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A few things we must fix in 2020

Tuesday January 14 2020

By MUTHONI THANG'WA
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It is very advisable to start any year with a number of resolutions.

As Kenyans there are a number of things that we must ‘fix’ in this nation together. In colloquial terms, fixing has a negative connotation of bribery or vengeance of some sort. But Kenyans in their creativity have given this term a new meaning which seems to be ‘changing the status quo’ at whatever cost.

The most urgent is medical care. It is a nightmare. Even when one pools all their merger resources together to seek services in the private sector, that is where the cartels are now concentrated and domiciled. You attend a clinic with a leading hospital in any of their satellite clinics and you are referred to doctors in a ‘Doctors Plaza’ nearby. These doctors will then refer you to an alleged specialist who works in a public facility such as Kenyatta or the nearest district hospital. Note that you will have paid more than three consultation fees with no medical solutions in sight. It’s a scam!

Kenyans would hope that in the same way the Ministry of Education conducted a cracked down on universities, the Ministry of Health would do the same on all medical facilities nationally, including satellite clinics of major hospitals. The results would be the same as those of universities – massive shutdown of many these facilities. In the meantime, any hospital that has satellite clinics needs to clearly indicate a hotline in which patients being scammed can call – hopefully toll free!

At the moment there is no word as abused in this country as Doctors Plaza. Remember a few years back some government office had to stop the abuse of the use of the red cross by pharmacist and every make shift facility that was dispensing medicine.

Some authority needs to reign in on the naming of buildings Doctors Plaza. The spirit of the word is that medical professionals known as doctors operated in such a building, while in reality many of them need to be renamed ‘sure way to a mortician’ Plaza.

CITIZEN ARREST

Many matatus operating outside Nairobi are back to fitting four passengers per row of seats as opposed to three, unabated. The so-called 14-seater matatus are now 19-seaters. Seriously? What happened to the Kenyans who were carrying out citizen arrests in the industry a few years ago? Why would you as a Kenyan help the industry break the law by agreeing to sit in as an extra passenger?

It is time that the Islamic community in Kenya considered using phone apps that will serve as the call for prayer five times a day. In 2020 every household especially in urban areas has anywhere between one phone and a phone per head. Isn’t it time to let young children, the old, the ailing and the weary sleep even if they live near a mosque?

The General Service Unit must stop clobbering university students to near-death for demonstration, throwing stones or whatever student do to express their discontent with university education. Many times, university riots are an indication of what ails a society. They are the one sector that is congregated to learn and constantly uses society as a point of reference for intellectual discourse. The frustration they show is therefore not necessarily from a single issue, but a culmination of what ails society. Arrest and take them to court. These will give all the lawyers preaching on the keyboard on social media an opportunity to show Kenyans what they can do, by representing these students, hopefully pro bono!

What was that about a Safari Rally at Hells Gate National Park? It is a nationally park, gazetted in our laws as a conservation area. What part of this doesn’t the Minister for Tourism understand? First, we have a railway line cutting across Nairobi National Park and now we want cars to race in another national park. Yet netizens are busy sympathising with Australia on the destruction of their natural heritage by fire, but we are busy organizing human activities to destroy ours. We must fix this now, before we irreparably destroy our national heritage. To paraphrase our environmental Nobel Laureate, nature is very unforgiving and it does not forget..
What else do we need to fix as a nation in 2020?

Twitter: @muthonithangwa