Kenyans upbeat as 2011 kicks off

January 1, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 1 – With the beginning of the year 2011, Kenyans are expecting a lot both in the political and economic fronts.

A number of those interviewed by Capital News said that more focus should be put on improving the living standards for people in the country.

Others felt that the country\’s leaders should dwell more on development projects compared to politics.

"We had a lot of concerns for example the Ocampo issue and so forth. But this year, I think Kenya is going to have peace. We are also going to see justice taking place in our own country," said Ben Omondi, an accountant with a private firm.

"I will be happy if everyone\’s needs are taken care of and everyone has the freedom that they deserve," said Shako Mwangi, an engineer.

"We would like to get electricity in the rural areas, we need water and roads," he added.

A majority described last year as quite progressive especially with the realisation of the new constitution but said more needs to be done towards its implementation.

"There is some development which has taken place, construction of roads is in progress, and we need them to be completed this year," stated Stacey Njeri.

"We have seen a bit of hardships but not for everyone. The IDPs especially have been affected," she added.

Aggrey Omollo, an architect stated: "Economically, I can say that we are doing well. Politically, Kenyans need to realise that it is not always about politics.  Last year was a year of change since we got a new constitution," he said.

In the transport industry, it was however a time of uncertainty as operators await the removal of the 14 seater matatus from the city.

A spot check by Capital News revealed that despite the directive by transport minister Amos Kimunya, the vehicles were still operating in the city centre.

A number of drivers and conductors interviewed decried the directive saying it was the source of their livelihood.

"Where will we go and what will we eat because we will not have work and our education level in not that high," stated one driver.

"I expect this year to proceed well but I am fearful because our matatu business is going to be affected drastically," he added.

 A matatu operator at the busy Odeon Cinema terminus said he was fearful about his future.

 "I am very apprehensive since the 14 seater matatus will be removed from town. I beseech the government to allow us to operate form the town centre." he said.

They now want the government to give them more time so as to make the transition smooth for them.

 "The government should leave the 14-seater matatus to continue operating so that we can get money to feed our children."

"If it is possible to allow us to continue operating, I myself will be happy since I will be able to sustain myself."

"It should at least give the matatu owners a bit of time like two or three years so that those who had taken loans can pay them off,"


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