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Monthly Archives: February 2012

You made your point; now rest in peace.

When I received the news of the death of the former transport minister, I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel. Personally; I think he was a successful politician: Professionally; I’m not sure and now that he is dead I don’t think I will ever understand what he believed he wanted to achieve with his no non-sense approach. I will take a minute of silence in his honor and extended my condolences to the bereaved family for the loss of one of their family member. I don’t think it is fair to fight or accuse someone who cannot defend his innocence or explain his side of the story; for that reason; I will shelve whatever differences I might have had with his policies because it will not make any difference now. I hope he makes it to the gates of what he believed in.

The late minister will be remembered by many for different of reasons; I will personally remember him for giving me a new career and opening my eyes to the reality that this is the Earth and I should not live with heavenly expectations.  The matatu industry will probably remember him as the man who hiked bribe from 100 Ksh to a whopping 1000 Ksh. Before he came to the transport ministry, the police would only check the tires, Insurance and road licenses and that was all; any traffic violation would either cost 100 bob there and then or a court fine of not more than 2000. When the Michuki took over, he brought in safety belts, uniforms, speed governors, ribbons, pictures, badges and other irrelevant requirements that turned our world upside down. The magistrates hiked the fine to 10000 and gave the police a golden opportunity to hike their take.

When all that was said, was done; and the new matatus came back to the roads, the investors were left with no option but to push the extra cost to the consumers and bus-fare shot up to the ceiling. For instance, We used to charge 35 ksh from Rongai to Nairobi; after reducing the seats and putting on our uniforms,we increased the fare to 70 ksh and finally settled for 80. Kenyans in general accused us of overcharging them and we humbly took the blame but held to our guns. When he left, the passengers started looking for the vehicles that had made their speed governors disappear, safety belts were left to sweep the floors as passengers squeezed to fit four persons in a space of three at a discount. The badges could not be maintained as the job has no permanent employment formula and many workers are hired on short-term basis; a simple agreement that ends at the close of bussiness.

His influence came to hunt us again when he took over as the boss in the security docket. There he enforced another charge called touting that swept all the young and middle age from the bus stop and most of the major towns across Nairobi and Central provinces. Any tout or matatu driver found wearing a short instead of an underwear was arrested and charged with being a member of Mungiki. I personally fell victim to Rhino and KweKwe squads more than five times, two times I paid a fine, Another two times I bribed the police but I wasn’t so lucky the third time as I had to do some time in prison.

However he did his job, he is no more and Kenya will still go on. The rules he imposed on us will soon be forgotten and Mungiki still wrecks havoc but the consequences of his actions will always bring that ……… feeling in our hearts.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Matatu matters

 

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Is this what caused the pot belly?

I have for a long time wanted to share this message with somebody; although I know it will not go down well with some of my biggest fans. Today being a Saturday; I know many have started to wipe the dust from the bible cover, but we can still take a few minutes and compare notes.

I work in an industry that most people would not even imagine that we read the bible; I don’t blame those who think like that because – Who would expect the people who cause all the confusion on our roads, overcharge passengers, obstruct other motorists, bribe our way out of traffic offenses, call our customers names and drop them before they reach their destination not to mention play load music among other evils; can find time to seek God? I nevertheless spend a few moments everyday studying the word and that’s what has led me to write this article.

It has been a tough decision to make because I believe religion is not something you write about everyday and also not the kind of topic I can pretend to have figured out. whether I’m doing it in all truth, or I have a secret hatred for our dear sisters is for you to decide. The reason I would still prefer you comment on this topic is to enlighten me on the subject in case I may have missed the point; but still, I feel it’s much better if i share it with everybody, in case a better mind will explain it better to me.

The issue at hand is what is causing pot belly in married women?- and yet they were the shape of a coca cola bottle before marriage. In my own opinion, Adultery has also contributed although there are tens of other reasons. In the society that we are living in today, many people have become what a Swahili speaker would call;-Kuzoeana na Mungu-i.e we have gotten used to God so much to a point that it looks like He must have changed his mind about punishing offenders. Fornication and cheating among the married is the hottest news; they are calling it the new swag. Married couples[ men/women] have taken over the airwaves, they call Maina kageni in his breakfast show on classic FM; explaining how they are making good this horrifying act, some with younger men and even domestic workers including gardeners and watchmen.

But is this the cause of this ex-figure 8, now figure-less woman of today? Let’s see the possibilities.

The teaching on the trial of unfaithful woman is found in the old testament book of Numbers chapter 5; in the text that runs from verse 11 and ends with verse 29; God tells Moses how he would come to deal with a scorn that was soon to visit the house of Israel and later spread to the whole world. He also tells Moses the kind of punishment that He will bring upon the perpetrators of the most hidden crime of a cheating wife.

I know this sounds flimsy to the modern Christian; to even imagine that, religion can cause change in physical appearance. But in reality I believe it does. In the old days a husband’s suspicion that his wife was cheating on him was enough to warrant a trial and in-case the accused was found to have committed the crimes she was suspected of, then something would happen to her stomach and thighs and it would be a sign to the everyone that the said woman had defiled her marriage bed. This is not witch craft not unless the bible is a book of tricks.

In those days, if a man suspected that the wife had gone astray; he would report her to the priest and the man of God would call the suspect and make her pass though a trial. She would be given some concoction prepared from the dust of the temple among other ingredients. The verdict is clearly spelt out in numbers chapter 5:27; And when he[the priest] has made her[the suspect] to drink of the water, then it shall come to pass that, if she be defiled and has done trespass against her husband, the water that causes the curse shall enter into her and become bitter and her belly shall swell and her thigh shall rot. and the woman shall be a curse among her people.
In our modern world, much has changed and it might prove really hard to find a priest who is willing to perform the trail or even find any who knows of their being such a thing. Every preacher is talking about helping the faithful with financial break through and planting seeds. But this whole concept changes once we look at what was revealed to Paul, 500 yrs later since the law was first published.

The passage found in the first letter [Paul] wrote to the Corinthians, takes us back to the same trial and the punishment that those in the days of Moses had to go through, we see that it is only the circumstances that have changed, but the law of God has remained is effective as ever.

In the book of; 1st Corinthians  ; Paul here again bringing the high priest who according to the New Testament is our Lord Jesus Christ. By His death on the cross, Jesus shed’s his own blood to atone for all sacrifices, marking the end of all blood sacrifices. In this particular case of un-faithfulness, his blood takes the place of the blood of birds, the measure of flour and herbs that came from the husband and given to the priest to perform the trial..

Paul writes In verse 27. warning those who were taking in vain the holy communion which is observed to remind us of the innocent death on the cross of our Lord; ”wherefore who-so-ever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the blood and body of the lord; but let every man examine himself and drink this cup; for anyone that eats and drinks this cup unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself; not discerning the Lords body. In verse 30; Paul wrote; it is for this cause that many are weak and sick and many sleep.

Can you imagine that the Holy Communion that you receive so openly in the house of worship could be the cause of sickness and death? Well; think again before you put that sacrament bread and sip that cup in remembrance of the Lord. It may cause your belly to swell.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Its life

 

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Ensure justice for all

For many years, workers in the matatu industry have been viewed as lesser citizens; or people caught in the wrong job. We have been accused of all sorts of misconduct and blamed for causing most of the road accidents on our roads. This is one accusation that we have tried to defend our innocence for far too long but we have not yet succeeded. The reason it has been an uphill task for the players in the industry to distance themselves from this accusations,Is because nobody has ever come forward to address our problems. The reason for this attitude can only be attributed to the behaviors’ of quite a large number of the workers in this sector. One of our biggest problems is illiteracy. It will be surprising to know that, majority of people who find themselves in the industry either dropped out of school or have never been to a class all their lives.

The matatu industry is probably the only employment agency that doesn’t require any kind of experience or academic qualifications. You don’t need a high school education to drive a motor car and most interesting you don’t have to go for a road test to get a driving license, thanks to corruption. Many drivers I personally know don’t know how to read and cannot even put two words together to write a sentence. A number of them are former street children; many of them begin as car wash attendants then to touts who fill the vehicles at bus stops before they graduate to conductors and eventually drivers.

This is what has fueled corruption in the sector as many workers don’t know their rights and have no way of reading the law for themselves. The traffic police{not all} have taken advantage of this gap caused by our illiteracy and most often abuse the laws to harsh and extort money from the unlearned friends. Most of the arrests we see every day and the many crackdowns on matatus are illegal and not supported by the law but due to what I can only describe as ignorance on the investors part, the cops have continued impounding and jailing matatu workers unjustly.

But we can now say there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I’m particularly very happy with how the Kenyan youths have embraced their nationality and pride of their heritage. If we put aside for a moment the post-election violence that really stained our reputation as a country,we can clearly see that our strangle for liberation has changed the way things used to be done. We have made very big steps in the last ten years; or since President kibaki came to power. We cannot however give all the credit to the president but we have to commend him for creating the right atmosphere.

I was following the drama surrounding our deputy chief justice with a smile; the story had so much significance with the biblical statue mentioned in the book of Daniel chapter 2. She has the looks of a strong and healthy human being; she is full of knowledge about the law as we saw during the interviews. Her job is probably among the ten most prestigious in the country. But unfortunately her feet seems to be made of clay as it turned out, it was unbelievable, that a mere watchman could bring down such a high profiled person. This after all is an indication that our justice system may after all be the growing teeth.

It has now reached a point where; even those we feared and regarded as the untouchables will soon find their immunity withdrawn and will have to give account for their conducts. One serious problem I would want to see addressed is the issue of police officers investing in the matatu industry and then using their authority to create uneven playing ground. You would be surprised to know that, many of the vehicles you see on the roads fitted with load music, fancy alloy wheels, graffiti and such beatification belong to some high level police officers.

Now that justice seems to have regained sight, let’s hope it be no longer blind and will be able to see this corrupt state employees and send them where they belong. By the way; what happened to the law that prevent traffic police officers from investing in the matatu industry? Somebody is sleeping on the job.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Matatu matters

 

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The Other Kenyans.

According to one Niccolo Machiavelli. It cannot be called prowess to Kill,fellow citizens, to betray friends, to be treacherous, pitiless or irreligious. This ways can win a prince power but not glory.

I don’t expect that majority in the industry I work in have read  Machiavelli THE prince. A book that was traditionally said to have been inspired by the devil, It is also touted to be the bible of real politik.( Which leaves us wondering who really inspires politicians,) But since politics determines who we are and what identifies us; It is then wise to  see things from a political point of view.

The issue at hand is the crackdown on organized groups. for those who read newspapers and watch Television, it may appear to them as though a certain movement has such a great following such that, It has captured the eyes of the whole world. If you have been  listening to the radio or happens to watch news on Television, you are aware by now what group I’m talking about here. we have become used to seeing on Tv everyday as hundreds of its members are arrested and taken to courts all over the country. But we still hear stories of others who are still collecting illegal money from traders in almost every major town in the country. I know most of them as the matatu industry is one of the sector that has been affected by their influence for a number of years now.

But, as much as i would like to agree with the news that is available to the public, I still have a bone to break with the authorities responsible with handling this National disaster. It seems as the more the government wages war on the sect, the more it continues to grow. it has now reached a piont where, as a trader, it is better to pay trhe protection fee than to risk having your head disconnected from the rest of the body as has been the case to many who have refused to compaly. The government have failed compleatly in protecting its citizens leaving them to the mercy of the sect members. The state had tried to use brutal force to drive them out of business. there were so many reported cases of some members disappearing and later found murdered or excecuted by police as many claimed. The formular did not work due to public outcry and relatives of those found murdered put a lot of pressure on the government and were soon joined by International communities.

Their activities got a new life span soon after One minister who had been on the forefront in distablising the sect was transferred to another ministry. his approach was not to bear fruits because in my opinion; It was inhuman and brutal.  Even if we were to kill all members of the illegal sect, it would only be a matter of time before  another movement would come up and follows in the olds footsteps.

We attained independence to self-rule in order to use Kenya as a lunching pad where we can develop our own formulas that we can sell to the rest of the world. We the citizens of this beautiful country have no option but take the first stepDenying that this groupings are a thorn in our fresh would be vanity, the best way to go about it is; To hire expert who will study the issue and be able to tell us what it is we really want and why we have not yet found it fifty years since attaining self-rule.

The other option would be to use the courts to guarantee us that, our rights as equal citizens is no longer violated and that our freedom that has been taken from us for a very long time is restored. Let us stop pointing fingers at each other and blaming this for that. Let us  all in one accord concentrate on building this our beloved country. We have a new constitution that spell out very clearly the laws and the rights that Kenyans should enjoy. Everybody knows that change comes with a lot of adjustments, lets  not violate some people’s rights to protect others, no one is superior to the new constitution;

The police should follow the law in dealing with sect members since, they are also Kenyans who have been brainwashed by some powerful souls for selfish personal gains. Help them find their way home. As the general elections campaign kick off, watch for yourself and come january and you will realise how much you share in common with the said gang members. like it or not, they are our brothers and sisters; and with the freedom of religion in our constitution, we should come up with measures that will guarantee that we start enjoying our sleep. As for now, no one has come up with a formula that can assure us of our safety.

We should think and put in place measures that will make Kenya a sects-free society. i hope its one of the package for vision twenty thirty.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Matatu matters

 

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