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Archive for February 29th, 2012

Superhighways give impetus to learn driving afresh

Posted by Administrator on February 29, 2012

Photo/File Thika road is now an eight-lane superhighway constructed by China’s Sinohydro Corporation East Africa. Kenyan drivers need refresher courses to be able to use these new roads with caution.

Photo/File Thika road is now an eight-lane superhighway constructed by China’s Sinohydro Corporation East Africa. Kenyan drivers need refresher courses to be able to use these new roads with caution.

This is indeed a sad week for Kenya as we lay two great men to rest. These individuals had the vision and resolve to change things for the better.

In honour of the Late John Michuki the Police have embarked on a crackdown of traffic offenders.

They have found good reason to finally do their job.

While it may make them feel good it does not at all help the situation if they will not sustain it.

The impunity with which Kenyans drive is of viral proportions and it filters to other aspects of our lives.

We are living in a society so content with mediocrity it hurts to imagine ourselves free from mental poverty.

Why would we knowing and willingly board a dilapidated public service vehicles and proceed to encourage the driver to break every traffic rule in the book just because we did not wake up on time?

Why for example would you walk into a showroom and buy a pickup truck that does not have basic safety features like ABS and airbags and continue to issue it to your team of qualified staff and expect them to drive around the country.

I recently witnessed a Isuzu D-Max pickup lose control and crash right in front of my eyes at a corner because the driver did not know the limits of driving without an Anti-lock braking System (ABS).

You may remember the accident on the news in early 2008 when a hijacked white pickup lost control and rolled, killing and injuring demonstrators on board.

Can anything sustainable be done about our driving?

With our improved road network Kenyans will imagine that something magical has happened and their vehicles have become more stable with amazing powers of speed and control.

Nothing can be further from the truth.

What we forget is that you must only drive as fast as your car can confidently come to a stop.

The Transport Minister should shift focus from the matatu industry and look at the barrage of private and commercial vehicles on the roads.

The Vehicle Inspection Unit should not allow any vehicle without ABS and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) onto the road.

The pickup mentioned above rolled at the Kisumu-Ahero Junction after failing to negotiate a corner was stopped by a matatu that was picking passengers in the middle of the road at a junction.

The casualties would have been higher but luckily the last row of seats was empty.

How on earth would a public service vehicle blatantly endanger its passengers just 50 metres from where a Road Traffic Survey was being conducted under police supervision?

It is about time the government and its functional agencies put stringent rules that insist on mandatory checks of public service as well as private vehicles.

All garages must be inspected to verify that they are equipped to conduct standard maintenance and repairs on vehicles.

Many accidents on our roads are caused by incompetent drivers behind the wheels of unroadworthy vehicles.

Every driving school must be vetted to determine that the trainers are competent before they can dispense the skills to unsuspecting novices.

Did you know that if you increase your speed from 110kph to 130kph – up just 15 per cent – in reality you jolt your vehicle’s kinetic energy by about 30 per cent.

This means that you will take a lot longer to bring your vehicle to a safe stop.

If you double the speed of an object you quadruple its kinetic energy. Increased kinetic energy means when driving your vehicle at 130kph, you will need 120 metres to bring it to a complete stop.

That is about 30 car lengths or the length of a football pitch. Reducing your speed to 110kph reduces your stopping distance to about 100 metres.

And all this is assuming you have ABS and a set of good brakepads.

Without ABS you can safely double or triple the distance and dig an early grave.

On that note I think the Transport Ministry should urgently write into law that every vehicle on the road today, as a bare minimum, must have ABS and Traction Control.

No vehicle dealer or manufacturer should remove ABS, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) as well as airbags to reduce the price of their vehicles.

Have a safe driving year.

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Superhighways+give+impetus+to+learn+driving+afresh+/-/539444/1356416/-/i1waet/-/

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Posted in Kenya | 8 Comments »

Kenyan assault victim’s sister is now by her bedside

Posted by Administrator on February 29, 2012

Esther Wanjru Mwikamba

Esther Wanjru Mwikamba

Dubai: Kenyan assault victim Esther Wanjiru Mwikamba is no longer waging the fight of her life on her own in a coma at Rashid Hospital.

Her sister Lucy has flown into Dubai and is staying by Esther’s bedside in the intensive care unit, praying for a miracle to save her oldest sibling.

When the life of a family member is hanging on a thread, Lucy said you hope against hope for the smallest sign that your prayers will be answered.

“The doctors have told me that she’s still bleeding and she’s not responding to medication or treatment,” Lucy told Gulf News in an interview. “Esther’s condition is still the same, there are no changes.”

Esther has been on life support in the Rashid Hospital trauma centre since she was admitted in the early morning hours of February 18 following a brutal assault by an unknown assailant in a parking lot behind Crowne Plaza on Shaikh Zayed Road.

Diminished brain activity

Doctors have told Lucy that the 26-year-old former sales clerk at a major music store in Dubai is experiencing diminished brain activity.

Dubai police, meanwhile, said that an Emirati man remains in custody while a second man has been released on bail as investigation continues into the incident. A check of the online case file reveals no charges have yet been laid.

Lucy, meanwhile, is attempting to bring her mother Anna to Dubai to visit Esther with the hopes that hearing her mother’s voice may help aid the healing process.

Mother Anna remains in Thika, a small industry town lying about 40 kilometres north of Nairobi. “I’m fine, I’m okay, but my mom is not. We need her here,” Lucy said. “When my mother talks to Esther, maybe she will wake up, we don’t know.”

The outpouring of tweets, online postings and phone calls from the Kenyan community in the UAE eager to help ease the burden on the Mwikamba family means a great deal, Lucy said.

“It feels good to see there is so much support for my sister,” she said.

In recent days, small groups of up to 20 people have joined in an ongoing vigil of sorts outside Rashid Hospital, offering whatever support they can to Esther.

Kenya Ambassador to the UAE Mohammad Abdi Jillo visited Esther at Rashid Hospital last week along with Kenyan community leaders from the UAE.

After the visit, Jillo told Gulf News that it was “heartbreaking to see her in this condition” and said embassy and consular diplomatic staff are helping the family, including legal assistance as the case moves through the courts.

Jillo said the embassy would work to help process travel papers for mother Anna if needed. “The probability is that the mother doesn’t even have a passport, but we can arrange for one as soon as possible,” Jillo confirmed.

Source: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/crime/kenyan-assault-victim-s-sister-is-now-by-her-bedside-1.988265

Posted in Diaspora News | 17 Comments »

US based consulting company has a job opening in Kenya: Alliance & Partnership Specialist

Posted by Administrator on February 29, 2012

SSG Advisors (an international consulting firm based in Burlington, Vermont, USA) has an opening for a Kenya-based Alliance & Partnership Specialist with experience in engaging local, regional, and or international private sector businesses and companies in brokering and building public-private alliances with social development objectives.

The specialist will play a leading role in designing, brokering, and building public-private alliances with leading regional and multi-national companies in support of major objectives related to food security and technological innovation. Please note: only Kenyan citizens are eligible for the position.

Responsibilities

The position is expected to begin in March 2012. The responsibilities of the Alliance & Partnership Specialist include but are not limited to:

  • Working with a US-based Alliance      Advisor, develops strategic partnerships and alliances with private and      public sector actors and other implementers to achieve project objectives;
  • Serves as principal project liaison      with private sector partners and stakeholders;
  • Assists project stakeholders in      developing public-private partnerships and alliances;
  • Organizes meetings with local and      international business representatives;
  • Coordinates conversations,      roundtables, and activities across a number of industry groups, business      sectors, and organizations.
  • Provides thought leadership in      support of alliances, including the development of new alliance      modalities;
  • Provides timely and accurate reporting      to SSG, implementing partners, and USAID on all partnership project areas;
  • Maintains records and data bases of business prospects and      contacts;

Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience in      understanding, brokering, and/or overseeing the development of public-private      alliances and partnerships;
  • Experience with Kenyan and      international business and corporate social responsibility;
  • Solid network of local and/or      international business contacts;
  • Excellent understanding of the local      business context;
  • Ability to communicate effectively      and establish and maintain effective working relationships with the      private sector, citizen groups, and other key project stakeholders.
  • Experience delivering responsive and      timely support to demanding clients;
  • Familiarity and experience with the      USAID/GDA business model desirable;
  • Bachelors Degree in relevant field; Business degree a plus;
  • Proficiency with MS Office Suite;
  • Ability to work flexible hours      including occasional evenings;
  • Comprehensive English and Swahili      language skills;

Interested candidates should send a CV and cover letter to jobs@ssg-advisors.com with “Kenya Alliance & Partnership Specialist” in the subject line by March 5th, 2012. Please note: only citizens of Kenya are eligible for consideration. Only finalists will be contacted for interviews. No phone calls please.

Company Profile: SSG Advisors is an international consulting firm based in Burlington, Vermont, USA, that works with a variety of government and commercial clients on market-driven sustainable development solutions around the world. Since 2005, we have completed assignments in nearly 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. SSG is currently preparing for a new program in Kenya that will focus on food security and innovation with the private sector.

Posted in Kenyan Businesses | Comments Off on US based consulting company has a job opening in Kenya: Alliance & Partnership Specialist

Family of Kenyan killed in Nebraska Car Crash Still Searching For Closure

Posted by Administrator on February 29, 2012

OMAHA, Neb. — The Douglas County Sheriff’s  Office said it is willing to exhaust all resources to find the driver who caused  a fatal hit-and-run Friday.

Deputies said Elly Mijungu died after swerving to miss a car that ran a  stop sign near 116th and Harrison streets. The Kenyan native hit another car  head-on as a result.

Five days after the crash, deputies are still searching for the driver  who fled the scene of the Feb. 24 crash. Douglas County deputies have asked for  the public’s help to find the car. It is described as a red or burgundy Ford  Taurus, or a car similar to that description.

The sheriff’s office said it is looking for closure for the family.

“We’re not looking just to write a ticket. We want to give closure to the  families that were affected by this fatality accident,” said Lt. Joe Martinec,  of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Mijungu’s family said it needs that closure to move on.

“There’s no way he’s out there and nobody knows anything. Somebody knows  somebody or someone,” Mijungu’s sister-in-law, Lina Oduwo, said.

Deputies said the driver didn’t hit anyone in the crash, and that is  making the car harder to find.

“With this we don’t have any type of physical damage or description that  would set this vehicle that we’re looking for apart from the others, so it makes  it real tough,” Martinec said. “We’re going to have to rely on somebody’s  conscience bothering them to come forward and do the right thing and say, ‘Hey I  think I’m your driver.'”

Authorities said if the driver does come forward, he or she only faces a  ticket, since the car wasn’t directly involved in the crash.

“It’s not even a misdemeanor,” Martinec said. “It’s just a traffic  violation. Basically, our hands are kind of bound with what we can charge him  with. We would have to get him for failing to yield or for failing to stop for a  stop sign, that would be it.”

Any charges against the driver would be up to the county attorney. The  family said that the situation is frustrating for them after such an unexpected  loss.

“If this person would come up and take care of his responsibility, we  would be glad,” Oduwo said.

The family, however, said that for now, even though they want to find the  driver, the focus is to get Mijungu’s body back to Kenya. They want to get him  back to his wife and son for a proper burial.

The family is accepting donations at any Bank of the West under the “Elly  Mijungu Funeral Fund.”

Source: http://www.ketv.com/news/30574440/detail.html#ixzz1npnoru9r

Posted in Diaspora News | 1 Comment »

Miguna Miguna: My book is the third most anticipated Kenyan event of 2012

Posted by Administrator on February 29, 2012

Strange Bedfellas: Controversial US publisher Jerome Corsi and bitter Raila critic Miguna Miguna

Strange Bedfellas: Controversial US publisher Jerome Corsi and bitter Raila critic Miguna Miguna

By ANTONY KARANJA

Raila Odinga critic Miguna Miguna told a controversial US publisher that the launch of his book was one of the most anticipated events of 2012 by the Kenyan people.

Jerome Corsi, the right wing publisher said on WND.com, that Miguna told him that the hype and suspense about his book would make it a bestseller in Kenya even if a US publishing house publishes the book internationally.

Miguna is said to have claimed that a foreign embassy in Nairobi had conducted a non-scientific survey which put his book as the third most anticipated event of 2012 in Kenya behind the ICC rulings on the Ocampo six and the general elections.

In an email exchange with Mr Corsi, Miguna claimed to be a very popular public figure in Kenya.

“Other than Odinga himself, my name receives the most hits in all Kenyan websites and blogs,” Miguna pointed out. “It does not matter the topic.”

In a separate post, the controversial author claimed that Miguna Miguna has invited him to Kenya for his book launch.

Mr Corsi revealed last week that Miguna had handed to him an 800 page manuscript of his book containing information that would “seriously damage” Prime Minister Odinga’s chances of being elected president.

Corsi states that Miguna invited him for the book launch which is scheduled for 2013 but that he would have to receive an invitation from the government as he does not want to be deported again.

He said Miguna’s book launch was earlier scheduled for this year but has now been moved until after the upcoming elections. He said that the delay appeared to be “government censorship.”

The right wing author also seemed to boast that word of the upcoming book is rocking the country.

He pointed to last week’s article by the Daily Nation which he claimed “berated”him.

In his post, Corsi claimed that the Kenyan media is in the bag for Mr Odinga hence the “name calling.”

“The Kenyan media is as in the bag for Odinga as the mainstream media is in the bag for Obama in the United  States. I’m called a racist and a liar in Kenya, just like Media Matters does here in the USA, for my book ‘The Obama Nation’ – a book that was on the NYT best-seller list for 10 weeks and was #1 for a month in 2008.

Corsi also linked to a forum post on a Kenyan discussion board Jukwa Proboard Forum which was discussing the Daily Nation article and noted that majority of the comments were in support of Mr. Odinga.

He also linked to a post on the popular Kenyan forum Kenyanlist.com containing a story on Raila Odinga who is said to have acquired the services of a USA strategic firm GQR to develop a winning strategy for the 2012 Kenya Elections.

Posted in Kenya | 6 Comments »

 
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