Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Emailing: It left in the morning, empty, Came back, later, full of sand, Leaving, again, this morning..., leaving to go goodness knows where....

The attached pics tell their own story, of course, but it warrants some explanation.

It is so strange that this is allowed to continue despite the officials of the Ministry of Roads and Public Works having told the Council, otherwise. That is, to quit using the town roads that are being re carpeted by them and to NOT ALLOW heavy vehicles on them! It seems most of our heavy vehicles in cahoots with the Council, are bent on breaking the law and making nonsense of our nicely fixed roads.

The pictures just show one such proof of the Council's incompetence in even applying their own by-laws, hence, my continued grouch that they should ALL be sacked and new people with professionalism, ethics and accountability, hired to man the Council!

Another example, as a side issue, being that I, with other tenants of these Council flats, suddenly received a hand written and hand delivered notice to go to the Housing office at Buxton (the other side of town, for us), at 9.00 am this morning. This was brought to us by somebody at around 4.00 pm, yesterday, 30th October 2007, and while it's not written in the notice, I was told to go with all of my receipts of 2006 and 2007.

Now, sending a notice so late in the day and not even giving us even 24 hours to prepare, is typical of our Council and it's high handed ways. It is not possible for most of us to get to their said offices at 9.00 am and therefore, many of us will go late. I wonder, what the reception will be? And why, they are calling us there? The written part of their notice says something about their ledger books, but, don't they have a record in this 21st Century in the days of computers, where they can access all the information they want without inconveniencing their tenants?

Also, despite having officially changed the flat to my name immediately on my father's demise in late 1995, the notice still is in his name. Another, pointer as to how 'efficient' these people are. I personally, am really dreading going there and dealing with incompetents.

Of course, you will all hear more about my misadventures there, in due course.....

It left in the morning, empty
Came back, later, full of sand
Leaving, again, this morning...
leaving to go goodness knows where....

The 140th reminder.... to the PERSON/S CONCERNED

As I'd promised you all, last week, that I'd tell you what that meeting of water users was all about, here goes....

1. There were the usual song and dance with a full-fledged choir as well a couple of skits. Some of these things are becoming a norm and while the song and the skits were not bad, the dance was definitely embarrassing, especially to the women present. Also, why waste time with all of this, when the thing didn't start off on time, anyway. Everything was being conducted in typical 'there's no hurry in Africa' fashion!

2. The opening speeches and most of the other items on the agenda were the replay of what had been said, but still to be implemented, at the Citizens Report Cards launch, both in Mombasa and Nairobi.

3. The many officials, especially from our redoubtable Council, except for the Town Clerk, didn't show up on time. But, all of them left long before the meeting was officially over.

4. The sewage question has still not been properly handled, of course, though, it's now a year since they've been collecting money via our water bills (some of us are, of course, not paying), but, they are still not treating the sewage before releasing it into the sea. In other words, raw sewage is polluting our sea!!!

5. These people could still not answer the question as to WHY, the water kiosks get water, but the residents, don't! And also, WHY, water kiosks, in the first place exist in a major urban centre like Mombasa.

6. Then, there's the question of potential corruption. Isn't it possible that water kiosk owners have some kind of connection to people at the many water authorities? Because, one just has to apply for opening a water kiosk and can get a license, etc., within next to no time to open one. What are the criteria for opening a water kiosk? These people's priority should be to avail water through 'normal' means to the legitimate and already existing owners of water meters, before, starting water kiosks. Shouldn't this be the priority?

7. Also, instead of wasting public funds in calling meetings of this sort, to make a show of them doing something (which they are NOT!), why don't they use these resources, however minimal, in improving the residents lot of waterlessness?

Well, despite all of the above, we are still without water, of course!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Emailing: Has a difficult time getting out of the gate, Rattling it's way out of the estate..., Entering the truck park later in the afternoon

Has a difficult time getting out of the gate
Yesterday, early morning at just around 7.00 am, when the whole neighbourhood was probably sleeping late as it was Sunday, the owner/s of the truck park who has little regard for the residents, had one of his horrible monstrosities start up, rev, spreading obnoxious diesel fumes all over, and leave.

Rattling it's way out of the estate...
These things have made a mess of our access roads/lanes within the estate and are probably doing the same to some of the newly made (carpeted) ones to the detriment of the other legitimate road users. The Council, by allowing and allocating this piece of land, which is also a road reserve to these contentious people, have made a mockery of their own by-laws. That of heavy commercial vehicles not being allowed in a residential area. They are also breaking many traffic laws, not to mention the environment ones of disturbing the neighbourhood with their noise and emissions.

Entering the truck park later in the afternoon
Yet, NOBODY seems to be able to do anything about all these above breaking of the many laws and by-laws and these people continue with business as usual. How insolent can 'officialdom' and these truck park owners, get!

Persistent power outages!

Since last week, on Thursday, 25th October 2007, our neighbourhood (Kizingo), seems to be suffering from continuous power failures, every day! Except for the weekend, the outages have re-started since this morning.

Now, to go back to Thursday, last week. The power went off from around mid-morning and while it came back sometime in the early afternoon, it went off again very soon, and didn't come back till after dark, i.e. at night. Then, on Friday, it went off, soon after 8.00 am and when I rang
Mr. Mbaluka, on his cell-phone, because nobody was answering the Controller's phone, he told me that it was a broken wire (!), and that it would take about 2 hours to rectify when asked when it would be restored.

Well, it wasn't! Because, when I got back in the late afternoon around 5.30 pm the power was still not back and everything was getting defrosted in the fridge in this boiling heat. Of course, this elicited some more calls to various people at KPLC most of whom were not answering their cell phones as well as being low on credit, I was getting frantic and was not at all looking fwd to spending the night without any power in this awful heat. Also, the neighbourhood mosque's generator started off which sounds like a factory at work and disturbs the whole estate.

Eventually, I managed to get hold of the Customer Service Manager, Mr. Vidzo, who is the right guy for the right job. Especially, in an organization as inefficient as KPLC. He did some calling around and eventually got back to me saying that they were still on the job and that I shouldn't fret and they were working to restore power to us asap. Now, this answer was not an explanation as to WHY from earlier in the morning, mentioned 2 hours, it had now become an outage of over 13 HOURS!!! And WHAT and WHY fixing a broken wire was taking so very long? It seems to have come back at some point after 9.30 pm.

Mercifully, the weekend everything went well - without an outage or fluctuation. But, comes today, Monday morning, and things have returned to the same inefficiency of last week and all the previous days, months, years, etc., ad infinitum! When I tried to ring Mr. Mbaluka on his cell phone, he answered (I've quit trying to call the KPLC numbers as is an exercise in futility), but, he said he was very far away in Nairobi and wouldn't be able to rectify things. I tried the Chief engineer's (Mr. Haid), cell phone, too, but, it got disconnected and in the end, it was back to calling Mr. Vidzo who answered and promised to investigate.

His explanation a couple of hours later (when we'd already got the power back but it's anybody's guess as to how long, for), was that they are doing some work which will eventually translate to this outages as being things of the past......, Insha'Allah. This is the second time, he has given me this reason for KPLC's inefficiencies and I'm wondering if this is now the standard reply we're going to get from them for these outages?

As a friend in Canada, wrote to me this morning about them, that it's fortunate that we live where we do, otherwise, we'd be suffering from collective hypothermia if we didn't first die of freezing weather if such things were to happen then. Is that why these people are so lax?


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The 139th reminder.... to the PERSON/S CONCERNED

On Monday, I had an appointment with the manager cum engineer of the Mombasa Water Co., and found him to be a very interesting guy. It was the first time in my many years with the many 'water officials', that I've had to deal with, that this one turned out to be open minded and positive! What I mean is that, he was not only interested in my, over a year old Water Petition with it's over 900 signatures, but, was not at all averse to the suggestion it makes giving valid reasons for desalination as an option. What utter relief! He even did me the favour of getting my copy of this document bound for which I am very grateful. Now, I hope and pray, that he will not promptly be transfered and will stay with us for quite a while, Insha'Allah.

Now, to address another revelation that he told me about that day. All those, I included, who have been refusing to pay the questionable sewage charges may be liable to have our water (?) meters disconnected! On what grounds they are going to do this only God and they (the equally questionable and ex-water co. manager, now employed by the Coast Water (dis)Services Board), know. As it is, most of us are paying phantom water bills, therefore, with the continued absence of water, it wouldn't make much of a difference if they remove our meters. Also, I still haven't seen a sign of any sewage 'action' being taken; now that it's nearly a year since this additional collection has begun to be added to our bills. This is turning out to be as 'phantom type' as the water bill. The garbage collection, too, is equally erratic and questionable.

I have been invited to attend a water user's meeting tomorrow at the MWA Hall and will have some more interesting things to report after that, Insha'Allah. The points mentioned above are some which I'm going to try and raise there, if possible.

Another one of these points is the one I mentioned to the Manager - that of indiscriminate digging of bore-holes and wells everywhere on Mombasa Island. Some of these are near septic tanks, like the one in my estate that has been dug with CDF money. This particular one should not have been dug there, but, then our non-performing and unprofessional and with no ethics whatsoever, Council allowed and encouraged to be dug. I wonder where the town planners are, out there? And do they even have the plans easily available of these staff flats that were built during colonial times, by them? I doubt if they even referred to any such thing, like everything else that they do or rather don't do! Our town planning dept., is quite null and void. Their basic excuse for existence these days is to make money......, over and above their pay which comes from the tax and rate payers pockets - us!

Till next time....,

Friday, October 19, 2007

Emailing: Stealthily backing up!, Doing it's best to be 'silent' while backing up, Has backed up within inches of the gate to the truck park!, Parked

Very early this morning this neighbourhood was 'treated' to a stealthily driven huge container trailer which arrived right into our estate to be able to access the contentious truck park!

Check the timings on the pictures attached. When the various people connected to the truck park and the trailer saw me taking these pictures, they had a quick 'conference', and within minutes of arriving on the scene, goodness knows to off-load what, it took off without doing what it had come there, to do. Also, they will most likely re-appear on the scene later today when everybody knows that I will be away for a few hours, gone for Friday prayers. This behaviour raises some interesting thoughts and questions....

Why come at that hour of the night? Considering Nyerere Avenue which has recently been re-done by the Ministry of Roads and Public Works after months of fixing the drainage there, etc., I've been told that such huge monstrosities are not to be allowed on any of the town roads made by them. Therefore, this trailer was breaking a law and hence, the chosen timing of arriving here. This too, was an illegal move as this is a residential area/estate and such things should NOT be allowed in. For the same reason that the truck park should not be in existence here, either. It's breaking various Municipal, traffic and environmental laws, not to mention that it is on a road reserve (I've been told this by a very reliable source). But, our Council being totally corrupt and useless, is NOT capable of applying any of it's own by-laws forget about any other ones, and because, it's the same Council that is responsible for 'allocating' in the mid-1990's, this road reserve to Nisha Printers, on what grounds would it, now, bring order to it?

Therefore, this Council should be made null and void and everybody there shown the DOOR! It has no reason for it's existence. Also, now that the Ministry has fixed the various roads all over town and it's environs, how are they going to ensure that such insolence does not carry on. Fine, the Council has been told to keep off heavy traffic from their newly fixed roads, but, if this Council is left to itself, they cannot be bothered as they themselves are usually the cause of the residents' problems ......, as well as the Ministry of Roads and Public Works!

Now, the challenge is - how and by whom, is law and order going to be applied effectively?! We need some very dedicated, ethical and straight characters, here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


As I write this, there is such a racket coming from Mombasa Women's Hall which is right next to Aga Khan Hospital's ICU wing, also, that I wonder what the condition of the patients there must be. If, the residents can hardly hear themselves think or do anything productive while this racket goes on, I truly sympathize and fear for the condition of the patients at the hospital.

Ringing an Inspector's mobile number which I happen to have, has done no good, either. According to our 'officialdom', one can make as much religious noise ANYWHERE in the country and NOBODY is going to do anything about it as so many of these questionable characters are either superstitious in the extreme or 'saved' and therefore, such nuisances are allowed according to them

Soon the mosque will also start it's noisy prayers, but, the NENO noise is so loud that it's even 'eclipsing' that!

And considering that NEMA, in 2005 passed a law about noise making, very few, in officialdom seem to be able to invoke that to stop the present pests. In fact, the DC and the Deputy PC, both of whom I went to see recently regarding this everyday menace, were very averse to applying the law in this case. Why? What are they afraid of? I thought that it's their job to do so, especially when it's there as a law and they just have to make sure that it's adhered to.

The whole set-up is becoming quite unbearable and for the life of me, cannot understand the reason for this kind of worshiping. I would call it utter selfishness and insensitiveness on the organizers part and fie on them!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Religioius noises.... update

It is so strange that the mosques have abetted their offensive and extremely disturbing noises when they made a hell on Earth for the residents who reside anywhere near them - both Muslim and non-Muslim! This especially during Ramadhan.

During the Holy month of Ramadhan, when we (Muslims), are required to spend as much time as possible in prayer, recitation of the Holy Qur'an and meditation, these awful and insensitive horrors in the form of Imams and committees of mosques made more noise than it's believable by trying to give the impression to the Muslims and non-Muslims, alike, as to how 'holy' they are! Unfortunately, instead, they were offensive and disturbing in the extreme! They were also cursed by many for disturbing those, like me, who wanted to say their prayers and recite the Qur'an and meditate on what they were reading, but, could not do so with full concentration, thanks to their loud prayers and recitations.

Of course, this does not mean that they are now quiet. They certainly are not! They still lead the 5 daily prayers at the tops of their voices when they have no need to be heard OUTSIDE the mosques as it is NOT VALID to follow an Imam who is leading prayers inside the mosque, at home....., or wherever. I wonder when and IF, it will EVER penetrate their brains that this is the case, and therefore, fix their speakers INSIDE the mosque to be heard by their congregations and NOT outside them!

The Qur'an continues to be recited before Friday prayers, despite it NOT being the practice of the Prophet (pbuh), loudly every week!

Therefore, these people continue disturbing and making pests of themselves, but, mercifully, it's slightly less.

Now, to come to the Christians and the NENO Evangelists who meet at MWA Hall every weekday during the lunch hours. There has been no change in their decibel levels, either. I'm sure, that all the people who are getting disturbed by their noise would not even consider joining their disco like meetings or sect. Did Jesus (pbuh), ever practice such things? I very much doubt it. Like my fellow Muslims, the Christians have brought innovations into their practices and are being equally offensive and give people a headache! Or are they competing with the Muslims as to who makes the most noise?!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The religious noises continue...

Assalamu alaikum!

It seems that my numerous emails over the YEARS have had little effect on the two parties concerned - the Neno Evangelists who hire the MWA Hall every weekday lunch hours and the neighbourhood little mosque, Rawdha Mosque.

As mentioned before, the louder these people pray, the more lawless and insensitive they prove themselves to be!

What are they trying to prove to everybody who are compelled to listen to their racket? Do they aspire to enter Heaven by doing what they do? Disturbing everybody within hearing distance which includes very sick people in the neigbbouring Aga Khan Hospital and the residents, indiscriminately. Whether they are fellow Muslims and Christians or of another faith or none at all. If they are trying to attract more followers, they are putting them off, in fact.

Neither of these two religions subscribe to noise making and disturbing others, yet, they seem to be under the mistaken impression that using the clause of freedom of religion allows them to make unnecessary noise and making pests of themselves.

During this holy month of Ramadhan we are told that we say extra prayers and that the door of Hell has been closed for the believers. How are we supposed to do this (pray), when this Imam at the contentious mosque is making a racket at every opportunity that he gets? In fact, his practices are like a living HELL on Earth for the neighbourhood!

Then, this neighbourhood in general is lawless in the extreme when they and their children show little respect for the property of others, yet, this Imam and his followers would like to make a show of being very 'holy'. They cannot even discipline themselves and by extension their children into being God fearing human beings. One example is the setting off, of my car alarm EVERY time they pass from there and also deliberately doing so at others. The car is not getting in anybody's way, nor has the owner done any harm to them (except writing these emails), yet, they set it off so many times, that the battery goes down and the next time I need to go out, it has a problem starting.

Are these very 'holy' people who make pests of themselves by conducting their prayers and thereby disturbing others, going to go straight to Heaven as they imagine? Just because they believe that the door to Hell has been closed during this blessed month, they can do as they please without any repercussions?

Let me defog their minds that this is not so. Everytime they do this (them and their children), who disturb the neighbourhood, they are being cursed!

We're told in the Holy Qur'an (which this Imam recites at the top of his voice every single day after Asr prayers but doesn't seem to follow it's teachings), that reciting it during the early hours of the morning carries it's own special blessing, as it's so nice and quiet and peaceful, but, one cannot do this as loud prayers are going on in the mosque. There's hardly any time where one can do this as there are either loud prayers being led there or we're being compelled to listen to the recitation of the Holy Book. We too, need to have the time in the day to do so in between our other work. Also, the tarawih prayers are conducted loudly and we can't sleep early if we wanted to. This is a gross injustice!

Can ANYBODY do anything about this?


CC Imam of Rawdha Mosque or whoever is in charge, there - hand delivered

District Commissioner, Mombasa - hand delivered

Provincial Commissioner, Coast Province - hand delivered