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Kidesh-Sonko war overshadows Obama’s city trip

By Maftah Yusuf | April 11th 2015

It is difficult to keep up with the changing faces of traffic by-laws in this city. Just the other day, the county government of his Excellency Evans Omuga Kidesh announced the abolition of roundabouts.

I am sure his Excellency’s handlers failed to advise him that signalised junctions spell doom to those of us who depend on roundabouts for a livelihood.

I do not wish to extoll the virtues of a roundabouts and zebra crossings, but Kidesh requires reminding that there are times when looking left and right before crossing is more important than any individual.
They forgot that for street families, a roundabout offers the closest they can get to a visit to the park.

Unlike the rest of you who take the time to go see baboons and hyenas in a zoo, street people get brutal entertainment every time traffic builds up. The clash of Proboxes and matatus helps them unwind.

And they are not the only folk whose entire livelihood depends on the interchange at the roundabouts. We have hawkers and petty thieves as well.

And at the top of the roundabout economy are the tenderprenuers and advertisement people. These are the ghosts getting rich hanging those posters you only get to see the following day. In their line of business, it is unprofessional to get caught hanging a poster. It has to be done in the cover of darkness.

That way, the public never has to know if one of the workers fell to his death while climbing that big supermarket billboard.

As aspiring chairman of roundabout landscapers association, I will rally members to reject in toto Nairobi County executive plan to demolish our delicate ecosystem.
In fact, if our union gets registered in time, we might just report Kidesh’s diabolical plan at the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in which none other than the US President Barrack Obama will be attending.

I can imagine how deadbeat city fathers will appear when Obeezy instructs Kidesh to explain his obsession with junctions at the expense of the entire roundabout economy.

“Aaah! What about all those Kenyans who only get to see television from giant LED screens? The ones who were switched off by the digital migration,” the US president will ask.

Bwana Gavana will get on his hind feet, hem and haw before tapping the mike a few times the Kenyan way and blurt something about traffic jams and the Sonko Rescue Team.
Obama will, of course, turn to the senator and ask him why his limos are causing a jam in the city of Nairobi.

“Mtu nguyas,” he will tell the summit. “Traffic snarl-up in this city is so bad that I have been forced to bring in choppers so my team can access areas like Mathare and Korogocho.”

Obama will wonder the meaning of ‘Mtu nguyas’ but may not get the time to ask. Then, MC Jeff in trying to calm the tempers will suggest to Bwana Gavana to reconsider his position. His supporters at the time will be yelling blue murder at the senator whose people will be spoiling for a fight. The two groups will be made to behave by the presence of heavily armed US Navy Seals.

Then the US First Lady will extoll the virtues of taking care of the less privileged like the street families. “That way, everybody will be happy, and the happiness levels of this great country might just outdo neighboring Rwanda,” she will point out.
A tenderprenuer who chairs the billboard union will take to the stand and accuse the devolved system of government of trying to destroy the industry. “Ever since these governors came to power, they have waged a war on billboards,” the shocked summit will be informed.

Tales of how some get dismantled while others are mutilated will be recounted. “We lose billions of shillings in losses. Traffic jams are caused by matatus and billboards have nothing to do with it.”

The Matatu Association chairman will stand as if he has been stung by a bee. He will remind the summit that matatu drivers are the most experienced on the Kenyan roads. “I believe the problem is caused by the half-baked training of Probox drivers undergo.”

Taxi drivers will complain that getting to South B has become a nightmare.

Then the summit will take a ‘nyama choma’ recess and everything will go back to normal.

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