Aside

AFTER ALL OF TURKANA
DIES OF STARVATION , WHO WILL VOTE JUBILEE ?
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Biting drought and hunger are turning lovely , adorable children in Turkana into caricatures . The pain parents endure as they helplessly watch their children waste away and die must be debilitating. I felt my heart constrict as i watched television pictures highlighting the sorry situation in Turkana , reminiscent of the 1985 Ethopian famine that galvanized the world into action . It was our own reknown cameraman Mohammed Amin who brought the suffering to the attention of the world.
An unhealthy preoccupation with campaign mode politics has seen the government fail to take note of drought warnings from the meteorological department . Granted , the government has no control over the vagaries of nature . What we expect of it is the preparedness to mitigate the attendant suffering .
There has been warnings of drought since 2012 and as late as december 2013 . What is the prevailing food situation in the country and what steps have been initiated to bail out the residents of Turkana and outlaying areas ? Is there any proof of the governments commitment to ensure that no citizen dies of hunger ?
With the advent of county governments , we are likely to experience buck passing between the national government and the county government over who should take action . Teething problems for nascent counties absolve the Turkana governor of responsibility . The budgetary allocation for counties cannot allow him to undertake a rescue mission . The onus is therefore on the national government to either avail food from the national granary for Turkana residents or seek international assistance .
We do not have to wait for Safaricom and Red cross initiatives to raise money to save our brothers and sisters .
The government is expected to have set aside contigency funds for such eventualities . If every ministry was to cut its budget by a few million shillings to supplement the contigency funds and with donations from well wishers , we can beat this drought . Who will lead this noble initiative ?
The county government of Turkana should meanwhile send delegations to Israel to find out how the country was turned from being a desert into an agricultural country that is food sufficient . We should also find out how a country like Egypt that is solely dependent on the nile waters could produce enough maize to even export some to us , a country so blessed with rivers and rainfall that food should never lack .

Aside

STAND UP AND BE COUNTED , GOVERNOR OPARANYA .
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A stone throw away from the kakamega county governors office , a brewing storm between billionare owner of the Yako group of companies and Kakamega primary school over ownership of a piece of land is a litmus test for the governor who must act expeditiously to contain it and allay fears of his complicity in the conspiracy to defraud .
Corruption at both the council level and the lands ministry must have allowed mr Khetia to acquire a title deed to the piece of land which has been owned by kakamega primary school for years . The asian tycoon owns up to having come to kenya only twenty years ago , decades after the school was established . Acting in defiance of a court order that had temporarily stopped any development on the land in dispute pending determination , the tycoon has the audacity to resume construction of what many claim is a morgue . Common sense dictates that such an undertaking cannot be adjacent to a learning institution .
Kakamega primary school is a government institution that must be protected from greedy individuals who use their wealth as licence to grab and walk away scot free . The governor is the custodian of all government owned land and institutions within the county and he must come out forcefully to defend them .
From the national lands commission , there exists two letters , one dated 28/6/2013 affirmating that the land in question rightfully belongs to kakamega primary school . Another one dated 6/1/2014 gives ownership to Mr Khetia . Such obvious corruption gives rise to unnecessary friction , exposing children as young as five years to risks and dangers when they innocently take to the streets , daring trigger happy policemen .
A hastily convened parents meeting favoured precipitate confrontational action . It was unanimous in its observation that having futilely chased justice for years , that justice will not come from the courts which have been perceived to be partial .
Unless this conflict is conclusively laid to rest , it is a recipe for serious trouble and jeopardizes the safety of school children . It has already put politicians on a collision path , setting up a stage for political incitement to violence . It was senator Khalwale’s intervention that occasioned the injunction freezing any developmental works on the piece of land . It is imperative that as county principals , the senator and governor come together to solve this matter once and for all .

Aside

WHOEVER THOUGHT KETER WAS A GADFLY SHOULD RECONSIDER .

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Gadfly . That is precisely what many , especially the Jubilants , took Nandi hills mp Alfred Keter to be after raising the red flag on the humongous standard gauge railway line scam . It is what they took him to be when he decried the lack of equity in state jobs distribution between TNA and URP , parties that morphed into Jubilee . In their customary haste to cry louder than the bereaved , the reknown trio of government apologists – Aden Duale , Kithure Kindiki and Murkomen Kipchumba – trashed the Mps claims , calling him names , belittling him on account of being a first timer , as if that was the yardstick by which knowledge and information was acquired . They termed this a scheme by CORD to destabilise the “able” and “visionary ” leadership of the Uhuruto duo .
In telling the truth , mr Keter, a jubilee mp , shamed the devil . Unthinking , servile loyalty to his party are not his stock in trade . When he appeared before the investigative parliamentary committee , he tabled irrefutable evidence that not even the thickest of the thick inside jubilee dared discount . And what better proof of this than the jejune about turn by the loquacious trio of shameless government apologists ? Yes , they gave their ‘demigods’ seven days to come clean or else . Suprise of suprises , they insinuated they knew the identity of two individuals who, through succesive governments , have orchestrated scams that have seriously depleted and nearly deleted government accounts . Aint they guilty of complicity by withholding vital information all these years ? Did they have to wait for Keter to let the cat out of the bag to wake them out of their lethargic stupor ? A couple of months down the line from the 2013 general election , through televised debates , senator Murkomen came through as a very sober mind , objective and fiery . His criticism of observable mistakes by Jubilee was welcome . But something happened . A summons to statehouse seems to have inhibited his thought process . Today , objectivity is now anathema to him . I can only guess why , and your guess is as good as mine . I cannot figure out mr Kithure but i believe he is trying to capitalise on a fluid situation to make some bucks , there is plenty in sight if he makes the right noises . As for Duale , even if i searched the whole advanced learners dictionary for words to describe him , none will aptly apply to him .
I keep asking myself , do these leaders ever listen to themselves speak ? Are they the ‘Ngiri’ whose tales Raila often regales us with ? Do they have conscience ? Do they have the grey matter in proper quantities ? Do they understand what leadership entails ? Can they be trusted to lead us anywhere ?
The team coalescing around the jubilee principals gives sycophancy a whole new meaning . It takes me back in time to the days of mkulima number 1 , muchezaji number 1 , kiongozi number 1 and all that nonsense . Can you forgive me for thinking the trio of Murkomen , Kithure and Duale are reincarnations of Ezekiel Barng’etuny , Mulu Mutisya and Nassir Sharriff ?

Aside

CAUGHT BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE , WHAT SHOULD WILLIAM RUTO DO ?
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After the supposed recent meeting between deputy president William Ruto and senator Moses Wetangula , speculation has been rife as to what transpired and the possible ramifications . A harmless post on social media from a lady who is a staunch supporter of Jubilee caught my attention through its inference that Wetangula was about to change sides , politically . Though said in jest , it drew some heated , yet interesting debate that i have been following since .
There are three facets to this meet that i would like us to consider .
1 – The political marriage of convenience between Ruto and Kenyatta that bore Jubilee is bursting at the seams. Unfolding events , right from the ICC where , to all purposes and intents , Kenyatta has extracted himself leaving Ruto to hold the can , the stink from the standard gauge railway tender and the inhuman evictions from Embobut forest must have compelled william to view things from a different respective . When Raila sanctioned another eviction a while back , it precipitated a fall out between him and Ruto , with the latter being so intense and passionate about ‘his’ people . Now that he is deputy president , did they cease to be his , what changed ? Slowly but surely , fellow legislators from the larger rift valley have been throwing barbs , alienating Ruto and i believe he has finally taken note . The hustler in him urges him to seek political survival by sending out feelers . The tyranny of numbers might work a second time in favour of Uhuru if Jubilee holds . What happens after that ? Wont Ruto want to be president and will the kikuyu support him ? Something tells me they will not . You can add acid to water but if you tried the reverse , you will get burned .
2 – Jubilee has a stiff neck from constantly looking over the shoulder to see what Cord is up to . It is about time that itch got massaged to allow it to plod on . It has to either appease Cord or pulverize it . How do they attempt that and what are the chances of success ?
3 – At a public rally recently , Raila opined that Jubilee was handicapped in matters of governance and Cord was going to show them a thing or two . I found that to be curious and wondered how he was going to actualise the veiled threat . Is Cord trying to woe Ruto to their side by any and all means ? Will they resort to propaganda , blackmail or plain common sense to effect their plans ? Can such plans succeed ?
The common denominator in both scenarios is Ruto , a man caught between a rock and a hard place . He has to do something . Your views ?

Aside

I SUPPORT REDUCTION IN NUMBER OF COUNTIES TO LIMIT BUREAUCRACY .
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After my letter to the standard ; http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/m/story.php?id=2000102710&story_title=Devolution%20has%20failed%20to%20%20bring%20services%20closer%20to%20people ~
a motion by Mwingi Mp , Joe Mutambo to reduce the number of counties vindicates me .
M/s Chesoni Atsango is an irrelevance we can do without and she should keep her mouth shut . I dont buy her tired observation that reducing counties is an infringement on citizen rights . Which rights are these ? ‘Citizen participation ‘ in governance is a cheap lie that nobody buys because we dont . The reasons we are having riots and demonstrations across counties is because citizens are not consulted and their participation is not sought . We are expected to follow prompts and orders with the mechanical loyalty of robots , which we are not .
Irritants like senators Murk Omen Kipchumba and Kithure Kindiki should spare us the din and let those with intellectual depth discuss the issue soberly . It is not because they really believe in devolution that they are so vociferous in their opposition to the bill but rather , pecuniary considerations and megalomania take the vanguard positions . Devolution , if what we see of it today is anything to go by , will ultimately be a very serious liability to the commoner . Mr Mutambo’s arguements in favour of county reduction are based on reason , not the sentimentality exhibited by oppositionist government apologists .
The amount of money required to just pay salaries to the many office holders under the county government structure is stupendous . A year down the line , counties , which mr Mutambo argues should be called states , are so stuck in quagmire it will take another four wasted years to point them in the right direction , if ever . These tribal cocoons should be expeditiously dismantled than wait for later . So far , James Orengo is the only senator who has exhibited sobriety even after taking cognizance of the fact that he could become a casualty if the bill goes through .