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You can apparently fool Kenyans all of the time…

How else do you explain how Uhuru Kenyatta is getting away with his ridiculous traffic de-congestion plan? Only in Kenya, can you attempt to ease congestion in the CBD by banning public transport. This solution comes from a guy who’s never ever even dreamed of taking public transport.

Beyond the ridiculousness in logic, what about the suffering of the thousands of commuters who have to trek to their places of work every morning, or now pay extra for a shuttle. Not to mention the insecurity for those who have to go home late in the evening, or the traffic congestion that has now been created in Jogoo Road. Kenyan politicians have continued to miss the boat about the growing threat that inequality poses in Kenya, even after the post-election violence. Their solution, lets continue to ghettoize the lower class and then be perplexed next time we see people with nothing to lose killing and burning everything in sight. Speaking of which, guys in Kenya…have there been any reports on who owns this Double M shuttle service? The Nation says that the company is linked to a Mr. John Mwangi. No surprises if it’s an Uhuru hookup.

I’m surprised to see that only local councillors have spoken out against this ill-thought out plan. Shouldn’t employers should speak out for their employees (hello Kepsa?), and what about the “people’s president”? And MPs from the area?

Nairobi traffic is a nightmare, but the cost of solution should not be borne by those least positioned to bear it. Uhuru should take lessons from former Bogota mayors, like Penalosa and Mockus. And kwanza isn’t he doing the mayor’s job? What’s up with that?

Eish, me vex.

11 comments to You can apparently fool Kenyans all of the time…

  • sam dc

    Ory, this is a shame to see that there hasn’t been a big outcry over such a crazy decision !
    The silence by other MPs, over such a matter that makes life harder for the poor, elderly and the handcaped, shows what kind leaders we have.
    This is what I may call a ”Sensitivity Baromer” that measures how sensitive our leaders are to those that are poor (the majority). However, the general public should not be let off the hook. These guys will push you as far as you let them.

  • I am as perplexed by that decision as well. Kwanza everything has just gone up, it is amazing. Those guys will have to pay double fare.

  • Anon

    I think the correct statement should be that the elite and upper middle class are ALL fools. They would rather see their newly imported state of the art “boats-cum-cars” wiz by each other on the streets of Nairobi as they head off to play golf @ Windsor, go to church or the mall. Who cares how their gardener/house help/cook gets to work?
    Only a self-centered egotistical group of individuals with Euro-centric ideals will stand by and let this happen; so i say shame on not only “our leaders” but also the “educated masses” for not PEACEFULLY voicing their opinion while we have a chance to.
    Instead we keep quiet and wait for another violent outburst from the majority and then turn around and look at each other as if we are shocked and react by saying things like “why are those uneducated savages behaving like that?”
    It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to see that we need to invest more time and money in public transportation systems and car pooling incentives vs opening up our ports for more personal cars to be put on our roads that are clearly not meant to handle this type of commute (ie creating HOV lanes High Occupancy Vehicle lanes) Thank you for putting the link to how Colombia dealt with their traffic situation. I will take time to read it closely.

  • Sura Mbaya

    Ory -I am truly humbled by the honorable minister’s folly – this is clearly an outrage and truly pathetic. The city is congested and so those that are already sharing by riding on the public transport system should be the ones to pay for it?

    As with a myriad other projects that our “enlightened” leaders put their magnanimous hearts into, this one is just as myopic, totally thoughtless and an insult to human intelligence around the world.

    And guess what? There are cities around the world that had the same problem but had the patience and foresight to realize that it would take way longer than a couple of weeks to deal with the problem and that it would involve not only the transport sector, but also a well thought-out urban plan and the involvement of the private sector.

    When you have some time, check out the case of one of my favorite Brasilian Cities – Curitiba

  • acolyte

    I agree with you 110%! As Kenyans we stood by and in fact in many cases were complicit as cow boy contractors and land grabbers destroyed any chance of modernising our traffic network and now we are suffering the consequences. I say that yes matatus should be reigned in and made to follow traffic rules but on the other hand we should also go the route of London and such and make it expensive to park in the CBD so much so that more people use the new improved public transport network.
    This issue of people walking from Muthurwa is rubbish!

  • Christina

    If Uhuru can’t handle a simple traffic problem, how is he going to handle more complex government problems? And there is a group of PNU MP’s lobbying for him to move into a deputy PM slot????? Let’s WAKE UP!

    This is sheer incompetence and to think that Kibaki is seemingly turning a blind eye to this and the rest of the incompetence displayed by others in his elite PNU group. How long have they had to make changes in the system and why are there any discussions about them going back into a new cabinet??????I don’t think this time we can afford to let Kibaki off the hook – he’s aware of EVERYTHING going on (secret letters and political proddings!) and just playing “political chess” to win. The grins and handshakes and golf game cameraderie is getting OLD! If Kibaki doesn’t want to give Kenyans a better government, MOVE OVER – we’re fed up of all the games! And take your henchmen/women with you!!!!!!

  • NYC

    Kenyan politics is such garbage i’m choking over here.How do u assign a guy the duty of curbing our transportation issue and he’s never rode on a matatu….

  • sam dc

    Just a hypothesis; Could it be that this is Uhuru’s way of using his spear against those mostly poor, who did not vote for Kibaki, without caring about the ones who may be cought in between that voted for him? (In otherwords, since he has never been in a matatu and has never seen any of his fellow party friends ride in one, his imagination of anyone who rides in those “things”, is most likely to be in the opposition party; so he thinks)

    It defies logic to reward those who have just voted you into power with a hard labour punishment for sharing, yet sharing (public transportation) is part of the solution to the problem he is claiming to tackle!

    I also wonder why this audience has been slow in commenting on this article? I hope its not because of “it does not affect me ” mentality attitude.

  • Chez

    now now biys and girls? Why are we complaining? Aren’t we the same one who voted for these incompetent self-righteous and self-serving maniacs?

  • Anon

    @ Sam dc…
    Unfortunately, that is the reality (M.O.) of our “educated” people. Most of them appear from behind their OAK desks (guess where the wood came from?) only in the time of crisis to be arm-chair pundits and “experts” as they pontificate their “solutions” (often dropping 2-3 letter titles before or after their given names along with a binder full of accolades and acheievements to validate “their” IDEAS) while confusing the masses and forming several groups doing parallel work (hence not unity). Once the crisis that forms violent reaction is over and we are back to “peace” they quickly vacate their positions on the pedestals THEY created so that they can go back to work in their comfy offices. After all, what’s their worry with public transportation? with “those people” (yes, Africans have now dehumanized fellow Africans! shock on all right?) off the streets it makes their commute to and from work a lot better with little traffic no? what’s your beef sam dc? why “stir up trouble ” again? LOL!!! Change will not happen with a revolution, change is very personal and each one of us has to change our mentality and see another human being for what they really are A HUMAN BEING (no degree required here:))!!!!! only until then will there be change. This is what Obama is talking about… he acknowlegdes that he can’t change the world but he hopes to affect change in EVERYBODY to see the world a different way so even if he doesn’t win… He has won in my eyes… he is a TOTAL MAN!!!!

  • Steve

    Thanks to the link to the Bogota piece. Question for your readers who understand the law better than we do that stemmed directly from that link

    Is transportation in Nairobi the province of the (honorable?) minister or is the province of the mayor of Nairobi.

    Maybe it’s time for the City Council to take matters into its hands.

    Steve, it should be a City Council/Mayor issue, but this is Kenya we are taking about…unilateral interpretations of the law seem to be the order of the day.