THE CUTTING EDGE: 27.06.2020

What you need to know:

  • The conviction of Sirisia MP John Waluke and his co-accused, Grace Wakhungu, and the hefty Sh700 million fines for corruption for each of them, Eliab Otiato says, finally demonstrates the determination to fight the endemic menace.
  •  This, he adds, confirms that the Judiciary is impartial in fighting crime.

CORRUPTION: The conviction of Sirisia MP John Waluke and his co-accused, Grace Wakhungu, and the hefty Sh700 million fines for corruption for each of them, Eliab Otiato says, finally demonstrates the determination to fight the endemic menace. This, he adds, confirms that the Judiciary is impartial in fighting crime. He adds: “I hope this will serve as a deterrent to the would-be corrupt individuals and those who have been surviving on graft.” However, considering that this fraud case has taken several years to conclude, he wishes the process could be speeded up. “The culprits’ bank accounts should be frozen and assets auctioned.” His contact is [email protected]

TRUCK DRIVERS: Pleased to hear that the long queues of lorries whose drivers are waiting for Covid-19 tests are steadily reducing, Jim Webo says the border towns of Busia and Malaba need special health emergency teams. “As Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong has pointed out, this is a regional problem that is way beyond the county and is squarely the responsibility of the national government. It’s unfair to expect Busia to tackle a matter that involves neighbouring countries.” The locals’ lives, Jim pleads, must not be endangered as they do not benefit from the cross-border trade. He wants Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to ensure that only truck drivers with Covid-19 certificates are allowed to travel to the two border posts.

PASSPORTS: The Immigration Department in Nairobi must clean up its act to stop the numerous visits people are making to collect passports only to be turned back because they are not ready, Christine Ng’ang’a appeals. The staff, she adds, have been sending text messages, asking applicants to go over and have their photographs taken or to collect their passports. However, on reaching the gate at Nyayo House, they are told that the computer system is down. “Some people come from faraway places and return home empty-handed. Can they publish in the media or posters or send definite messages by phone to the applicants?” Her contact is [email protected]

SCRAP METAL: For more than 30 years, Nairobi resident Diana D’souza notes, she has been reading in the newspapers about how scrap metal dealers encourage vandalism and the vice still continues unabated. The vandals, she adds, target highway guardrails, especially at bridges and railway lines. They are also notorious for stealing manhole covers on major roads, endangering the lives of pedestrians, who accidentally end up slipping into the holes and injuring themselves. “Lately, these dirty thieves have also taken to vandalising graves at cemeteries. Who are these heartless people and who is shielding them?” Her contact is [email protected]

DEJA VU: The war of attrition that is raging within the Kenyan political class, John T. Mukui notes, “has some uncanny parallels in American history”. He cites the witch-hunt trials in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692-1693. “The other was the purge in the 1950s of people suspected to have been communists, which was led by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. McCarthyism is now an epithet for paranoia, intolerance and injustice. The two events sometimes involved partisan denunciation and searching for the devil in the wrong places. They were based on flimsy evidence and it was almost impossible for suspected transgressors to prove they were not guilty.” His contact is [email protected]

Have a tolerant day, won't you!