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Huge population good for politicians, bad for Kenya

By | November 25th 2011 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Njoroge Kinuthia

I have heard the argument before. That the population in some parts of the country is declining and we need to beef up the numbers.

For heavens sake, we are 40 million, and sometimes can’t even feed ourselves. Some people argue that a huge population is good for economic growth. I agree and disagree. It’s only good if you can assure everyone of a job. But a country that can’t do this is like a farmer with hundreds of tractors but not even an acre of land to till.


So when MP Kariuki Mbiuki pleads with his constituents to make maximum use of maternity wards, I take his advice with a big pinch of salt. The good thing with Mbiuki is that he never minces words; he wants to be president in 2027. To be president, you need numbers, and numbers don’t grow on trees. He is giving parents Sh5000 for every child born. But that’s not enough. We spend a lot more on kids before they can come of age to vote. If anyone wants you to have more kids, it’s only fair that they fund their upbringing. As the saying goes Kulea mimba si kazi, kazi ni kulea mwana.

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Are Miraa drivers above law?

A recent trip to Meru left Mr James Wanzala convinced that miraa (khat) drivers are either above the law or they know something about driving that the rest of us don’t.

"The miraa drivers in their numerous vehicles drive at supersonic and incredible speeds without caring about the lives of pedestrians or other motorists," he says.

These drivers, says Wanzala, appear to value their miraa more than human life, even their own. Many lives have been lost as a result of their careless driving. "Why do the traffic police condone such reckless driving?" he wonders.

Still on the subject of careless drivers, Mr Jitesh Shah wants urgent action taken against matatu drivers on Thika Road who he says block the highway with impunity.

He claims the Matatu obstruct other motorists while picking up passengers and "traffic police never do anything about it". Matatu drivers also have a habit of driving on pedestrian pathways to escape traffic jams, he adds.

"If police officers on this road cannot discipline these drivers bring in a new group and hopefully things might improve.

Cash-for-babies and MP’s vision 2027

It is a noble gesture when an MP saves mothers the pain of travelling long distances to access maternity services. It is even more philanthropic when his own family contributes towards construction of the public facility, notes Rose Wanja.

"What is immoral is when my MP, Mr Kareke Mbiuki, gives incentives to women to give birth to roll back a population decline and increase the number of potential voters for his Vision 2027 - when he intends to run for presidency," she says.

It is even more scandalous when such incentives are pledged in the backdrop of a global appeal to stem our planet’s population after we hit the seven billion mark.

Maara DC and local Knut branch executive secretary attributed the area’s population decline to a successful family planning campaign.

basic services

What the MP should do, says Wanja, is to ensure that his constituents get basic services, as he did with the maternity wing and improve their quality of life not ‘quantity of lives’.

Her question: "Is the assistant minister, or any other politician for that matter, allowed to erode gains made by other Government departments?"



Was increase of public toilets charges justified?

On October 21, Mr G Wanyoike, wrote to PointBlank commending Nairobi Business District Association (NCBDA) and the City Council of Nairobi (CCN) for rehabilitating public toilets in the city.

He noted that the refurbished toilets had given Nairobi a new dignified look. The days of filthy toilets that were used as hide-outs by criminal gangs of street-urchins are long gone, he said.

Wanyoike, however, complained about a decision to increase toilet charges ‘suddenly’ from Sh5 to Sh10, at a time when most Kenyans were hard hit by inflation.

Those who manage the toilets, he said, "should not be allowed to add more ‘miseries to an already miserable lot’." Was the increment justified, city Town Clerk Philip Kisia?

‘Professor’ and

Professional con

There is a shrewd conman in town by name ‘Professor’, according to Ms Anna Kagunda. A smartly dressed man, he always promises to do what ordinary mortals can’t. He ‘cures’ all chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer with herbs while quoting "bible scriptures for herbal healing". He is also born again, a preacher and a counselor and an expert in proposal writing. Kagunda claims ‘professor’ conned her of Sh80,000 a year ago. He had promised he would render some services but never did and has since gone underground. "Watch out, he is intelligent, sounds genuine but is a professional conman."

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