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The People’s Champion March 10, 2014

Big variation. Urbanus Kissiu said he was unable to make head nor tail of two electricity tokens he’d bought from Kenya Power for the same price. On February 23 he bought tokens for Sh500 and got 24.7 units. Last week, he spent the same amount and got 42 units.

“That’s a huge variation over such a short period. Did someone steal from me the first time?” he asked saying it did not make sense. He pointed out that even if fixed charges were deducted from his latest purchase, it would still not explain the variation. Kissiu added that it seemed the more units one bought, the more expensive it was. “This is the reverse of sound and conventional pricing models and economies of scale; the more you spend the more you gain,” he said asking Kenya Power to explain.

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Neglecting people. Enoch Mwaladi was not amused by reports that on Friday, Governor Dr Evans Kidero helped to raise Sh13 million to boost education standards in Nyanza. He said on the same day, a group of women camped at County Hall waiting to see him over the constant demolition of their houses in slums. He said it did not sit well with him that Dr Kidero was seemingly ready to help Nyanza while neglecting people who the Constitution had empowered him to serve. It was ironical, he added that Dr Kidero was ready to raise the money but not help poor women trying to make ends meet.

“Why not help Pangani girls build a bridge across Juja Road?” he asked adding, “every time I see those girls crossing, I imagine the risk they are subjected to several times a day.”

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Right direction. The decision by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy to reduce their salaries by 20 per cent was commendable and should be emulated, said Emmy Wakhunghu. Though, the reduction was hardly enough to make a difference, she said it was nonetheless a step in the right direction.

“If our MPs and County Reps were half as patriotic like these two men, they’d follow suit and ask for a pay cut as well,” said Emmy. The combined cuts from their hefty allowances alone, she said would be enough to fund development projects in the county. But knowing the cloth from which they were cut, Emmy said she was not about to hold her breath waiting for them to do so.

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Shameful. It was shameful that it took the harassment of a few County Reps by askaris for them to see the need to reform the men and women in green and yellow, said Timothy Musengi. While the public was complaining daily about the brutality used by county askaris, he said none of them rose to speak against it.

“Now that they have come face to face with their inhumanity a Bill is in the pipeline to guide the retraining of these officers,” he added. However, Mr Musengi expressed doubts that retraining would be able to align the conduct of the county askaris to internationally accepted standards of handling the public. “Brutality is ingrained into the character of these workers and it will take a miracle for them to change,” he said.

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