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Go ahead and tame the graft dragon, Mr Matemu

By | December 6th 2011

By Njoroge Kinuthia

Welcome, (we pray that Parliament will give you the nod) to the most loved and loathed office, Mr Mumo Matemu. This is everyone’s dream job because those who get it, it is rumoured, end up earning even more than the President. But that’s besides the point. What PointBlank is waiting for now, is your inaugural speech. In their speeches, those who came and went before you, usually dwelt on fish and dragons.

Mr Aaron Ringera talked about "slaying the dragon" and "unapologetically frying big fish, small fish, thin fish, fat fish and all manner of fish". PLO Lumumba talked about tackling big sharks and whales.

Still alive

I still hope there is a species of fish they didn’t talk about that you can mention to show your enthusiasm and spice up your address. Sadly, it appears, that those who occupy the big seat at Integrity House end up talking too much about fish and forget to go after real people. No wonder, they leave office under fire for not frying any fish, real or imagined. In short Mr Matemu, the dragon is still alive and spitting fire, waiting for you.

Why is State helping road contractor?

Nairobi resident G Wanyoike would like to congratulate the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) for the good work it is doing in rehabilitating city roads.

Mr Wanyoike is particularly happy wih ongoing renovation of Jogoo Road, which he says had numerous potholes and was on the verge of falling apart.

Construction is being carried out by Crescent Contractors.

There is something though that Wanyoike doesn’t quite understand and that he would like Kura to spare a minute and explain.

He has noted that among the heavy machineries at work on Jogoo Road is a green one belonging to the Government (registration number GK A 548 U. This has left him scratching his head in search of an answer: "Did the Government give out a tender to an under equipped company? Or does it have a new policy to help local contractors? Or is there a special bond between Crescent Contractors and the Government? Or has the Government rented out its machinery to Crescent?", asks Wanyoike who says he is yet to see such ‘co-operation’ in the ongoing Thika Superhighway project. What’s the answer, Kura?

Lessons on Thika Road ‘unnecessary’

Should police traffic police officers train motorists on how to use the Thika Superhighway? Kenneth O Atieno, a Transport Economist argues they shouldn’t bother.

Atieno claims the Highway Code, road signs and markings are standardised internationally and there is no need for lessons on how to use the new highway.

"Indeed, one can drive to any country in the world without special lessons on the use of any specific road".

What makes driving in Kenya difficult, he says, is the serious lack of road signs and markings, which he says are almost non-existent on most roads, including newly constructed or rehabilitated ones.


"If Thika Highway is provided with adequate road infrastructure, including properly marked lanes, clear road signs at various loops and by-passes and adequate lighting at night, then clearly there is no need for police to train drivers," he says.

Rather than give lessons to drivers, police and the Ministry just need to intensify their surveillance to eliminate vandalism of road signs and ensure all contractors provide adequate road infrastructure, he says.

Police officer walks extra mile

It is always news when someone has something good to say about our police force. This is why PointBlank believes Ms Mary Kimanzi has some news for you.

She would like to thank the police force and particularly officers at Kamukunji Police Station. Why? Recently her mother lost her way in the city and went to the station to seek help.

An officer took her by hand and walked her to Afya Centre on Tom Mboya Street.

"The officer is an example of the many good officers in the force," concludes Kimanzi. She can be reached at
[email protected]


Did Nakuru council clear roadside dumpsite?

On August 10, Ms Hilda Cheshari wrote to PointBlank from Nakuru complaining that the town, once touted as being the cleanest in East Africa, was sinking under the weight of garbage.

She was particularly concerned with the state of affairs in the town along the Nakuru-Eldama Ravine Road where she said a roadside dumpsite had become a big eyesore. "The area is littered with solid waste products that normally produce an unpleasant smell. On a windy day, it is common to see paper bags flying all over. Never mind there is a primary school a stone-throw away," she said. Did the Municipal Council of Nakuru clear this mess, Mayor Mohammed Suraw?

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