Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cooking Gas & The Pecking Order

This is a Guest Blog. I have been asked not to reveal the name.

Gas or Not?

After a long period without cooking gas, I got a call from one of my informers. I'd spoken to four petrol station workers, so that they would alert me anytime the commodity was finally supplied.

So on the 27th, early afternoon, I got a call from one of my 'watchers' from the Total Hurlingham petrol Station. I was in the CBD when the call came so it only took me all of 11 minutes to get to the petrol station. I met a gentleman with Yuvenaris/Yuvenalis on his name tag and immediatelly unloaded my empty 13kg cylinder, but he shocked me and told me that there was no gas! I asked him a second time and he assured me that cooking gas had not been delivered.

I almost packed my empty cylinder back into the car, but much as my 'lookout' had told me that  cooking gas is very fast moving in these times of scarcity, I was a bit doubtful about how fast the product could have moved.

I then called my lookout up to enquire about the speed the commodity had moved, and after I explained what I was told by Yuvenalis, he told me to persist, cajole and even threaten. It seems that there is some of racket where the petrol station attendants in charge of cooking gas (and other products that are in short supply) usually hold back from selling it, only to sell it to brokers at a marked up price, as my lookouts from all gas stations confessed.

With this in mind, I persisted and told Mr. Yuvenalis that I was aware that cooking gas had been delivered and that I was not going away until I got my cylinder. I dropped one or two big names and the fellow softened up and told me to stop demanding in a loud voice, and that the gentleman in charge, a Mr. Maweu, who was away, would come and he'd ensure I got my gas.

When Maweu Nzioki, as his badge read, finally came, he informed me that 'very few' cylinders could be availed' after the people that had placed their orders picked their product. He went on to explain to me that "'Orders from above' kept his hands tied as "Watu Wakubwa" usually booked through bigger offices, and there was nothing much he could do. I was even more persistent, and so was he. Mr. Nyachae, the current chair of the C.I.C just happened to be parking his vehicle in the lot, and Maweu then went on to point out Nyachae as one of the Watu Wakubwa who had booked their cooking gas. Up until now, I have not been able to establish if Mr. Nyachae had actually booked for his cooking gas.

I was still not convinced, so I persisted, very loudly telling him that there are no provisions for prior booking and that we were all equal under the constitution, etc, there are no 'big or small people'. It did not take long for him to cave in, and finally, I got my 13kg gas cylinder,  though not as happy a camper as I'd have wanted to be.

As a parting shot, before I left, another gentleman drove into the station asking for cooking gas and Mr. Maweu blatantly lied to him as well, that the commodity was unavailable. I walked into the scene and told the gentleman that there indeed was a supply of cooking gas and he should demand it. Maweu, on sensing defeat quickly sold him a cylinder of 13 kg Total cooking gas, lest I stick around and mess his 'business' more.

That is my sad tale.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Still a kanu government...

An article by Makau Mutua Wetang’ula behaving as if he is Bashir’s lawyer got me thinking...

The current government (cabinet) is composed of the same chaps who were kanu shrills back in the bad old days of danny t moi...

*2012 presidential candidates highlighted*

mwai kibaki - president - He was in kanu for eons and was dan's VP for a while. Quit in 1990 to form DP which many say was a front to break up the opposition (well, let's call a spade a spade - the GEMA constituency) vote that matiba commanded. Thank the heavens he can't run for a 3rd term but never say never. See kaguta museveni of Uganda.

raila odinga - prime minister - RAO was a johnny-come-lately to the kanu bandwagon to which he hitched his LDP cart before he realized he has been outsmarted. Just like his father, he may never see the presidency & at best, like his father, remain a weak #2.

kalonzo muyoka - vice president - Well, I have to admit that for a chap who was all but finished in presidential politics in 2007, turned lemons into lemonade. He prophesied a miracle and a miracle he performed by selling out the ideals of Kenya's fragile democracy for VP's seat.

uhuru kenyatta - deputy PM - The current head of kanu but make no mistake, this is not the dreaded kanu of yore. The mantle of the new kanu may have passed to uhuru but the powers-that-be are almost all from the old kanu. uhuru was considered dan moi's 'project' or preferred successor in 2002. As head of the official opposition, in 2007, uhuru did the math & decided to support the incumbent rather than vie for the presidency.

musalia mudavadi - deputy PM - His dad was some sort of kanu hotshot. The son is an affable chap but seems to be hanging on others' coat-tails. He was made VP for a few days by dan moi. He was uhuru's running mate in 2002.

moses wetangula - foreign minister - Nominated by moi as an MP & he has returned that favour by being a politician who gives nothing but the best for the wrong cause. Implicated or accused of various scams (or at best incompetence) including the purchase of land in Japan for Kenya's embassy at an inflated price. Also known to open 'mouth, insert foot' in diplomatic circles.

george saitoti - internal security - He was dan moi's VP for ages, then dropped like a hot potato. Picked up again but not a chap who was taken seriously thereafter. He oversaw Kenya's worst economic crisis. Either he was clueless about goldenberg or complicit. According to many he was both.

mutula kilonzo - something constitution - was dan moi's lawyer for eons. Here is a chap who probably has a file ala J Edgar Hoover on dan moi & family's stolen wealth. All those pieces of land all over the country including bits of Mau Forest (or what is left of it). He might even have been kanu's lawyer. Well, at some point there was no real distinction between danny boy moi & kanu.

wiiliam ruto - dishonorable mention - came into the limelight in 1992 at the head of "youth for kanu 1992" (yk92) which was a means of getting moi & cohorts re-elected & screwing the Kenyan taxpayer. Soon thereafter came the goldeberg scandal. Well, the dirtier you are the better Kenyan idiots, erm, voters, like you. The erstwhile minister for education or agriculture or something of the sort.

john michuki - environment and national resources - was quite the powerful chap in the old kanu for a brief period. 

fred gumo - regional development - as minister for anything development is an oxymoron. He is as neanderthal as they come but this is Kenya where selling land 'allocated' to you by the kanu government back to the kanu government for KES 300,000,000 means you get re-elected.

william ole ntimama - national heritage & culture - is a chameleon. A former kanu man who changed his colors. I am not sure if he can even sit through cabinet meetings at his age.

yusuf haji - defense - is a chap who was moi's lightning rod as a provincial chief of sorts and now oversees Kenya's defense forces and the huge budgets for shady deals. A very pricey ship never delivered. Third-hand warplanes. Some junk helicopters. You name any piece of war debris, Kenya buys it.

dalmas otieno - public service - heads a ministry that does little. I am being extremely generous. He might have been minister for transport under danny moi. Means jackshit when you consider the state of Kenya's road/rail/air infrastructure during the kanu era.

joseph nyaga - cooperative development and marketing - a long time kanu member until 2002. Some ministerial post under moi's kanu government.

sam ongeri - (mis)education - has served every corrupt regime he could.

Who have I missed? Who should I add to this list?