‘There was no post-election violence in Kenya in 2007’

In 1991, Jean Baudrillard wrote three essays before, during and after the Gulf War with the titles; The Gulf War will not take place, The Gulf War is not really taking place  and The Gulf War did not take place. While there is no dispute that the war took place, Baudrillard argued the was no war in real sense because the US was militarily superior than Iraq. The war as a whole was a non-war.

 In the same vein, PointBlank would like to argue, albeit from a different angle, that the 2007 post-election violence never took place. How could the violence have taken place and yet    hundreds of those who killed and maimed are still walking free?

How could it have taken place with witnesses of those who Ocampo and now Bensouda (now seen as the chief persecutor) term as the prime suspects in the violence,  pulling out of the ICC cases in droves?

Just how could the bloodshed have occurred and yet the purported victims (93 of them want to withdraw from ICC proceedings) are not interested in pursuing justice? No, there was no post-election violence in 2007. It was all a figment of our collective imagination!

School that punishes parents

Have secondary school administrations run out of ideas  on how to punish indisciplined students? This is the question bothering a guardian of a student of Makuri Girls Secondary School in Meru.

The guardian laments that it has become common for the school to send students home over ‘very petty offences’.

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Such students, he says, are asked to bring their parents or guardians.  This is done despite the fact that some students come from far-flung areas.

“The administrators has sent home my student twice in a span of three weeks for errant behaviours. I am not challenging the decision, but I think there are other forms of punishing students such as making them to dig waste pits and slash grassy fields,” he says.

The guardian complains that sending students home may not   change students’ behaviour because “they don’t feel the pinch of punishment”. The punishment is passed on to parents and guardians who must foot transport costs and besides wasting crucial man hours. Is there a way of punishing students without punishing parents, Prof Jacob Kaimenyi, Cabinet Secretary, Education?

Kenya Railway’s bush ambushes

Some bushes that recently  sprung up along the railway line behind Muthurwa market have become a big blessing to some Kenya Railways guards, according to Mr Vincent Munga.

Since there are no toilets on sight, the bushes provide the perfect cover to pedestrians heading to Kaloleni and Makongeni estates to answer the call of nature.

Unfortunately, answering such calls of nature makes ‘nature’ smell like a skunk.

Kenya Railways management obviously doesn’t like this and recently deployed some undercover guards to discourage the practice.

They have been doing their work with a lot of success. Besides, those arrested are penalised heavily. For ‘watering’ the thickets, one is reportedly required to part with between Sh500 and Sh1,000. However, there is the option “facing the rule of law”, which many offenders don’t like.

“Does the money reach the management or does it end up in the guards’ pockets since no receipts are issued,” asks Munga. He wants Kenya Railways to clear the bush to deny the guards this source of income and keep the environment clean. Is Kenya Railways aware of the new income stream?

DON’T YOU FORGET

Did police finally arrest  highway robbers?  

Mr Haggai Aura wrote to PointBlank on November 6, 2012 saying  he had lost faith in the Police Service. Last year, Aura was attacked by criminals, along with 40 other bus passengers and robbed of  his effects, including a mobile phone. Most passengers too lost their money, phones, laptops, clothes among other valuables.  They reported the incident immediately, and even made follow-ups, but finally Aura gave up after he realised that the officers he was dealing with “were not interested in pursuing the gang”. And he had a good reason for making the conclusion. His stolen phone had a tracking function, which alerts him every time there is SIM-card change. “My phone circulates among seven users, which is the same number of gunmen who robbed us,” he said, wondering why police wouldn’t arrest them.

No passport for poor Aniva

For several years now, Jeanlouis Laura Aniva has been trying to get an international passport in vain. She has applied and reapplied for the document but was in the end informed she is not a Kenyan.

That was quite some news as she has always considered herself Kenyan. But perhaps they mistake her for her mother who was born in Seychelles. Her father, however, is Kenyan and to be specific, a Luhya. To cap it all, Laura was born in Kenya, has a Kenyan birth certificate and has lived her entire life in Kenya. So what’s all this about, Immigration Department? Her contact is [email protected]

Right of Reply
Tribulations of an ‘aged’, job-seeking graduate

This is in reference to a recent article by Jackline Chunge  who complained that she was 30-year-old and was still ‘tarmacking’.

I want to encourage her and  inform her that she is not alone.  I am 34-year-old graduate of social science and tarmacking too.

I always remember my daughter’s words who keeps asking: “mum si ulivaa kofia ya graduation na kwa nini hauendangi job” (mother, how comes you don’t go to work and yet you wore a graduation cap?)

These words haunt me every morning but I have never relented or looked back.  I keep applying for jobs. Unfortunately, I have not been blessed, yet.

I have attended many interviews about ten in public service, Equity Bank, Barclays Bank, KCB and several other NGOS. 

Even after sitting all the above interviews, I have never succeeded in getting a job. All that I have managed to get a lot of regret letters.

It pains me when I remember how much my single mother sacrificed to see me through my education.

I keep sending my CV to recruitment agencies and keep hoping that every day some good news will come my way.

It has been a big challenge especially in trying to convince HELB that I am unemployed. The loan escalating buoyed by penalties.

Sometimes in 2011 I was given a three-month contract by KCB but the contract was not renewed.

It has been a big set back for me since every potential employer wonders why I wasn’t employed by KCB.

My request to employers is that they should kindly give mothers a chance especially the unemployed. Listen to their different stories and give them an opportunity to prove themselves.

For the higher education and loans board, kindly understand that some of us have our unique setbacks.

If there is a way you can facilitate employment through public service, we  can pay our loans comfortably. Kindly eliminate the penalties to the unemployed.

Kindly employers, please ignore our age. I  agree it’s one of a disadvantage but its beyond our control.

To the jobless, lets keep our candles burning despite our circumstances.

Tabitha Wangari,

[email protected]

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post-election violence