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A Walking Nation in the Wake of New Year

Thousands of commuters reporting to work were stranded yesterday due to the countrywide public transport strike. Citing police harassment on the Kenyan roads, the matatu operators have vowed to carry on with the planned 3-day strike despite threats from the government. The situation forced most Kenyans to trek long distances to get to their work destinations in the chilly, drizzly morning weather. Most employees were resuming to work after a long Christmas holiday break.

Transport was paralyzed in most parts of the country and with the on-going el Niño rains that started last month, Kenyans are braced for tough times. School-going children were not spared either. Being the first day in school after long holidays, many could not make it to school due to the strike.

Matatu Welfare Association (MWA), the umbrella body of matatu operators accused traffic police of harassing them and demanding for bribes. But the police spokesman Erick Kiraithe has defended the police, saying the current traffic operations and crack-down is meant to ensure safety for commuters and remove any unroad-worthy vehicles. He added that the exercise will go on until sanity returns to roads.

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Comments

Dear Joannes

Wishing you a very happy new year 2010. What a sad reality our countries are facing! Nepal ushered in the new year with the a strike as well. We were like, what a beginning to the year. But i think we need to keep our spirits intact and not be dismayed by the troubles that different groups are trying to create. We need to believe that change will come!

I hope the new year brings new hopes and positive changes for people around the world.

God Bless You

Khushbu

Khushbu Agrawal

In Nigeria there has been fuel scarcity, the year started with manyb people queing for hours to buy petrol at exhorbitant prices. Quite dishearting for a country that is the sixth largest producer of oil.
I hope also that this year brings the much desired leadership from bad to good leadership in Nigeria

Love
Ayobami

jadefrank's picture

Update

Hi Joanne,

Thank you for keeping up updated on the situation there in Nairobi. It is so good to read your honest and urgent reporting once again. How is the situation now?

Cheers,
Jade

Joannes's picture

Sad

Hey,

It is sad how things can be. Imagine starting a new year with so many uresolved issues.. But i am glad they have been able to agree and things are getting back to normalcy now. But the only problem is that the leadership in my country is such that no issue is given a permanent solution so the problem will keep popping up... and those who bear the brunt are the ordinary citizens.

Kushbu, am sorry about the situation in Nepal.. it is sad how our governments are interlinked even though w are miles away. I hope things get back to normal soon. Ayobami, how is the situation now in the hub of world's oil, Nigeria? It is ironical how bad governance and lack of accountability has turned major African oil-producing countries in to an 'oil curse'! But hope Africa will be able to rise above this resource curse soonest.

Jade, yes am back! Happy nw year!

Love,

Joanne

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Joannes

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