Connect with us

Featured

At this rate, we’ll soon have no country

Published

on

Loading...
MERCY MWENDE

By MERCY MWENDE
More by this Author

In primary school we were taught that democracy is the rule of the people, by the people, for the people. As we sang that chorus, we were made aware that Kenya was a democracy.

We have elections every five years so that Kenyans can choose the leaders they think can best represent them. And if the leaders go to represent their own interests, the voters can remove them, as happened to Ferdinand Waititu, the former governor of Kiambu County.

So it was interesting to wake up one morning and find that the man Nairobi voters chose to represent their interests had sold them to the national government. Activist Okiya Omtatah rushed to court to ask, “under what law was that done? Is it constitutionally correct?”

Our Constitution is very big on public participation. After all, democracy is of the people. So it requires that for every major decision that the country takes, the people must be consulted.

We saw this when the courts nullified the Kiambu County Finance Act of 2013 due to the lack of public participation. This also happened to the Lamu coal plant after citizens lobbied against it.

Advertisement

But, unfortunately, Kenyans have not been successful in many other projects on which they were never consulted. For example, the passing of a proposed expressway through Uhuru Park.

When people complained, the government said it is only taking a few metres. The same happened to the Nairobi National Park. Citizens did not want the standard gauge railway passing through the world’s only wildlife park in a city.

But the government had its way and gave the go-ahead. The same happened with Huduma Namba.

Loading...

I could go on and on, but what this government has consistently shown is that it is not for the people. And with some of the Nairobi County’s functions handed over to people voters didn’t entrust it to, it is neither a government by the people.

So we find ourselves held hostage by our leaders. The contract we have with them is the Constitution. But the President and Parliament have shown that they do not intend to honour the Constitution. We have a government gone rogue. The Executive and Legislature have defied the Judiciary — our last resort.

If the courts were to find the decision to move Nairobi County functions from the devolved unit to the national government unconstitutional, would the national government pay any attention?

What will it take for Kenyans to say enough is enough? Will we have a country by the time we are angry enough?

This is a scary time to be a Kenyan. It is one thing to be led by a corrupt government, but it is another to be led by a government that does not obey the rule of law. What prevents them from selling us off to, say, China? Assuming they haven’t already?

As democracy dictates, if the people up there are not For us, By us and Of us, then legally they shouldn’t even be there.

Ms Mwende comments on social issues

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading

Featured

Marathoners share experience of running in empty Tokyo streets

Published

on

Loading...
BERNARD ROTICH

By BERNARD ROTICH
More by this Author

When world marathon record holder and Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge was preparing for his now famous Ineos 1:59 Challenge — attempt to run a 42km race in under two hours — last year he specifically asked for crowds to line the route in Vienna, Austria.

An earlier attempt by the same runner to breach the two-hour barrier in 2017 at the Nike Breaking2 race in Monza in Milan, Italy ended 25 seconds short.

But on the streets of Vienna, roared on by thousands of fans Kipchoge dipping inside the mythical two hours for a marathon in an astonishing time of 1:59:40.2

He acknowledged that the screaming fans played a huge part in his successful attempt.

Exuberant fans have always been part and parcel of sport.

It was thus interesting to see the first Marathon Majors race of the season, the Tokyo Marathon, races without fans.

Advertisement

Because of the coronavirus pandemic organisers of the Japanese city race told fans to stay at home.

Nation Sport talked to Kenyan athletes who competed in the race that cancelled the participation of the registered 38,000 regular runners with competition only open to the invited elite runners.

Former World Half Marathon Championships bronze medallist Sally Chepyego and Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei were the Kenyans in the women’s category of that marathon raced on March 1.

The Kenyan runners in the men’s category had World Championships bronze medallist Amos Kipruto, Simon Kariuki, former Tokyo Marathon champion Dickson Chumba and former World Half Championships silver medallist Bedan Karoki.

According to Chepyego, who has lived in Japan for more than 10 years, it was eyrie competing in an almost empty street something she has not seen before since she started her career.

“We were lucky to compete in this years’ Tokyo Marathon edition but I must say it was different from all the other races that I have competed in because the streets were empty with no fans to cheer you on. The Japanese love athletics and you would find the streets full whenever there is a marathon race,” said Chepyego.

She said that the race had the best organisation making sure the athletes were safe with minimal interaction from the public.

Loading...

“Despite the few or none fans at the streets, the organisation was good and this gave us determination to compete on that day. We had a lot of tension while competing but I’m happy we finished the race and came back home safely,” said Chepyego.

She said that after jetting back she went through various medical tests and also quarantined herself at home just in case she had have picked the virus.
“I went through various tests both in Japan and after jetting back I was given a clean bill of health. I further stayed indoors for two weeks and this is the time the pandemic was now spreading but I’m happy I tested negative when for further check-ups,” said Chepyego.

Chepyego finished in fourth position clocking 2:21:42 in a race won by Israel athlete Lonah Salpeter who timed 2:17:45 ahead of Ethiopia’s Birhane Dibaba who clocked 2:18:35 while her compatriot Asefa Kebede settled for third position in 2:20:30.

Amos Kipruto on his part said that he is still recovering after picking an injury during the race that saw him finish in 18th position in a time of 2:08:00.
Kipruto said that it was a race very different from what he is used to with empty spaces on the side of the road which normally would be packed with screaming fans.

“It was a race different from the others and this time even my friends could not meet and interact with me. We were under strict supervision and I think that saved us because our lives are more important than interaction,” said Kipruto.

He is optimistic of representing Kenya at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

“I will start training on my own in the next few weeks but also taking good measures because we need to stay safe due to the virus. I know next season we shall be able to participate in various races after the virus has been contained,” added Kipruto.

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading

Featured

US should lead virus fight

Published

on

Loading...
EDITORIAL

By EDITORIAL
More by this Author

US President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping finally spoke by telephone, suggesting a possible closing of ranks in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

President Xi reportedly told the US leader that he hoped the superpower would take substantive action to improve bilateral relations.

Coming as the infection figures and death toll are soaring, nothing could be more reassuring to the rest of the world.

Earlier, President Trump would throw jibes at China over the pandemic. In one of his epithets, he charged that the world was “paying a big price” for China’s lack of transparency on the outbreak.

Although the pandemic has its origins in the Chinese city of Wuhan, it has spread to more than a third of the globe, and the continued reference to it as ‘Chinese virus’ can only be inimical to the fight against it.

Chinese and American journalists working in both countries have found themselves in the crossfire of expulsions and restrictions on their operations, at a critical time.

Advertisement

There also seems to be incontrovertible evidence of the Beijing’s missteps in dealing with the contagion in the early stages.

Loading...

A medical doctor who raised the alarm about the outbreak was shut down before he tragically contracted coronavirus and died.

It is time for anti-coronavirus action as opposed to trading blame.

The Chinese seem to be doing a remarkable job on this front, going by the plummeting domestic infections. They have even extended a helping hand to other nations that have the virus.

In these difficult times, conventional wisdom demands that the US employ its might to fight the veritable threat to human existence, not engage in unhelpful rhetoric.

It would be most unfortunate if the superpower is best remembered for having engaged in a propaganda war against a rival or enemy nation as opposed to helping humanity confront a common threat.

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading

Featured

THE CUTTING EDGE – Daily Nation

Published

on

Loading...

HYGIENE: Gerishon Mwangi is excited about the opportunity Kenyans have to kill two birds with one stone, literally. The campaign against Covid-19, he says, presents a chance to fight cholera as well, as both have a lot to do with hygiene. He has been to market places in Nairobi and is happy that almost every trader has a little water tank and provides soap to clients to wash their hands. He is impressed to see would-be customers being encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly. “Cholera and other ailments caused by poor hygiene are being fought indirectly. May we, Kenyans, please, sustain this culture,” pleads Gerishon, whose contact is [email protected]

****
QUARANTINE COST: Joe Ngige Mungai is upset that any Kenyan individual or organisation would behave or act in a manner that denigrates the country. He, for instance, cannot understand why any Kenyan would not be proud of the shilling. Joe’s anger arises from a list issued by the Medical Practitioners and Dentists’ Board giving the hotel rates people arriving in Kenya and being sent into 14-day quarantine should pay. He finds quoting US dollar rates for quarantine-listed hotels rather insulting. “Let’s encourage ourselves to be proudly Kenyan. Just quote in Kenya shillings. We need to free our minds from this inferiority complex.”

****
BROTHER’S KEEPER: With the number of infections and deaths rising in the US, Mbiri Gikonyo is surprised that Kenya does not appear keen to assist a friend in need, and who is a friend indeed. Says he: “I’m surprised that President Kenyatta will not assist the US with doctors and other medical personnel and yet there are many such professionals, who are unemployed.” Mbiri claims there are no plans or the likelihood of these doctors being absorbed by the national or county governments. And to dispel any doubts as to what he is talking about, he says that his own daughter is one of the unemployed doctors! His contact is Tel 0733-709764/0726290815 or [email protected]

Loading...

****
CORRUPTION: The salary cuts taken by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto and other top officials, including the Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate, Justin Muturi and Ken Lusaka, respectively, are a good gesture meant to free funds to fight Covid-19, says David Okello. However, he laments, this does not address the theft of public funds through procurement. David claims most tenders are inflated. He wishes the authorities could ensure value for the public money that is spent on the procurement of goods and services, and it’s not always about the lowest bidder. His contact is [email protected]

Have a reasonable day, won’t you!

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Loading...
Advertisement
Loading...

Trending