Al Shabaab puts up brave face even as danger knocks

It is now evident that the march to Kismayu is unstoppable. Yesterday, the Kenya Defence Forces declared that the fall of Kismayu was imminent.

There is good reason to believe this because the African Union (Amisom) troops captured Jana Abdalla, a town which is 40km from Kismayu and killed more than 50 Al Shabaab fighters in four days of fighting. This is the latest town to be captured by Amisom forces on their way to Kismayu, Al Shabaab’s final  stronghold.

As the Amisom forces continue to advance, Al Shabaab fighters are reported to be leaving Kismayu in droves. The militia has, however, dismissed reports that they are running out of Kismayu as “blatant lies”.

“The Islamic administration in Kismayu is going about its business as usual and the city remains calm and firmly under the control of Al Shabaab,” the militia said in an online posting.

SEE ALSO :Kenya shuts border with Somalia in Lamu

Well, running away or firmly holding on is Al Shabaab’s choice to make, but my crystal ball tells me that Kismayu’s fall is indeed imminent.

Car owners discard ‘ugly’ plates

There is an illegal practice among some motorists that needs to be checked quickly. The practice, says Mr Tom Arody, is spreading fast among youthful car owners and began with a few politicians.

 This breed of drivers don’t like the look of the local number plates. Some of the motorists place the number plates on the dash boards and drive with the foreign number plates the cars were imported with.

“Usually, the drivers lie to the police that they are on the way to have the plates fixed,” Mr Arody reveals.Another group has the number plates (usually the front ones) completely removed from the vehicle as they drive in the city.

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Vehicles without number plates, notes Arody, are a security risk and can be used to commit crimes and even disappear without trace after hit-and-run accidents.

Arody wants police and KRA to crack the whip and make the errant motorists to respect the law which requires all vehicles to have number plates.

“If the drivers think that their cars are too beautiful to have number plates, they need to consider trading them for wheelbarrows,” he advises.

KP customer sick, tired of darkness

It is either Kenya Power engineers are not qualified enough or they just don’t care, this is the verdict of an angry Ms Susan Kariuki. Ms Kariuki resides in a flat which has been experiencing persistent power outage along Imara Daima-Tecla Lorupe Road, just before the Jaharis Supermarket.

SEE ALSO :Beyond tough resolve, do more to neutralise Shabaab threat

“We have been having blackouts 24 hours or more every week and I am sick and tired of staying in the dark.”

She adds: “Sometimes the blackout affects some buildings around our block and Kenya Power, surprisingly, manages to fix the others, but not our building.” Kariuki’s contact is [email protected]

Mr Benjamin Anambo, a resident of Luanda, swears that Kenya Power’s power has a water phobia. Every time it rains, power automatically goes off in Luanda. “How do the rains interfere with power?” he asks.

Mr Anambo has a bright idea which he wants to sell to Kenya Power that can help minimise siphoning of transformer oil: Electric fencing.  If the company would like to know how electric fences work and how they are erected, Anambo’s e-mail is [email protected]

DON’T YOU FORGET

SEE ALSO :Garissa university massacre revisited

Did Kericho council stop cemetery trespassers?  

 Kericho resident Christopher Kamaina wrote to PointBlank on October 20, last year complaining that the Kericho Municipal Council cemetery had been turned into a ‘haven of immorality’.

 Kamaina claimed that there is adequate evidence that ‘immorality’ was going on in the cemetery. Used condoms, he claimed, were scattered all over the cemetery.

And that isn’t all. Drug users have a perfect hideout in the cemetery and robbers lurk in the shadows at night waiting for their prey.

Herders also find the unfenced graveyard a perfect grazing field and some Kericho residents “jump from grave to grave on their way home”. Did the council end this insult of the dead?

Blot on beautiful Thika highway 

There is no doubt that the Thika Superhighway is in a class of its own. It is a beautiful road that all Kenyans are proud of, says Morgan Njoroge. However, Mr Njoroge has been angered by some money-hungry entrepreneurs who have been desecrating the architectural masterpiece with obscene advertisements. “There are posters advertising a certain strip joint. The posters have a picture of an almost naked woman wearing a G-string.” Njoroge’s question: “Can’t the  council or Nema take action on these greedy pub owners who dirtify roads and other public places with obscenity?”

Right of Reply
Student looking at issues from ‘narrow perspectives’

Though not authorised to speak on behalf of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, I would like to pose the following two questions to Mathias Philip who complained about Sh2,000 medical fee in the university fee structure on Wednesday.

In the event Mathias collapses  within the precincts of the university, will the university call his health insurance or will it act to provide some services and involve his insurance later? In the event that he being a student at the university and an issue or a case is brought to the attention of the university, will the university not act in one way or the other? Where will the vote for that expense come from?

From my understanding of the issue, this fee should be charged to all the students as a university community. Parallel to this, since Mathias has a national identification card, why does he need the university identification card? Why does he need a bank plate for his bank account? Being a masters student he should delve into issues critically, offer solutions and contribute to development rather than looking at issues from narrow perspectives.

Mathias should not consider the issue from the face value of it. The Sh2,000 is key in offering university services and therefore this levy is necessary.

With regard to sitting of the University examinations, Mathias should look at the university fee payment policy with regard to sitting of examinations.

This is a personal opinion and it is in no way the position of the university. And for the purpose of this, I would not wish that my name and position within the university be identified.

Concerned staff,

JKUAT

Gitweku village should pay first, then demand power 

Ms Susan Wanjiku wrote on Wednesday regarding their application for power at Gitweku in Kangema. First and foremost, it is important to dispel the impression created that Kenya Power may ignore any Kenyan requiring connection to the grid.

We are in the business of selling power and hence we have a great need to connect many Kenyans. Connection, however, comes at a cost and the case of Susan and the group is no different.

They have a quotation from the company spelling how much they need to pay in order for the necessary infrastructure to be constructed.

Migwi Theuri,

Deputy Manager, Corporate Communications,
Kenya Power

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Al shabaab Kismayu Kenya Defence Forces