-class vehicles or is it meant to warn that a rich fellow is coming through?” According to him, pedestrians might notice the car, but not the person inside, “so this vanity is pointless”.

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POLICE HARASSMENT. Traffic police in Nairobi’s Industrial Area have been harassing motorists, charges Zulikar Jamal. His pick-up was recently detained by a senior officer who claimed its body “was too high”, and yet this is determined by the Motor Vehicle Inspection Unit using two formulas — 1.5 times the wheelbase or 100cm from the cabin being the highest point. His is five centimetres shorter than the limit, but the “super cop could measure it with his naked eyes and demand a Sh3,000 bribe”. For the details, his contact is zuljamal1@yahoo.com.

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MILITARY ATTIRE IMPRESSIVE. The military attire President Kenyatta has lately taken a liking for makes him look “regal, standing right, as he salutes” his juniors as the Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, remarks Jasper Ouma. However, Jasper is not convinced that the white boots he seems to prefer are part of the uniform. To him, the President seems to be making a fashion statement that is not in tandem with the rest of the military outfit. His contact is jasper@dms-train.com.

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EXPLAIN THIS, CBK. A trader at Embakasi, Nairobi, Daniel W. Mwangi, has noted “something peculiar” in the currency notes he has been handling, and which he hopes the Central Bank of Kenya will shed light on. In the past couple of weeks, most of the notes he has received turned out to have been printed on the same date. The Sh50 and Sh1,000 notes, for instance, were printed on July 16, 2010. “Does the Central Bank send notes from the same batch to specific regions?” His contact is Tel 0723568221.

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CALLING GOOD SAMARITAN. Kudos from D. Ndonga to the woman in a black Toyota Voxy van, who picked him up from the tarmac on Kiambu Road after he suffered an asthmatic attack and ensured he got treatment “in the nick of time”. Though he was “unable to stand, walk or talk, she courageously” carried him to her van and sped off to Karura Dispensary where he was quickly attended to. Says he: “Don’t be cheated. We still have some gallant and selfless Kenyans in our midst.” Ndonga, whose contact is ndongad@yahoo.com, hopes to hear from her soon.

Have a caring day, won’t you!

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

HE'S A CLEAN BROOM. There is light at the end of the tunnel since the arrival of new Immigration boss Gordon Kihalangwa, says Sharmi Balla, adding: “I think he is not taking any nonsense from anyone.”

On the issuing of only 1,000 work permits in a week, she believes it is not due to a go-slow but “so that every application is checked to ascertain whether there is no Kenyan who can do the job for which one is being sought”.

The retired Maj-General is, according to her, “the right person to clean up the department”.

Her contact is sharmi@soulonfire.org.

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JUBILEE FANS PATRIOTIC. Though the Jubilee administration has not lived up to expectations especially on the sharing out of top government positions, George Mburu says the conduct of their supporters has been exemplary.

“At Jubilee rallies, the fans carry the National Flag, unlike their Cord counterparts who often display American flags at their meetings.” George has never understood what message this is intended to convey.

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AVENUE FOR GRAFT. Transport Principal Secretary Nduva Muli’s suggestion that the owners of private cars must take them for annual inspections starting from next year does not make sense, says Geoffrey Makau, adding that he should have begun by giving “data on how the inspection of commercial vehicles has reduced the carnage on our roads”.

This move, he adds, will only open more avenues for corruption, and he is accusing the Jubilee leadership of needlessly implementing punitive measures “against wananchi in these difficult economic times”.

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ASKARIS CHEATING. Nairobi City County’s cashless system for paying parking fees is being hampered by some staff, proving just how true the adage that “old habits die hard” is, says Kamichore Mutindira.

Parking attendants, he claims, are circumventing the electronic system to collect cash. He hopes Governor Evans Kidero will put his foot down to stop the habit, “which negates the purpose of the online payment”.

He poses: “Why are the staff so keen to collect cash while garbage chokes the city centre?”

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SPEED LIMITS INANE. The criticism of the unrealistic 50kph speed limit on some roads in Nairobi is valid, says Quince Viraj.

Agreeing with columnist Macharia Gaitho that the speed limits do not “make sense in this day and age”, Quince says that on October 13, he witnessed on Mombasa Road, police flagging down motorists for allegedly exceeding the 50kph speed limit.

The result was a traffic tailback for several kilometres. “Imagine the delay! For God’s sake, let us stop this insanity.”

His contact is quinceviraj@yahoo.com.

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PUT UP PROPER SIGNS. Section 42 (3) of the Traffic Act, Dr M. K. Adalja says, makes it mandatory to erect speed limit signs on roads.

He cannot help faulting traffic police and National Transport Safety Authority officials who have been arresting motorists for exceeding speed limits in the absence of such signs, which he terms illegal.

“Motoring organisations, like the Automobile Association, should take them to court for the unlawful prosecution of motorists,” he pleads.

His contact is mahendramedicaf@yahoo.co.uk.

Have a lawful day, won’t you!

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

LET INSURERS DECIDE. The planned annual inspection of private cars announced by Transport Principal Secretary Nduva Muli is not possible, says George Mzera. According to him, “this will only promote corruption as certificates will be bought left, right and centre”. The inspection of matatus and other commercial vehicles, he adds, “has never had the desired effect and only benefits the garages”. This task should be left to insurance companies to determine which vehicles to cover.

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OVERCHARGED ON PREPAID. What Kenya Power says in its ads on the billing of consumers with prepaid meters and the reality on the ground are starkly different, says Peter Karuri. On September 1, he got only 78.4 units for a Sh1,500 purchase, and yet he had expected some 84.6 units, according to their calculations for September, as indicated in their advertisement. He is still convinced that pre-paid meter consumers are overcharged and wants statements issued. His contact is petermkaruri@gmail.com.

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WHY THE ESTIMATES? On August 30, Joshua Angugo Simbowo received a text message in which Kenya Power advised it would be sending electricity bills by SMS or email. On September 2, he got a message informing him that his bill was Sh540, with the current reading being 0, the previous reading 0, and consumption 17kw, amount 55. Though he paid the bill, he adds, he was disappointed to note that this was an estimate. On October 3, he got another SMS saying his bill was Sh296.56. His account is No. 3010488-01 and his contact, Tel. 0733795794.

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

MORAL DECADENCE. The recent self-audit in which the IEBC admitted that there were “incurably numerous malfunctions of machines” and suspect behaviour by some commissioners and staff in last year’s General Election, says James Ossome, disproves the claim that the Jubilee coalition “won fair and square”. He adds: “The tyranny of numbers was, in fact, a tyranny of fraud and moral decadence. But bravo to Kenyans for accepting the flawed results and moving on to avoid the chaos witnessed in other countries!”

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

SLEEPING IN THE BUSH. The people of Matiandui Village in Kangeta Location of Meru County have taken to sleeping in the bush to avoid being attacked by robbers, says Jackson Ngera. But whenever police officers at Maua Police Station are called, their standard response is that say they don’t have a vehicle. The Administration Police at Kangeta market “are either of no use as they also don’t respond to distress calls or their phones are switched off”. Can Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo bail us out?” His contact is ngerajackson@gmail.com.

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

NOW WE FEEL SAFE. But in Nyeri County, Kimani Mburu is full of praise for the police officers who rush to assist those in danger on receiving a distress call. On September 13, he and his family were attacked at their home by gun-toting gangsters. Neighbours noticed the family was under siege and called Nyeri Police Station. “The response was swift and well-coordinated. The police took about 10 minutes to arrive, but the raiders had sensed danger and vanished. Kudos to the officers. I feel safe with them around here.” His contact is gigo2002m@yahoo.com.

Have an impressive day, won’t you!

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Cutting Edge -

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

WHY DOES RIVER TURN GREEN? Can Nema explain why Riara River in Kiambu County sometimes turns green? asks Mathew Kibe. The people who live near the river banks suspect there is something fishy going on. But they are even more worried that children, who often play in the river on the way to school, could be exposing themselves to grave risks. Also threatened are livestock. The river, he suspects, is one of the most polluted in the area.

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

STRANGE OBSESSION. Kenyans’ obsession with the cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto is dominating discussions on social media, says Samm Siloya, adding that even the news coverage is also mostly about the two national leaders accused of crimes against humanity. But the hype, he adds, is at the expense of other matters of great importance, such as the Ebola threat, and the implications of a possible outbreak in Kenya.

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

SWINDLERS AT LARGE. Beware the smartly dressed con woman who works in cahoots with some men in Nakuru’s town centre, warns MH, whose acquaintance lost a cool Sh200,000. The group operates along Kenyatta Avenue and will often be seen plotting their moves at the Westside Mall’s parking. “The woman will approach a stranger, pretending to know them. A man will then appear and ask for directions. In the meantime, the target will begin to feel dizzy and faint as the thieves make away with the victim’s belongings.

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

. . . AND STREET FAMILIES, TOO. In Nairobi, there is a group of between 10 and 20 street boys, nay, nasty men, who have been robbing pedestrians in the city centre in broad daylight, reports Leo Kiplangat. They always move in mobs and mostly target women. On October 8, the gang terrorised pedestrians on Kenyatta Avenue. As county askaris seem unable to deal with menace, Leo wants Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo to intervene and arrest the robbers.

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

SWEET LEGAL TENDER. In 2012, the Central Bank of Kenya stopped the issuance of sweets in lieu of change in supermarkets, confirming that there were enough coins in circulation, recalls Moses Gathara. He says the motive in the continuation of the sweets-for-change ploy by supermarkets can only be to maximise their sales. “Giving customers sweets at the selling price is technically a sale, too. “If the sweets are now legal tender, can I also give them some when I am short of loose change?”

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

ANOTHER PECULIAR HABIT. To the growing list of the peculiar habits of Kenyans, Churchill Amatha wishes to add the use of lifts. “Some people will see you approaching a lift, which is not full. They won’t bother to wait for a minute. Do they want you to scream that they halt, run and put your hand/leg in the door, or dive for the switch for it not to leave you? Why not wait for others to embark. You don’t break a bone by sharing the facility instead of having it return to ground to pick up one person.”

Have a selfless day, won’t you!

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

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Cutting Edge

IDLE CROWDS ALARMING. As the dust settles on the massive welcome accorded to President Kenyatta by his supporters on his return from the ICC in The Hague, William Kamau, says the mere presence of such crowds should alarm the leaders. He adds: “The ruling class should be worried when they see large crowds of young people turning up for their homecoming rallies especially on a week day.” According to him, “this is a warning of disaster-in-waiting and looming conflict between the haves and have-nots”.

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

POLITICIANS NEVER LOSE. A most disturbing trend today, Devere Mwangi moans, is the reluctance by politicians to concede defeat in elections and much more. “No politician ever lost an election; they are all rigged out. No politician has ever died of a natural death; they are all killed. No politician had ever accepted he was in the wrong; it’s his rivals’ work. Any evidence against a politician is always hearsay even where he is captured on camera live preaching hate speech. The politician will always have his way.

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

UNFAIR NAME CHOICE. At the junction of Jogoo and Rabai roads in Nairobi’s Eastlands, Naivasha Supermarket has enhanced its presence, but Shisanya Majanja is not entirely happy. His grouse is with the naming of the supermarket that has sprung up at the site that used to be occupied by jua kali artisans and petty traders, who were squatting on a church’s land. Says he: “It has been named Naivas Buru Buru and yet it is smack in Makadara. Of course, it is human nature that we associate more with affluence!” His contact is trackers05@yahoo.com.

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

WRONG NAME. Also on matters of names, Jim Webo wonders why the owner of a funeral home would choose the name, Precious Funeral Services. He says he could not suppress a chuckle on Mombasa Road, Nairobi, the other day, when he saw the word Precious emblazoned in the side of a funeral van. “What is so precious about death, when it is all about mourning the loss of a loved one? Couldn’t they have chosen a name that consoles the bereaved, such as, ‘In the hands of God Funeral Home’, perhaps,” he asks.

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

POLICE ROTTEN. For several hours last week, John Kimani claims, he was locked up in the cells at a police station in Nairobi’s Eastlands on trumped-up charges after refusing to pay a bribe. But what disturbed him most, John adds, was the number of young boys “who had been arrested for no reason”. They were only released after their parents coughed up between Sh1,500 and Sh2,000. Also in the police station, John claims, the officers indulge in excessive drinking. His contact is j_kimani@yahoo.com.

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

NGUGI IGNORED AGAIN. Having waited with bated breath for the announcement of the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Shisanya Majanja is still smarting with disappointment as he had hoped novelist Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s turn had finally come. This, he had thought, would bring to two the number of Kenyan Nobel laurettes, including Prof Wangari Maathai. But he has not entirely lost hope. Shisanya says retired marathon star Tegla Loroupe is a future prospect for her peace efforts among the communities on the Kenya-Uganda border.

Have a hopeful day, won’t you!

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

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

NOTHING REMARKABLE: There was nothing “unprecedented, unthinkable or historical” about President Uhuru Kenyatta handing over power to his deputy William Ruto as he left for The Hague, Joseph Orina says.

He cites an example of American President Ronald Reagan, who handed over to Vice-President George H Bush before undergoing surgery.

“South African President Nelson Mandela also appointed opposition leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi,” states Orina. “Kenya did not invent the wheel.”

His email address is jorina5591@yahoo.com.

**********

BE SERIOUS, LENKU: W Kirui is surprised Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku asked Nairobi residents to turn up “in large numbers” to welcome President Uhuru Kenyatta on his return from The Hague last Thursday.

“It is ironical as the man in charge of security should know that large gatherings are fodder for terrorists,” he opines. “Secondly, he is breaching the spirit of the Constitution by joining the political league. Partisan CSs should quit their jobs and join politics.”

Kirui’s email address is ngetichrui2006@yahoo.com.

**********

WHAT ABOUT THE ECONOMY?: Business persons along Mombasa Road, Nairobi, must be counting massive losses.

This is because of the unprecedented, hours-long traffic jam that was witnessed as early as 8 a.m. as President Uhuru Kenyatta made his way from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to his Harambee House office on his return from The Hague, Ruth Gituma says.

She poses: “Do the organisers of such processions ever care about the economy?”

Her email address is ruthmuhiuha@yahoo.com.

**********

FOLLOW THE LAW: There is a law governing acquisition of private property for public benefit, which should be strictly followed in dealing with privately-owned houses holding up completion of the Lang’ata Road expansion project, Gitau Gikonyo advises.

He says it is not owners of the houses who are blocking the project, “but the Treasury and the National Land Commission for failing to pay the agreed compensation”.

“How would Jane Koi feel if her own house were demolished without compensation?” Gikonyo asks.

His email address is gikonyo@gitauadvocates.com.

**********

FORGOTTEN BACKWATER: Kawangware is a glaring example of Nairobi City County’s ineffectiveness, Thomas Yebei says. The place, he explains, has no sewer system. So raw sewage flows along most roads and heaps of garbage are strewn all over.

“The main road resembles the lunar surface, with deep gulleys,” he states. “Street lighting is non-existent, matatus and buses obey no traffic rules and traffic jams are endemic… Kawangware is a forgotten backwater.”

Yebei’s e-mail address is tomyebei@yahoo.com.

**********

FULL OF PRAISE: Mombasa resident Derek Onyango Liech is elated about the “first-class service” he received at the Registrar of Persons office at the former Bima Tower building on the island.

He went there to apply for a replacement of his old national identity card. “To my utter surprise, the whole process, from filling the forms to taking the photo, was done in less than 10 minutes,” he says.

“A lot has changed, thanks to the faster and more efficient workers!” Onyango’s email address is derrickony@yahoo.com.

**********

BEWARE OF THIEVES: There is a gang operating along Mombasa Road, Nairobi, that pounces on people as they come out of banks and snatches the money they have withdrawn, warns Peter Ochungo.

He says that its members, who often ride in a white car, have been quite active on Airport North Road in Embakasi.

“It seems to have a network that alerts them about those who have made large withdrawals,” he states.

Ochungo says he was targeted after he had just withdrawn money but escaped by God’s grace.

His email address is otioch99@yahoo.com.

Have an alert day, won’t you!

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

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

WORKING NATION? About 100 MPs and some government officials accompanying President Uhuru Kenyatta to The Hague for the status conference on his case in the ICC hardly portrays the picture of the so-called “working nation” Kenyans say they are, remarks Mohammed Fazal.

These leaders, he adds, should be devoting their energies to building “a better Kenya for tomorrow”.

He poses: “Or are they implying that nation building is only for the common mwananchi?”

His contact is mohammed78611021@hotmail.com.

**********

CART BEFORE HORSE. Declaring that he is not a lawyer and has no intention of ever becoming one, Isaac Ngure says the manner in which the ICC has handled the case against President Kenyatta is a shame!

The proceedings have left him wondering who was supposed to investigate the case, as the prosecutor keeps on asking for evidence from the Kenya Government.

“It’s strange that they have a suspect and are now looking for evidence, instead of getting evidence and looking for the suspect.” His contact is isaac.ngure7@gmail.com.

**********

CITY IN A MESS. The leadership of Nairobi City County deserves an E on Sue Mcphee’s scorecard.

Says she: “I am writing to detail my dissatisfaction with the way the city is being run. On almost a daily basis, we are forced to deal with faeces-throwing parking boys, side mirror thieves at the Westlands roundabout, daily robberies, garbage heaps, traffic jams… the list is endless. May I remind Governor Evans Kidero that he pledged to solve all these issues?”

Her contact is suemc_phee@yahoo.com.

**********

TRAFFIC PAIN. Residents of Nairobi’s Imara Daima neighbourhood have never had it so rough, having to contend daily with a traffic nightmare that has persisted since their road was dug up to lay cables and mounds of soil left a month ago, moans Michelle Wanjiku.

Motorists, she adds, are forced to slow down on the stretch all the way to Riara Springs School.

A short distance of three minutes to the main road by car, now takes over 30 minutes. “Can the county government come to our rescue?” she pleads.

**********

YES, ARM MCAS. Definitely tongue-in-cheek or isn’t it? Frank Laurence says it would have been a good idea to let the members of county assemblies have all the guns they have been clamouring for, a request that has been vehemently rejected by many, who have warned that it would lead to unimaginable mayhem.

Frank adds: “I am in agreement that the MCAs should have guns. After watching the recent Makueni fiasco, I think they will save us the problem of having to eliminate them.”

His contact is feal60some@yahoo.co.uk.

Have a calculated day, won’t you!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

POWER CHATGES TOO HIGH. The closure of manufacturing companies and other divestitures are happening because the cost doing business in Kenya is too high, remarks Churchill Amatha. And the answer to the query on what Egypt is doing right that Kenya is not, he explains, has to do with the cost of electricity. “Electricity is so expensive that it accounts for up to 40 per cent of business costs. Reduce these costs and companies will be rushing back. Others are cheap counterfeits because of porous borders and business unfriendly laws.” His contact is amatha@hotmail.co.uk.

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

VENDORS CHEATING. Distributing a free daily newspaper is not easy, says George Mburu, adding that it is prone to cheating by some vendors who will collude with some people to ensure they gain something from it. “The vendors have created their own clientele from whom they sometimes get tips. Also, some readers will collect more papers from several vendors just because they are free.” The solution, according to George, is “to charge a minimal price to curb this”. His contact is mburugm@yahoo.com.

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

WASTE OF MONEY. Even after loads of money was spent installing new traffic lights and cameras in Nairobi’s city centre and surrounding areas, Willis Aguko is disappointed that they are rarely ever in use and wonders why. In most cases, he adds, traffic police are always at road junctions controlling vehicles. “Does this mean that the lights are unreliable or just ineffective? And how come nobody has ever been prosecuted having been caught on camera flouting a traffic rule?” His contact is masira_j@yahoo.com.

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

CHARGE UNREASONABLE. Charging passengers a fee on disembarking from ships, including cruise liners, at Mombasa Port is an economically flawed decision, says R. Hood, writing from Nottingham in the UK. “This charge is detrimental to the economy as the passengers could choose to go elsewhere denying Mombasa the revenue.” And his guess is that such visitors will instead opt to go to Dar es Salaam. “No other country in the world charges passengers as they disembark at a port,” adds Hood.

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

MOST TOUCHING. Watching QTV’s evening news at his home in Elburgon, Nakuru County, W. Kirui says, there is always “a very touching item on people suffering from strange ailments” who urgently need financial assistance. Kirui, who is grateful to the station for this useful service to the community, wishes more could be done to assist these people. One way, he suggests, is to set up a fund to which “viewers can, in their own small ways, contribute to help these helpless people”.

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MAKE IT AFFORDABLE. The fellow who dismissed the increase of the cost of a marriage certificate from Sh200 to Sh500 as a small thing that Kenyans shouldn’t whine about needs to attach more meaning to numbers, says Silas Nyambok. “This represents a 150 per cent price increase which cannot be justified, or the Registrar of Marriages has adopted the Nairobi matatu-style inflation where fares rise more than twofold after it rains.” Also, he declares, such basic government services should be affordable to all.

Have an affordable day, won’t you!

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Cutting edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

STOP THIS GANGSTER. A young man on a motorbike has become a terror to residents of Buru Buru Phase 4 estate in the Eastlands, whom he robs and speeds off, reports Lucy Wanjiru. He has been spotted sometimes alone or carrying a passenger before he strikes, mostly snatching women’s handbags. He has been particularly active in the past three weeks, with the last incident having occurred on Monday, at 9.20pm. Lucy wants the Buru Buru Police Division to stop the thief to end his victims’ agony.

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WE MUST TALK. This is an encounter veteran broadcaster Ngulamu Mwaviro will not forget soon. On Monday evening, a young man’s car, which had stalled and was being pushed, hit Ngulamu’s car bumper right in front of a police officer at the Globe Cinema roundabout in Nairobi. He agreed to have the damage repaired, but once the car was jump-started, he zoomed off “even with the mechanics’ tools”. Unfortunately for him, his national ID was left in Ngulamu’s hands. “I am calling him to have this matter amicably solved.” His contact is ngulamu@yahoo.com.

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

EMPTY THE DUSTBIN. There is a big dustbin outside the Hurlingham Medical Centre, near the Total matatu stage, which has been overflowing with refuse, turning the whole place into a stinking mess, says Joan Nyambura. While it’s the city county government’s duty to collect litter, Joan can’t understand why shopkeepers and others who throw their rubbish into the bin cannot find a way of emptying it. “It is an unpleasant sight that is not good for business.”

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WHY YOU WERE DISCONNECTED. Nairobi Water Company, responding to Dorcas Khasowa’s claim that her water supply was disconnected despite having paid her bill by M-Pesa, says the account in Marron Kaguni Wanjiku’s name had an outstanding debt of Sh2,108.51 as of September 9. The two payments made on September 10 and 29, of Sh350 each, left a debit of Sh1,409.51, hence the disconnection, says corporate affairs co-ordinator James Karanga. However, the balance was cleared on October 4 and supply restored on October 7.

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

POWER WHEN I DIE? Basil Lewela’s father, who is now 73, is a worried man. Having paid Sh35,000 at Kenya Power’s Voi office for electricity connection, he was later slapped with a revised quotation of Sh299,000 and now fears he might not live long enough to see the light in his home, as some people he knows also passed on after waiting in vain for years. “It is a trend now that one dies and the family gets connected, and yet we should be enjoying our sunset years.” The reference number is E22412013100084 and his contact, lewelab@gmail.com.

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

ITS A SAGACIOUS DECISION. The decision by President Kenyatta to hand over power to Deputy President William Ruto so that he could go to The Hague for the status conference on his case is “unprecedented, unthinkable and historical”, remarks Asoka Itur. And not about to run out of adjectives to describe the power swap in which Ruto became the acting President, he adds: “It is selfless, courageous and truly patriotic.” According to him, “history will judge him well and I am proud of this act”.

Have an unprecedented day, won’t you!

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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

UNITED IN SYCOPHANCY. Many MPs are united in “abject sycophancy in the name of solidarity with President Uhuru Kenyatta”, over his trip to The Hague for the Status Conference, says Onyango Alare.

He is appalled that a lot of money will be spent on the travel and accommodation of scores of these politicians who will be accompanying the President.

“The pay for the days they will be at The Hague should be deducted as they will be doing what they not elected to do.”

**********

HELPING BENT COPS. The stalling of judicial reforms to speed up delivery of justice is a boon to corrupt police, says Mulwa Sadat, arguing that many people would rather pay bribes to avoid arrest.

“A policeman will arrest you on trumped-up charges knowing that the magistrate has limited time and won’t attend to many people. Many innocent people plead guilty so they can pay fines and earn their freedom, because if locked up, they could end up being sent to remand cells from where it won’t be easy being rescued.”

His contact is mulwasadat@hotmail.com.

**********

THEY ARE EXTORTERS. National Transport Safety Authority personnel on the Thika Superhighway are a confused lot, says Kariuki Casmir.

Whereas there are road signs indicating speed limits of 80kph and 100kph, he adds, the NTSA officials have been pouncing on motorists, accusing them of driving at more than 50kph and having them slapped with heavy fines.

“This is way a way of extorting money from the public. They should bring down those signs and erect 50kph ones.”

His contact is casmirkariuki@gmail.com.

**********

NDUVA’S DRAMA. The report about Transport Principal Secretary Nduva’s vehicle being flagged down by traffic police and his driver accused of speeding is too good to be true, says Zoeb Tayebjee.

“I think the whole episode was a well-managed drama to calm down motorists who have been complaining of harassment on some roads for driving at more than 50kph. VIPs’ cars are always driven fast, sometimes on the wrong side of the road without any fear of arrest.”

His contact is zoeb-tayebjee@topseltrading.com.

**********

TREATED VERY BADLY. Can Kenya Power go to the rescue of 13 residents of Nkorrompoi in Kitengela, Kajiado County, whose dream of getting electricity has yet to be realised five months since they applied?

Joseph M. Mucheru says they sent in a joint application under the “Umeme Pamoja” scheme on the advice of an employee of the power utility.

“To date, the Kitengela office of Kenya Power feeds us cock-and-bull stories, yet the nearest transformer to our houses is 200 metres away.”

His contact is joe@tvkenya.net.

**********

EXERCISE KEY TO HEALTH. Every job should require at least 30 per cent physical activity as a health measure, proposes Mathew Mwangi, adding: “It is evident that long hours sitting in the office is the cause of lifestyle diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart illnesses.”

All companies should be required by law to ensure their employees take regular exercise at work. “Our ancestors engaged in physical activity most of the time and didn’t suffer such diseases. The modern workplace needs serious reforms.”

Have a healthy day, won’t you!

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

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

NO GUNS FOR MCAS. The recent confrontations between politicians in Makueni, Machakos, Kisii and Kisumu counties are enough confirmation that MCAs’ demand for guns should never be entertained, says Vincent Mariita.

Granting them their wish, he adds, would be “a dangerous blunder”. Also considering their vast numbers, dishing out so many firearms would be a big headache for Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo and officers to maintain law and order.

His contact is mariitav@yahoo.com.

**********

STAGE-MANAGED. The arrest of Transport Principal Secretary Nduva Muli’s driver for speeding near Utalii Hotel on the Thika Superhighway in Nairobi is hardly convincing, says David Ng’ang’a.

According to him, the incident could have been stage-managed to show just how effectively the National Transport and Safety Authority under his ministry is doing its work.

“I stand to be corrected, but the PS looked more than ready and prepared to issue a press statement on the matter.”

His contact is accounts@tamimiea.com.

**********

SCARED BY 'PORTERS'. Following his recent encounter with two men purporting to be porters at the JKIA’s Terminal 1 C, Alfonso Gribaldi wonders how such suspicious people are able to operate so freely and within full view of police.

He says he declined their offer of assistance and they tried to grab his luggage and load it onto their trollies, but the officers, who could see what was going on, did not intervene.

“When I raised my voice, they moved on to their next potential victim, leaving me badly shaken.”

His contact is alfgribaldi@yahoo.com.

**********

REMARK STUPID. A clergyman’s remark at a school prayer day in Murang’a County that he was “really happy” when former Prime Minister Raila Odinga was whipped at a Cord referendum rally in Kwale has saddened Fredrick Okaka, who says it is tantamount to teaching negative values to youth.

“Did he stop to think about what he was telling the young? That it is okay to hate and even rejoice when someone you do not like is humiliated. What if one of the students was a relative of the former Prime Minister’s?”

Okaka’s contact is fredrickokaka@yahoo.com.

**********

NO WATER AT TIWI. Since August, the people of Tiwi in Kwale County, have not had any water in their taps and before then, the supply was “very irregular”, moans a local resident.

Calls to the Kwale Water Board, he says, have only yielded promises and nothing much. But he has dug deeper and found out that the water shortage has something to do with failure to pay electricity bills for the pumping stations.

“We depend on tourism and need water for our visitors. Can the authorities look into this?” he pleads.

**********

UNDER-PERFORMING. The Tourism Strategy for 2013-2018, Donald Oluoch says, portrays a complete lack of vision by the people expected to help boost earnings in the sector.

“There is no drive to improve or open new tourist attractions. The same old offerings will not give us the targeted three million visitors.”

Donald thinks Kenya can get six million visitors a year, as it has “better natural attractions than, say, France, which received 84.7 million visitors last year, and Israel’s 3.5 million visitors”.

The ministry, he adds, can do better. His contact is donaldoluoch5@gmail.com.

Have an attractive day, won’t you!

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

Sunday, October 5, 2014

AG, clergy, marriage, kenya power,

CHEATED BY BUTCHERS. Do the weights and measures officials still conduct impromptu inspections to ensure the calibrations are not tampered with? Hilda Njuki doesn’t think so and is warning consumers to beware, particularly of butchery weighing scales. Recently, Hilda bought 2kg of tilapia fillet at the City Market, Nairobi, but became suspicious after paying for it. She, therefore, went to another shop and had the fish weighed on an electronic scale and it was only 1.4kg. “Can the authorities stop these cheats?”

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

IN THE DARK. Residents of Manoni in Mombasa’s Mtopanga area are concerned about intermittent power outages and insufficient or excess voltage in recent days. Josephine Jidel says they have religiously reported the matter to Kenya Power but help has not been forthcoming. “I am sorry to say we are not getting value for the money we pay to the firm. How do I get compensated for the stress and expenses incurred? Please find a lasting solution to these problems.” Her account number is 2278895-01 .

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

PUNISH CROOKS. Kenya Power will definitely be keen to immediately get to the bottom of this one. A resident of Chuka Town in Meru County, Ephanuel Njagi, says he is “very distressed” after receiving a call requiring him to pay Sh3,000 so that his application for power connection could be speeded up. He hopes the power distributor will crack down on employees whose palms must be greased for them to do a job. The reference is No E25222014090117. For the details, his contact is ephagit@yahoo.com.

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

CLERICAL EXCESS. News that some clergymen are up in arms over a decision by the Attorney-General’s office to increase the price of a marriage certificate from Sh200 to Sh500 is hardly surprising, says W. Mwaura. In the peculiar way of Kenyans, he adds, they will complain about such a small increment, but will “bombard everyone with invitations to pre-wedding parties where they are expected to donate generously”. What churches charge for a wedding, he claims, is also much higher.

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

IRRITATED BY WATER FIRM. Begging to differ with those who have been heaping praise on Nairobi Water Company lately, Dorcas Khasowa says she is a frustrated customer. Twice in one month, she adds, the firm disconnected her water supply, on September 8 and 29, despite having paid her bills through M-Pesa. The transaction numbers were FQ08PB142 & FS44ZQ455, which a company employee would not even agree to look at. Her meter account number is 1524454. Her contact is Tel 0722858215.

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

SOCIAL SUPPORT. The story of a homeless Kenyan in the United States who is seeking help to return home confirms that all that glitters is not gold, says X N Iraki. According to him, the US, Canada and other developed countries are “great places to live in as long as you are young and energetic”. However, “they are very expensive places to age in”. Nursing homes, he explains, are just as expensive as paying one’s rent. “We should stop taking for granted our social support system where children take care of their old parents.” His contact is xniraki@gmail.com.

Have a golden day, won’t you!

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

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

STOP THE NEGATIVITY: Kenya’s new status as a middle-income country is good news that some analysts have been too negative about, Fredrick Mukabi states.

He is disappointed that instead of celebrating the landmark achievement, the critics have been using every opportunity to remind Kenyans about economic problems.

Fredrick says: “Can’t we be optimistic for once and highlight the positives, such as the improved regional and global standing, and better trade concessions? I think we are too pessimistic”.

His email address is fredrick.mukabi@ksg.ac.ke.

**********

FREE PAPER INDEED: Kimani Njoroge asks how free free newspapers are.

He states their distributors only target people who can afford them.

“Try walking in the morning and request for a copy from one of the vendors and see the scowl with which they will look at you to ensure that you won’t gather the courage to ask for it again,” he says.

Kimani is convinced that “you only qualify for the free copy if you drive a car”.

He wonders if they should just be sold at lower prices.

His email address is kimaninjoroge26@yahoo.com.

**********

CURIOUS ABOUT DARKNESS: Jimmy Ndirangu recalls that when he was in school, he learnt in science classes that light travels in a straight line.

He also learnt about things like “refraction, its speed and all that”.

He had hoped to gain knowledge about characteristics of darkness, but that was never to be, “yet darkness covers half of our lives, puts us to sleep and people make a lot of money to keep it away”.

Jimmy wishes Kenya Power experts and others could shed some light on darkness “or the absence of light”.

His email address is jimmyndirangu65@gmail.com.

**********

THE CONCRETE TRUTH, PLEASE: The introduction of concrete electricity poles has been touted as a measure to enhance environmental conservation as trees will not be felled. But they are also more durable.

However, John Gitau has some doubt on whether some of the poles he has seen are actually made of concrete. He saw one knocked down by a vehicle on Jogoo Road, Nairobi, the other day, and it did not look so.

John asks: “Can Kenya Power shed some light on this, please?” His email address is tmaxcleaning@yahoo.com.

**********

PUNISH THEM: The shoe-throwing youth of Migori county who disrupted President Uhuru Kenyatta’s public rally, and the man who whipped Cord leader Raila Odinga and Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya at a meeting deserved to be severely punished, Jimford Kebira says.

According to him, once an individual commits a criminal offence, it becomes a State-versus-that person matter and the law must take its own course.

“Pardoning such people is condoning impunity,” Jimford says.

His email address is JKebira@preshomes.org.

**********

IT IS ALL YOUR FAULT: Sydney Munika asks when Kenyans will learn to enjoy good offers instead of needlessly grumbling about them.

He cites criticism of Jambojet airline’s special fare offers. These, he explains, are based on the first-come first-served policy, and the trick is to simply book flights early.

“The last-minute rush will make you pay more” he states. “It is not a bus, so you can book the lowest ticket two months in advance and fly with no extra charges.”

Sydney’s email address is mnksydney@gmail.com.

**********

CLOSURES ALARMING: The government’s pledge to create more jobs for youths now sounds rather hollow to Ken Butiko, who is alarmed at the rate at which manufacturing companies are closing down plants, opting to import and sell the goods they have been making in the country.

He says: “What is happening on the manufacturing front is worrying. Eveready East Africa has shut down a factory. Cadbury’s Kenya, too, will do so. The common denominator is that they will now be importing goods from Egypt to sell in Kenya. What is Egypt doing right that we are not?”

Kennedy’s email address is kennedy.butiko@yahoo.com.

Have a disciplinary day, won’t you!

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

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

WE KILLED EVEREADY. The news of the closure of the Eveready East Africa battery manufacturing plant on the Eldoret highway in Nakuru is painful, indeed, for the loss of badly needed jobs in the town, says Levin Bett. He is particularly worried about the “multiplier effect of more than 50 people losing their jobs” in these difficult economic times. But with a tinge of irony he poses: “Isn’t the problem one of our own making, as we buy counterfeit dry cells, thus exporting jobs?” He quips: “It’s time to reap what we have sowed.”

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

STOP THIS MESS. There are so many tastefully built residential and commercial estates in and around Nairobi, but the beauty is spoilt by granting permission to some unscrupulous developers, moans Diana D’Souza. These people, she adds, are squarely to blame for “the construction of the monstrosities that obscure the beautiful buildings and rob all of their privacy at home or office”. And not only do people lose the privacy, she explains, “the value of their properties is completely beaten down”.

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

GK CARS' MENACE. Driving on Magadi Road to or from Ongata Rongai Township, which some people now fondly refer to as Diaspora, has become a veritable nightmare, remarks Paul Manga. “While traffic police have managed to tame the rogue matatus, whose drivers know little about traffic rules, we now have ‘GK vehicles’ that overlap all the way, posing great danger to law-abiding citizens who take hours in traffic jams. Now that police cannot stop them, who will rid us from this menace?”

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

ROAD WOES. Although this may be belated, it’s important to give some thought to some of the oddities of our times, remarks David Jasondu. A new hotel on Lang’ata Road, Nairobi, he adds, has been put up on land that previously belonged to the Kenya Airports Authority and to show the might of those behind it, a bus stop had to be relocated. “As a result, there is permanent congestion on the road. It’s only in our part of the world where someone can put up a private property this way and even redirect the traffic flow.”

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

LEADERS HAVE FAILED. The mounting clamour for constitutional change through a referendum, Ben Njenga says, is a vocal demand on how the national cake should be shared among the various groups. However, he adds, none of the loud campaigners for the groups pushing for changes to the Constitution has “ever suggested how we can bake a bigger cake at both the national and county levels of government”. According to Njenga, “herein lies the tragedy of our democracy; it nurtures pedestrian leadership”.

Have a productive day, won’t you!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

LIGHTS OR WHIPS? Can the Nairobi City County government’s road experts clear the perpetual jam on the link road between Westlands shopping centre and Ngong Road at its intersection with Riverside Drive? urges Richard Mundia. The Japanese contractor, he says, did a “wonderful job, but forgot about Kenyans’ bad road manners”. Drivers will enter the intersection from all the four different directions, block one other, and generally waste valuable time. Are traffic lights or whips the solution?”

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

SURCHARGE THIS PERSON. Fred Otieno was dead right about the warped thinking by whoever put up bumps near a flyover on Mbagathi Road, notes David Jasondu. “Immediately they realised the folly of having the bumps, the authorities ordered their removal after a day or so. But since the money was spent because somebody made a poor judgment, will the matter just be left like that?” Jasondu wants the culprits surcharged for causing the misuse of taxpayers’ money. “And while at it, what became of the lights that had been installed on that road?” he asks.

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

JAMBOJET REASONABLE. Unlike Abu Ayman, who claims that low-cost airline Jambojet’s special offers are suspect, Njoro Njoroge, a land surveyor, says he is a “very satisfied customer” since he started flying with them, taking advantage of their affordable fares. He adds: “I have flown with Jambojet often and I have found their fares the most fair. In fact, I have never paid more than Sh6,000 for a return ticket to any of their destinations. All you need is to book early. This happens elsewhere in the world.”

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

VISIT OUR WEBSITE. Jambojet CEO Willem Hondius, responding to Abu Ayman’s complaint, says the 5,000 seats allocated for the ‘Super Sale’ offer were available from September 29, at 11am. “Subsequently, the sale price will be available on certain flights to all the destinations in October and November. By using the low-fare finder on our website, one can determine on which flights the special fare for the 5,000 seats applies,” he says, assuring Ayman and others of the airline’s commitment to making flying affordable.

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

SECURITY SLOPPY. As companies and other organisations have, in recent years, apparently tightened security at their premises, Mungai Kihanya says a glaring oversight is eroding any gains that may have been recorded. He has noted that while the security officers pay great attention to those entering the premises, little or no attention is given to those exiting. “As a result, thieves have a field day.” One school recently lost 300 textbooks because the thieves’ car was not checked as it left the compound.

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

CUSTOMER ECSTATIC. Kenyans are ever complaining about poor customer service, but Fiona Shimuli thinks it is time more credit was given to those who excel. She had a problem at the University of Nairobi’s Examination Centre on Chiromo Campus and “two very senior employees in the registry took time to listen and handled me with dignity, respect and patience”. She says she can now understand “how the university is able to provide such quality education and training. It is because it employs some of the best”.

Have a thankful day, won’t you!

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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

ARGUMENT SPECIOUS. While he has nothing against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s opposition to the referendum campaigns by Cord and some governors, Onyango Alare won’t buy his argument that this will increase taxes.

The President’s talk about taxes, he fears, must be used as a smokescreen to introduce more levies for the “already burdened” Kenyans.

According to Onyango, the people already know what is good for them and should be allowed to decide without any intimidation.

**********

HELP FOR MOTORISTS. Help is available to Mohammed Hussein and other motorists, who find themselves cornered by wayward traffic police officers, says Cyrus Muturi, an online services officer of the Motorists Association of Kenya.

Agreeing with Mohammed that the officers often go overboard, Cyrus advises those aggrieved to seek help through lawyer@motoristassociationofkenya.com.

On the website, www.motoristassocationofkenya.com, they will also find a column on the rights and responsibilities of motorists.

His contact is info@motoristassociationofkenya.com.

**********

KOPA CASH IMPOSSIBLE. Airtel customer Paul Macharia says the mobile phone service provider’s Kopa Cash system is impossible.

Paul has tried to apply for the loan following all the required steps but did not make any headway.

Says he: “After following all the instructions on the application on the phone, the message that finally pops up is, ‘No items found… go back’.”

To him, this simply means the service is not working and should either be upgraded or done away with.

His contact is paulmacharia73@yahoo.com.

**********

FLIGHT OF FANCY? The low-cost Kenya Airways subsidiary, Jambojet, has been on an advertising blitz promoting its ‘Super Sale’ offer of Sh1,950 one-way tickets for 5,000 travellers to book between September 29 and October 2 for travel in October and November, notes Abu Ayman.

However, this has been a hoax, as it is “hard to get the Sh1,950 tickets”. In fact, he adds, the fare has been a minimum of Sh10,950.

He thinks Jambojet is doing a disservice to its customers by not coming clean on the issue.

**********

RETURNS POLICE POOR. The returns policy of Nakumatt is terrible, says Shobhna Shah, reeling from two experiences.

A few months ago, Shobhna bought a Thermos flask from Nakumatt High Park and on pouring tea into it the following day, it was cold in less than an hour, instead of the standard time of eight hours.

It took her five hours to convince the management when she return it. Last week, she bought a juicer and after three days, it stopped working.

Again, after three hours of going up and down, she was told the technician was not in.

Her contact is shahshobhna@ymail.com.

**********

A BUMPY RIDE. Fred Otieno has issues with the Nairobi County government’s department in charge of roads.

While he welcomes any efforts to curb fatal accidents, he is not impressed by the measures taken recently.

He particularly takes issue with the erection of bumps on Mbagathi Way, right next to a pedestrian flyover. According to him, this was not a wise decision, as it has just worsened the endemic traffic jams at this spot on.

His contact is drfredo2003@yahoo.com.

Have an effective day, won’t you!

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

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

ACTION AT LAST. Though it may be too early to celebrate, an elated Joe Musyoki says traffic police from Industrial Area Police Station in Nairobi, have finally established the cause of the perennial jams in the evenings on the two-kilometre stretch of Mombasa Road between Bellevue and the General Motors plant.

An illegal bus stage near the GM junction, he reports, has been removed and an officer on a motorbike deployed to ensure smooth traffic flow.

Stern action must be taken against matatus that defy the ban.

**********

CYCLISTS IN DANGER. Somebody should go to the rescue of cyclists who risk death daily fighting for space with motor vehicles on the narrow road between Westlands shopping centre and Lower Kabete, Nairobi, Michael Kinuthia pleads.

“The cyclists are always in danger of being knocked down by motorists overtaking them, especially at the hilly bends on the road.”

The solution, according to him, is to create a cyclists’ lane and he wishes one of the blue chip companies could adopt this as part of its corporate social responsibility effort.

**********

TOO MANY BLACKOUTS. Power blackouts have become the order of the day in Kakamega Town, the business hub of the western Kenya sugar belt, moans George Njeru.

Also affected, he adds, are the outskirts and nearby trading centres where small-scale enterprises are severely hampered.

“Power failures have become the norm as business is disrupted and electronic appliances exposed to grave risk.”

Complaints to Kenya Power at their offices in the town and on their Twitter handle have yielded nothing.

**********

DEMOLISH HOUSES. The privately owned houses holding up the completion of the Lang’ata Road expansion project in Nairobi should be brought down in the interest of the greater public, says Janet Koi.

The construction, she adds, came to an abrupt stop at the Galleria Mall-Bomas of Kenya underpass “because three beautiful houses stand in the way”.

She wants to know why a project that is going to benefit hundreds of thousands of Kenyans should be blocked by a few individuals for three years and counting.

**********

CAN DO BETTER. While fully agreeing with the view that the service at Nairobi Water Company’s new offices in the Cameo Cinema building is superb, Jane Muthoni is convinced that it could be much better, with a little more effort.

She was there recently and was wowed by the big smile on the usher’s face. One major drawback, Jane adds, is that bills never come on time.

Secondly, customers need an effective SMS system, as “theirs does not work too well”, or an online bill alert service.

**********

BIASED AGAINST FATHERS. The blatant bias against fathers is evident in many media adverts, TV commercials and billboards carrying messages on the welfare of children that are erected along roads in Nairobi and around the country, notes Ruth Gituma.

“Only mothers are portrayed as playing crucial roles in the lives of their children. But thanks to Dead Beat, we now know there are dads who play their parental roles effectively.”

Ruth is looking forward to seeing adverts saying, ‘Thanks Dad’ or ‘My daddy says x is good for my teeth’.

Her contact is ruthmuhiuha@yahoo.com.

Have a balanced day, won’t you!

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

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

LIGHTING UP THE CITY: The government should advance some money to Kenya Power to get the street lights in Nairobi working again, urges Diana D’Souza.

The new road linking James Gichuru and Ngong roads which was built by the Japanese and Kenyan governments, she adds, has hundreds of lampposts, but no lights and, therefore, it is in total darkness, and so is Mageta Road.

“This should be treated as a priority. Right now the lampposts are a big temptation for gluttonous vandals.”

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

RARE KUDOS FOR KP: A word of kudos to Kenya Power from Bonstein Sisa, who says the benefits from the firm’s recent rebranding are evident from its outlook and improved services.

His prepaid meter malfunctioned and could not load tokens. He visited Electricity House in Nairobi, and found courteous staff, who promised to call at his house the following day, and they actually did and sorted out the problem.

“This is the Kenya we want, dedicated devoted and efficient.” His meter number is 04225641150.

***********

STRESSED OVER ID: The Registrar of Persons is causing heartache for Abdi Haji who has gone through hell trying to ensure his daughter gets her national identity card.

She applied in July, and both had to appear before the District Security Committee in Taveta on July 3, after which Hodhan Abdi was given a waiting card.

To date, her documents, which were apparently sent to Mombasa, have not reached the headquarters in Nairobi. As a result, she cannot join college. The waiting card serial number is 2350794065. His contact is amowerdi@yahoo.com.

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

WE NEED WATER: Can Nairobi Water Company rush to Savannah Estate in the Eastlands to avert an epidemic?

Local resident George Ngarama says the residents have had to contend with a broken sewer which has been discharging the muck for the past one month as nobody is bothered about the health hazard it poses in the neighbourhood.

The company, he pleads, should not wait until an epidemic breaks out to rush in and fix the sewer. George, whose contact is Tel 0720124812, is ready to point out the spot.

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

THREE YEARS, STILL COUNTING: The rehabilitation of roads in the Upper Hill area of Nairobi has been agonising for the people who work there, and Thomas Yebei is disgusted that the reconstruction of a mere 5.4km of roads has taken close to three years and there is no sign that it is going to be completed soon.

But the clincher for him is that the project site is 300 metres from the Roads Cabinet Secretary’s office and 30 metres from the office of the director-general of the Kenya Roads Board. “If they can’t make it happen, what of the far-flung places.”

***********

MIND YOUR LANGUAGE: Training specialist Okumba Miruka says though the word “oversight” is a noun meaning either an omission or supervision, it has lately been corrupted by Kenyan politicians.

He poses: “Where did they get the impression that it is a verb when, for example, one Senator says, ‘Our role is to oversight county governments’? Do they know they are exposing their linguistic ignorance? If they must use the word, they should say, ‘Our role is to exercise oversight over county governments’!”

Have a meaningful day, won’t you!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

REMOVE GOVERNORS' TERM LIMIT: As debate rages on the need to change some parts of the Constitution, Alan Masakhalia thinks this presents a great opportunity to review the two five-year term limit imposed on governors.

“Why should governors serve for only 10 years, when Senators, MPs and MCAs can serve for as long as the voters want?” he asks.

A Busia County native, Masakhalia is urging the National Assembly to scrap the term limit “so that dedicated and committed governors can continue serving”.

His email address is masakhalia@yandex.com.

**********

BEAUTIFICATION NOT ENOUGH: The Mombasa County government is doing pretty little on roads despite the rapid increase in the number of vehicles, says Collins Mwatati.

According to him, no new roads have been constructed in the resort town and its environs in the past five years, “which is not good for a town that aspires to become Kenya’s second city”.

He states that while counties like Machakos are building new roads, Mombasa is repairing those built 20 years ago.

Mwatati’s email address is collinsmakoko@gmail.com.

**********

MOTORISTS HAVE RIGHTS TOO: Feeling the pain of motorists at the hands of wayward traffic police is Mohammed Hussein, and he would like a solution found as soon as possible.

“Is there is a website or agency that can give motorists information on what their rights are and what the police can or cannot do?” he asks.

Hussein would also like to know if there is a telephone number or hotline one can call when confronted by the officers, because this would help many people in various ways.

His email address is mohammed78611021@hotmail.com.

**********

HIGHWAY ROBBER IN UNIFORM: There is a tall traffic policeman on a motorbike who is engaging in highway robbery, targeting motorists driving to Industrial Area in Nairobi in early mornings, reports Angela Maina.

She says: “I have seen him as early as 6:30 a.m. on the railway bridge section on Uhuru Highway, banging cars with his fimbo! He has been known to frisk pockets and open bags, snatching money from drivers. His main hunting ground is Uhuru Highway. I have heard from a victim that he is ruthless”.

Ms Maina’s email address is angela.maina1967@gmail.com.

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DISAPPOINTING OUTFIT: Just like in the days of the old Nairobi City Council, the Inspectorate Department under the new city county government is a disappointing outfit that has failed to ensure law and order in the metropolis, says Aitor Mwakio.

The performance of whoever is in charge of the department, he states, leaves a lot to be desired. On the condition of the department’s Dagoretti offices, he remarks: “Pathetic is a rather lenient word”.

Mwakio’s email address is aitormwakioj@gmail.com.

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LEARN FROM WILDERBEESTS: The spectacular wildebeest migration that is a major tourist attraction is also a lesson on wildlife protection, says Douglas Mokamba.

He explains that while the rush appears spontaneous, there is some order as the smaller and weaker animals are protected from predators by keeping them in the middle, with the strongest ones on the sides.

“But herds still leap off cliffs and dive into crocodile-infested rivers in the migration,” Mokamba says. His email address is mokambad@yahoo.com.

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ITCHING TO GO DIGITAL: Misiani Obino says he can’t wait for the introduction of the promised smart driving licences as he is tired of carrying around the “ugly” booklet issued to Kenyan drivers.

He hopes the Registrar of Motor Vehicles will speed up plans to go digital and give motorists a presentable document they can easily and proudly carry in their back trouser pockets, and that when it is eventually issued, it will be modelled on those issued in the United States, which are easier to renew.

Obino’s email address is lexrick7@gmail.com.

Have a sleek day, won’t you!

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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

UHURU, GO TO THE HAGUE: President Uhuru Kenyatta should go to The Hague next month for the status conference on his case, for this will do no harm to his stature, says Joe Macharia.

Instead, Joe argues, the President’s appearance “will, in fact, boost his rating internationally as a respecter of the rule of law”.

The Naivasha resident is convinced that what the judges will tell the President is that they are “sorry for what he has been put through” and that he is free to go home. His contact is joemacharia@yahoo.com.

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THREE-YEAR WAIT: What a long wait it has been for Peter O. Otuo, an elderly resident of Homa Bay County, who applied for electricity connection to his home in East Kanyada Location in 2011, and is still waiting to date, despite having paid the requisite charges and making countless trips to the local Kenya Power offices!

During his numerous follow-ups, he adds, he has been subjected to the “same explanations, excuses and promises” and he can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. His reference is E24422011020023 and his contact, Tel 0723086842.

***********

GOOD IDEA GONE BAD: What was a great idea, a loan or hire purchase scheme to enable the people of Kilifi County to buy solar kits, has apparently gone wrong for some who rushed to sign up.

The loans were being offered by K-Rep Bank through its office at Bamba for the people of Ganze sub-county. The beneficiaries, including Emmanuel Masha’s sister, paid a deposit and the balance in instalments amounting to Sh10,000.

But the kits malfunctioned soon after installation, and K-Rep recalled them for replacement. They are still waiting many months later.

***********

IRKED BY EQUITY: A loyal Equity Bank customer of many years, Ciiku Tharao, is so upset that she is now thinking of other options.

What has broken the camel’s back is that for several weeks now, the bank’s Yaya Centre branch in Nairobi has been opening its doors at 8.20am despite having a notice prominently displayed at the entrance, indicating that it opens for business at 8am.

“Why the half-hour delay, causing customers to wait outside in chilly mornings?” She is waiting for the answer at Miriam.tharao@gmail.com.

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IS IT A HOAX? Can Kenya Power reassure prepaid meter customer Allan Indiazi, who thinks the sale of tokens is a fraud?

On September 9, he paid Sh800 through M-Pesa and got 44.6 units. Just a week later, on September 18, he paid Sh900, and received only 41.2 tokens.

Kenya Power should shed light on the billing so that he and others can know the correct price of a unit of power. “I am beginning to have a feeling that someone is playing games on consumers.” His meter number is 04215254048.

***********

SERVICE SUPERB: But coming in for rather rare accolades is the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company, which recently moved office from Comcraft to the Cameo Cinema building in the city centre.

An elated Dilip Shah says he was there recently to pay his water bill and was impressed by the superb services offered by the staff. Particularly striking, he adds, is the “excellent organisation” that enables the efficient delivery of services to the public. His contact is d666shah@gmail.com

Have a remarkable day, won’t you!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

LIGHT UP SUPERHIGHWAY. For how much longer will motorists travelling at night have to wait to see a well-lit Thika Superhighway? asks Ruth Gituma, adding that though numerous promises have been made by the Kenya National Highways Authority in the past, nothing has come out of them.

The section between Allsopps and the GSU headquarters in Nairobi, she adds, is “particularly notorious for muggings”.

For any advice, she says, the Adopt-a-Light boss Esther Passaris is a good bet.

**********

GET RID OF BODA BODA. The Nakuru County government should rid its central business district of the menace of boda boda operators and Tuk Tuks, urges Ruth Gituma.

While the two provide a valuable service transporting commuters in the town, they should have designated places where they can pick up and drop off passengers, instead of “weaving into and out of traffic in the CBD”.

She hopes Governor Kinuthia Mbugua will give the matter the urgent attention it requires.

Her contact is ruthmuhiuha@yahoo.com.

**********

HEATERS DANGEROUS. How safe are electric instant water heaters? asks Mathew Mwangi, alarmed at the increasing popularity of the gadgets countrywide.

“They are cheap, convenient and easy to install. However, they are not very safe,” he adds, citing incidents in which some people have been electrocuted while using the devices.

According to him, they are now being referred to in some places as “suicide showers”.

He wants the Kenya Bureau of Standards to step up efforts to ensure their safety.

His contact is mathmwangi@yahoo.com.

**********

MAKE THE MAU REALLY WILD. The easiest way to get squatters out of the Mau Forest to save the key water catchment and end the politicking over it is to flood it with elephants, hyenas, crocodiles, and leopards, says Victor Isaidia.

“Once settled in the middle of the forest, nobody will dare buy or grab the land in it just like in the Maasai Mara, where not an inch has been grabbed. This is the way to solve this problem that has become a thorn in the government’s flesh.”

His contact is vickyisadiah@yahoo.com.

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BILL OUTRAGEOUS. A resident of Kaimosi in Vihiga County, David Lagat, is alarmed at an “outrageous bill” from Kenya Power.

A loyal customer since 2008, David is required to pay a massive Sh45,467.20, which is a shocking increase over his average monthly payment of Sh400.

He has made numerous trips to the local Kenya Power office withiout receiving any help. Now he fears that his power could be disconnected any time.

His account is No. 2580565-02 and his contact, lagat66@gmail.com.

**********

TRAFFIC BOSS ASLEEP. Can the Traffic Commandant in Nairobi County ensure the officer who controls the stretch of Mombasa Road from the General Motors plant to the JKIA in the evenings does his job? urges Kiogora Muriuki.

In the past few months, Kiogora reports, matatu drivers have been clogging two lanes, leaving only one and causing traffic snarl-ups all the way from Capital Centre, “with not a single policeman in sight”.

How long shall we endure this? asks Kiogora.

Have a smooth traffic day, won’t you!

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

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Cutting Edge - Tuesday September 23, 2014

CONUNDRUM FOR CORD. The biggest irony in Cord’s push for a referendum, Abud Salim says, is the fact that the IEBC, which the opposition coalition wants disbanded, will have to verify the signatures and pave the way for its own possible dissolution. And he wonders how Cord would recognise its ability to verify the signatures even as it questions the electoral body’s ability to carry out its own mandate. “Also, it is the same IEBC which issued the Cord Senators, MPs and MCAs with their certificates.”

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ITS 'PESA MIFUKONI'. While the ‘Pesa Mashinani’ campaign is an enticing slogan, it is not about taking more money to the grassroots but into their own pockets, claims Peter Mburu. According to him, the clamour for a referendum is plainly about ‘Pesa Mifukoni’, as the people continue to witness the extravagant style of county leaders “who help themselves to hefty allowances they do not deserve”. Should the vote give more money to governors, they will end up lining their pockets even more. His contact is pmburu@hotmail.com.

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ROUNDABOUT RULES. Joining the debate on driving at roundabouts, David Warutere says there is a basic traffic rule, which must be obeyed by all motorists. It is that drivers approaching a roundabout must wait until those already in it go round before entering it. They are not expected to indicate or change lanes at a roundabout. He thus disagrees with N. Albert that someone driving from the Haile Selassie Avenue side towards Harambee Avenue needs to signal his direction at the Parliament roundabout.

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WHY I SUPPORT DUALE. The only reason Kahura Ndung’u supports National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale in his outburst against Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto is that “our governors have been behaving like demigods”. He adds: “They don’t want to be accountable to anyone on their spending of public money, yet some have credibility issues.” Kahura believes that public money must be accounted for and he is not convinced that “Duale’s remark was meant to show disrespect to our mothers”.

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WHAT ABOUT HORTICULTURE? Private companies were behind the initiative that culminated in a 25-member delegation from the UK, including Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf, coming to Nairobi to seal business deals worth $15 billion, says Anil K. Shah. But Anil is disappointed that De La Rue, Prudential and Barclays are only keen on “safe investments in the energy sector and financial services”. He poses: “Why do they shy away from horticulture and other sectors? And why such a big delegation to witness already concluded deals?”

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KBL PROMOTION WRONG. For a big campaign by organisations like Kenya Breweries ‘Twende Kazi’ promotion, Dennis Mbakhila says the least he would have expected is accurate information on the popular sport, and especially on Harambee Stars. The Kenya versus Nigeria game played at Kasarani Sports Centre, Nairobi, in 1997, which ended in a 1-1 draw was a World Cup, and not, an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. “Ironically, Musa Otieno, who appears in the advert, was in that squad.”

Have an informative day, won’t you!

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

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Cutting Edge - Monday September 22, 2014

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

IT'S UNDEMOCRATIC. The suggestion that presidential candidates who garner more than 50 per cent of the votes in their home regions should forfeit the extra votes to their opponents is undemocratic and unworkable, says Ben Njenga. This, he says, is the best confirmation that Kenyans are prisoners in their tribal cocoons. New National Reconciliation and Cohesion boss Francis ole Kaparo should mount an aggressive campaign against tribalism. “The country will never get high quality leadership if tribe remains the yardstick for electing leaders,” Ben says.

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LIGHT UP SECTION. Why can’t the streetlights on the section of the Eastern bypass between City Cabanas to the Kenya Airways headquarters at Embakasi be switched on? asks Peter Busienei. The area, he adds, is always “very dark” in the evenings and early in the mornings despite a large number of people crossing the road to or from work. He hopes Transport Secretary Michael Kamau or new KQ boss Mbuvi Ngunze will intervene to ensure that the place is lit up and made safer for pedestrians.

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CALLING SAFARICOM. Can Safaricom go to the rescue of some of its subscribers in Nyeri County who are contemplating throwing away their SIM cards, as they have for a good seven years now waited in vain for the “extremely poor” network signal to be enhanced? Stephen Waititu says that in Kiang’ondu Village in Mukurwe-ini, having a Safaricom line is no longer a mark of pride, as they can hardly make or receive calls. “We have made numerous complaints but all we get are promises that yield nothing.”

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ITS BRAIN GAIN. Reacting to the hullabaloo over the recent proposal by South Sudan’s Labour ministry to have foreigners kicked out so that locals can take over their jobs, X.N. Iraki says this does not make economic sense. He adds: “In fact, they should be very grateful for getting high returns from workers they never trained or fed. It is, in fact, brain gain, unlike countries such as Canada, US or Australia, that are desperately looking for highly educated workers to drive their economies. Skilled workers are like beautiful girls; they rarely miss suitors.”

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LEADERS USELESS. Some “big mouths” at the national level are doing pretty little for their people, says Ken Toroitich, seething with anger over the appalling condition of the roads in Elgeyo-Marakwet County. The nearly 60-km Iten-Kapsowar road, he adds, is so bad that the old “face-me” matatus are the only ones in operation, due to the high maintenance costs. “Ironically, the area is a rich hub for agricultural produce like mangoes, potatoes and maize. Politicians must do something or forget about re-election.”

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WHO WAS TUMBO The Lt Tumbo Street in Nairobi was named after John Charles Tumbo Kalima, a senior military officer who led the fight against the insurgency in the north-east of the country (the Shifta war), says Steve Wathome. According to Steve, Lt Tumbo was killed in an ambush between Garissa and Wajir. “He was a brilliant soldier and had he lived, he would have been in the league of the first African Kenya Army Commander, Major-General Joseph Ndolo, and his successor, Gen Jackson Mulinge.”

Have a memorable day, won’t you!

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

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

NOT HIS MOTHER'S MONEY: National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale’s remark, “the money does not belong to your mother”, in his row with Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, may have upset many people.

But Lucy Ann sees nothing wrong.

She says: “Some are saying he insulted and belittled women, but I see it differently. He, indeed, elevated mothers. Mothers are so generous that their children can count on them any time. Perhaps, Duale was looking at Ruto the same way one sees a spoilt child”.

Her email address is lucianwahome@yahoo.com.

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CONSIDER NYS OFFICERS TOO: The rebranding of the National Youth Service has been long overdue, Watson Khaemba says. The organisation, he states, does a lot of good — keeping young people fruitfully engaged in learning useful life skills.

However, he wishes it could also look into the plight of a core group of its officers who make it happen:

“Some have waited for four years to get confirmation of their promotions as senior sergeants”. For details, contact Khaemba through idaarayetu@yahoo.com.

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A CARTEL: “It’s a farce,” says Mulwa Sadat about the ongoing crackdown to force motorists to drive at 50kph in Nairobi.

Recently, he was flagged down on Waiyaki Way and told he had been speeding. He was ordered to get out and lock the car and hand over his driving licence and keys to a policeman who looked inebriated.

He was later taken to Kabete Police station to pay a cash bail. On asking the officer why they kept him for so long, he said it was because he had been “very uncooperative”.

Sadat’s email address is mulwasadat@hotmail.com.

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INADEQUATE TOOLS OF WORK: While he has nothing against local contractors, James Githinji says most of them are handicapped for lack of equipment.

This, he states, is the only plausible explanation of the snail’s pace construction they are synonymous with.

“Chinese firms are doing much better than the locals, who seem to share equipment,” he says, naming work along Enterprise Road, Lusaka Road and a road leading to the Kenyatta National Hospital as examples of projects that have dragged on for too long.

Githinji’s email address is jgithinji2012@gmail.com.

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WAKE UP, KRA: The Kenya Revenue Authority need not work too hard to boost its revenue collections, as Joshua Odingo can see plenty of untapped potential in just a single section of the informal sector: the quarries providing building stones.

Only one quarry, he says, rakes in a whopping Sh800,000 every month, and, therefore, a princely Sh9.6 million annually, but the dealers do not issue any receipts to buyers.

“Is the taxman still awake?”, Odingo, whose email address is otmai.odingo@gmail.com, asks.

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AT THE MERCY OF POLICE: There is a hidden hand in the traffic jams between Syokimau and City Cabanas on Mombasa Road, says George Kinyua.

The traffic flow along the 10-kilometre stretch, he states, is always unpredictable. On one day, he explains, there will be absolutely no jam, and on the next, heavy congestion.

He claims police block traffic on the highway to let through vehicles from Embakasi and use the ensuing gridlock to extort bribes. Kinyua’s email address is gkkinyua@gmail.com.

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FORGOTTEN HOUSES: Crying out for a facelift are the Nairobi City County’s Buru Buru Flats near a police station, says Fredrick Kimani, appalled at the total neglect by the old city council that has seen the buildings turn into an eyesore in the otherwise neat Eastlands suburb.

Since the blocks of flats were put up in 1978, he observes, they have not seen any maintenance — not even a fresh coat of paint — to date.

Also falling apart are other county residential estates in the same area. Kimani’s email address is fredrickimani@gmail.com.

Have a decent day, won’t you!

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

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

OPEN WESTGATE. The best way to commemorate one year after the Westgate Mall tragedy is to open it, and not to just show films that reopen old wounds, remarks X.N. Iraki, adding: “It took the terrorists a day to have the mall closed.That it is now taking more than a year to open it means the terrorists won. The main guest at the commemoration should have popped a champagne bottle at the newly opened mall to demonstrate the resilience of the Kenyan people. Open Westgate now…”

His contact is xniraki@gmail.com.

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HOSPITAL AGONY. The Nairobi Hospital is no longer the comfortable and exclusive institution it once was, charges Wamuyu Gatheru.

Recently, she had a patient and “everything from admission to nursing care and even discharge, was difficult, just like in the public hospitals”.

Even after waiting for an hour, she claims, no bed was available.

“The patient was entitled to a private room but never got one. The bathrooms were dirty and the plumbing in poor shape. It took almost five hours to discharge the patient.”

Her contact is wgatheru@gmail.com.

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SUPERMARKET AGONY. Often, Frans van den Houdt says, shoppers wonder why supermarket tellers are “so ineffective and inefficient and why supervisors cannot step in”.

Last Saturday morning at Chandarana Supermarket in Yaya Centre, Nairobi, he says “an extremely incompetent guy at one of the tills kept a long queue of shoppers waiting for 15 minutes”.

An elderly man at the exit, who seemed to be a supervisor, did nothing.

“Isn’t it high time cashiers got proper training and be removed if found incapable?” His contact is fhoudt@gmail.com.

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WAITING FOR A PIN. The nearly six-month wait by Michael Nyangi for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for an investment company is finally over.

Kenya Revenue Authority senior marketing and communication official Maureen Njongo says the company’s application has been processed and the PIN certificate duly sent to Nyangi.

And confirming the end of his agony, Maureen adds, Nyangi has already acknowledged receipt of the PIN.

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TRAFFIC RULES. Bwanaheri Kalela won’t buy the suggestion by N. Albert that a driver at a roundabout must indicate in which direction he is going.

Says he: “While driving at a roundabout, the lane into which you enter it will clearly show where you are going. And the basic driving school rule is that you must never change lanes at a roundabout. Therefore, the issue of having to switch on one’s indicators to show in which direction one is going simply does not arise.”

His contact is hkalela@gmail.com.

Have a competent day, won’t you!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

POLITICAL BANKRUPTCY. A peace-loving Kenyan who shuns publicity, James Ossome, says he is ashamed of how low politicians have sunk in their rhetoric. He has been particularly taken aback by the utterances of some associates of Deputy President William Ruto against Cord leader Raila Odinga instead of concentrating on tackling the myriad challenges facing the country. “If they think this is what being a digital leadership is all about, they should be told it borders on acute political bankruptcy,” adds James.

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LET DOWN BY AIRTEL. Calling Airtel are the residents of Upper Kimbo, especially the area between Kimbo and Toll Station estates off the Thika Superhighway, says Samuel Kamau. The mobile service provider’s network signal, he adds, has been extremely poor over the past one month and their numerous complaints have not yielded any response from Airtel. “We are not able to make any calls in our houses,” moans Samuel, whose telephone number is 0731697108.

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APOLOGISE, KCB. David Motari says even though KCB may have been right to take precautions to safeguard his money when it deactivated his new chip ATM card, its failure to inform him about it is inexcusable as he couldn’t access his salary to pay for his utilities. “My only crime was having used the card to check my balance at an ATM in Doonholm, Nairobi, the bank claims had been compromised.” And now, he claims, he has been advised to apply for a new card, for which he will have to pay. “KCB owes me an apology.” His contact is dmots2005@yahoo.com.

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WHO WAS THIS MAN TUMBO? There is this little street that links the Central Bank of Kenya and the Kenya Revenue Authority headquarters, Times Tower, to Harambee Avenue in Nairobi, which was apparently named in honour of a former military officer, Lt Tumbo, notes Dave Tumbula, adding: “What was this Lieutenant Tumbo’s claim to fame and eventual national recognition?” Every time Tumbula walks on that street, he cannot help wondering who this Tumbo was and what could have happened to him.

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WHAT IDP CAMPS? The recent criticism of a university’s decision to build pit latrines for the displaced post-2007 election violence victims as part of its corporate social responsibility was fair, says Otieno Ochanda. Not long ago, Otieno recalls, the top Jubilee leadership presided over a ceremony in Rift Valley, where it was announced that all the camps for the internally displaced people had been officially closed. “So, where exactly will they put up latrines?” asks Otieno.

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READ TRAFFIC RULES. The raging debate on the 50kph speed limit within the city, Andrew Njau says, has left him wondering which driving schools, if any, the protagonists attended. “Not only was it one of the examination questions asked, but is also included in the training manuals of respectable driving schools.” The issue, according to him, is the need to replace the signs indicating the speed limits, which were vandalised by unscrupulous scrap-metal dealers. “Obey the law as it serves a purpose, even though it may not be to your liking.”

Have a sensible day, won’t you!

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