No Parliament can exist without the Press gallery

Some things can only be described as comical, very comical. Just what motivated Parliament’s decision  yesterday to evict the Press from the Media Centre? In case anyone has forgotten, PointBlank would like to remind them that journalists are not in the House out of anyone’s magnanimity. They are there because democracy dictates so. They are there as the public’s watchdog.

Indeed, long before the current crop of politicians was born, a British politician by the name Edmund Burke (1729-1797) noted thus: “There are three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all.”

Unlike MPs who must be elected, the Fourth Estate have permanent space in Parliament to tell good and bad stories, including when politicians are plotting to loot the public.

There can be no democracy without the Press in Parliament. There can be no democracy when Parliament handpicks which journalists should cover what proceedings. The move to frustrate reporters by ejecting them from the centre must be opposed by everyone who  believes in democracy.

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Ex-Kamiti prisoner’s ID card pain

Mr Mustapha Khalib Mohamed applied for an identity card in 2009 at the registration office in Fafi District, but sadly has not got the vital document to date. “Every time I go to the office, the registration officer tells me that I have to be vetted by the district security intelligence committee,” says Khalib, an ex-prisoner who was released from Kamiti Maximum Prison on December 5, 2008.

The problem, however, is he has never been vetted and there are no indications that the vetting will happen any time soon.  “I am not alone.  There are 70 other over age Kenyans who are waiting to be vetted by this committee,” reveals Khalib. Why is the security committee taking years to do what it is supposed to do, or are ex-prisoners not supposed to have IDs? Khalib’s  contact is 0725824537.

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From Kisumu, Elly Akoko has also grown tired of waiting for his ID card, which he applied for in April, 2012. “I was given a waiting card, serial number 231209944. Every time I visit the station, I’m told: “ngojea itakuja tu” (wait, you will get it).” How much longer should he wait, Registrar of Persons? His email is [email protected].

When temporary means ‘forever’

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National Bank of Kenya’s (NBK) Kakamega customer Mathews S is concerned about the NBK “system”. He claims the ATMs at a local branch were “temporarily out of service” for the better part of last weekend.

“Calls to 0731938396 help line did not go through. NBK can do better. As they rebrand, I expect better service,” says Mathews. whose email is [email protected]

From Nairobi, another faithful NBK customer Henry Kipkemoi is also pleading with the bank to do something about its network, which he claims is “down most of the time”.

Kipkemoi wants NBK’s IT department to work extra harde to improve their systems. “I have been embarrassed in the supermarket so many times because their network is down thus the card cannot be accepted.” His  contact is [email protected]

Meanwhile, Co-operative Bank customer Christopher Mutai claims that the bank recently  accused him of withdrawing money that he never had.

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“I had Sh5,010 and withdrew Sh4500. They claim I withdrew Sh5,000 on April 17 and then Sh4,500 April 18.”

He wants the bank to explain whether this is indeed possible. His contact is [email protected].

DON’T YOU FORGET

Have IEBC officials in Nyanza got their dues?  

In the recent past, several people, who claim to have worked for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) during the last elections have alleged here that they were yet to be paid their dues.

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They include some ‘officials’ from South Nyanza region who complained on April 11 that they were yet to be paid by the electoral body.

They alleged that when they were recruited before the poll, they were promised they would be paid their dues a week after the March 4 elections. They alleged  that in South Nyanza region, no IEBC officials have been paid their wages.

“Some of us who have reached the regional co-ordinator have been told  that as far as he was concerned, all people have been paid.” What’s the true position on this matter IEBC Chairman Issack Hassan?

Desai’s delayed  phone refund

In November 2012, Mukesh Desai bought a Samsung SGHS6102 from Fones Direct Ltd at Rank Xerox and gave it out as a gift. However, the phone developed problems “from day one” and he immediately took it  back to the company for repair. It was quickly repaired and returned to him. Unfortunately, after a week, it again broke down and he took it back. As the problem wasn’t completely resolved, Desai asked that he be  refunded his money, but this he says has not been done despite constantly reminding Fones Direct and Samsung about it. Will he ever be refunded his money? His contact is 0722718148.

Right of Reply
We live in a world of break ups and heartaches
Allow me to respond to Betty’s reaction to the article, “What do women really want”, which was published here on June 4, 2013.

I feel her pain, frustration and anger in being and doing the right kind of things to make her relationship work but ended up losing her man to the ‘other woman’.

What she expressed is  understandable given the circumstances, yet the dynamics of relationships are hard to define and people change with time such that what attracted people initially changes and there are deep motives that can not be dug out in people to see what they desire. As a result, pain and frustrations follow when one is left.

It is observable that it is women who are mostly the victims, but Betty needs to also know that there are men who likewise do everything for their women but get dumped.

Is it true that there are no men to marry Betty, as she put it? I doubt it...There are men out there who share similar values with her  and it may be that she has not yet met them.

In life, there are no guarantees of “the happy endings at the end of the rainbow” most people desire in their relationships. One can only live with an open heart and embrace the moments shared with whoever crosses his/her path—be it for a long or short duration.

Mike

Nokia customer finally gets much deserved care

Allow me to thank PointBlank for helping me get a quick solution to my problem that I believe came about due to my complaint, which was published yesterday.

I received a call from Nokia Care at around 10am asking for my phone unlock code (which I had not previously been asked for, leading me to believe that no work had been done on my phone). Thirty minutes later I received a call advising me to pick up my phone. While I appreciate the quick response, it saddens me that it only happened after PointBlank highlighted the issue.

Keep up the good work.

Elizabeth Owuoche,

Nairobi

Tuskys customer still waiting for loyalty card

I have been waiting for a call from Tuskys over my loyalty card in vain. I am yet to get the card and I’m on the verge of giving up.  I’m still waiting for their response. My number is 0722959288.

Aurelia Mulindwa,

[email protected]

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Parliament Press Journalism