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THE CUTTING EDGE

Monday July 22 2019

DEGREE CRAZE: Plain-speaking Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha ruffled feathers when he decried the lack of plumbers and other handy technicians in his home village in Siaya County, blaming this on the increased craze for university degrees among Kenyans, notes Dennis Kwendo. Ironically, Dennis adds, most of the graduates can’t even get jobs unless they are well connected or through other dubious ways. The obsession with papers, he believes, could be drastically reduced by enabling more Kenyans to enrol for technical degree courses by lowering the minimum admission grade from the C+ used by the public universities for many years. His contact is [email protected].

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NHIF AMBIGUITY: The contributors to the National Hospital Insurance Fund have a right to full disclosure on what they are entitled to, says Sam Vohya, accusing the agency of holding back vital information. NHIF members are, for instance, told they can get dental services using their cards in the listed hospitals but end up having to pay for them. Sam, who contributes Sh500 monthly, recently went to the Coast General Hospital, Mombasa, and was rudely turned back by the staff, who said that only the members who are civil servants qualify for dental care. His contact is [email protected]

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A HOLIDAYING NATION: United States-based Kenyan Sam Chege says he landed in Paris on Sunday, July 14, and was welcomed by a spectacular display of fireworks as his hosts, the French, proudly celebrated their National Day in their national capital and, of course, elsewhere in the western European country. And the next day, adds Prof Chege, writing from his base in Kansas, he was surprised to see almost everyone so happily going back to work. “In Kenya, whenever a national holiday falls on a Sunday, then that Monday automatically becomes a public holiday, too.” He quips: “That may just be another of our peculiar habits as Kenyans.” His contact is [email protected]

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DRUG LORDS' LOW: The recent jailing for life in the United States of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman Loera aka el Chapo is a mighty blow to his network and a warning to other kingpins and traffickers, says Misheck Wambu. He wishes the Kenyan Judiciary could take a leaf from its American counterpart on how to fight the merchants of death. The war must be waged from all fronts to ensure that not a single merchant walks scot-free on flimsy grounds, he says. “The wheels of justice must roll to end the drug trafficking trade.” His contact is [email protected]

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DOGGED INEFFICIENCY: Some months ago, Ros Hechle says, her husband went to the Dog Pound in Nairobi seeking to license the family’s two dogs. As no metal tags were available, he was given a piece of paper. But there was more drama to come. “The other day, he was phoned by the Dog Pound staff, who asked him if they could come and inspect our dogs and premises. We said no problem and ... wait for it: The woman said they had no vehicle, and my husband told her it was not his job to collect her and suggested that she should to wait until the governor provides them with one. We are still waiting.” Her contact is [email protected]

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MISSING MARWA: Where is Nelson Marwa? asks Joe Ngige Mungai of the Labour Principal Secretary, a man who made his name in Mombasa initially as the county commissioner and regional co-ordinator. Says Joe: “I always admired the zeal, commitment and dedication of Mr Marwa, when he was the Coast regional co-ordinator. When he sneezed, the mean and mighty caught a cold. Terrorist and criminal gangs knew that, with him around, they were living on borrowed time. Keeping him in some office is not good for anyone. He belongs out here.” His contact is [email protected]

Have a vibrant day, won’t you!