THE CUTTING EDGE: 21.06.2020

Sunday June 21 2020

OPPOSITION: The principle of having a loyal and steadfast opposition, Robert Mukirae laments, “is anathema to Kenya”. Though the country’s system is modelled on the Western democratic ideal, it has become a “mongrelised mutant of the Westminster and Washington” ones. Since the restoration of multipartyism in 1991, the opposition, he moans, has become a stumbling block to democracy. After the ‘handshake’, it has been reduced to a bridesmaid just ululating as we hurtle towards an uncertain future. Cry, our beloved Kenya!” His contact is [email protected]

GONE HAYWIRE: Since traffic lights at the General Mathenge Road roundabout in Westlands, Nairobi, were switched on a few days ago, there has been total mayhem, moans Yatin Shah. This, he adds, is the second time the traffic flow has gone haywire here. He would like whoever controls the system to realise that contrary to the intended goal of streamlining traffic, the lights have only contributed to traffic jams, wasting resources lost time and fuel. “There is really no need for these traffic lights,” concludes Yatin. His contact is [email protected]

VANDALISM: A few months after reopening Outering Road, which was rebuilt at a huge public cost to ease traffic jams towards the JKIA, Nairobi, Harrison Kinyanjui is pained to see that vandals have been ripping off the guard rails, endangering the lives of road users. One of the worst affected sections, he reports, is just after the Juja Road intersection and the Kariobangi area towards Baba Dogo. He is appealing to the National Transport and Safety Authority to intensify checks to prevent vandalism. “Protecting this  road furniture will prevent accidents and help save lives.” His contact is [email protected]


RISK INFECTION: Crooked police are the real beneficiaries of the coronavirus epidemic, notes Moses Nabi. While a majority of the officers do a great job, some are tainting the image of the service. A group from Jogoo Road Police Station, he claims, patrol Jericho and Maringo estates and go arresting people without face masks, force them into an overloaded pick-up, drive to the station and lock them up. “To buy their freedom, the suspects must part with between Sh200 and Sh1,000. The greedy officers also risk infection!” His contact is [email protected]

REAL THING: The best thing experts working with Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on the Covid-19 pandemic have done is to reopen restaurants and extend their work hours to 7.30pm, says Jim Webo. “First, the waiters and cooks’ jobs have been saved. Secondly, the owners can recoup some of their investments.” But even more exciting for Jim is the fact that people once again have meeting places where they can interact and seal business deals. “The much-touted online conferencing through various platforms can never replace the real thing,” he concludes.

HURRIED BURIALS: After the drama around the handling of the bodies of Covid-19 victims, John Nyaga says he was pleased to hear acting director-general of health Patrick Amoth say there is no need for “hurried and stigmatising” burials by men in special white suits in the wee hours. Dr Amoth said if the body is properly handled at the mortuary, it should pose no risk at the grave. “How can a body that can't touch its face, breathe, sneeze, cough or talk, spread the virus. Why are the handlers dressed in space suits when the body is already covered in a coffin? Is it radioactive?" His contact is [email protected]

SALARIES: At the burial of slain Deputy President William Ruto’s police guard Sergeant Kipyegon Kenei several months ago, Githuku Mungai recalls, his grieving father, John Chesang, decrying the “gaping inequality in the salaries of politicians and senior civil servants in contrast to what is paid to the low-ranking government officials”, wondered why those who control such things only mind about their stomachs. Moved by this, DP Ruto said something would soon be done about it. “What has the government done or does it need more time to do it?” His contact is [email protected]

Have a hopeful day, won’t you!