Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tragic Month

This month is full of tragedies and especially this week. First I will pay tribute to our departed National hero Mr. Martin Shikuku who succumbed to cancer. He will be remembered for being a humble Kenyan who fought for liberation of Kenyans. It will also be remembered that he prepared for his death years back, by preparing his grave and that of his wife and also two coffins. His coffin is a simple one compared to expensive coffins used to bury great people like him. He knew that his community feasts in burials so he kept bulls and declared 4 will be slaughtered in his burial.

On the same day it was also announced that the wife of the Late Minister Michuki (who died this year) also died at the same hospital of cancer. Many prominent Kenyans have been affected by cancer, some have managed to get treated before it is too late like health ministers Prof. Anyang Nyongo and Hon Beth Mugo but for some it was too late like in the case of Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai.

Other tragedies that happened this week:

Clashes between members of Orma and Pokomo communities in Tana River where at least 52 people were killed. It is very sad to see clashes start when we are preparing to go for elections, and very bad if it is political as suspected.

The tragic death of 8 girls at St Theresa’s Asumbi Girls boarding primary school was also a shocker. It was so inhuman of the Sisters at the Catholic School to lock the girls in the dormitories and a good move for the Minister of Education Hon. Mutula Kilonzo to sack top Education officials in Homa Bay District because it was their duty to inspect schools and ensure Government policies are implemented.

It is also in this month of August that 13 women of PCEA Thika Church perished in a road accident in Tanga on their way to Dar-Es-salaam, it was very sad to loose many mothers. This was another of the many road accidents that have happened lately.

It is a belief that what we confess will happen, many of us believe that August is a bad month because of tragedies and prominent leaders who died in August like the first President Jomo Kenyatta and it has proved to be so. We need to view this month in a different way to change the situation.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Kenyans are not cowed by laws unless pushed to the wall

City land rates (Jiokoe Sasa!!)

Many Kenyans for years have not been paying land rates and ignored that law assuming that it is there only on paper. Nairobi City Council’s requests to City dwellers to pay land rates for their plots/lands have fallen on deaf ears. I believe only a few people paid when buying land to get their title deeds processed, but after owning the land payments stopped.

Many must have ignored paying the rates because of poor management of City Hall for many years. In the 80s City Council was doing a good job the City was clean. Things changed when population of the City increased rapidly increasing demand for services. Instead of things getting better greed took over, that is when there were many ghost workers on City Hall’s payroll, senior staff employing their friends and relatives resulting in unqualified staff. In the process they were loosing a lot of money through corruption and stealing. Workers would strike every now and then because of salary arrears.

Therefore in that confused organization, laws could not be implemented and who was going to waste their time and money to pay rates to such an organization. However with transition of power and political changes, City Hall has improved in so many ways but still Kenyans did not heed the call to pay rates until we were given a deadline and told our properties will be sold, that’s when we rushed to pay rates. Its not that City Hall is perfect now but at least things have changed and we expect to see more now that they are getting good money.

School holiday tuition ban

When President Kibaki reshuffled the cabinet and moved Hon Mutula Kilonzo from Ministry of Justice to Ministry of Education, to me that was a demotion. Being a prominent lawyer was former President Moi’s lawyer for years it was an awkward appointment. But now he is always in the news enjoying his work in this Ministry, he does exciting jigs with students when they entertain their visitors.

However his public utterances on this crucial Ministry, is not going down well with Kenyans. The day he visited a girls’ school and supported their request to wear shorter skirts and should not dress like nuns, he annoyed Kenyans who attacked him for saying schoolgirls should wear mini skirts. The Catholic Church also did not spare him for mentioning nuns. He later said he was misquoted this is what all politicians say because they rarely think before they talk.

On the other hand he is receiving some support now from many parents who have been burdened by school fees, when he banned holiday tuition, but as I said Kenyans are not cowed unless pushed. Only public schools obeyed because “he warned that the Teachers Service Commission would discipline any school head or teacher who will contravene the directive” (from the Standard). For private schools it is business as usual because he did not push them like he did with public schools. This has not gone down well with teachers in public schools and parents with children in those schools, especially those preparing for final exams. While their children are at home, those in private schools are learning and revising. As usual when results will be out, private schools will be in the top list. If the Government issues a ban it should apply to all.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Kenyan athletes’ performance at the Olympics was boring

Team Kenya is back in the Country after performing badly at London Olympics.  We expected many medals especially Gold from our champion athletes but only managed 2 Gold, 4 Silver and 5 bronze ending at position 28.

Watching athletics our favorite became a disappointing affair when most athletes failed to win as expected. Despite Team Kenya’s overall bad performance, Ezekiel Kemboi in 3000m steeplechase and David Lekuta Rudisha (broke World record in the men’s 800 meters final) brought back our pride.

It’s strange that many athletes performed badly at the Olympics but when they participate in better paying races they perform well, why? Now they are preparing for the forthcoming Diamond League races that resume this Friday at Stockholm we’ll see how they perform.

Why is it that when there is poor performance in other games like football the Coach is fired or asked to resign but we do not hear this in athletics? Something must have gone wrong like choosing the wrong people or favoritism, so someone must be made answerable because it is not cheap to send a team abroad and come back with poor performance from world champions.