July 4, 2014
The living condition in places like Mathare and the level of neglect by the government warrants quick measure by the residents to hold public servants accountable.
In some quarters it is said that 60% of Nairobi residents live under deplorable conditions.No existence of important service is a common feature.
Launching of the local Ombudsman Committee, ten members in Mathare has come at time when we have several government services being devolved at ward levels. The Mathare Constituency Ombudsman Committee will be based at Mathare Valley Polytechnic next to Mathare Chief’s Camp.
It is hoped that unlike before when resident did not know where to report, this time round things will be different.
Cases of police harassment, lack of responding on time to emergencies like fire outbreak are common. Kenyans are yet to fully trust that systems work like the judiciary and accessing proper justice for slum dwellers in still a pipe dream in Kenya.
With the office coming closer to the people, it is time for people to seize the opportunity and hold all public servant accountable. When forceful evictions occur this time round, we hope it will be investigated and proper action be taken against any public official abetting the vice.
Case Handling Levels see the website: (http://www.ombudsman.go.ke).
February 26, 2014
In the above age distribution chart for Mathare Constituency, I have tried to analyze age based of the total area population as per 2009 Census and percentages from the latest CIA website; https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ke.html while the total population. (Next implication of poor CDF investment to Mathare population)
November 30, 2012
On 29th November 2012 political representatives and aspirants for the constituency and ward, NGOs / CBOs representatives, religious leaders, elders, youths, people with disability women representatives and provincial administration gathered at Mathare Valley Polytechnic to be addressed by the local IEBC representatives.
IEBC had their agenda while most people had questions, which they wanted addressed. IEBC wanted to sensitize public about voter registration in Mathare constituency, perception on the public on BVR kit, public, violence, role model and morality. When it came to questions, public were more concerned about accessing identity cards, extension of voter registration, transportation of voters into Mathare, voter education and the process which was used to recruit educators, what are the current numbers of registered voters and target for each ward? From the meeting it was clear that the public agenda and that of IEBC was different.
The IEBC official(s) present informed the public on the progress as from 19/11/2012 a follows but these figures were given as estimates (only for the 1st week of registration)
||1st wk registered voters
During the meeting, an aspirant brought a public address system to the meeting, which the public rejected. The IEBC officials should have rejected this move. By accepting ‘resources’ to facilitate an IEBC meeting from an aspirant amounts to being compromised.
The meeting was on a short notice. It was clear that supporters of certain politicians were more than others. IEBC needs to ensure that all aspirants are invited on time and their apologies acknowledged otherwise the public will view IEBC as collaborating with certain sections of the community. The public seems to be unclear on the new boundaries since it causing confusion among the potential voters. In Hospital ward for example, the Kenya Gazette had indicated that Gitathuru and Mathare 4B are still in Mabatini Ward. IEBC ward educators are expected to sensitize the public on the boundaries and other voter’s related issues. The Mathare area District Officer was very categorical that all residents have a duty to ensure that the elections are peaceful both at the party nomination and national elections. Public expect a credible election and IEBC officials should act in ways that will boost public confidence in the process.- Simon
November 23, 2012
Walking around most vote registration centers, one notices low voter turnout. There is urgent need for IEBC to undertake a vigorous voter registration mobilization campaign otherwise we might not meet the target. In all the six wards, there is very little activity going on compared with the interest generated during acquisition process of BVR kits. One would have expected people flock the centres.
In the community people are going around doing their own business and hoping that as usual the deadline will be extended to accommodate their time schedule. The aspirants are busy marketing themselves.- Simon
November 20, 2012
On 18th November 2012 there was a blast in Eastleigh near Juja road area bordering Mathare which has been attributed to terror action. Several people died but the aftermath of the incident later turned into urgly scenes where people of Somali origin were targeted by criminals. People were beaten, robbed and it is said that women were raped too. It is unbelieveable to that we are witnessing these kind of scenes as we register and approach elections.
Attacking people based on their religious or ethnic affliation is totally unacceptable. The Universal Declaration on Human Right is very clear on how human beings should treat each other especially the following two articles
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to protection of the law against such intereference or attacks.
1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state
2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Actions of a few bad elements within us should not be blamed on the entire community. The question then is, who is a terrorist? Any people who organized or cordinated the blast together with those criminals who retaliated by stealing, injuring and raping women are all one and the same as TERRORIST. In the bible John 10:10 “….the thief come to steal, kill and destroy…”. Any act of terrorism is meant to destroy and kill people. The government should use its might and intelligence in crushing the few bad elements in our midist. If Kenyans are to enjoy their democratic right then peaceful coexistence is important. – Simon
May 18, 2012
Walking through any urban informal settlement an outsider will see ‘disaster waiting happen’ scenes. Looking at small children playing cooking games with fire, women washing clothes in dirty river, haphazard crossing of Juja Road, open electric wires, possibility of being mugged in dark place, regular fire outbreaks and people living next to big rocks. The dangers posed broken sewer and open ones are even great incase of major disease outbreak. All these are scenes one will encounter while walking in Mathare.
There have been cases of fire outbreaks which led to loss of life and this was contributed by lack of access road in the inner parts of the community; There are no emergency numbers readily available in the community that people can call for assistance. When assistance is called it takes longer than usual since most people will expect community leaders to be the person to call.
Those who gets injured through various activities both good and back have to seek assistance in far places since the health centres near the community do not operate of 24 hrs basis. This mean that if a disaster strikes at night then it is most likely that number of causalities will be very high compared with day time. Availing first aid kits in strategic points within the community can help reduce number of casualities. While there has been investments in improving infrastructure, very little has been done to deal with disaster. Having emergency telephone/mobile number people can all and erecting first aid centre can help reduce the number of causalities. – Simon
January 18, 2012
Mathare 3C: Violence victim at Kenyatta National Hospital
Mathare 3C is well known for brewing of chan’gaa and on several occasion for eruption of violence. On 15th January 2012 rumours had it that 16 pangas had brought into the community in readiness for the announcement from Hague. In another section of the community, small traders located opposite Moi Air Base are living in fear of possible eviction from the site. Reason? Several soldiers have been attacked by criminals hiding in the nearby slums. Small traders are waiting for possible eviction anytime from now. Traders from different ethnic background have decided to deal with criminal and they have formed a group to keep vigil and ensure no more thieve will operate in their zone.
Elsewhere women are discussing increased insecurity in the area whereby their husbands have been attacked by criminals on their way from work
In the evening of 15th January 2012; local leaders, small traders, administration and senior police officers have organized a meeting to discuss the escalating insecurity and tension in the area and also looking at the rumours about the pangas. Why did someone bring 16 pangs?
After meeting that night, violence erupted. Five people who actively contributed and participated in the security meeting are attacked. They are left bleeding and nursing serious wounds after being attacked. Two people are admitted in intensive care unit (ICU). A few community members come forward to donate blood.
The following morning tension is high and the real reason behind the violence has been overlooked and distorted. The area MP, Hon Margaret Wanjiru appears on the scene…as usual being a politician she politicize the whole issue. The criminals who were being pursued by traders turn it into tribal war. From the above scenario it is becoming evident that gangs are emerging and insecurity is slowly creeping in. At the end of it all weapons of mass destruction to watch out as we approach elections are; rumours, politicization of issues, stones, pangas/machete, tribalism, fire and forceful eviction. – Simon
January 28, 2011
Vision Youth Group
This is a story of one of our fallen friend who was killed by thugs a few days ago. Many youths in our area have turned to mugging people with knives and ending with killing them due to lack of jobs and education. So we, as the youth of Huruma, came together and decided that we form security group whereby we go for operations, that is we search for thugs.
We established a youth group called VISION YOUTH GROUP, situated in Huruma, Madoya village, which aim is to rehabilitate the thugs. We have seen some massive change. Some of our members were thugs themselves and now they have gotten used to the activities that the group runs, that is garbage collection, security, carwash, water vending, rabbit rearing, urban farming, poultry keeping and also acrobatics.
Our future plans is to get the upcoming youths, who engage in drug abuse which are often leading them to killing their neigbours, brothers and other family members, involved in the groups activities. As a group we face financial problems and lack of help from the police to get the thugs which carry small arms off the streets. Our group – Vision Youth Group – has made a great achievement in enabeling the residents to live peacefully without fear of being mugged. We also wish to tell our visitors not to be scared when coming to Huruma because we will provide you with security.
“TWAJIVUNIA KUWA WANA HURUMA NA PIA WANACHAMA WA VISION YOUTH GROUP (WE ARE PROUD TO BE HURUMA RESIDENTS AND ALSO VISION YOUTH GROUP MEMBERS)”
“A TRUE STORY”