Star Opinions

Star Opinions

21 April 2016 » Star Opinions

/sites/default/files/styles/teaser_large/public/articles/2016/04/21/1336297.jpg?itok=tQxpFFOAExpressing his disappointment on the persistent wrangles between Meru Governor Peter Munya and Senator Kiraitu Murungi, the secretary general of the Njuri Ncheke council of elders Phares Ruteere, recently urged the people of Meru to dump the two and prepare to elect new leaders to replace them in 2017. Ruteere bluntly...

21 April 2016 » Star Opinions

Expressing his disappointment on the persistent wrangles between Meru Governor Peter Munya and Senator Kiraitu Murungi, the secretary general of the Njuri Ncheke council of elders Phares Ruteere, recently urged the people of Meru to dump the two and prepare to elect new leaders to replace them in 2017. Ruteere bluntly told the people of Meru that the two were only fighting to acquire more political power and control of resources, instead of taking care of the issues affecting and afflicting the...

22 March 2016 » Star Opinions

The other day, I watched with dismay a television news item where the Nairobi county executive for tourism (I did not know until then that such a docket existed) announced that the city government would commence city tour circuits for visitors. The brainwave apparently attacked her after a visit to some exotic European capital where she was taken for one of those memorable city tours and just like former President Daniel arap Moi wanted us to work like bees when he came from a Chinese visit,...

22 March 2016 » Star Opinions

Garbage that blocks Nairobi lanes and flanks eating houses, glue-sniffing street families and collapsing buildings with desperate residents trapped inside are hardly tourist attractionsThe other day, I watched with dismay a television news item where the Nairobi county executive for tourism (I did not know until then that such a docket existed) announced that the city government would commence city tour circuits for visitors. The brainwave apparently attacked her after a visit to some exotic...

26 February 2016 » Star Opinions

Taking a sick person to the Kijabe Mission Hospital a few years ago, one was amazed at the deplorable condition of what looked like a colonial-era road, branching from the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.The road meanders in a steep decline through a wooded stretch and going downhill one’s foot is almost continually on the brakes pedal, which is just a minor nuisance compared to the surface of the road. The road that was once tarmacked (most likely by those who ‘opened up’ Kijabe), was full of gaping...

26 February 2016 » Star Opinions

Kijabe Mission HospitalTaking a sick person to the Kijabe Mission Hospital a few years ago, one was amazed at the deplorable condition of what looked like a colonial-era road, branching from the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.The road meanders in a steep decline through a wooded stretch and going downhill one’s foot is almost continually on the...

16 February 2016 » Star Opinions

A statement made by President Uhuru Kenyatta last week regarding the political intrigues in Kiambu and how these affect him, was not only disheartening, but downright defeatist. The declaration by the president that he would not visit Kiambu because of the wrangles between leaders in the county that he hails from, did not only depict him as faint-hearted, but also contemptuous of the people of the county who voted for him en-masse in 2013.When the president announces in public that he is wary...

16 February 2016 » Star Opinions

President Uhuru Kenyatta with students of Zetech University Complex during the official opening of the facility in Ruiru, Kiambu county. Photo/PSCUA statement made by President Uhuru Kenyatta last week regarding the political intrigues in Kiambu and how these affect him, was not only disheartening, but downright defeatist. The declaration by the president that he would not visit Kiambu because of the wrangles between leaders in the county that he hails from, did...

09 February 2016 » Star Opinions

The talk about a two-horse race between incumbent William Kabogo and Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu for the 2017 governor’s seat in Kiambu is a bit premature. Currently the two are the most visible, but others of equal or superior political and managerial muscle, could be preparing to tumble into the murky waters. James Karanja Nyoro was the runner-up to Kabogo in the last gubernatorial race and mainly lost because he was not within Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee wave. Many especially those who...

09 February 2016 » Star Opinions

Kiambu Governor William Kabogo (L), Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu (R)The talk about a two-horse race between incumbent William Kabogo and Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu for the 2017 governor’s seat in Kiambu is a bit premature. Currently the two are the most visible, but others of equal or superior political and managerial muscle, could be preparing to tumble into the murky waters. James...

04 February 2016 » Star Opinions

A Kenyan visiting a medical specialist today would most likely be asked to part with a fee in the region of Sh5,000 for a consultation period not exceeding 15 minutes. Anything else apart from the ‘shop talk’ and a plod here and there will attract extra charges. Unfortunately many Kenyans are not formally employed and even among the employed, most do not possess insurance policies that would take care of such charges. So most Kenyans do not consult specialists, period. This, however, does not...

04 February 2016 » Star Opinions

A Kenyan visiting a medical specialist today would most likely be asked to part with a fee in the region of Sh5,000 for a consultation period not exceeding 15 minutes. Anything else apart from the ‘shop talk’ and a plod here and there will attract extra charges. Unfortunately many Kenyans are not formally employed and...

19 January 2016 » Star Opinions

Despite all the ‘tough’ measures undertaken by the National Transport and Safety Authority to reduce casualties on our road, more fatalities were recorded last year as compared with the previous year. A report released by the authority, indicates more than 3,000 lives were lost in 2015 compared to slightly over 2,900 in 2014. Pedestrians accounted for the highest number of casualties, with boda boda taking the second position. But while the Francis Meja outfit and traffic police officers, are...

19 January 2016 » Star Opinions

NTSA Should Shift Gears And Tactics To Reduce Crashes Despite all the ‘tough’ measures undertaken by the National Transport and Safety Authority to reduce casualties on our road, more fatalities were recorded last year as compared with the previous year. A report released by the authority, indicates more than 3,000 lives were lost in 2015 compared to slightly over 2,900...

11 January 2016 » Star Opinions

Back when I worked for a short stint as a clerk in the Ministry of Public Works before going back to school to become a juggler of words, a fellow villager worked as a mechanic in the same department. At that time, government mechanical garages under that ministry were some of the best managed and my friend was one of the best vehicle spray mechanics in and out of the ministry. When I left he remained there for many years before he either retired early or was retrenched.I do not remember what...

11 January 2016 » Star Opinions

Back when I worked for a short stint as a clerk in the Ministry of Public Works before going back to school to become a juggler of words, a fellow villager worked as a mechanic in the same department. At that time, government mechanical garages under that ministry were some of the best managed and my friend was one of...

04 January 2016 » Star Opinions

The holiday season is over and Kenyans are gearing to resume work as the children go back to school. Hopefully, those who took holidays locally or abroad had a good time and have rested enough to start a new year with enthusiasm and drive. All being well, the hospitality industry got a lifeline from the December boom, typically driven by local tourists and as we hear of cruise ships docking, the luck will hold.However, even as the industry enjoyed the December peak holiday surge, there were...

04 January 2016 » Star Opinions

Tourists along the beach coastline in Mombasa. Photo/FileThe holiday season is over and Kenyans are gearing to resume work as the children go back to school. Hopefully, those who took holidays locally or abroad had a good time and have rested enough to start a new year with enthusiasm and drive. All being well, the hospitality industry got a lifeline from the December boom...

28 December 2015 » Star Opinions

In 1997, tourism, the then booming and major foreign exchange earning sector, was rudely disrupted by politically instigated disturbances that rocked the country, rendering the sandy beaches of the Coast almost a no-go zone. The safari sector was left crawling.Most of the hotels at the Coast and elsewhere were closed down as a result and many Kenyans lost their jobs. Farmers and other suppliers lost business and livelihoods and many never fully recovered. When matters politics cooled off a bit...

28 December 2015 » Star Opinions

In 1997, tourism, the then booming and major foreign exchange earning sector, was rudely disrupted by politically instigated disturbances that rocked the country, rendering the sandy beaches of the Coast almost a no-go zone. The safari sector was left crawling.Most of the hotels at the Coast and elsewhere were closed...

11 December 2015 » Star Opinions

More than a decade ago when I briefly worked for a non-governmental establishment that was sponsored by a donor from the West, my fellow officers and I would always complain that our boss was taking all the overseas trips at our expense. The overseas organisation would offer the outfit I was working for ‘benchmarking...

03 December 2015 » Star Opinions

Devolution Cabinet Secretary had to leave officeNevitably, the Devolution Cabinet Secretary had to leave office. As many pointed out when the pressure started piling, it was just a matter of time before she caved in. The mistake she made was to take too long in the belief that her innocence (if that is what she is), would vindicate her.She put too much premium on...

20 November 2015 » Star Opinions

President Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo/FILEWith his presidency in mid-life crisis, President Uhuru Kenyatta has received so much advice from men and women of goodwill and otherwise, that it must be mind-boggling.The recent visit to State House by former head of state Daniel Moi in the company of once ‘total man’ Nicholas Biwott proved that matters have come to...

13 November 2015 » Star Opinions

There are various versions of the amount of money the Kiambu government is spending to put up a neurosurgery unit at the Kiambu Hospital. Some MCAs claim the cost is up to Sh100 million but the governor rubbishes this. Governor William Kabogo says the cost of the unit, when it is finally in place, will be half of...

06 November 2015 » Star Opinions

CS Henry RotichIt is not surprising that Cabinet Secretaries have become ‘angry’ enough to formally complain about the time they waste attending grilling sessions by parliamentary committees. Rather, it is amazing they had to put up with it for so long, even though it is bound to generate rage within the ‘honourable’ fraternity and...

02 November 2015 » Star Opinions

Last week I watched the news items on the Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) students going berserk and destroying anything in their wake, including two County Government of Mombasa garbage trucks, in utter disgust. The students were protesting against increase in college fees.Obviously, this had nothing to do with...

21 October 2015 » Star Opinions

ven as reports of a government in unprecedented financial crisis emerge, the Jubilee regime, through its Treasury CS, announces a subsidised car loan scheme for its top state officers. The scheme would see these lucky few get car loans of Sh10 million each and mortgages of Sh40 million each.The blessed few, including...

16 October 2015 » Star Opinions

The drafters of the constitution did not go to the trouble of crafting devolved governments, in order to decentralise corruption and ensure a few more Kenyans became overnight millionaires through the back door. Their intention must have been to bring services closer to the people and ensure more equitable...

09 October 2015 » Star Opinions

The other day I watched in dismay as a squad of plainclothes police officers purporting to arrest chang'aa drinkers hiding in a quarry near the Chania River in Thika mercilessly battered the poor drunkards, who included women. In their zeal to capture the ‘dangerous criminals’, the officers chased these poor fellows...

02 October 2015 » Star Opinions

Cutting expenses and wastage at the top of the three arms of government might not immediately raise the money required to pay the 50-60 per cent pay rise teachers are demanding, but it would be a good starting point and might show the required goodwill to appease an agitated Kenyan workforce.Top state officers would...

28 September 2015 » Star Opinions

The Nyamira government puts up a gate for Sh9 million. Across the country, the county government of Embu is outdoing Nyamira by erecting a super entrance to its headquarters at Sh12-13 million. What difference does a measly million shillings make in county finances?Meanwhile, the Bungoma government is issuing a check...

25 September 2015 » Star Opinions

Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion and union members at the Supreme Court, Nairobi. Photo/FILEWhen the Cord brigade took to the podium at Uhuru Park on Wednesday afternoon, Kenyans expected the opposition leaders to come up with an alternative solution to the stalemate that has crippled education for four weeks.However, the meeting ended up being more rhetorical than problem-solving and full of political...

15 September 2015 » Star Opinions

On the prowl: A group of Maasai women in Isinya town last month. Police stopped them from invading bars, hair salons and M-Pesa outlets in search of ‘husband snatchers’.Granted, the recent crackdown on illicit brews and the so-called second-generation alcoholic drinks left in its wake some destroyed businesses and chaotic scenes. However, compared to the men and women whose lives were changed for the better, the destruction was negligible. Many of those who had been turned into...

11 September 2015 » Star Opinions

The controversial gynecologist Mugo wa Wairimu covering his face with an arm in a police car in Limuru before he was taken to CID headquarters yesterdayThe hue and cry about the alleged rapist ‘doctor’ hitherto operating from Zimmerman and Githurai is a manifestation of our decayed health sector – one that has been on its knees for decades.Since the days of the World Bank-induced cost-sharing policy during the Moi era, proper healthcare has been beyond the reach of...

04 September 2015 » Star Opinions

In February, the NTSA working in collaboration with the matatu owners, traffic police and speed governor manufacturers promised a crackdown to rid Kenyan roads of faulty speed digital governors. True, their personnel are to be found on major highways, but they have not rid the roads of defective or easily manipulated...

24 August 2015 » Star Opinions

Instead of putting President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga and their foot soldiers in a war path, the media especially financial/economics writers should be telling us what whatever was agreed upon (if indeed there was an agreement) means to both Kenya and Uganda and the entire East African region. They should be...

03 March 2015 » Star Opinions

Four years ago, I visited a gutsy grandmother in a village in western Kenya. Ann was 75 years old. On a tour of a her half-acre estate we stopped at a vantage point, a termite mound on the edge of her farm, for a beautiful midday view of her field and the village beyond. Ann’s field, like her neighbours’, was planted with a local maize variety. In the village beyond, tin-roofed homes looked like shiny islands in a sea of yellow leaved maize. The maize was thin, with spindly stalks, and barely...

03 March 2015 » Star Opinions

Every time I call (my mother),” said Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov recently, “she gives me a talking-to: ‘When will you stop being rude about Putin? He'll kill you.’” Now Nemtsov is dead: four bullets in the chest as he was walking home in Moscow with his girlfriend on Friday night. The protest march against Putin and the war in Ukraine that he was planning to lead on Sunday became a memorial march instead. So, two questions. Did President Vladimir Putin order the assassination? And...

03 March 2015 » Star Opinions

My governor, the man who has told Members of Parliament to take the title ‘His Excellency’ and shove it, is at it again. This time he reveals that some (of his) MCAs are yet to grow a beard and are not circumcised. This is the same man who displayed utter disrespect for women not so long ago, for allegedly being in the same state he is accusing some of his MCAs of being in. Last Wednesday, the Star carried a story about William Kabogo and Ngewa MCA Karungo wa Thangwa exchanging words over a...

02 March 2015 » Star Opinions

A week ago, the High Court ruled on what the Cord Opposition had successfully branded as a "controversial dictatorial Security Act only meant to return Kenya to the dark days of authoritarian rule Kenyans had sacrificed so much to get away from". Many Kenyans, including some friends who otherwise support this government, believed them. Publicly Cord presented the new laws as Jubilee curtailing the civil liberties Kenyans had spent 25 years fighting for so as to rule without opposition. The...

02 March 2015 » Star Opinions

Last year, when Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi was releasing the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exam results, an important statistic from his speech was lost among all the controversy about ranking and private versus public school candidates looming selection, or lack of it, to secondary schools. Kaimenyi announced that out of the 880,000 students who sat KCPE in 2014, only 687,000 would find places in secondary schools. Some 100,000 would be absorbed in technical and...

02 March 2015 » Star Opinions

The High Court ruling on Constituency Development Fund has predictably drawn heated albeit mixed response from different quarters. Not surprisingly several Members of the National Assembly were quick to criticise the ruling. Some members welcomed the ruling, contrary to the Leader of Majority in the Senate, who inexplicably condemned it. To his credit, the Speaker of the National Assembly has been uncharacteristically pliant in his response and is urging compliance with the ruling. The national...

02 March 2015 » Star Opinions

The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control marks it’s tenth anniversary since it entered into force on February 27, 2005. The FCTC is the first such treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO. It provides an evidence-based approach to public health. Its main objective is to reaffirm the right of all people to the highest standards of health through supply and demand reduction to lessen the spread of the tobacco epidemic around the world. To date, there are 180...

28 February 2015 » Star Opinions

As I was studying the Public Audit Bill, I was surprised to see a clause which gives the Attorney-General (AG) very considerable powers over the auditor general (AuG) as to the information he must not disclose, including information that “would unfairly prejudice the commercial interests of any body or person”. Surely, I thought, this goes against the constitution, in trespassing upon the independence of the AuG. Does not the constitution say that holders of independent offices are indeed...

27 February 2015 » Star Opinions

As narrated in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Roman Empire spent most of the 280s BC quelling rebellion in Northern Italy. It's attention, however, was drawn to a conflict between the city of Thurii and a Samnite tribe in the South. Thurii called for assistance from Rome. The Samnites sought the assistance of King Pyrrhus of Epirus, who was then the most brilliant general known. Pyrrhus fought in the war and defeated the Romans at the Heraclea stirring revolt among the Samnites. He then...

27 February 2015 » Star Opinions

On Wednesday, Amnesty International released its annual report for 2014. Covering 160 countries, with regional analysis, the report provides a worrying overview of the state of human rights globally. Four trends are immediately discernible. Firstly, the ever more dire situation of civilians caught up in conflict. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed, injured or subjected to sexual violence in conflicts across the globe. Not only in Iraq, Syria and the Ukraine but also closer to home,...

27 February 2015 » Star Opinions

There is a wealth of scientific evidence and international experience that shows how we can protect our children as they travel to and from school. Kenya has some of the most dangerous roads in the world, especially for children. In the last five years, 2,000 children have been killed in road crashes, and many more have suffered serious injuries. This loss of innocent lives is destroying families and is damaging our economy. Perhaps the biggest tragedy is that we know how to prevent almost all...

26 February 2015 » Star Opinions

Just a little over 10 years ago, I was invited to a lunch hosted by the then British High Commissioner to Kenya, the legendary Sir Edward Clay. Among the guests were top officials of the Kibaki administration, some British diplomats who were on a visit to Kenya, two or three of us from the media and the then Leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament, Uhuru Kenyatta. Although President Kibaki had by then been in office for about a year, there was really nothing much that his administration...

26 February 2015 » Star Opinions

For nearly a week now, three of Kenya’s major privately-owned TV stations have been off air due to a row with the industry regulator over migration to a digital platform. The stations, NTV, Citizen TV and KTN, which together account for the vast majority of TV viewership in the country (they claim up to 90 per cent), have had a long running and convoluted battle with the Communications Authority of Kenya essentially demanding a licence to broadcast their own content as opposed to handing it...

26 February 2015 » Star Opinions

The cyber war against the al Shabaab needs to be stepped up urgently if there should be any legitimate expectation of defeating them and preventing further loss of lives of people in Kenya, Somalia and the whole region. While the military assault on the criminal group is on-going and has to some degree degraded their capabilities, al Shabaab is still very active in cyber space, recruiting more members and spreading their propaganda to influence the minds of our unsuspecting youths. It is...

25 February 2015 » Star Opinions

My memories of Maua Primary School revolve around three things, a mean-spirited but tough loving head teacher who would always 'motivate' top academic performers by reminding them that even the Paralympics produce winners, soccer and a Mr Theuri. Theuri, a mentally challenged but very athletic man in his late twenties, performed free nude 'shows' outside the school gate. We cheered him on and got a kick out of it. Our young, developing minds deemed it appropriate to stone Theuri and chase him...

25 February 2015 » Star Opinions

The future of the Constituency Development Fund is in limbo. The managers of the Fund, MPs, and the public have a year to reassess the fortunes of this noble, but often abused development financing initiative. CDF committees, MPs and the ordinary people should share the blame for the lacklustre performance of this potentially effective grassroots development account. Death of the Fund is not an option, but revising the CDF Act is imperative. It is hoped a revised CDF Act will find a firmer...

25 February 2015 » Star Opinions

One reason Kenyans voted for a new constitution was to give our judiciary a fresh image and boost its credibility. It cannot be gainsaid that with the new dispensation, we have seen Kenyans from all walks of life throng the courtrooms seeking determination of various disputes they believe only the courts can offer neutral arbitration and amicable resolution. Whether they have left the courtrooms feeling justice has been done in the way the cases were determined is a different matter altogether...

24 February 2015 » Star Opinions

The complex and often improbable task of national development must be a joint effort of public and private actors. In Africa civil society organisations — voluntary, not for profit agencies including foundations, trusts, development and rights-based groups — have played a key role in delivering fundamental improvements in people’s well-being. CSOs have been reliable partners for Africa. But something strange is happening. Over the last decade, they have faced considerable risks and restrictions...

24 February 2015 » Star Opinions

We’re not waiting around here to die,” said Johan Dumas, one of the survivors of the siege at the kosher supermarket during the “Charlie Hebdo” terrorist attack in Paris in January. He had hidden with others in a basement cold room as the Islamist gunman roamed overhead and killed four of the hostages. So, said Dumas, he was moving to Israel to be safe. It’s not really that simple. The 17 victims of the terrorist attacks included some French Christians, a Muslim policeman, four Jews, and...

24 February 2015 » Star Opinions

With the recent discovery and exploration of natural resources such as oil in Turkana, coal in Kitui and titanium in Kwale, the emphasis on employment for indigenous communities in the mining industry is timely. However, a 2014 Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis household survey in Kwale county indicates that the shortage of relevant education and skills significantly hinders mining companies from employing locals. Despite titanium mining taking place from 2013, communities...

23 February 2015 » Star Opinions

Thursday February 19, was a special day for all the Chinese people across the world. That is the day when China, in earnest, ushered in its Lunar New Year, popularly referred to as the Spring Festival. May I then take this opportunity to wish all Kenyans success, happiness and good health in the Chinese New year, the Year of the Sheep. Spring Festival is not only the most important traditional festival for Chinese but also the most important celebration for families in China. It is an official...

23 February 2015 » Star Opinions

Put a man in a steel cage, douse him with petrol, strike a match…and film him burning alive. Or, drive a sharp thumbscrew through a woman’s body to force her to confess, then tie her to a stake, cover with firewood and set the combustible heap alight. The first happened in the 21st Century in the Levant – courtesy of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and the victim was a Jordanian fighter pilot. The second took place in 16th Century Mediaeval Europe, courtesy of the Great Witch Craze...

23 February 2015 » Star Opinions

It is now an open secret that I have been approached by several people to run in Nyeri as Member of Parliament in 2017. However, as I told Jeff Koinange during a recent interview, I believe the voice of the people is the voice of God — so I am consulting widely … as politicians say. In the process of my consultations I have become conscious of the roles and responsibilities of an MP. An MP has three main responsibilities. First, and the most critically important, is representation. This...

23 February 2015 » Star Opinions

Malabo is the island capital of Equatorial Guinea. It’s here where African heads of state met in June 2014 and signed the Malabo protocol, which among other things, is aimed at expanding the mandate of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights to handle cases of crimes against humanity. The court itself is a moribund institution that has been in existence for quite sometime without any known record of serious legal accomplishments. Amazingly, such a presumably serious protocol was signed in...

23 February 2015 » Star Opinions

Janet is a young woman who is in primary school and already has two children. Janet’s mother worries that she has not stopped seeing men despite the many talks they have had and the many counselling sessions she has taken her to. She worries that Janet is not using any protection to avoid pregnancy. Out of desperation, she took Janet to a family planning clinic to be initiated on contraceptives Janet’s mother feels that HIV prevention takes a backseat to pregnancy prevention. A third baby would...

21 February 2015 » Star Opinions

When I criticised Kikuyus for negative ethnicity, I didn’t mean to say only Kikuyus are guilty of negative ethnicity. Negative ethnicity is a disease that all Kenyans are sick of. While many Kikuyus are guilty of feeling superior to other Kenyans, many non-Kikuyus are guilty of anti-Kikuyuism – negative ethnicity of condemning everything about Kikuyu. And though both Kikuyu bigots and non-Kikuyu bigots believe dawa ya moto wa ukabila ni moto – the cure of negative ethnicity is negative...

21 February 2015 » Star Opinions

Autonomy of counties The current moves to suspend the government of Makueni by petitioning the President have raised doubts about the constitutional provision that states that the two levels of government are distinct and draw their authority directly from the people as granted in the constitution. In the federal system of India, the central government used to suspend governments in federal states routinely — until a ruling by the Supreme Court put a stop to this practice. Kenya’s constitution...

20 February 2015 » Star Opinions

True, National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale is a loose cannon, especially when he tells leaders from Bomet, “hiyo pesa si ya Baba yako”, or “hao walimu si wa mama yako”. But the fiery Jubilee politician from Garissa came up with a stroke of genius during the prayer service for Kabete MP George Muchai at Kanyariri in Kikuyu on Thursday last week. Duale told politicians off for introducing politics in church and at funerals and urged Christian clergymen to deny politicians the chance to...

20 February 2015 » Star Opinions

The proposal to cap county government salaries has been preceded by a relentless one-sided media campaign that ignores the fundamentals of fiscal sustainability of devolved government. Factors contributing to fiscal pressure include; National government wage bill growing. The singular preoccupation with county salaries ignores the contribution of national government towards the cost of government, which in turn squeezes out county development spending. The national government’s wage bill has...

20 February 2015 » Star Opinions

On Tuesday in Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta,a passionate advocate for the advancement of youth and empowerment of young people, presided over the launch of the Global All In! Campaign , a partnership aimed at consolidating efforts against HIV-Aids among adolescents. The President remarked: “At a time when our nations are looking forward to unprecedented growth and change, we have the blessing of young and able people to drive development. But HIV and Aids burden on this group threatens to...

19 February 2015 » Star Opinions

Fairly early in the morning, I got a call from the very nice lady from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, telling me that the meeting with the President had been postponed. And that I would be informed later if a new appointment could be scheduled. So it seemed that my question on the President’s tourism revival policy would not be put to him after all. And so, as I now had plenty of time on my hands, I sat down for a leisurely breakfast. OK, if you are a regular reader of this column, you might...

19 February 2015 » Star Opinions

The Supreme Court of Kenya has delivered two judgements that contradict each other. There has been issues in the courts revolving around the provisions of Section 23 of the Sixth Schedule to the constitution, which states: "(1) Within one year after the effective date (August 27, 2010), Parliament shall enact legislation, which shall operate despite Article 160 (independence of the judiciary), 167 (tenure of office, Chief Justice and other judges), and 168 (removal from office), establishing...

19 February 2015 » Star Opinions

Angela Merkel grew up under Communist rule in the old East Germany. She speaks fluent Russian. She has been the Chancellor of Germany for the past 10 years. And for all that time she has been negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin on wide variety of subjects—including, for the past year, Ukraine. They may not like each other much, but they certainly know each other. So listen to what Merkel said about the debate in the US military, in the Congress, and even in the White House about...

18 February 2015 » Star Opinions

Salient lessons emerged from the Homa Bay county senator by-election. Competing parties and observers know assumptions of wishful thinkers collapsed spectacularly. New political truths emerged to expose strategic naivety of some of the competitors. Lesson one: You do not win people’s trust by flaunting money. Money can help a politician to grow strategic networks. But these networks collapse if they are built entirely on manipulative generosity. Tumbocracy is not democracy. There is no dignity...

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