Wednesday, May 9, 2012

NHIF DRAMA/SAGA

National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) has dominated Kenyan news since May 1st (Labor Day), when Trade Union Secretary General Francis Atwoli issued a strike notice of 14 days because of proposed increase in NHIF contributions and threatened to reveal those behind NHIF corrupt deals. 

Since then the Drama that ensued is very absurd just at the Nation Media puts it. See attached links for more information and related stories.


Medical Services Minister Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o is now being called upon to step aside to pave way for investigations. Actually there is need for proper investigation into the matter by Government Auditor General as suggested by Hon. Martha Karua.

I agree with all those who are calling for Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o to step aside, however we have seen other Ministers whose Ministries have been found with scandals staying put even when called to step aside. A good example is the former Minister of Education Prof Ongeri when he refused completely to step aside when there was a major scandal in the ministry. He was supported by the PNU side of Government and to-date nothing happened. Because of the public Hospital Funds involved this NHIF issue cannot be wished away soon, Kenyans are also annoyed by the proposed high NHIF rates to be deducted from salaries and it was a great relief when the high court yesterday postponed the deductions.

As we are nearing elections Kenyans are watching all Government institutions keenly, because it is known that during elections politicians need money for campaigns. Therefore any new proposals or appointments like the one affecting Transport Minister Amos Kimunya are subject to a lot of scrutiny and criticism.

NHIF is important to most Kenyans but high deductions will only burden many employers/employees who already have other medical insurance schemes.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Its raining heavy

The Country is experiencing very heavy rainfall during this long rains season. This time meteorological department’s prediction was right they have also said the heavy rains will continue for sometime. It rains everyday from late afternoon and the whole night but at least the sun shines during the day. The heavy rains have caused flooding in most parts of the Country and this is worrying because floods cause a lot of havoc. There are landslides and cracks like the one shown on news yesterday at Mahi Mahiu along the Rift Valley.

The plains of Kano and Budalangi that flood every rain season are worse with this heavy downpour. People in those areas are normally relocated and receive help from the Government, other charity organizations. However many other parts of the Country are now also affected, even Nairobi City dwellers are terribly affected by floods all over. It is so annoying to see roads even in the City center flooded causing heavy traffic jam within and out of the City. This once again puts City hall on notice regarding the drainage system in the City.

It is not the first time the Country is experiencing El NiƱo rains and so City planners should always be prepared before rains start. Apart from flooded roads there are parts of the City that are now very filthy because of the rain. Take a walk down Haile Selassie Road from Railways to Wakulimu market, into Muthurwa market and Landies road. Lately City hall has not been collecting garbage, I do not know when Wakulima market road was last repaired, the road into the biggest market is Kenya is now like gruel, Muthura market road is not very old but is in a terrible state and the flooding is causing more damage. The filthy uncollected garbage mixed with mad and rain is a sorry state. This is what common citizens of Kenya have to preserver everyday when walking around the city.

The road and the drainage in the estates are not any better, floods are entering some homes and the water level on the roads is at knee height. Many people can now make a living from the floods by carrying people on handcarts, motor bikes (boda boda) or on their back to help them cross roads, not even gum boots will help.

The people who are worst hit are those living near rivers, all river and seasonal streams have broken their banks. I know of many people near Nairobi in Athi River, Mavoko, Embakasi, Ngong etc… who are affected. They are not able to cross to go to and fro work depending on which side they are because there are no bridges to help them cross. It is so serious because when they do not have food at home it is difficult to get supplies if they do not have a shop on that side.

Looking at the heavy rains through the window in the middle of the night, I shed tears when I remember those in temporary structures like IDPs and Slums. Red Cross are always there to help, but it is also upon Government ministries that are concerned to use their resources to relocate people, and put up bridges where citizens affected can crossover. They should not only concentrate their help on people in the Country side and forget the ones affected in the City.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Annoying power blackouts

There are lots of complaints on social media about power black outs caused by Kenya Power. The old Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) was re-branded Kenya Power and has a new look, but there is nothing new about it only the new colors on their vehicles and adverts, the rest has not changed, services are worse. I do not understand how rain affects power? During drought we are normally warned of power rationing because of low water levels at the dams.

It is so annoying when one gets home late in the night after frustrating heavy traffic jam caused by heavy rains and flooding in the country, only to be welcomed by darkness or a candle lit house. Because it has become a daily occurrence many have now bought rechargeable or solar lamps to use at night.

I still don’t get it, how does rain affect Power even when there is no thunder. How come some parts of Nairobi or the Country are not affected yer its raining all over? Kenya Power should give notice of blackouts during rain season and give us a reason.

Kenya Power is the main power supplier in the Country, if there was another alternative things would have been different. The other alternatives we now have is to use generators or install Solar Panels.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Corrupt authorities to blame for Al-shabaab attacks

Since Kenya started fighting Al-shabaab in Somalia, there have been a number of grenade blast attacks in Kenya, most of them concentrated in Nairobi, Mombasa Counties and North Eastern region. These are the regions you can find many illegal immigrants from Somalia. Many of them are settled and mixed up with original Somali tribes of Kenya and have acquired Kenyan documents from local authorities.

On a recent visit to Kajiado County I was shocked that part of the bus stop has been grabbed, I was told the space has been grabbed by a Somali. The person must have paid the local authority some good money to grab such an obvious space. It is also sad the locals are selling most of their land to Somali’s, there are some who are Kenyans but some cannot even speak Kiswahili. I don’t believe there is any young Kenyan from any part of Kenya who cannot speak some Kiswahili.

Every Kenyan has a right to leave where they want even the Kenyans of Somali tribe, but when other illegal immigrants from Somalia are smuggled and mixed up with them then it becomes a big issue. I believe this people may be entering the Country through borders like Namanga to get to Kajiado then proceed to Nairobi. The Maasai have also become too lenient, greedy to sell most of their land just to get money and in the process compromising their security and inheritance. I remember a friend telling me she attended a parents meeting in a girl’s school, one of the songs sung by the girls was a Maasai song telling their parents to stop selling land. One local told me this place is another time bomb if the authorities are not careful; he is from another part of Kenya and said this cannot happen where I come from. The Minister of Security and Minister for Local Authority should investigate and deal with such corrupt authorities for the safety of Kenyans.

Latest attacks on public places like Bus stops and Churches is a worrying trend, if the authorities cannot protect us then only God will.

Sociable

Kenya

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