Friday, February 27, 2009

Rent paying at the Council...

Our local Council is so steeped in strange ways, that instead of 'serving' the public, they end up doing just the opposite.

As it is, the whole Council is questionable in the extreme, in the way it works (if it at all, does), most of their so-called employees are semi- and illiterate or give one the impression that they are by their moronic behaviour.

Take the example of what I encountered, yesterday afternoon at about 3.30 pm at the Cashiers Hall where we pay the rent among other payments. There's total chaos, first. Then, everytime I have the misfortune of going to pay my rent, I encounter different rules. When I question them, I'm either given a bored blank look with no enlightenment or, like yesterday, I was told that they are following procedures....! Whatever that means.

Now, to enumerate the many irritating and harassment issues regarding this horrible Council:

1. If, they are computerized, what is the need for presenting the last receipt of payment for the cashier to make out another receipt for the current payment that one is making? Don't they have their records on their computers?

2. Yesterday, I was told to go to the Housing and Social Services office which is in another building, and get and fill a form from there before paying my rent. What is all this about? And since I, personally have many disability issues (I suffer from MS), and am currently suffering from torn ligaments of my foot, I do not find it at all easy to walk around let alone climb staircases since I already have to contend with my own. Nobody, at the Council, including the so-called Customer Relations Desk, seems to have been sensitized about such people. They just shuttle you from one place to another and find it highly amusing, too.

3. And when one has eventually paid this rent, we are then supposed to go all the way across town to their Tudor office to show this receipt/s to their lolling employees there to supposedly 'balance' their ledger books. Has it escaped our Council and the Ministry of Local Govt., that we live in the 21st Century not the 19th and since they have computers, these can do all of this without them harassing their tenants?

4. Then, they have a 'rule' that if a payment of 5000/- or above is going to be made, then, only a Banker's Cheque is acceptable. Why? Since this useless Council has increased the rent of our flats without following the tenant/landlord agreement of giving us one month's notice, they should also do something about this 'rule'. As they use the excuse of inflation for having hiked our rents by over 100%, shouldn't they also increase the 5000/- requirement?

5. When you consider all the above inconveniences, etc., short of going to pay the rent in person, it would be very difficult to delegate somebody else to go and pay the rent on one's behalf.

6. So, while our Council supposedly follows never ending and irritating 'procedures', they are also harassing the people they are purportedly there to 'serve'!

When is this ever going to end?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The 191st reminder.... to the PERSON/S CONCERNED - Burst sewage pipe... and the Council, continues..... (4th)

There's nothing strange about our water problems when one takes the story I'm about to relate below, into consideration. It seems that Kenyan society as a whole is, unfortunately, steeped in corruption and the few who don't tow this corrupt line are intimidated by the ones who do.

A friend of mine who lives on the Island, had been having billing problems since sometime late last year and so wrote a letter to the MOWASCO's Commercial Manager, to this effect. As is their wont, to date, his letter was never replied, but, last Friday a Mr. Juma who is working as a water meter reader, disconnected this meter despite being told that this matter was under dispute and the fact that it hadn't even been replied to or acknowledged.

This friend, had hand-delivered his letter and so had got a stamp of receipt on his letter which he had then photocopied, laminated and tied to the water meter to inform whoever might think of disconnecting his meter that it was under dispute with proof.

But, this Mr. Juma, seems to be a very questionable individual since he suggested to this friend that if he gave him an agreed sum of money, he would not only restore his meter, but, would make sure that the disputed amount on the bill would also be made to 'disappear'! He even gave his mobile number ), to this friend.

When my friend, refused to pay him anything and threatened to go to the Regional Manager to complain, this man told him that, it would do no good since NOTHING was going to be done and he would eventually have to 'conform' to his (Juma's), demands.

The story has reached the point where my friend did see the RM, Eng. Kinya, with all this bills, letter and this account (I was with him), but, when asked by the RM, to play a more pro-active role in catching this crook red handed, he refused. He says that he doesn't want to be intimidated and threatened by this Mr. Juma and his like-minded companions. Hence, this account, in the hope that our Regional Manager, Eng. Kinya, will be able to keep a sharp eye on this person and others like him who are in the employ of MOWASCO and CWSB, too, of course.

Now, with such crooks in our midst, is it any surprise that our waterlessness continues to worsen day by day, year by year and decade by decade.....?!

And how does a 'straight' person live peacefully in this unethical, unaccountable and lawless country such as this? Explain, please.

Darkness, darkness and nothing but....

Early yesterday, a friend and then, later, an aunt in Nairobi, rang me up to inform me that I wouldn't be having power this morning starting from 9.00 am till 5.00 pm. They knew this due to the KPLC advertising it's scheduled 'maintenance' outages in the dailies and when it's the area I live in, they also print my name there.

Therefore, I was all set to spend the day without power and all the inconveniences that it entails.

But, instead, our renamed (by me), Kenya Weakness & Darkness Company, plunges the WHOLE COUNTRY into darkness at around 3.30 am! Of course, living in this unethical, unaccountable and lawless country of ours, one has to start informing these people of the fact that there's no power as soon as one realizes this fact. Otherwise, when, after many hours of waiting one finally rings them, they will give a standard tape-recorded type of answer, 'What is your account number, which area is this, etc.....', and generally behaving like they don't have the foggiest idea what one is talking about!

Therefore, I rang them up immediately the lights went (I was awake at the time), and instead got a reply which was mercifully very different from the above. They happened to know that the lights had gone off and this female told me that the whole town of Mombasa was in darkness, though, she had no idea how long it would take to restore power and also what had caused it.

I waited, unable to sleep, any longer, for about an hour and then, rang them, again. This time I got the added information that the whole country was affected. But, they still didn't know what was the cause and when power would be restored.

Subsequently, I started calling all the so-called engineers who have given me their mobile numbers as well as one of their customer relations manager. Only two people answered my phone - Mr. Mahaga and Mr. Vidzo. Neither of them had any clue (or so they said), as to why we were having an outage and how long it would last.

The power was eventually restored at between 7.30/7.45 am with no explanation.

The scheduled 'maintenance' outage that was to have happened at 9.00 am today, has yet to take place. We don't know why it hasn't and are hoping that this is not going to be rescheduled to mess up our weekend, yet again.

Now, can the KPLC, media, etc., please explain to the long suffering consumers of their shoddy but highly expensive 'service', why, since late last year, they have been plunging the entire country at infrequent intervals, into total darkness with not a word of apology or explanation? Due to their lack of comment, the public's unreigned imagination goes totally wild and one begins to think in terms of more sinister reasons....

These days KPLC seems to be following in the footsteps of our other translucent, at best, and opaque service providers, with no ethics, accountability and completely impervious to their consumers opinions. Why are they behaving this way?

Monday, February 16, 2009

KENYAN MPs National Anthem(sic)

The following has just been sent by a friend and whoever 'created' it, is a genius! It's so very true, but, highly pathetic, isn't it?


It seems with the multiple scandals emerging, this seems to be the anthem of our MPs

MPS NATIONAL ANTHEM TO THE TUNE of "EE NGUVU MUNGU YETU" (order of words deliberate)

Politicians of all persuasions
Strip this land and nation.
Fortunes motivate us and keep us.
May we steal with impunity
Dodge taxes in unity;

Plenty be sourced within our dockets.
Let all politicians arise
With scams both wily and foolproof
Eating be our earnest endeavor,
And our cake-stand of Kenya ,
Heritage of plunder,

May we fight forever to perpetuate.
Let parties with one accord,
In common greed united,
Bankrupt our nation together,
May the agony of Kenya ,
The fruit of our behavior,
Remain hidden from our 2012 voters.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The 190th reminder.... to the PERSON/S CONCERNED - Burst sewage pipe... and the Council, continues..... (3rd)

I've just received my phantom water bill, yesterday, giving me a dire warning of disconnection on the 15th of February 2009, should I not pay the very offensive amount they, like the Mafia, are asking me to pay for 'services' NOT RENDERED!!!! Another observation - the 15th will be a Sunday!!!!

It is such an insult that we get not a drop of water and haven't done so since YEARS, yet, have been paying their charges. Then, add injury to this insult by having the bill estimated and on those equally phantom 'readings', send us exorbitant bills on their latest tariffs.

For example, my bill has the same figure for previous and present reading and then the consumption says an estimated 10 cu. mts. This in itself is highly ridiculous since I am alone and had I been getting any water, there is no way that I would be consuming this amount in a month. More likely, less than half that amount, probably.

Then, according to the above nonsensical figures, our thieving 'water providers' have the temerity to break these phantom figures down into 6 cu. mts. and 4 cu. mts., at the end of which they arrive at a very inflated sum, indeed.

While I'm very thankful to the MOWASCO, for having tried to solve the burst sewage pipe leakage into the space where my water tank stands a few weeks ago, I wish they would also get this billing and water delivery problem solved with the same enthusiasm.

In fact, the infamous Abdul Majid from the Council, was even brought to this estate by the very helpful Mr. Mwamburi a while ago, since he claimed that he didn't know it's whereabouts despite working for our useless Council. To date, nothing has been done about fixing that pipe!

Why has the Council even got involved in the service provision of water and sewerage, when, it can't do their already laid out jobs which includes the huge garbage piles all over town, I just can't imagine?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Noise in the name of functions and religion - 36th reminder to NEMA and others concerned....

I've tried enduring this constant assault on my ears not to mention all of the people who live in this town and neighbourhood, but, while both Christian and Muslim religious noise reduced a little towards the beginning of this year, they have started with a vengeance, now.

The question arises - why did they reduce and now increased all of a sudden? Is it because some 'officialdom' out there took some kind of action whose effect is now wearing off?

After all we are Kenyans who, like little kids, have to constantly be 'reminded' that there's some kind of law that we are breaking and/or making ourselves into nuisances. Since, we have a culture of lawlessness in this country which is made worse by complete selfishness where we can do what we like as long as we have the money to pay off, officialdom, should it raise any objections to our objectionable and lawless activities.

In the process we have scant regard for our neighbours, the law or anything else and we (the moneyed and the politically connected among us, especially), do as we like, when we like and how we like, wherever we like.

A couple of weeks ago, there was another noisy function at the MWA Hall at night, and the merry makers couldn't care less nor the DJ for that matter that they could be disturbing not only the entire residential neighbourhood with their boom, boom kind of music, but also the very sick in the Aga Khan hospital next door and the ones at Pandya hospital, too which is not too far off. Then, they continued after the 'magical' hour of 11.00 pm. They only stopped after I called the cops, who for once showed up within 15 minutes and stopped the racket! Which means that had the 'law' not showed up, they would have continued the whole night.....?!

The neighbourhood mosque and the lunchtime 'services' held by a Christian organization have re-started their noisy prayers which are currently going on as I write this.

When will we EVER become a law abiding nation, I wonder?