The recent events surrounding the seizure of McDonald Mariga’s luxury vehicle the other day was, at best, intriguing.
Coming days after the football star had refused to report for duty for the national team over unpaid arrears, it seemed to some as if the good ol’ Government was settling scores by reviving some statute stashed in oblivion especially since the whip was only cracked on Mariga, not the other fellas known to have those fancy number plates, even within the hallowed ground of Parliament.
Yet the arresting officials had the law on their side. They were quoting a section of law in the Traffic Act that is unambiguous. According to a learned friend of mine, the quoted section – Section 12 of the Traffic Act – has the prescribed form of number plates, true. However, he went further to add that in fact there were amendments proposed to the Section, which amendments would comfortably accommodate custom-made number plates a la Mariga’s.
Those amendments are just awaiting operationalisation by the Minister in charge of Transport. All that is fine and dandy, until you hear that actually the amendments were done in, hold your breath, the year 1977! So, in other words, for 35 years a law that was long passed cannot be enforced as envisaged because all those Ministers have been unable – or have refused to – operationalise it.
- 1 What betting fans need to know about Mariga and Joey Muthengi
- 2 Stars captain Oliech quits national team over image rights
- 3 Mariga's prized Euro trophy coming home
- 4 Mariga walks away
Now, my understanding of the word operationalise is fancy talk for ‘sign’ or ‘append a signature’. This is where a Minster gets one of his staff to draft the amendment and then signs before sending someone else to take it to Government Printers.
As soon as that gazzetement comes out, the law is operationalised. For the 35 years, am sure there have been more than 20 Ministers in that docket. No one has deemed it fit to operationalize the law, causing successful persons like Mariga undue agony. Talk about service to the people!
Life and death matters
Speaking of caution, this past weekend saw the Green Army drive down to Naivasha for a Premier League match. As usual, we left in huge numbers and arrived there in style, bringing Nairobi’s next-door town to a standstill with our customary celebratory mood. We also lost the game, so I will not dwell on that.
However, the saddest news was the demise of some female fans in a car crash on their way back. In that celebratory mood, we tend to throw caution to the wind. People have been known to pop in for out-of-town drinks while on these excursions. And it is not exclusive to football, as rugby fans may bare me witness. It is important to remain cautious. Life is precious and irreplaceable.