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City motorists must change or pray for rains to subside

By | November 4th 2011

Njoroge Kinuthia

It's a phenomenon that's hard to understand. One of those things that are uniquely Kenyan, that make us a peculiar people as has been pointed out before. What’s the correlation between rainfall and chock-a-block traffic, especially in the city? If you know, please, enlighten PointBlank.

On Wednesday evening, I was among the unlucky many who were caught up in traffic on North Airport Road. It took us about two hours to wriggle through half a kilometre stretch and finally flee the madness. Interestingly, it wasn’t even raining. Rains had subsided. But still, the rains were to blame.

Revving up

All drivers appeared impatient and in a hurry, revving up their machines and threatening to speed to nowhere. Some took the slightest advantage to overtake. In the short stretch, I counted five minor ‘accidents’. There were traffic officers, alright, but they could not tame the rainy day’s ‘madness’. Most likely, they also blamed the rain. How do rains, even mild showers, wreak such havoc? They do so by making motorists poor and even reckless drivers.

Civil servants in Elgon need choppers, too

Every time top Government officials visit Mathias Philips’ far-flung work station in Mt Elgon, they always use helicopters. For long, Philips has been praying that they should travel by road "and taste what public servants in this part of Kenya undergo". So when he recently got wind that serikali inakuja, he waited by the roadside, but alas, the "Government came from above".

Serikali was represented, among others, Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti, among other diginitaries. Mathias claims, Saitoti, who asked for the locals support in 2012, missed a golden opportunity to see Kopsiro in black and white. Shortly after he left it rained cats and dogs and the roads became impassable.

"We want Government ministers to use our roads so that they can witness firsthand the problems and hardships we go through as public servants," he urges. Due to these hardships Mathias suggests that the Government should either give civil servants in Kopsiro a hardship allowance or buy them choppers with which to hop about their hardship zone. PointBlank, however, thinks building better roads would more reasonable.


How do ‘suspicious characters’ look?

As the army pursues the Al Shaabab in Somalia, Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere has given the public a good piece of advice: "Do not hesitate to report any ‘suspicious looking character to the police". This piece of advice has given Mr Charles Mghenyi sleepless nights. He cannot figure out just how a suspicious character looks like. Indeed, as he went for church service on Sunday, Mghenyi tried to pick out suspicious characters from the crowd and failed terribly.

At the Mombasa ferry police were also busy looking for suspiscious characters and kept asking everyone, "Na umebeba nini?" "When, I boarded a matatu, I sat next to a lady as women, to me, don’t seem to be ‘suspicious’ in anyway."

Shabbily dressed

When he got to church, the ushers were at the gate also looking for the elusive characters. He overheard one of them tell a shabbily dressed man entering the gate: "Eeh! boss, Bwana asifiwe, kidogo tuongee."

Suspicious characters like Elgiva Bwire, with permanent smiles on their faces, confuse Mghendi’s search the more. Perhaps, Mr Iteere can do Kenyans a favour by explaining how these suspects may look like.

Hooting just for the fun of it

After holding his peace for a long time, Mr Ahmed Mohammed, has decided to break his silence. The noise on Karisa Maitha Road, in Mombasa, is unbearable. And he blames it all on matatus. "There is a reckless culture of maddening, irritating and very loud hooting by a majority of matatus which ply this road," he says.

The hooting is used to woo commuters, greet one another, overtaking or just for fun, he says.

He claims area residents have lodged complaints to area traffic police but things haven’t changed. "Who will help us?" Mohammed asks.


Did Barclays address customer’s concerns?

Mr Simon K Macharia, director of CallSmall, wrote to PointBlank on September 16 accusing his company’s bank, Barclays, of failing to refund cash that he claimed was unprocedurally withdrawn from its account.

He claimed in March 2009 his company warned the bank to stop payment on a cheque but the bank went ahead and did it "without any reference to us as is usually the case in reference to any cheque withdrawals from our account".

After his firm complained about the unauthorised debit, the bank refunded the money but incredibly debited the same amount hardly three months later, he alleged. The reference of his case is BBK-139345-4C6NWR. Did Barclays address Macharia’s concerns, Mr Adan Mohamed, Managing Director?

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