Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ban on use of vernacular in public offices

I applaud this bill sponsored by MP Elias Mbau of Maragua and approved in parliament last week; Read more it has been a big problem. It is known in Kenya that the population of a tribe in any ministry will depend on which part of the country the Minister of that Ministry comes from. As a visitor in a public office in Nairobi one would get confused and think they are in Nyeri, Kisumu, Kakamega etc depending on which Ministry visited. This is because of the language majority of the staff use to communicate because they feel so much at home. It is so demeaning for people from other tribes who would be the minority in the institution.

Apart from public offices, it is also a problem in some private institutions as well. I remember a private company I worked for some years back. Two colleagues of a certain community were busy chatting and gossiping in an office they shared with another colleague of a different community, one thing they didn’t know was the colleague they were busy gossiping understood their language well. The next episode was terrible she could not take it anymore and decided to fight them, because it was unbearable and it was not the first time they were doing this.

This is one of those interesting bills passed by this parliament.

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