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Nairobi News : December 18th 2013
voices THE RANT NAIROBIANS, LIKE TERRORISTS, SUFFER FROM A SICKNESS L et us observe a moment of silence for the innocent lives that were lost in the Pangani matatu terrorist attack on Saturday. Their deaths are a great blow to their families and this nation. That said, however, let us be candid and admit that, like the sun which we know must rise, their demise was only a matter of when and not if, considering the affinity of Nairobians to ignore clearly stipulated safety procedures. That was not the first matatu in which someone on a diabolical mission had boarded and left a life-ending device behind. No. We have had several in the past couple of years in the wider Eastleigh area and, after each, the attackers seem to grow bolder and the explosive devices more sophisticated. Yet, ideally, you’d expect that in the face of all the commuters would come to demand a near military-like thorough search of each and every one of them before they board those vehicles. But no. The Eastleigh commuter, like any other, is often too preoccupied with ‘more important’ pressing matters to mind the little issue of ensuring his or her personal safety. And it is this casual approach to safety that has made them the perfect targets for these sick terrorists who are out for blood. But if the terrorists are undisputedly sick, then the carefree commuter’s sickness must surely be the worst kind after it has clearly been demonstrated that they cannot learn from experience. I can only imagine that this is also a baffling observation to the terrorists, who keep going back for more blood. Nairobi police chief Benson Kibue is right to lay the blame for the Saturday attack on matatu operators who do not frisk passengers. But if he were to be more precise, he should say commuters are to blame. Fair and simple! Salome Kazungu, Muthaiga If you want to rant, email firstname.lastname@example.org LETTERS Isn’t it time to stop being callous? I can bet my one good eye that when passengers were boarding the ill-fated Eastleigh matatu that was ripped by a deafening blast at Pangani, none of them batted an eyelid at the manner in which each was freely boarding the mini-bus with their unscrutinised luggage. I’ll also go a step further and add that they were happy about their privacy not being invaded. But here we are, six dead. Isn’t it time we stopped being so callous with our safety? Peter Mwaka, South B Sonko should be a man of his word and pay up Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko should be a man of his word. It is already shameful enough that our gallant amputee football players are being detained in a city hotel over unpaid bills. So, if reports that the leader promised to offset their outstanding debt are true, then Sonko should do so promptly and lay the matter that has greatly shamed the Kenya Federation of Amputees Football to rest. Violet Nginge, Karen Impunity rife among Makadara matatus It speaks volumes about a driver’s impunity if they can decide that the middle of the road is as good a place as a bus stage to pick up and drop passengers. This is the dilemma Jogoo Road users have to contend with everyday as matatu drivers park their vehicles at Makadara, opposite Uchumi Supermarket. This then causes a snarl-up that extends all the way to Hamza. No amount of hooting persuades them to do the right thing. Phyllis Kandie, Makadara Column on living with HIV/Aids a fun read I am an ardent reader of this paper’s J y i h ore hinted by the title, takes us through the life of a woman living with HIV/Aids. I like the casual manner in which the writer talks about her predicament to underline the basic truth that being diagnosed with the virus is not a death sentence. The column is also insightful, apart from being fun to read. Keep up the good work. Andrew Shilitsa, Riara If you want to write a letter, email email@example.com Betty Bitutu: It was not good. A busy highway was closed as they still terrorised pedestrians and motorists. o n te Juny column that, as is Elizabeth Kariuki: Protesting is not a bad idea but destroying property is unacceptable. They should have used peaceful ways. Robbert Anabaka: The riot was in order. The police usually take a lot of time to respond. What reforms are there if they still shoot people? A police officer takes part in controlling rioting UoN students. Billy Mutai, NairobiNews Disgraceful students. Susan Lome says she was surprised to discover that students at the University of Nairobi have not evolved to acquire skills to air their disputes in a civil manner. Susan laments that she now has to meet the cost of replacing the broken windscreen of her car after it bore the brunt of a stone hurled at her. “Has the unnecessary damage inflicted on my car served to change the fact that two of their colleagues are still dead, after they were allegedly gunned down by the police?” she asks. Susan says the behaviour is most unfortunate, especially viewed against the expectation that universities are supposed to shape one into an intellectual worthy to be emulated. But, as it is, she adds, the rioting students are a disgrace. Sinking ship. The decision by Governor Evans Kidero to ask the County Public Service Board to recruit 60 doctors, 436 nurses and 20 lab technicians to mitigate the effects of the current health workers’ strike is but a drop in the ocean, says Joshua Kunyu. Nairobi is a county of more than three million residents and if the patientto-doctor ratio was depressing without the strike, one can only imagine how it looks like now with most workers boycotting work. But the governor cannot be faulted for at least trying to plug a hole on sinking ship. “A doctor is better than no doctor at all,” he says, adding that doctors and the government should come to a solution fast to stop the suffering of patients. Dispel mistrust. Going by the violence that broke out targeting a specific community after the Saturday Pangani matatu blast, Muna Waithaka believes unless something is done it is only a matter of time before sectarian violence breaks out in Eastleigh. Waithaka says ever since terrorists started detonating grenades in matatus a few years back, there has been a simmering sense of mistrust and resentment among residents. Apart from Saturday’s incident, he points out that police have in the past managed to quell the targeted vengeful violence only for everyone to pretend there wasn’t an elephant in the room. “We can’t sweep our problems under the rug,” he says, calling on Nairobi leaders to lead in a discourse to dispel the mistrust and resentment among residents. Close shop. The report that there is a gang on the prowl in the city centre whose membership includes some rogue police officers robbing bank customers as soon as they withdraw money does not inspire confidence among business people, says Walter Mbuthu. “That they are also suspected to be co-operating with bank employees should worry everyone, especially the county leadership that is keen on attracting investors,” he says, adding that, being a trader, he has had to think twice about making that trip to his local branch to deposit his day’s takings. Unless dealt with immediately, this gang which the police have admitted to being unable to track down, could see some traders close shop, he says. If you want to write to The People’s Champion email firstname.lastname@example.org .com Wednesday, Dec 18 - Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 nairobinews.co.ke Sound off Do you approve of the way UoN students protested the killing of their colleagues? 11 We take up your cases The People’s Champion Abdul Malik: They were not justified to protest like they did. A peaceful demonstration could have saved a lot of time and money.
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