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THE CUTTING EDGE

Wednesday October 30 2019

EASTLANDS RENEWAL: The massive development project expected to dramatically change the face of Nairobi’s populous Eastlands area, Ken Butiko says, is, perhaps, the best opportunity for the government to properly plan and deliver decent and affordable housing. Through the much-touted Eastlands urban renewal plan, he adds, the 3,000 acres occupied by some old estates are to be turned into a modern housing project. “Land for some essential social amenities was grabbed. This time around, we must ensure that schools, dispensaries, playing fields and social halls are fully incorporated into the overall housing development plans.” His contact is [email protected]

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THE KENYAN DEPRESSION: The country is “facing an economic meltdown of monumental proportions”, warns Chris Kiriba, seeing some parallels with the Great Depression of the 1920s and ’30s in the US which saw many people lose their jobs and live in squalor. “The only differences between the situation in Kenya today and the US then are the practical and pragmatic steps that the American leadership took in the ‘New Deal’ and an assurance that the government was on top of things. This is what we also need here, and which may not be forthcoming.” His contact is [email protected]

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TOURISM: The idyllic coastal port town of Mombasa is a thriving commercial centre, says Alnashir Walji. Its Swahili heritage is evident in its fine and durable architecture and the people’s mode of dress. But an uneasy calm, he states, prevails as the residents go about their daily business with the spectre of terrorism hovering over the town. If terror threat does not rear its ugly head, tourism booms, as the foreign and local visitors often throng the pristine sandy beaches to savour the tropical sun and enjoy their stay in the many plush hotels in the holiday seasons. Alnashir is grateful to the government for building some elaborate infrastructure, especially roads, there. His contact is [email protected]

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VETTING: Kenyans, Njeri Njuguna remarks, “are deeply resilient in the face of adversity”. But she fears that this strength of character “is beginning to work against us and not for us”. Njeri cannot imagine, for instance, how the vetting of police officers for corruption has become such an exercise in futility. She hopes the authorities will see the need to shed light on how they intend to recover the money spent on the “useless” vetting. She also wonders whether a change approach would salvage the situation by doing it quietly for police and other civil servants. Her contact is [email protected]

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STARVED JUDICIARY: By underfunding the Judiciary, Geoffrey Sendeu warns, the country will be effectively slamming the brakes on the gallant fight being waged by Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji against the ills that afflict the country. “I recently read, with utter dismay, that the Judiciary’s allocation will be drastically slashed. With a huge backlog of high-level cases, not to mention ordinary Kenyans starved of justice, how do we expect to fight these problems, including corruption? All the efforts by the DCI, DPP and other agencies will only be seen to have succeeded if convictions are secured.” His contact is [email protected]

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WISHING YOU SUCCESS: Who better to wish the KCPE and KCSE candidates success as they tackle the tests than university don X.N. Iraki. “Take heart. Until we invent a better alternative to exams, you will continue sitting them, just the same way we must pay taxes or take medicine when sick.” He advises them to “treat exams as a rite of passage, a transition to maturity and an opportunity to prove yourself to world”. To the KCSE candidates, the University of Nairobi School of Business associate professor, says: “I look forward to seeing you in my class.” His contact is [email protected]

Have a successful day, won’t you!