Murkomen displays mathematical prowess, even though his numbers simply don't add up

Transport Minister Kipchumba Murkomen. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Transport Minister Kipchumba Murkomen, who likes to display his designer watches, was irritated by the inaccuracies demonstrated by Kenyans lamenting about the increased rates for use of the Nairobi Expressway.

Without lifting a hand to reveal the latest adornment on his wrist, Murkomen displayed advanced mathematical skills. “First the increase is not 50%. If you take the maximum increase which is from Sh360 to 500 you will get a difference of Sh140. If you divide Sh140 by Sh360 and multiply by 100 you will get 38.89%,” he wrote on the social platform X.

Murkomen thinks Kenyans have time for such calculations because issues of percentages matter. For argument’s sake, he insists we use the figure of 38.89 per cent to explain how the increment is commensurate with the shilling-dollar differential, apparently because the loan is quoted in US dollars. That’s to say, although the aerial road is anchored on our soil, for use by Kenyans, those at the helm committed to a deal in a currency we have no control over.

Still, that’s not my problem; whether we want to cede our sovereignty to Icelanders, no offence to the nationals of that country, I am more concerned that the loan is not in Chinese Yuan. After all, it’s the Chinese who built the road.

The beauty of dealing with the Chinese is that we do all manner of business together, and they are here to stay. Who knows, we possibly could have revived the former Presidential candidate George Wajackoyah’s economic blueprint of harvesting hyenas’ body parts for export to China.

For now, all we have from Murkomen, besides his display of mathematical prowess is the directive that those who think 38.89 per cent increment for use of the aerial road is punitive are free to seek alternative routes to town.

That means using the road “downstairs,” which I understand had been partially blocked for “maintenance,” leading to unprecedented gridlocks.

That sounds methodical, just like Murkomen’s math: squeeze people from all fronts like beans in pods and see what pops out. I suppose one unvarnished truth that’s outing from the squeeze, is the campaign pledge from Prezzo Ruto in 2022: That all roads would be free and open for Kenyans to use.