We got a superhighway and long, winding overpasses and pretty underpasses and other marvels of road construction. We shouldn’t complain.
Never mind that your average mwananchi doesn’t own a car, or the means to “enjoy” those superhighways and the infrastructure we are laying out.
And so the highways are built, but we still have massive traffic jams and transport problems, with matatu crews charging an arm and a leg to ferry underpaid workers the few kilometres to town.
Walking would be an option — or swimming, in these flood-prone days — if it wasn’t for the clans of marauding thugs who have graduated from merely robbing to killing their victims as well. What ungrateful slobs. If they keep killing us, whom are they going to rob tomorrow?
Those who are keen will also not have failed to notice the irony of frightened citizens dashing across highways with their hearts in their mouths.
Thankfully, a bright chap in the ministry of Transport — a professional brought in to manage a crucial department, no doubt — decided to give the railway a try. That’s genius considering that we haven’t laid a metre of public railway track since 1904.
To get back in the groove of things, the ministry has thrown together 2.5km of rail track in a tiny section of Nairobi. In the uniquely African world of economic under-achievement, this is quite an accomplishment.
Never mind that in Asia, countries that were poorer than Kenya a couple of decades ago are now building city metros and inter-city high-speed trains. So our 2.5km are a beginning — don’t ask what it cost, because that is not an important question.
But a look around Nairobi and other cities reveals that trains and cars are the lowest priorities for the public in terms of transport needs right now. Motorcycles and bicycles are all the rage.
They come with all manner of advantages, including the total absence of carjacking risk, unless you are the motorcycle owner and thugs feel they must kill you to steal your Chinese import.
Also, female passengers can negotiate alternative methods of payment that don’t involve cash, which makes one wonder why female motorcyclists are not getting into this business so men can cash in on this ‘payments in kind’ for gender parity.
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