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THE CUTTING EDGE

Thursday July 02 2020
By THE WATCHMAN

SCHOOL REOPENING: There are two compelling reasons why James Ong’injoh is convinced that the plan to reopen schools in September, ending the long Covid-19-induced holiday, is not feasible. Says he: “First, most of the public schools lack piped water. So, how will the learners wash their hands regularly and keep their compound sanitised for their own safety as advised by the Health ministry? Secondly, how will social distancing be achieved in poorly-built classrooms that are mostly overcrowded?” According to James, many rural schools do not have enough classrooms to even think of putting 20 students in each as CS George Magoha wants. James’s contact is [email protected]

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WASTEFULNESS: Last week, John Nyaga reports, the County Assembly of Murang’a passed the 2020/21 budget, allocating Sh5.6 billion for recurrent expenditure (salaries, entertainment, travel and so on) and only Sh3.1 billion for development. Sh20 million went to setting up an intensive care unit for Covid-19 patients. “This can buy about eight ICU beds. The assembly was allocated Sh83.5 million with a perimeter wall for the speaker’s house taking Sh8 million. Why does devolution have to work like this, with all these educated people at the helm?” asks John. His contact is [email protected]

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IMPEACHMENT: Increasing attempts by MCAs at impeaching their governors is a copy-cat reaction to the ouster of Ferdinand Waititu as the Kiambu County boss, remarks Dennis Mwangi Kanyi. Other Ward Reps, he adds, have been inspired to move impeachment motions, thinking that the game will be the same. However, Dennis can’t help faulting the voters for not scrutinising the candidates’ past before electing them. “We end up electing people and then start frantically looking everywhere for evidence to impeach them. We need to elect leaders not because of their popularity or party affiliation, but based on their ability to manage public funds.” His contact is [email protected]

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DEMOLITIONS: Demolishing homes that the owners have gone to great lengths to build using loans or mortgages and buying land is callous, remarks Job Momanyi. A home, he adds, is “an essential need for families” and should be jealously guarded. But if homes must come down for having been built on illegally allocated land or to pave the way for road construction, he argues, then the occupants must be compensated first. “Government departments must work in harmony so that you don’t have one, for instance, issuing title deeds while another declares them illegal.” His contact is [email protected]

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PROBLEM SOLVED: A faulty electricity transformer that caused the recent power outage in Moyale Town, Marsabit County, in the northern end of the country, that Jacob Walter had complained about, was promptly replaced on June 22, says Kenya Power’s Corporate Communications Department. The power failure, the department’s spokesperson adds, had affected many local residents and some businesses in the town that is located on the Kenya-Ethiopia border. “We are, however, pleased to report that the electricity supply was immediately restored to all our customers. We regret any inconvenience caused to them.” The department’s contact is [email protected]


Sentimental value. The decision not to rename Karura Forest to Wangari Maathai Forest in honour of iconic conservationist and Nobel laureate resonates with Chris Kiriba. The name Karura, he explains, means a lot to him and others who went to Karura Forest Primary School, Nairobi. “The singing of birds, cool air and the wild fruits that we ate can only resonate with the name Karura, not to mention the occasional truancy to swim in the cool waters of Karura River. I hope my former classmates are reading this.” His contact is [email protected]

Have nostalgic day, won’t you!

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