The city at a standstill
07 March 2012, 14:15
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No one can dispute that being a president has countless privileges as long as you are not the head of war-stricken country like Somalia.
As a result, most people who have the dream and vision of occupying the president’s office fight to the bitter end. If we take Kenya, our country as an example, there are many people with dreams of inhabiting the house on the hill. Not to mention that it was out of a dream that Hon. Mwai Kibaki won the 2002 elections when the opposition merged to end the reign of KANU, “chama cha baba na mama.” Congratulations Your Excellency the president for making your lifetime dream come true.
Although many people posses this dream, the truth of the matter is that not all of them can become presidents simultaneously. With the current presidential race attracting many Kenyans, it will be interesting to witness the battle and its aftermath, having in mind that those vying for the seat are constitutionally barred from running for other elective positions.
Imagine a case where, the Prime Minister, Vice President, Deputy PMs, or Hon. Martha Karua lose and are wiped from the Kenyan political map.
As key players, Kenyans will be watching keenly to see who makes correct calculations in terms of numbers, come the end of the year. That aside.
Going back to the privileges of a seating president in Kenya, an incident caught my attention during lunch hour on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 in Kenya’s Capital, Nairobi.
As I approached Moi Avenue, I noticed something strange. No business was going on, the entire avenue was at stand still, leading to massive traffic snarl-up on most roads leading to and out of town. At close range, the presence of heavily armed GSU officers and the stillness of air revealed to me that His Excellency the President was on his way to the city center. Indeed my guess was true; in a few minutes, the President’s motorcade appeared destined for Sarova Stanley, probably for lunch.
I’m not against the president having lunch in the city center. Like any other Kenyan, he has the right to access any hotel, shopping center or office in the country. However, the impact of the President’s visit to the city center on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 left me with a million and one questions without answers. Was it necessary? Why at this time? Wasn’t there a better option?
For almost an hour, the city was crowded with immobile vehicles, heavy traffic jam and no business. Reason: the president was in town. I totally agree that security is paramount for any president in the world. Nonetheless, by the time I crossed to the other side of the city, I breathed in heavily and made some conclusions:
The President’s motorcade should not be allowed into the city center unless it is under compulsory and unavoidable circumstances. Secondly, alternative means like use of choppers be considered to avoid harassing innocent Kenyans in the city. This will also ensure that business continues even as the president enjoys his lunch in town or transacts government business. Your Excellency, Kenyans are being harassed and inconvenienced by your presence in the city center, Hear Our Humble Plea.
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