Nairobi News

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The People’s Champion February 12, 2013

Something on the side. As welcome as the decision to demolish all residential buildings, more than four storeys high, but lacking lifts is, County Hall’s Tom Odongo should not take Nairobians for fools by denying that approvals for the same were sought from corrupt officials, said Gibson Mbuthia.

“It has always been an open secret that planning officers were pocketing something on the side from developers to look the other way as buildings defied building regulations,” said Mbuthia. Besides Mr Odongo’s “selective memory,” Mbuthia noted that if and when his landlord complies with the directive, he would be saved the tedious stairs that have given him a never-ceasing backache. He however urged County Hall to first send the officers who approved the buildings packing.

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Sweeping powers. Nathan Kiruja was worried that the County Assembly was trampling on constitutionally guaranteed rights in its zeal to enforce order. He said he was shocked to learn that the new Nairobi City County Alcoholic Drinks and Licensing Act gives county askaris sweeping powers to arrest anybody found drunk in public. This, he added, was regardless of whether the person was orderly.

“This is preposterous. When did it become a crime to drink and opt to walk home rather than hire a taxi?” he asked. That the law allows members clubs to serve alcohol any time of the day or night while at same time prohibiting bar owners from operating as they wish, Kiruja observed was also against the principle of equality that is the centre of any law making process.

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Top priority. Following the release of the latest tranche of county money by the Treasury, Henry Tanui said he was encouraged to see various governors giving a break-down of how their shares would be spent. That, he pointed out was in keeping with the spirit of transparency and accountability.

“Now that Nairobi got the lion share, Governor Evans Kidero should emulate his counterparts and give us a list of projects that Nairobians can expect to see being done by his administration,” he said. The repair of dilapidated county roads as well as improving security should be a top priority for the government, he said noting that they were key to unlocking the county’s full economic potential.

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Arrest the fans. Eunice Mwaka said the plea from the late Thomas Mboya’s family to Gor Mahia fans to respect his statue in the city centre was pulled right from her mouth. For a while, she noted, she has been concerned as the fans destroyed it bit by bit every time they converged at the site to pay homage to the great Kenyan leader and once a staunch supporter of the club.

“Seeing grown men hanging from the statue, making noise like lunatics hardly gives the impression of someone who is respectful and keen to preserve public property that has cost us a tidy sum of money,” said Eunice. Rather than wait until their destruction leaves no statue, she appealed to the police to arrest the fans the next time they hang on it.

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