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Monday, February 12th, 2018

 

Somalia given greenlight to respond in border case

By AGGREY MUTAMBO
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The International Court of Justice has allowed Somalia to file a response to a case in which it has sued Kenya over a maritime border.

The move kick-starts a fresh round of arguments, which could determine the final flow of the border.

The court Monday announced that Somalia should respond to Kenya’s claim that the current flow of the border should remain intact by June  18,  after which Kenya will have another six months to poke holes in the response.

“The court issued this decision taking into account the views of the parties and the circumstances of the case. The subsequent procedure has been reserved  for further decision,” said a statement from the court’s registry.

KENYA’S PLEA

On February 2 this year, presiding judge Ronny Abraham accepted Kenya’s plea to file a second round of arguments, which Nairobi said would take longer to prepare. This means the two countries will have another opportunity to argue before the court.

Somalia sued Kenya in August 2014, saying the border between the two countries should extend diagonally into the sea, south of Kiunga and not eastwards as it is today. But Kenya has argued that this may also affect its sea border with Tanzania. The current border has existed largely as a result of Presidential Proclamation of 1979.

When the case was presented to court last year in February, Kenya’s preliminary objections were dismissed. Kenya had argued that the court lacked jurisdiction and that the two countries had signed a memorandum of understanding  to have the matter resolved through the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, something which Nairobi had claimed was not yet exhausted.

AREA IN CONTEST

The area in contest is about 100,000 square kilometres, forming a triangle east of the Kenyan coast

In 2009, Kenya and Somalia had reached an MoU and deposited it at the UN. It proclaimed that the sea border should run eastwards. But the case is also influenced by the suspected oil deposits in the contested area. Somalia had argued that Kenya was prospecting in the area, something that could expose Somali resources to exploitation should it win.

In December, Kenya filed an argument before the Court saying the matter can best be handled through the UNCLOS and insisted its continued exploration, fishing and other activity in the disputed area is based on a bilateral decree issued by the countries’ leaders in 1979.


Uasin Gishu County vows to stay put in evicting Eldoret hawkers

By STANLEY KIMUGE
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By WYCLIFF KIPSANG
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The Uasin Gishu County government has vowed not to relent in its efforts to evict all hawkers from Eldoret town’s central business district despite a public outcry.

Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno Monday maintained that the county was keen on restoring order in the town.

“These hawkers operate outside other traders’ premises, who pay rent. The hawkers prevent buyers from accessing the premises, resulting to low returns,” he said.

Mr Chemno observed that though markets have been constructed to accommodate traders in the county, hawkers have continued to violate the law by selling their wares in the streets.

WHOLESALE MARKET

“We have the Sh100 million hawker’s wholesale market which is complete. We also have the Sh150 million Kahoya market which was opened in 2012,” said Mr Chemno.

“We want to ask the traders to relocate to these markets and operate from there,” he added.

However, the hawkers have complained that the wholesale market cannot accommodate more than 6,000 of their members.

Uasin Gishu County Hawkers Chairman David Mburu said the new market has only 311 stalls.

“Many hawkers are not comfortable using the main market since it’s far from their customers,” he added.

He said the eviction of hawkers from the streets has rendered many people jobless, adding that the move might trigger criminal activities.

But the deputy governor said the county government has done a lot to improve the welfare of the hawkers, saying it has given them loans amounting to Sh6 million.

He said the county has the infrastructure to support the relocation of hawkers to the Eldoret West Market as it plans to put up another major market in Kimumu to decongest the town.

“In 2016, the World Bank ranked us as the most favourable investment destination, and thus we are keen to ensure that we remain the best choice for investors by restoring order in the town,” he said.

Last month, the county government was on the spot after two videos emerged online showing inspectorate officers beating hawkers.


How ex-governors are picking up the pieces after post-poll grief

By NATION TEAM
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Former governors who were trounced in the August 8 General Election are struggling to cope with life away from the trappings of power and round-the-clock security they were used to.

Immediately after elections especially of President and governors, the sudden change in status catches their aides and associates including campaign managers by surprise as State security agents take control and effectively limit access to the leaders.

While attending public gatherings, these new leaders are accorded tight security with dozens of police officers keeping ordinary people at bay .

The Daily Nation tracked some of the former county chiefs to find out how they are coping now that they are bereft of power and authority after a bruising political battle.

Some of the former governors have quietly retreated back to their families as they figure out how to keep themselves busy, while others have fallen back to their professions.

Former Bomet governor Isaac Ruto has resorted to doing community voluntary work because, he says, development starts from the grassroots.

“I just want to recoup in the lost time with my family and continue with my businesses,” Mr Ruto says.

“I want to assist locals to farm through cooperative societies, especially in the dairy sector which has great potential in the region,” he adds.

He now shuttles between his homes in Tumoi, Chepalungu, Kericho, and Nairobi where he runs various businesses.

POLITICAL PLANS

He remained tight-lipped about his political plans.

The former Council of Governors chairman is remembered for his ‘Pesa Mashinani’ campaign in which he fought to have the national government allocate more funds to the counties.

Former Taita Taveta governor John Mruttu has ventured into agriculture as he sets his eyes on 2022 campaigns, hoping to recapture the seat he lost narrowly to Mr Granton Samboja.

LOW PROFILE

Mr Mruttu has kept a low profile since he lost the August polls but is optimistic of a 2022 comeback.

The former county chief has a large banana plantation farm that he manages in his Taveta home. Besides banana farming, Mr Mruttu also rears rabbits, chicken and doves at his home when not engaged in local politics.

Mr Mruttu, who has since moved to Jubilee Party after losing the election as an Independent candidate, is, however, keen on consolidating his support base before campaigns for the next elections start.

PERSONAL MATTERS

For the Former Baringo governor Benjamin Cheboi it’s time to focus on personal matters and family. 

He, however, says he is ready to serve Kenyans in any capacity if given a chance. “If Kenyans want to tap into my experience as a manager, I’m ready for them,” says the former chief executive of the Higher Education Loans Board.

Former Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu has launched a multi-million dairy farming project even as he waits for the outcome of an election petition challenging the results. He will on Wednesday next week know if the court will uphold or nullify the election of Governor Ndiritu Muriithi.

Mr Muriithi, who contested as an independent candidate, beat Mr Irungu of Jubilee Party with a margin of fewer than 2,000 votes. A voter, Sammy Ndung’u, filed a petition challenging the win and Mr Irungu’s attempt to join the case as an interested party in the petition failed.

“In case the court nullifies Mr Muriithi’s win and the voters ask me to contest in a subsequent by-election, I will honour their request,” says Mr Irungu on the telephone.

CLIMATE AMBASSADOR

Mr Irungu, an environmentalist, describes himself as an ambassador for climate change and currently sits on the management board of Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund that supports conservation of water catchment areas and promotes rainwater harvesting.

“I intend to pump in Sh10 million in the dairy project where I will have 100 pedigree cows with a target of producing 2,000 litres of milk a day. Recently I bought four pregnant cows at a cost of Sh1 million and each of them is giving me 25 litres daily, “Mr Irungu says.

“I am passionate about dairy farming and my intention is to have a model farm and offer interested farmers pedigree cows at affordable prices. I am also diversifying into a biogas project so that the energy from the cow dung will power the entire project,” he says.

Already the former governor has put 20 acres of his farm under Rhodes grass for hay production and has constructed a store capable of storing 10,000 bales of hay, an indication that dairy farming would remain his major preoccupation whether or not he returns to politics.

REJUVENATE

Former Nyeri Governor Samuel Wamathai who had a short stint at the helm of the county’s top most job says he has taken some time off work and politics to rejuvenate.

Mr Wamathai who took over as the county boss following the death of the county’s first governor Nderitu Gachagua, lost to the late Dr Wahome Gakuru in the August elections.

“I have been working continuously for a long time and I have just taken some time to rest and put my house in order,” he says.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Air and Space law from McGill University in Canada and works as a part-time consultant with the United Nations on matters related to Civil Aviation.

TOO MUCH TO BEAR

For others such as former Isiolo governor Godana Doyo, the loss has been too much to bear and since the August poll, he has never been seen in public in the county. Mr Doyo, a lawyer by profession lost to Mr Mohammed Kuti.

Former governor Issa Timamy of ANC is currently running his law firm Timamy and Company Associates in Mombasa as he awaits for the results of a petition in which is challenging the win of governor Fahim Twaha of Jubilee party.

Mr Timamy, narrowly lost to Mr Twaha coming second with 22,420 votes against Twaha’s 22,969 and is rarely seen in public.

Former Tana River Governor Hussein Dado now lives in his Odda home in Garsen, where he has ventured into pastoralism, community welfare issues and his family. Mr Dado has been nominated Chief Administrative Secretary for Devolution.

Reports by Samwel Owino, Kalume Kazungu, Anita Chepkoech, by Oscar Kakai, Mwangi Ndirangu, Vivian Jebet, Grace Gitau and Florah Koech and Brian Ocharo


Judge orders recount in Embakasi East poll petition

By SAM KIPLAGAT
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A Judge has ordered for scrutiny and a recount of votes cast in the Embakasi East Constituency during the August 8 General Election.

Justice Joseph Sergon said parties in the petition had agreed there were errors in the tallying process and that only a fresh scrutiny and a recount could set the record straight.

Jubilee’s Francis Mureithi, who lost to Mr Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino of ODM, has challenged the outcome, saying there were various sets of results contained in the polling forms and that it was difficult to determine who won the race.

ILLEGIBLE FORMS

Through lawyer Ham Lagat, Mr Mureithi said some of the forms were not legible and that no one could determine if the results in form 35 A correspond with those in form 35 B.

He also claimed there were instances of inflation of votes cast in favour of Mr Owino and a deflation of his own. Some forms 35 A lack the official Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission stamp, while others do not bear signatures of the presiding officer.

RESULTS NOT ACCURATE

The lawyer said the results recorded and transmitted from polling stations to the constituency tallying centre at the East Africa School of Aviation Institute were not accurate and verifiable in compliance with Articles 81 and 86 of the Constitution.

IEBC Nairobi county election manager Joseph Mele Eroo said that although there were errors in a number of forms, that cannot be the basis for a fresh scrutiny.

He said the petitioner had not laid a sound basis for the court to grant him his request for a recount and that lack of stamps in some of the statutory forms cannot be the basis for scrutiny in an election petition.

Mr Owino through lawyer Jackson Awele said lack of stamps in 44 random polling stations was an insufficient reason to conclude that the poll was marred with irregularities.

Justice Sergon ruled: “I order IEBC to produce sealed ballot boxes for the recount of votes in the entire constituency since the accuracy of forms 35Bs had errors,” Justice Sergon ruled.


Research is coming of age in Africa

By MOKEIRA MASITA

There were only a handful of African research agencies 15 years ago.

Research was a mystery to the majority and investors were even fewer.

Research was the preserve of large international corporations and donor organisations.

Not only could they afford the spend; they also had in-house consultants who understood research, its importance, and how to work with it.

Local companies could not afford this.

Back then, the research career of many a Kenyan was largely happenstance and very challenging because they came into the job without the prerequisite academic and professional training.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

There were few or no tertiary-level courses that focused purely on research methodology. The few existing research agencies were the only ‘real’ training ground for most people.

Fast forward and one finds remarkable change today.

A global market research study conducted in 2010 by ESOMAR (formerly known as the European Society for Opinion and Market Research) revealed that the research industry in Africa was on a growth trajectory and “remained remarkably robust”.

Kenya was deemed particularly outstanding, recording a 27.6 per cent growth. Consumption of research output has expanded from largely poorly understood political opinion polls on TV to more in-depth conversations and engagements with a public that is more switched on.

There is growing interest in evidence and decision making to which local research is making a worthwhile contribution.

Another positive though somewhat marginal change indicator is the emergence of local research investors.

INTERNATIONAL BUYERS

The lion’s share of research investment in Africa still comes from international buyers, who are highly attuned to the fact that this is an investment in the truest sense of the word. Return on investment (ROI) is considerable down the road, but also in the short term.

Global statistics from 2015 reveal that firms that do not invest in research at all record a minimal growth of 2.8 per cent and 11 per cent profitability, those that invest in research occasionally grow at 20 per cent and record 14 per cent profit, while those with frequent research investment (at least quarterly) enjoy 33 per cent growth and 20 per cent profitability.

While the local companies are slower in making research investment, there are more of them now embracing research and willing to invest in it.

Many an individual and small business owner have articulated their need for research as they venture into new territories.

This is hopefully a sign of better things to come, where we will cease to look to international research buyers to do all the investment.

Besides the revenues generated from research buyers, there are other tangible investments that contribute to the growth and maturity of a research industry.

INFRASTRUCTURE

They include greater human resource capabilities, communications capacity, and technical infrastructure, which Africa doesn’t have enough of.

The effect of this in a global economy is that critical development conversations tend to be dominated by First and Second World countries, while emerging economies are drowned out.

To change the status quo, we need to steer away from rhetoric and take some real action. The onus is on the local research agencies and institutes to develop mechanisms to help smaller organisations and individuals to build capacity, raise their profiles, and share their research with a wider audience.

Research PLUS Africa is a frontrunner in this regard, having recently sponsored the establishment of a world-class research centre at the Marist International University College.

The centre will be officially launched on February 16, and will underscore excellence by ensuring that budding researchers are equipped with a real-life skillset that will adequately prepare them for careers, and endow them with the ability to collate credible evidence and make critical decisions.

This will empower them to generate and innovate in research, and ultimately contribute authoritatively to development discussions at local and global levels.

Having taken stock of the development of the research industry in Africa and with the coming of initiatives such as the Marist Research Centre, it is clear that research in Africa is finally coming of age and will earn its rightful place at the global table.

Ms Masita is the CEO, Research PLUS Africa, and director, Marist Research Centre. [email protected]


Lecturers in fresh talks to end row on salaries

By FAITH NYAMAI
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University lecturers have resumed talks on the 2017-2021 collective bargaining agreement with the government expected to table its counter offer.

The lectures have already tabled a proposal to the employer laying down their demands.

 In its new proposal, the Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) is seeking harmonisation of salaries, car and house allowances.

The lecturers have threatened to go on strike should the government fail to provide a good deal.

Uasu’s Muiga Rugara Monday said the parties are expected to conclude negotiations on the CBA Tuesday.

“We have been negotiating for the better part of today (yesterday), we will give a final statement tomorrow after the negotiations are over,” said Mr Rugara.

CALL STRIKE

Last week, Uasu secretary-general Constantine Wasonga said the  union’s National Executive Board  had  authorised him to call for a strike if the government fails to give a good offer.

The lecturers went on strike three times last year, paralysing learning in all public universities.

They called off the strike in December after the government released Sh2 billion to cater for their enhanced salaries and house allowances.

The government also agreed to release Sh3.1 billion in seven months for the 2013-2017 CBA.

In its proposal, the union wants a graduate assistant to earn a basic salary of between Sh195,655 and Sh306,006, assistant lecturer to get between Sh300,775 and Sh470,444 while lecturers take home between Sh406,050 to Sh635,097.

Uasu also proposes that senior lecturers earn between Sh548,163 and Sh857,384, associate professors  between Sh740,020 and Sh1,157,66  and professors to earn between Sh999,030 and Sh1,562,625.


The enduring national spirit of harambee

By PETE KAGAI

Kenya was built on the spirit of harambee emblazoned on our coat of arms, and, which is the foundation of the community.

We are implored to “Pull together” to build schools, and send students to university, and tie us all in a merry-go-round of money. 

Of course, it’s not just the money, everyone benefits from the ties; peace comes with unity. Growth comes with coercion, it’s who we are, and it works!

However, harambee is at odds with my drive for individual advancement.

It’s a ‘dog-eat-dog world’ out there. 

Facebook, Twitter, every other digital platform screams at me in megapixels and gigabytes to do better, work harder, and live the dream!  Win, win, win!

LOTTERY WINNER

And then I see him, or her, the winner of a lottery!

Smiling toothily, holding a massive dummy cheque proclaiming hundreds of thousands or even millions of shillings. 

“Why not me?” I ask, and then I remember the old tale:

“John looks up at the heavens and prays, ‘Lord, let me win the lottery’.

He prays every day for years. He works hard, and every day he prays.

One day in frustration he shouts, ‘Lord! don’t you hear me, why don’t you let me win the lottery?”

The heavens open up and God says: “John!  I hear you, but you have to buy a ticket first!”.

I may personally never have won the millions of shillings at stake in some lotteries, or a pick-up, or a plot of land, but I have also won.

A thousand here, a few hundred there, occasional small wins on scratch cards that have left me believing in the big win, the jackpot some day! However, the real jackpot is the 25 per cent of the proceeds from lotteries that go to charities as mandated by the Betting Control and Licensing Board regulations.

Buying a ticket and waiting to see if I am the winner is exhilarating! It’s a rush, an adrenaline pumping high. 

However, knowing that some small child has a new school, a girl has access to a health clinic, and a village has clean water is the real winner.

We all have passed by a yellow booth selling dreams, scratch cards, and tickets. 

Kenya Charity Sweepstake was founded in 1965, and has been running lotteries ever since.

Yes, John may have bought his ticket, and won his jackpot, but more than Sh760 million has also been donated to 4,600 worthy causes as well.  Now, that’s a win for everyone.

Worldwide, lotteries fund charities and foundations are such a transparent funding source that even Nelson Mandela was a goodwill ambassador for the Dutch charity, Novamedia, whose motto is: “Making good citizenship fun.”

Novamedia has donated $9.8 billion to thousands of charities and projects all over the world, and is third worldwide in charity contributions behind the Bill and Melinda Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. 

Schools, charities, foundations all win, and so do sports.

LOTTERY FUNDING

Olympics teams, and stadiums are funded by lotteries. Many Olympic Games would not have been possible without the funds raised by lottery; from Russia (1980) to London (2012), to Montreal (1976) stadiums and infrastructure.  

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are only two years away. Lottery funded teams and individuals are training for victory. 

The British pumped millions of pounds of lottery money into their Olympic team to second place in Rio 2016. 

Australia, on the other hand, had its worst medal haul in 24 years coming 10th, and has since set up a National Sports Lottery to raise funds for the Tokyo Olympics. 

Whether it’s world class athletes winning gold, or children running around the track at a newly refurbished school, when it comes to lottery funding everyone wins.

“You’ve got to be in it to win it,” as the old saying goes. To grab your chance at the jackpot, please buy a ticket!


Shameful start of the year with negative energy ravaging nation

By ROBERT SHAW
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The past few weeks have been a rather shameful and ignominious chapter in this country’s modern history.

The blame lies with all who have participated in the shenanigans that went on regardless of whether they be Raila Odinga, Fred Matiang’i, Miguna Miguna or Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet.

All of them have expended inexorable quantities of negative time and energy, which have left the country even more scarred, divided and exhausted than before.

It often came across as political showmanship and brinkmanship combined with bad-tempered sparring of egos.

Even worse, much of it was carried out by people who are on the government payroll tirelessly paid for by the citizens’ taxes.

REBUILD NATION

It was done at a time when we should all have been rebuilding a nation fatigued by endless election campaign politics and the consequences of prolonged drought and embracing the many challenges we are facing.

It has made President Uhuru Kenyatta’s pledge of working towards a more inclusive and less-divided country look farcical.

Some would argue that it was a cunning plot by Nasa leader Odinga and company to coax and provoke the Jubilee administration into a trap that it marched right into. But it gets much worse.

How the Jubilee administration dealt with it has echoes and hallmarks of the country’s dark past.

The repressive hand of the State was there albeit in different forms.

In the 1980s and much of the 1990’s, I recall media heads and journalists spent a lot of their time self-censoring their work so as not to offend Big Brother.

INSTRUCTIVE

I personally recall one time in 1994 when I wrote a piece on how public land, forests included, were being excised and grabbed by the political elite and then turned into ill-gotten private property often to be sold for mega sums of money.

Such was the heat of the subject that it took the paper a whole month to publish it.

Comparing then to now is instructive for all, the government included.

Then, the government had a firm hold on the relatively small media space and only had to pull the leash to make it heal.

Today, the media are like a global octopus. 

If you switch off some television signals via the Communication Authority of Kenya you are only restricting those avenues controlled and regulated by it. Many people continued watching it via social media.

Other fundamentals have changed as well.

There may still be subjugation by the relevant authorities, but the culture of fear has largely gone.

People are not afraid to be more open with their comments and criticisms.

The majority of Kenyans voted for a new Constitution in 2010 and with it came more checks and balances and respect for separation of powers.

One of the more notable of the latter has been the fostering of the independence of the Judiciary.

This government has openly defied the latter when it refused to put the three blocked TV stations back on the air and also decline to produce before the courts certain people that had been held incommunicado.

This was both crude and shameful. Indeed, it was an illegality that will come back and haunt this government throughout its tenure.

 It has also damaged our image and reputation as a country, as we have inched closer to the ‘bandit state’ bracket. Neither the government nor the opposition can claim victory.

The people of Kenya have borne the brunt of this ugly debacle.

Now, let us get back to moving the country and its economy forward, creating many more jobs and gainful opportunities, making basic health facilities more accessible, and so on.

Last but not least, let us foster more harmony and inclusivity.


Matatus must stop exposing passengers to obscene content

Recently, Kenya Film Classification Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua warned matatus against exposing passengers to obscene content.

The CEO’s move should be lauded and adopted immediately. Most matatus have big TV screens and the kind of music they play is at most times inappropriate. They don’t care who boards the matatus; whether old or young.

Matatus should heed the CEO’s caution to bring sanity in the transport sector. The crackdown comes in the wake of concerns by parents, clerics and the civil society over loud, lewd music and pornographic content in videos being shown in matatus.

Research shows children often imitate what they see, read or hear, therefore, exposure to inappropriate content it can create devastating effects on their mental, moral and spiritual health in the long term.

These include increased rate of depression, anxiety, acting out and violent behaviour, engaging in sexual activities at a young age, increased risk of teenage pregnancy, and a distorted view of relationships between men and women.

Images imprinted on the mind of a child at an early age often reflect on his/her actions. Screening of unrated content in matatus and exposure of children to obscenity goes against the law.

According to the Films and Stage Plays Act, screening of content in the vehicles is considered as a public exhibition

For teenagers and youth, pornography teaches a false narrative regarding human sexuality and how men and women form healthy sexual relationships.

This makes it more difficult for young men and women to form authentic, stable relationships.

Apart from pornography, research has long established that teenagers who watch movies or listen to music that glamorises drinking, drug use or violence tend to engage in those behaviours themselves.

A 2012 study shows that movies influence teenagers’ sexual attitudes and behaviours.

The study, published in Psychological Science journal, found that the more teenagers were exposed to sexual content in movies, the earlier they started having sex and the likelier they were to have casual, unprotected sex.

According to Unicef report, The State Of The World’s Children 2017, children in a digital world may create new divides that prevent them from fulfilling their potential. And if we don’t act now to keep pace with rapid change, online risks may make vulnerable children more susceptible to exploitation, abuse and even trafficking.

It is the duty of parents to monitor what their children watch and prevent their exposure to obscene content.

If parents take all these precautions and guide their children in a sensible way, then the Internet will be an invaluable resource for the learning.

Kibet Benard,Nairobi


Crackdown to recover grabbed road reserves laudable

The ongoing crackdown by the Kenya National Highways Authority to reclaim road reverses grabbed by private developers is a step towards the right direction.

Private developers have continued to put up structures along road reserves, leaving little or no space for expansion of roads.

The authority has warned that it will start demolishing structures built on road reserves countrywide.

KeNHA has announced that it will first issue a notice to owners of such structures before they are brought down.

This move will send a caveat to any private developer who wants to encroach into public land and by extension road reserves.

This nationwide crackdown has once again regained my hope that our roads will now get enough space for expansion.

If all road reserves are reclaimed, that would mean increased land for road expansion, which could eventually reduce road carnage.

Having said that, the government is actually in the process of constructing a dual carriageway at the notorious Salgaa-Sachagwan stretch.

This stretch has claimed scores of lives and hearing that an expansion plan is under way is great news indeed.

The government should expand more roads across the country.

Leah Nyasuna,Nairobi.