The Highway Chronicles

Hi everybody. If you are reading this it can only mean you survived the armageddon that the general election was supposed to be. So put away the gas masks, donate the emergency foodstuffs you stockpiled, and embrace the disillusionment you feel towards IEBC and the Supreme Court. And the millions of clueless Kenyans who still don’t get what the elections were about. Or should have been about. Hell, it could had been much worse….

Now that we have the awkwardness out of the way… here is poor me chugging along Mombasa Road two nights ago on my thirty-something-years-old ride known to most people simply as The Beast when i see a body lying in the middle of the road, obviously the victim of a hit and run driver. Of course the lighting along that section of M-Road does not exist, and drivers barely make it around the gory mess. A little more nauseating is the fact that we drive on, and a few meters from the scene, it is as if nobody witnessed anything. Nothing happened. Just another faceless Kenyan lying dead in the middle of  the highway. And it won’t make the evening news. Or the next days’ dailies. Except that that poor man’s loved ones….wife and children….will wait and wait for him to come home. In vain.  

So, how many of you good folk have had the pleasure of speeding down Thika Road, and just as you begin to enjoy it there are rumple strips, a speed bomb and a zebra crossing!!! And pedestrians daintily crossing the highway to get to the other side!!! Wait a minute, is that the pedestrian walkway right across the highway a few meters away?? Who are these people who recklessly put the lives of many people at risk by allowing these sort of things to happen? And who are we to not only wonder about it, but drive around the dead bodies showing up on the streets and thereafter order pizzas as if nothing happened? Why do we choose to live like rats in a watery dungeon, without lights and any sense of direction, blindly soldiering on, shrugging our shoulders in resignation and driving off of cliffs because no one bothered to put a reflective warning sign, and a bunch of unscrupulous scrap metal dealers carted off the lamp-post and the guard rails? Bloody Chinese smelting all the metal they can lay their hands on. Stupid Kenyans for importing Chinese razor blades and key chain rings. With Kenyan flesh and blood dripping off of them. Scraped off of Chinese-built superhighways. 

Ever driven up or down from or to the coast? The last time i did it i counted about 86 trucks each lugging one miserable 40 feet long container of something, probably Chinese imports. And causing massive traffic jams and considerably slowing one down. Not to mention bending the fragile roads out of shape. Literally. Ok, so what must be the cost of transporting a container load of Chinese razor blades or dry cells from the port of Mombasa, say to Kisumu in terms of damage to the roads and environment, time and probably human life? Why on earth is this primitive practice of transport entertained in Kenya, especially when we have a railroad linking Mombasa with Uganda, again built upon the sweat and blood of British, Goan and Kenyan blood? For what did the infamous man-eaters of Tsavo feed on their flesh if we now transport Chinese razorblades so so so inefficiently and ineffectively aboard trucks belching copious amounts of burnt and unburnt hydrocarbons and leaving in their wake lost man-hours and sometimes death and destruction?? I mean, the cargo train was invented for something, right?

So, a supposedly Kikuyu-drenched National Transport and Safety Authority or something like this was supposedly formed last week to do God knows what. A president is going to get inaugurated American style, a few metres away from the Chinese-built superhighway. A nation is divided along ethnic lines thanks in part to a flawed electoral process and a Supreme Court which is famous for being the only other court ever to sit during Easter, and in similar fashion, choosing Barabas over Jesus. Jubilee and Cord. Digital. Analogue. Laptops. Lollipops. Democracy on trial. Dead Kenyans lying face down in the gutter that is our highways. What shall give?


One comment

  1. Good read to start my week. A spinal cord centre would have cost us around 500 mili… Yet 300 is being spent on a days ceremony. Misplaced priorities. And on Sunday at church I heard the pastor mobilising the congregation to pay mortgage for his high end mansion runninng into millions. Where is our humanity? Have we discarded the little that remained of our morals. Aluta continua.

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