This is Kenya, not Egypt

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Last Saturday, October 24, there was a horrendous incident in Egypt. A train traveling at full speed rammed into another and caused the death of 18 people and wounded 36.

The incident happened when one train made an unscheduled stop because its driver had seen a water buffalo on its track. The second train, traveling in the same direction and on the same track preceded without knowledge of the accident ahead. The inevitable happened. People died.

Now, come Tuesday and the country’s transportation minister Mohammed Mansur took responsibility for the accident and resigned. Please note that the minister was not the driver of either of the trains, and neither was he in charge of buffalos and other wild animals, but he resigned.

When this story came up, my colleagues and I immediately reignited an earlier debate which had ended on a stalemate: who should take responsibility for the 100-plus form four students who are not sitting the ongoing KCSE exams because school heads pocketed their registration fees?

There is one school of thought in our newsroom which holds that the Ministry of Education bears no culpability over the matter. They argue that the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) or other departments within the ministry had no way of knowing that some unscrupulous headmaster somewhere was being sly with poor students’ cash.

Such students and their parents, they add, should bear the responsibility of checking with KNEC to ensure they are dully registered to sit the examinations.

A few colleagues and I hold a contrary opinion – on which thank the Lord – we have been boosted by the Egyptian minister.  Kenya’s Education Ministry is charged with the responsibility of ensuring quality education in Kenya. It is why you and I pay taxes for the salaries and other resources that are to be used by Provincial and District education officers whose job is to inspect each school and ascertain that everything is running to order.

Let’s leave Minister Sam Ongeri for a moment. How about Mr Ali Mwakwere over at Transcom House or his counterpart Soita Shitanda at the Housing Ministry?

If these two gentlemen were in Egypt, Mr Mwakwere should have resigned long ago for the many road accidents across the country. Mr Shitanda should bear full responsibility for the Kiambu (and scores of other) building’s collapse.

In fact if this was Egypt, we would be having 40 new faces attending the next Cabinet meeting at State House.

But then again, this is Kenya, not Egypt.

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  • msema kweli

    I agree Laura, Kenyans should start acting. It begins with you(and me). Lets act by stopping to give bribes, to speak out against ills.

  • Lawrence Njenga- Limuru

    Laura…nice feature on your website. Anyway my point is simple. Kenyans are looking at Ruto now as a Hero. Like Artur is a BAD GUY but who wouldn’t want his autograph? Kenyan voters are everything their politicians are.

  • Githinji

    The Kenya we want is one without corruption but i don’t see and end it. We have tried to be united against it, remember 2002 when Kibaki become President,but it fought back hard and won. Guys as young as 20 are now seriously discussing ways to get to parliament and government so as to get involved in highly corruption ie Trition after all once we defraud billions all we need to do is by some MPs and get an expensive lawyer.It’s a small sacrifice for the billions.

  • Shikuku – USA

    How i wish more and more Kenyans got themselves engaged in the affairs of our great nation. Rally one another against relentless impunity by our leaders.
    Our leaders have lost the sense of being responsible to their employers thus continue to act recklessly in parliament (censure motion), they taint the image of our nations integrity. I dread reading news from Kenya everyday because they scream “something is not right again” and the worst is yet to come. Kenyans lets get involved in pragmatic political decisions of our nation right from our dinner tables. Lets resolve to build a better Nation on the principles of democracy. It can be done. WE CAN DO IT! I believe.

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