The Press reported today that Kenyan Policemen serving in war torn Northern Districts receive a paltry Kenya Shillings 20 (USD 0.20) per day in what is referred to as “Hardship allowance”. This is the incentive that is supposed to attract these men to an area that has seen many of their comrades killed by Al Shabaab terrorists.

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Some of the helicopters that took President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy and Cabinet secretaries to Taita Taveta, Tuesday. [PHOTO: GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD]

I am sure servicemen do ask their superiors politely of course, why the allowances remain so low, when MCAs (Member of the County Assembly) collect thousands in “sitting allowances”. All they have to do is sit and dose throughout the sessions and they would collect their cheques. The Lowest paid MCA earned 12,000 shillings per month in sitting allowances.  In answer to the servicemen, I can see the senior officer trying his best to go through the bullet points he receives from his superiors. One of these has something to do with Kenya being a poor country and not likely to afford high costs. He rounds up by appealing to patriotism and sense of duty. He may not believe a word of what he says though.

That is because he reads newspapers and comes over stories of extreme display of state opulence.  He may have opened the Standard and read:

The full weight of the Jubilee government was felt in Taita Taveta County yesterday when President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and Cabinet secretaries arrived aboard 13 helicopters.Several senior Government officials also flew to the site of a presidential event near Voi in private helicopters. Each of the Cabinet secretaries arrived in a private helicopter that landed and was neatly parked near Tsavo River.

Uhuru KenyattaThey were followed by Ruto, who came in yet another helicopter, while the President and his aides arrived last in two helicopters. The President and his delegation were on an inspection tour of the ongoing Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project. The site cleared for the presidential entourage is located in the vast Tsavo West National Park along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway.

Among the first to arrive were Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala (Mining), Joseph Nkaissery (Interior), James Macharia (Health), Adan Mohammed (Industrialisation) and Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero.

On his arrival, the Deputy President held a brief closed-door meeting with Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu, Senator Dan Mwazo and Taveta MP Naomi Shaban. He then welcomed President Kenyatta who arrived minutes later in an Air Force helicopter escorted by a similar aircraft.

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One of the Kenya Airforce helicopters devoted to transporting Uhuru Kenyatta around the country. Only one of these would have transported enough soldiers to Garissa and saved over 100 lives of innocent students at Garissa University College

As one can see from the entourage, some of those present were totally un-required in Taveta. The Governor of Nairobi has no business “inspecting” the progress of the railway and could in fact help a great deal by staying in Nairobi to reclaim looted railways land.

The Minister for Health departed from Nairobi leaving a widening cholera epidemic that is killing hundreds of Kenyans with no end in sight. The distemper has now reached Kiambu county and is likely to spread further while the minister enjoys joy rides in helicopters.

A railway may carry minerals to markets inland and abroad but that is no reason for the minister for mining to be present when the President is inspecting the progress of the construction of the railway.

Categories: Kenya

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