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December 16, 2018

The next generation of Kenyan fact-finding

Once upon a time, the only Kenyans who would be seen gallivanting around the globe at the taxpayers' expense were senior government officials like ministers and high-ranking technocrats. Also in the list of those making frequent travel bookings were MPs.

Then we had a new Kenya constitution enacted in 2010. This document gave way to creation of devolved governments. Ward representatives, who under the old constitution, were known as councillors acquired a new name – Member of the County Assembly.

They are now 'dignified prefects' in their counties. However, unlike a class prefect, their role is not to write down the names of noisemakers – usually students in their bad books; or helping the teacher carry books to the staffroom.

Ward representatives, under the Constitution 2010 are like 'MPs' of their counties. As legislators, they have the responsibility of finding solutions to problems affecting county residents.

After they were sworn into office, the MCAs embarked on their new role with gusto. In a bid to find solutions and streamline devolution, trips abroad were organised for them, ostensibly to learn more about devolved system of governance.

No sooner did they start shuttling from one country to another to get 'education' to 'boost productivity of their counties' - all expenses courtesy of the taxpayers. It is common to hear that a group of MCAs have been spotted at airports in various parts of the world checking in or out.

Some had gone to Italy to find out how spaghetti is grown! Would you believe this? Jeff Koinange's book, launched recently – You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up – comes in handy.

However, it is not only the humble MCAs who are flying out on fact-finding mission. Recently you saw a delegation of footballers under the Harambee Stars moniker board a plane and fly to Brazil.

These gentlemen were there to watch matches of the FIFA World Cup 2014 that ended on Sunday – just to have a feel of a big tournament, which would hopefully boost their morale and inspire them to work to qualify for such tournaments.

With the frequent educational trips abroad sponsored by the government, it is only a matter of time before delegates drawn from various groups in the society start demanding to go on trips, ostensibly to learn how to improve skills of their members.

Expect to find guys, in droves, under the banner of the Maendeleo ya Wanaume being sent to Mexico to find out how men, who play in their tele novellas – with cast names like Allejandro – are able to stay in their parents' hacienda.

Despite living under the same roof with their parents, they are celebrated and admired. Girls from poor and rich families fight for 'mama's boy' affection. Even orphaned naive girls are after them as they are seen as a ticket to a good life.

It will be useful for our men folk to learn how to sweep women off their feet even when they have 'nothing' to offer. It would give them a soft landing – given numerous 'regrets' they receive from women they are wooing simply because they cannot afford the high maintenance cost.

Also on the trail, will be a delegation of 'Kenyan Crooks and Hoodlums' who will send a delegation to Cape Town South Africa to find out how criminals in the city record the highest number of killings.

The town's administrators may teach Kenyan delegation how to convince tourists visiting Nairobi, and other parts of the country that it is the safest destination even with the terror attacks.

Expect the 'Terror Gang Association' to go on a fact finding mission to the Middle East at Gaza Strip. Here they would learn the science of executing massive killings with powerful nations backing their actions.

With all the knowledge acquired, expect to see local terror organisations getting funding from powerful nations for the destruction and loss of lives with no fear of reprisal.


Venue review: Milestone Club, Gaberone Road

Sometimes you discover a place without even planning on doing so. Last Monday afternoon there was a sudden heavy downpour in Nairobi. Hawkers, who sell umbrellas, were nowhere in sight. I saw a joint on Gaberone Road that was not so inviting and went in for shelter.

After being frisked by security guards, I went upstairs to the club, which was on the second floor. The building does not have ramps and lifts, so not friendly to wheelchair users in need of a drink.

While inside, I noticed the pub had a good set up – not what you would expect in a joint in the location. The wall had a great décor with comfortable seats – black and red colours were the most noticeable.

There was a counter opposite the entrance but I headed straight to the balcony to the left. A waitress offered me serviettes to dab my head, which which was dripping wet.

Great service. I then looked at the menu, and ordered a cup of tea retailing at Sh80 with a samosa at Sh50, as I decided on whether to drink beer or not. A bottle of Tusker was Sh180, which is fair.

The club has flat screen TVs and on the day, they were airing a rerun of the World Cup finals in which German won. This is a good place to catch sports.

The joint is in a strategic position and one has a good view of the hustle and bustle of the Downtown Nairobi especially at the bus stage where matatus plying route number four are stationed.

I went down to the reception and that is when I learnt the joint is called Milestone Hotel. It’s only a few days old. The hotel charges Sh3,000 for one night – double accommodation, and Sh2,000 for single bed and breakfast.This is not bad at all. A quick recap of the venue;



Excellent service, great décor, big TV screens for the sports fans, convenient location, clean washrooms.



Disability unfriendly, fire escape not clearly defined.


My verdict

An ideal place to recommend to someone coming from out of town, and unable to spend the typical prices in our usual hotels.

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