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The People’s Champion January 13, 2014

No qualms. It was naive of the county government to expect that Nairobians would fall over themselves in promptly paying up the various additional fees it has underpinned in the Nairobi County Finance Act, 2013, says Sharon Peter.

“These are lean economic times and any sane person would take whatever measure that is within their disposal, including seeking court injunctions to protect them from a regime that has no qualms about increasing fees by as much as 100 per cent,” she says. The warning by the County Finance Executive, Gregory Mwakanongo that residents should be prepared for mediocre services after fighting the excessive fees, she observes, is therefore an admission that it won’t deliver its pre-election promises.
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Light at end of tunnel. It has taken the county government close to five years to erect street lighting poles on Jogoo Road. Will it take an equally long period before the road is finally lit, wonders Sebastian Mwanza. He says the neglect of the important service has led to more deaths than he can remember and when the government erected the poles late last year and painted the old ones, he thought there was light at the end of the tunnel.

“But it appears that was the end of the work and the entire stretch from City Stadium to Donholm roundabout is dark as ever,” he points out. Mwanza says the inefficiency will continue to cost lives owing to the darkness and Dr Evans Kidero’s administration should be held liable for each.
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Lose customers.  Unless something is done urgently, MetroTrans bus company, whose matatus ply the Kasarani route will continue to lose customers to some thugs who rob commuters posing as touts, says Milka Odero. These criminals usually board the matatus at Roysambu and demand money from every passenger that boards in the stages between the Thika Superhighway turn-off to Mwiki.

If a commuter hands them money in a big denomination, she says they often pretend they don’t have the change on them, assuring them that they would hand it over before the commuter alights.  They usually disappear with the money. They have also being known to turn violent when pressed to give the change.
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Master plan. Every time Sammy Matolo goes to Huruma estate he says he gets the feeling that one day the residents will wake up to find a building built overnight in the middle of one of its untarmacked roads. That, he says, is how congested it is and yet the estate keeps expanding.

And it is not a Huruma problem alone. He adds that Mathare, Kariokor, Kawangware and Bahati are other estates that also give the same impression. “This, to me is a pointer that the city needs a master plan sooner rather than later to ensure that development is orderly. Sometimes last year there was talk that the county government was drafting such a document. I wonder what happened to it?” he asks.

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