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Nairobi News : December 2nd 2013
12 Monday, Dec 2 - Tuesday, Dec 3, 2013 nairobinews.co.ke becoming one of Nairobi’s many white elephants. The proposed Kenya National 26-year wait for Knec building A STELLA CHERONO, NairobiNews email@example.com building meant to host the national examinations body risks Examinations Council (KNEC) headquarters is nowhere near completion, 27 years after its construction begun. This state of affairs has left Knec The Knec building that is yet to be completed. File, NairobiNews City Hall gives rate defaulters last chance to save property KIARIE NJOROGE, NairobiNews firstname.lastname@example.org waived if they can show sufficient reason why an exemption should be granted. The Nairobi County Tax Waiv- T ers Administration Act enacted in September provides for the waiver if it is of financial advantage to the county. “The executive committee member responsible for Finance may, where he or she deems it appropriate and with the concurrence in writing of the Governor, waive payment of any taxes, fees or other payment due to the county government,” reads a section of the Act. Temporary reprieve The law was the basis upon which the recent waiver of interest on land rates was based and is meant to encourage debtors to settle outstanding amounts. A lot of land owners failed to take advantage of a waiver with the governor saying land buying companies in Kasarani, Embakasi and Ruai were among those unresponsive. This has put to risk thousands of Nairobians who hold small plots in the area on allotment basis while the head title is held by a company. The county government has threatened to auction properties whose rates have not been paid, beginning this week. The Act also provides for tem- porary reprieve from remitting the amounts owed, partial or full remission and spreading out repayment period. Members of Hurlingham Welfare Association who own plots on Kangundo Road, for example, last week intended to petition the county government to be allowed to pay their rates over a longer period. The 40 who have no titles have Sh4 million in rate arrears but were expected to pay Sh1.2 million during the waiver period. A hawker with a child strapped on her back sells french beans on Moi Avenue. The number of women who take children to the streets as they go about their business has increased in the recent past. Emma Nzioka, NairobiNews Scandal of children hired as beggars and hawkers Ingenuity. The surest way of avoiding askaris’ trap is by strapping a baby on one’s back FAITH NYAMAI, NairobiNews email@example.com C hildren are being forced to become hawkers and beggars by their parents on city streets. The hawkers normally ‘hire’ the children for between Sh100 and Sh200 in a bid to escape the county askaris’ dragnet. A hawker on Tom Mboya Street who only identified herself as Wangui said she avoided being arrested by strapping a child to her back as she sold her wares. Beggars too have discovered that having a child around elicits more sympathy from passers-by. Children between two and four years old are usually the ones used by hawkers while beggars bring children from as young as a few months old to about 10-years-old. A seven-year-old girl that N i e s found on Tom Mboya Street Nw in the evening said what she got from begging supplemented what her mother got from hawking on the same street. The Nairobi County Inspectorate Director, Mr Hillary Wambugu said dealing with hawkers carrying children was a big challenge. “These women are using the chil- dren as shields. They want to escape from the askaris and the law. We cannot make the children sleep in our cells for that is against the law,” he said. He added that the women break the law by denying the children their right to protection and exposing them to danger on the streets. He said when they arrest such women, they ask them to suckle the children. Many fail the test. Eunice Wanja, a street hawker N rbNwoi e s found selling clothes on the i a- streets said she had asked her next door neighbour to let her have her one and a half-year-old son for the day promising to pay, depending on what she made. According to Charles Ocholla, a So- ciologist, these children are exposed to psychological trauma and pressure which may affect their behaviour for years to come. He expressed fears that if the trend continued, Nairobi’s streets will soon be flooded with hawkers and child beggars. A legal officer at Cradle Children’s arbio- Wambugu: They want to escape from the askaris and the law. We cannot make the children sleep in our cells for that is against the law” foundation, Mirriam Wachira, said her organisation was planning to take legal measures against parents, hawkers and beggars exposing children for their personal gain. A handcart man carries pedestrian from one end of the flooded road to another. Denish Ochieng, NairobiNews ax and fee defaulters in Nairobi could have part of their debts with an annual bill of Sh60 million as rent payment for different premises it has hired for use as offices. The building is located in South C behind Kenya Re Garden Estate. Knec CEO Paul Wasanga says se- curity of exam papers and staff has become a serious challenge. “Operating from scattered offices is unsafe, inefficient and costly. We spend a lot of money to hire support staff and contract security firms to man our premises,” he said. The staff move a lot and waste time because for the content of news examination materials to remain confidential, they cannot be shared on the internet. Knec has been operating from a building on Dennis Pritt Road in Hurlingham, the National Bank Building on Harambee Avenue where test development is done and a building in the Industrial Area. Another office is located in the National Housing Corporation House. There are other offices in South C near the stalled building. RAINS COME AND ROADS TURN INTO TRENCHES ALEX WAKHUNGU, NairobiNews firstname.lastname@example.org ABDI DIKA, NairobiNews email@example.com R esidents of parts of Nairobi are grappling with impassa- ble roads and overflowing drainage following rains that have hit the city for a week now. At Kisumu Ndogo in Donholm, the rains have created murky pools everywhere. Matters have been made worse by uncollected garbage which is carried by the running water. Residents blamed county government for the mess. “The men and women from the county government show up once after a long time yet they still don’t do much,” said Moses Kamau. Some blamed liquor shops for the problem. “Some shop attendants and drunkards have been throwing polythene bags, bottles and boxes in the trenches that eventually block the sewers when rains come,“ said Levis Wanjala, a first year student at the University of Nairobi. In parts of Kamukunji and Starehe, roads have been rendered impassable, forcing CBDbound matatus to get alternative routes. The result has been jams on Jogoo and Landhies roads. Recently, a matatu got stuck at Gikomba. Passengers were forced to get alternative transport but not before parting with Sh30 each to get assistance from handcart pushers who ferried them from the matatu.
November 27th 2013
December 4th 2013