For Online E-newspaper
Daily Nation : February 8th 2014
16 | Letters To the editor Bill to reduce number of counties is welcome The proposal by Mwingi Central MP Joe Mutambu to introduce a Bill seeking to cut the number of counties from 47 to 14 is timely. Kenyans voted for the Constitution in 2010 because of devolution. We hoped to bring power and resources closer to the people and end the marginalisation of minority communities and imbalanced regional development. However, what we have witnessed so far has been disappointing. With the exception of Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, the other governors have been a big failures. All we see are new hefty taxes on citizens. How can county governments empower the poor common man? JULIUS OTIENO, Eldoret Government should also vet school heads I think it is time school heads were vetted and asked to declare their wealth. They charge high fees, beyond the reach of many poor Kenyans, and nobody knows what happens to this money. Take the example of a girls school in Siaya County where uniform is charged at Sh14,000. How can two skirts, two blouses, a sweater, two pairs of socks and a games kit cost Sh14,000? Most of these headteachers drive expensive vehicles and have built magnificent homes, yet they are in job groups G, N, or M. Let headteachers be vetted as this might save our mama mbogas from the school fees issue. Schools are charging as much as Sh100,000 yet students take porridge every morning for breakfast. CHRISTABEL ADHIAMBO, via e-mail Fight to restore sanity on roads is commendable Every time I watch on TV inebri- ated drivers being nabbed and subjected to alcohol tests by traffic policemen, I wonder where they get the wisdom and the guts to get behind the wheel while aware of the danger they are exposing themselves, their passengers, and other road users to. The action by the government is commendable and should be tightened until sanity is restored. In some countries, drunk driving can cost you your job, suspension of your driver’s licence, and a spike in your insurance rates. ANTHONY ALEX IRUNGU, via e-mail YESTERDAY’S QUESTION Is Nairobi justified in raising parking fees to Sh300? LUCY WACHIRA: No. By raising the parking fee, the county is saying that it does not take into consideration the welfare of the poor. VICTOR ABUKA: No. Kenyans appear to be comfort- able financing corruption. If they were not, then we would have seen demonstrations already. MICHAEL ORENDE: The increment should lead to better service delivery, more parking space, and better security for the parked cars. BONIFACE ALINORY. These levies and taxes are only meant to create and enlarge the gap between the rich and the poor. TALKING POINT Transfer of headteachers meant to boost school performance 2014) intimated that the beginning-of-the-year transfers and deployments for headteachers and principals by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) are triggered by the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination results. The writer adds that it is on the basis of the results that headteachers are reshuffled and others ‘demoted’. This wrong and misleading perception is probably the reason why some teachers attempt, often without success, to resist the transfers. The TSC would like to M state that transfers and deployments of heads are not intended to be punitive but are meant to improve the delivery of educational services. They are triggered by several factors, and examination results do not even rank highly among the reasons. First, transfers become necessary in order to provide headteachers for newly registered schools. Secondly, transfers are carried out to replace heads who may have left the service through natural attrition. In other cases, it is r Mungai Ngige (Saturday Nation, January 25 The editor welcomes brief letters on topical issues. Write on e-mail to: email@example.com You can also mail to: The Editor, Daily Nation, POB 49010, Nairobi 00100. THE CUTTING EDGE BY THE WATCHMAN CHARITY. A donation of an equivalent of only Sh1 million from the head of the global Catholic Church, Pope Francis, to fight hunger in Turkana County is “taking stinginess too far”, declares John Gitau. He simply cannot understand how the man who leads perhaps the wealthiest church on earth could have given so little, when individuals such as Bill Gates donate millions of dollars of their own money to charity. I am embarrassed as a Catholic.” His contact is johngi firstname.lastname@example.org. BUSY JUDGES. How long does it take to isFILE | NATION A section of secondary headteachers at the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association forum in Mombasa on June 18, 2013. necessary to move heads who have overstayed, or those who have requested on account of personal reasons, including poor health. Additionally, transfers become inevitable in the case of adverse assessment on financial management or poor performance in the implementation of the curriculum on the part of the headteacher. In all the cases, any action on transfer is informed by the desire to improve performance and safeguard the interests of both the learners and teachers. In any case, upon employment teachers commit themselves to serve in any part of the republic. The notion that teacher transfers are intended to be punitive must, should therefore, be discarded. Significantly, the bulk of the transfers are carried out at the end of the year to avoid disrupting learning. Finally, teachers and other stakeholders should rest assured that in making decisions on deployment, transfer and promotion, the reward system takes into account the nature of the school and its learners, performance in co-curricular activities and other social, economic and environmental factors, not just examination results. KIHUMBA KAMOTHO, head of corporate communications, Teachers Service Commission sue letters of administration to the heirs of a dead person? asks Joseph Dama, whose family cannot make use of the estate of their late father. Some six months after they filed their application, the matter couldn’t be dealt with because the judges were busy hearing election petitions. The matter was finally determined last November, and the judges went on vacation. Now, they are back at work, but the documents have yet to be signed. “We appreciate their busy schedule, but this is too much.” His contact is email@example.com. EFFICIENCY. Confirmation of just how valuable the contributions of some individuals in the overall success of organisations is what this complaint by a resident of Nairobi’s Eastlands, Mary Ndichu, is all about. One of the people Mary badly misses is a traffic police officer who used to patrol the DoonholmLunga Lunga road every morning on a motorbike. Says she: “Traffic has become a nightmare since he disappeared. Please, help bring him back!” Her contact is firstname.lastname@example.org. TRAFFIC LIGHTS. The best news James Githinji has heard lately is that police officers will soon cede traffic control duties in Nairobi so that traffic lights and the newly trained civilian marshals can take over. However, James warns, this will only be possible if the city county government can ensure that the lights work efficiently “99 per cent of the time to gain motorists’ confidence” and make the venture a success. His contact is email@example.com. TRICKY IDEAS. Governor Evans Kidero should Grind your maize in a mill but be mindful of hygiene Maize flour from whole maize ground in posho mills is more nutritious than that sold in supermarkets. However, my concern is about hygiene. When threshing maize, workers usually step on it. Others air the maize on public tarmac roads to dry, where it gathers dust and other dirt. This same maize is then taken to the posho mill without first being thoroughly cleaned. The winnowing mesh at the posho mill is seldom cleaned. The maize flour may be healthier, but let us all embrace hygiene. KIARIE PETER, Laikipia Vetting board will restore confidence in the Judiciary The Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board deserves praise for weeding out incompetent judicial officers, who have for a long time disgraced our courts with poor service delivery. The Judiciary has been plagued by poor handling of cases, and the good work being done by the board is helping us understand the reasons for this. This process will boost the public confidence in our courts. One hopes that the board will avoid the pitfalls and oversights plaguing the Police Vetting Board. KEVIN OTIENO, Maseno DEBATE QUESTION Should counties take over the management of education? Send your comments to mailb firstname.lastname@example.org not rush to implement some of the tricky recommendations of the committee appointed recently to help streamline the flow of traffic through the city centre, as they may not be based on any tangible evidence but speculation and theories of what has worked elsewhere, warns Dave Tumbula. He is particularly incensed by a suggestion that private motorists be barred from entering the CBD. “This can only work where public transport is extremely efficient.” Have a realistic day, won’t you! ON THIS DATE IN 1972 COMPILED BY ANNIEL NJOKA SATURDAY NATION February 8, 2014 PLAQUE. Tourism and Wildlife minister J.L.M Shako unveils a plaque at the Animal Orphanage as (from left) Mr Perez Olindo, director of Kenya National Parks, Prof Mohamed Hyder, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Kenya National Parks, Mr G.G Kago, vice-chairman, and Mr Hassan Said of Kenya National Parks look on.
February 7th 2014
February 9th 2014