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February 23, 2019

Is Uhuru going to behave on the road?

Traffic flow at University of Nairobi round about-David Ndolo
Traffic flow at University of Nairobi round about-David Ndolo

As Kenyans, we’ve always had these woes. No matter how posh our roads become with super highways and whatnot we are still always stuck in traffic. There is traffic everywhere and it’s the most frustrating and time wasting aspect of anyone’s life.

When you’re on social media you can afford to be removed from the frustrations of being stuck in mindless traffic. When you speak to anyone who has been stuck in a traffic jam many of us believe the cops cause it. On days when there are no cops, people say traffic moves faster and people behave themselves on the road. Maybe it’s just another urban legend.

The worst time ever to be stuck on the road in Nairobi is when our head of state decides to use the roads, especially Uhuru Highway. The dismay and fear that gets relayed on social media borders on hysterical hilarity. We all know what is going to happen. Uhuru Highway will get lined up with top cops barking orders into walkie talkies, a few with those fancy truncheons will point at you and urge you to drive fast and get out of the way quickly – and is it just me or have you ever noticed how angry these cops seem? It’s a total disaster if it rains on the same day. As it is, us Kenyans have some kind of irrational fear of rain, traffic comes to a standstill, amazing gridlocks get created, patience runs thin and guess who makes life even more miserable with their stupid shenanigans…. No it’s not the power people in this instance. I’m talking about the matatu drivers. They go ballistic and you will reach to your destination about 4 hours later, exhausted and dying to go for a comfort break, probably hungry and frustrated too.

Often we have begged our past presidents to make use of a helicopter or an alternative means of getting to somewhere. Also this 'maneno' of wanting to be somewhere during peak traffic times is a gross inconsideration, in my opinion. We have children to get home to, dinner to cook, quality time to spend with family. No one stops the traffic for me so that I may be driven home or to my destination at breakneck speed while thousands of people wait for me to pass by.

Now that we have a president who seems to be quite switched on to our woes, dresses smartly and speaks articulately, I can only hope and assume he will behave on the roads and not jump into his posh limousine with about thirty cars accompanying him liberally peppered with motorcyclists causing a traffic jam on the main roads.

Please, Your Excellency, keep us mere mortals in mind when you hit the road. Give us advance warning so that we may avoid the roads you’re going to use. My children are too young to be left alone in school for too long just because their mummy is stuck in traffic.

I will give you a star for good behaviour if you heed this. Thank you!

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