Open letter to IG Boinnet

Well, first off, congratulations good sir! These days getting a public servant as high a rank as yours approved is very hard, let’s not kid ourselves, our parliament is not necessarily a room full of non whiners. 

I wish you the best of luck in your security docket, but the bar set by the predecessors was not so high (in the eyes of Kenyans-not mine) so I’m pretty sure you will prosper. 

Reason I decided to write this as I wait for updates on my laptop to install (it will take a while) is when I saw your post on Twitter “i look forward to working closely with #KOT”. Yes that one; now I’m not saying these guys are bad, but those streets they reside in are never safe. 

Look at it this way, those streets (that is what we call the Twitter Timeline) are like being in an F1 race track- wait you went to an American University, so let’s say a Nascar racing track- you know, the ones with no bumps. Subarus (the intern who will be running your account on Twitter can explain what that is) whizz past and you don’t even realize it before it’s too late. 

#KOT are not your friends, these guys are way too funny to be taken seriously. You should never take what they say too seriously, even when they make memes (please ask your intern to explain this too) of you. They hate being told what to do, they are all experts -in all fields I must say. 

#KOT know how to do your job better than you do, believe that, so be sure to venture on those streets once in a while to look for intelligence. Now on to serious matters, we need security assured, we need more sponsors to visit this country. Sponsors have been avoiding Kenya for a while now because of security matters so I would urge you to kindly look in to that. 

I don’t think I have forgotten anything, if I have, I’ll see you on the streets (Twitter I mean). Good luck sir. 

The girl at the coffee shop

kuirab:

One of those things that never leave your mind- might be the one who got away lol

Originally posted on kuirab:

A typical after- work day, all tired, all worn out. I decide to go and fuel my coffee addiction at my favorite coffee shop. As i seat, all alone, in a booth, lost in my thoughts, lost in my own little world.
She gets in, hand in hand with what i automatically guess is her boyfriend. They have the courtesy to ask if they can sit on my table, i was getting bored so i said ”go right ahead”. I had this sudden urge to add ”its a free country” but i decided to be subtle.
I ask for another cup, they both get some orange juice and share a piece of cake- guess economy’s pretty hard.
She stares at me, not stare- stare, more like stealing an occassional glance. I m happily tapping away at my phone- writing this- she thinks- or a  least i think she thinks m…

View original 519 more words

My Dress My Choice

Having not written for over 8 months now, it saddens me that this had to be the blog post that ended that drought. In this century, we have men who can publicly declare their intent on stripping women in public. Being a liberal society, the Bill of Rights gives you leeway in what you can say but it’s up to you as a mature adult to keep your opinions within the confines of maturity. Coming from a Single mother household, I especially hold women in the highest regard to the point that I don’t even mind when people call me a momma’s boy. No human being has the right to assault another in any way; Sexual assault it the worst kind of action you can inflict on another human being. I haven’t brought myself to watch that video of the woman being stripped by shallow minded men simply because I don’t have to watch to condemn the action. Even the topic by itself disgusts me a great deal, why would you do that to a fellow human? Instances of Muslim women, some of them my close friends have been harassed in public even when they had their BuiBui, so you really cannot associate this with short dresses.

This is a short minded mentality by a few because I believe we as men, we were raised better. The fact that it happened and has been happening is a shortfall for our security apparatus. They have allowed this to go on for a really long time, we have had instances of women being sexually assaulted in police stations and being scared to testify for fear of repercussions. This is where I pick a bone with our women legislators, where are you? Women representatives- we have special seats for you in the legislature, where are you? I might be naïve, but for issues like this, I expect women legislators to be on the verge of lynching the police commissioner demanding justice. I have a voice to condemn this, but yours’ as legislators is bigger, you have the voice to make even the famous cook make a statement but you have been silent in this matter which is even sadder.

It’s your right to dress the way you want, it’s your right to self expression, it’s your right to walk around nude if you wish.Unless you are my under age daughter, you can dress either way you wish, I might not know the reason for your choice of dress, but then again, its none of my business. You are free to make your own choices, I believe free will goes all the way back to creation. Issuing scathing remarks to discredit those who took part in this campaign just shows how mediocre some people’s line of thought is.

Before you issue statements that you will strip women, think of your own wife, your own daughter, your own sister, your own mother. How would you feel if that happened to them?As much as you may have your opinion regarding this matter which is your right, keep it to yourself, wallow in your own self pity for self recognition. The next thing after stripping is rape, so think about that before you make idiotic statements.

It’s a matter of choice, choosing to be a good role model for our sons, we are bound to make this earth better for the next generation. It’s a matter of being a mature man, it’s a matter of respect, it’s a matter of being a human being.

I commend the men and women who took part in the #MyDressMyChoice march, respect of humanity is something I believe we were all taught at some point in our lives; We must have Utu.

Why I love Nairobi

Nairobi I believe is one of the most beautiful metropolitans in Africa if not the world. I mostly enjoy the walks I take in the morning to and from work through the city so I decided to document some of the beautiful sites it has to offer.
It’s basically a good contrast of dawn and dusk, the sunrise and the sunset that are so breathtaking from the little glimpses the concrete jungle allows. Here are some of my best moments, taken from my camera phone as I walked along the various streets in the city.

This is Moi Avenue in the morning, looking all peaceful. The hustle and bustle of hard working Kenyans on their way to work. The Sunrise above the National Archives building is just breathtaking. A new day, a new dawn, another day to make a difference in the world.

20140131-191557.jpg

 

 

 

 

20140131-191632.jpg

City Hall Way in the evening can be so beautiful. This is one of my best streets in Nairobi. The Plush green trees, the clean pavements, the flowers by the side, the street lights as the dark creeps in. All is one marvel that brings a smile to my face even after a really long day.

20140131-191654.jpg

This is a beautiful evening shot of the famous Kencom building. Since back in the day when cell phones were non-existent, this was the de-facto meeting point for people in Nairobi. Dates would be set months in advance and the activity around this building still makes it a central meeting point for people to this day.

20140131-191711.jpg

Mama Ngina Street. This is one street that I really love; The trees that have taken ages to grow, and of course it hosts my favourite coffee shop. Nairobi Java will always be my favourite coffee shop, it fuels my coffee addiction and life would just not be complete without it.

20140131-191733.jpg

Parliament way. Such a beautiful street to walk on any time of day. The human traffic on this is very minimal which ensures that you enjoy the scenery of the Parliament buildings and the Jomo Kenyatta Mausoleum.

20140131-191752.jpg

Kaunda Street. Such a serene walk way, not too much traffic and gives a vibrant feel of the Nairobi culture with a selection of shops of all accessories. 20140131-191823.jpg

Another great shot of Parliament way by the wall of the Parliament Buildings.

20140131-191842.jpg

This is by far one of the greatest shots of the Nairobi sunset I have taken. It was a long day after work and I was walking down Utalii Lane on the way to meet a couple of friends for coffee when i saw this beautiful sight. The golden sunset illuminating the clouds and the light reflecting on Utalii Building. It was such a breathtaking experience all round, i felt refreshed just by looking at it.

20140131-191909.jpg

Another Sunset shot on Kenyatta Avenue. The green on this street is just amazing and the light reflecting on the buildings was just awesome. It also captures the extremes of a great peaceful walkway and the busy Nairobi evening traffic.

20140131-191928.jpg

A dawn shot of the usually busy Moi Avenue. This street was virtually empty at this hour, it was so peaceful walking to work on that day. 20140131-192245.jpg

Muindi Mbingu Street. I feel in love with this particular part of the street because of all the green around me in the middle of this concrete jungle we call Nairobi. Such a beautiful sight.

20140131-192338.jpg

To cap it all off, the walk way in KICC, I am glad I took this short cut through the grounds, it’s always such a beautiful sight. 20140131-192328.jpg

Nairobi sure is beautiful, amid the social, economic and political things that are around us each day, we all need to pause and enjoy our streets. Who knows, some of these great sceneries might just influence us to relax and re-evaluate our perspectives on every day life.

VALUE FOR MONEY IN PROCUREMENT

Traditional approaches to achieving value in procurement underscore cost savings. Contemporary procurement on the other hand, takes a holistic view that transcends cost savings, delving into other forms of value addition that are realized by organizations through procurement functions.

This report highlights the different forms of value that can be realized through procurement. It is aimed at ensuring that procurement professionals appreciate the concept of value for money; so as to design & implement the structures, systems & processes that would promote the delivery of value to their respective organizations through procurement.

One of the key factors in achieving value for money is coming up with a comprehensive procurement strategy. A good strategy should incorporate key services or goods for various units/programs/departments, an assessment of how these goods are purchased, performance of key suppliers & the scope to improve value for money & quality of service. A good procurement strategy should also cover the whole process of obtaining the goods, services & works from third parties. This strategy should link the procurement goals & the achievement of the overall organization objectives.

Procurement has direct control over huge amounts of money in an organization & therefore there needs to be continuous development of procurement staff to further enhance competence development.  This ensures that through this, they are able to identify areas that can be maximized on & those that can be improved to further ensure that they realize value for money for the organization in terms of procurement.

Value can be realized in terms of viewing an asset to be purchased in a whole life perspective which incorporates initial cost, maintenance of that asset, warranties & guarantees, support services, obsolescence & the cost of disposing that asset when the time comes.  A good example of these would be the buying of vehicles for an organization: some brands of vehicles are expensive to buy, maintain but overall, have a high resalable value even after long periods of use, compared to vehicles that are cheap to buy & maintain but end up in a scrap yard after a couple of years because no one wishes to purchase them. An organization should always look at opportunities to gain some money off disposals that can be utilized for other activities.

It is crucial for users in an organization to include procurement when they are defining their needs. This allows procurement to advice on areas that savings can be achieved & avoids unnecessary purchases that become expensive especially when specifications are not well defined. Incase it’s a project based procurement, early procurement involvement makes sure that the users are able to anticipate potential problems  & proactively deal with them, still at the planning level.  This saves on times & cost. In terms of aggregating procurements, the procurement department can pool together needs from the various departments/users, standardize on the specifications & at the same time save on costs in terms of volume discounts from suppliers.

The foundation of any value that an organization can gain in a contractual arrangement will be based in the structured contracts. The ability to remove possibility of variability in the duration of the contract is vital in achieving on time delivery and on budget & thus realizing value for your money.  It is important that in the planning process of a project, everything is taken into consideration since midstream re-evaluation of needs & specifications will translate to more costs that those initially planned for. All stakeholders including procurement need to be involved in the planning process & look into ways to deal with supplier delays, fluctuations in products costs & how these are incorporated into a contract. A good example of this is a company that enters into a contract with a contractor to build a road, but the contract is time based & not performance based. The contractor can delay the project, bill at the specified periods be it quarterly & at the end the organization ends up paying the full amount, long before the road is even done. The key here was even if litigated, the contractor was within his rights to be paid without completing the project based on the contract that was signed.

Procurement risks can be managed by avoiding unnecessary purchasing. There needs to be clear justification of need for goods and services.  It is also good to note that price does not necessarily represent value for money, it is always advisable to purchase through competitive bidding. Assessment needs to be done to ensure that goods are not purchased in uneconomic quantities, & right quality is maintained.  It is good to note how to allocate the various risks across the supply chain to the party best placed to manage that risk. Some of the risks that an organization takes when purchasing a particular product are: will the product perform adequately, will the supplier deliver in time, what happens when the supplier fails to deliver & also the reliability of the product in question. All these risks need to be looked at in case they occur & how they will be handled.

Procurement audits also need to be done once in a while.  These audits help to identify weaknesses and areas of non-compliance in the procurement system, ensure implementation of intervention measures & ensure the application of fair, competitive & transparent procurement activities.  It is also advisable to audit the procurement policies to check if they are realigned to achieving the organization’s strategic objectives.  Procurement audits should look into random procurements to check if the right procedures were used in the planning & specifications identification, whether the bids sent out were standard, conform to the public procurement Act, conditions & specifications were clear, the choice of the procurement method,  how the bids were opened & were committee meetings maintained, how were the late bids treated. How was the evaluation of these bids done? Was there consistency in application of the evaluation criteria? Was the evaluation report prepared & duly signed?  After award, it needs to be established if simultaneous notification to successful & unsuccessful bidders were sent out, the contract issued was based on documents, award decision, and notification of award.  All this cries for proper maintenance of procurement records that are transparent & show the entire procurement process.

In a nutshell, it is good to note the key drivers for value for money for the organization. These are focusing on whole life costs of a product, integrated planning & design, deriving proper specifications, continuous improvement of skills & expertise, best value evaluation of bids & proper contractual terms.

A Society Of The Extremes

What am i doing exactly? I have asked myself that question repeatedly over the last half hour that i have been seated here. I am in a night club, yet i am seated, looking on uninterested at a football match, all the while as the music blares on.
Am i am old geezer? No, i don’t believe i am, am i sick? not that i know of, am i bored? well maybe, am i that antisocial? sometimes. All these questions, or the answers to them, might explain why i am still seated as Billie Jean comes on, but i haven’t the faintiest answer for any one of them.
Wait, watching people is fun! I get to see all sorts of characters come to light. The lady in green is playing so hard to get, yet its obvious she is a jealous woman ready to claw one’s face. I get to see the lone ranger dancing by himself beer in hand, yeah, its clear he has been at it for a couple of hours, i pray he gets lucky sometime in the night. There is a couple, well i can call them a couple, after all they have been grinding each other all night, i wonder who between them plays ‘husband’, Yes, both are women.
Maybe its by chance that i am seated here, maybe fate wanted me to experience this. Maybe fate wanted me to see how much society has grown & become so diverse over the years. We have become a tolerant society, we have become an adventurous society, we have become a society of the extremes.
On one side we have the perfect ‘couple’, on the other we have the lone ranger hoping to get lucky, & on the other, we have the lady in green acting like an obnoxious nobody yet all she would like is a a guy who can see beyond her fake mask & offer to buy her a drink.
The lone ranger represents so many people in our society. Those that toil day after day, doing everything by the book, seeking for the elusive acceptance, someone to acknowledge that they exist. Most of these people are perfect in every way, the only thing they lack is the confidence of being outspoken individuals. They easily fall prey to manipulation because they embrace the acceptance that they seek so easily, no matter the form in which it comes. They are the perfect human beings, successful, yet lonely.
The lady in green represents individuals in society who paint their lives according to how they think the society wants them to be. These are people who have no idea who they are, their persona has been lost within themselves. They crave attention, yet they put up a face suggesting the contrary. These are individuals who are so lost within themselves, only an exorcism can save them.
The ‘couple’ dancing the night away represents how tolerant our society has become of same sex relationships. It is no longer an alien phenomenon, it has become so widely accepted in a way that has left clergy men in complete confussion. The tolerance shows that the society has become so diverse in a way that no one really cares, its  has become a society of everyone for himself & God for us all.
That is just my opinion, i think my question at this point would be, who would you rather be?
Or, you can chose to be like me, sit back & enjoy the show.

50 Years of Independence and alot to hope for.

A greater 2013; I have a dream that this year, we can overcome bounds of oppression, corruption & overall moral decadence in our society.
This is a momentous year for Kenya, with us having elections this year. An election that the world over is keeping tabs on. The transition after elections will be very crucial. 2007 will always be a dark smudge on this country’s history and one we must show the world that we have learned from. Kenya is a major regional business hub with Nairobi being a regional headquarter to a number of multinationals. Peaceful transition will mean greater economic expansion, steady growth forecasts and a greater platform for achieving vision 2030.
This year will also be the year that arguably the new constitution will go full throttle in terms of implimentation. We all hope that the sanctity of the constitution that has been defiled ever so often the previous year by legislators will be upheld by a new and better elected group of legislators.
This year i hope that the greed that has corrupted this country will end. Greed has come in so many forms for this country; Poachers have continued to plague this country, most recent being the slaughter of a family of 11 elephants for ivory in the Tsavo. These natural resources that we leisurely take for granted are the blood line of our economy and its time we stopped chopping off the hands that feed us. Another plague for this country has been corruption. It is my opinion that trying to get rid of corruption sorely by legislative means is not the solution. Corruption is a moral/social issue that most of us grow into; we have been raised to think that money is the solution to all problems and more so getting rich quickly. Corruption mentality must be rid off from the younger generation, they are the future of this country. Kenyans need to be more aware of their rights, we need to be aware that we do not have to bribe to access basic public service. Access to public service is your right as a Kenyan, we need to instil this to the younger generation and everyone for that matter. Mechanisms need to be throughly effective to deal with corruption, the penalties should be as harsh to the taker as they are to the giver of bribes.
This year i pray that morality that has avoided our society in recent times gives us a second chance. Good morals are the pillars of any society and we need these pillars to achieve the dream of being a greater nation than we already are. It is always sad to wake up to news of a 5 year old kid or anyone else for that matter brutally raped everyday. Instead of blaming the way the ladies of our society dress like Swaziland does, we need to educate young men in our society on how to respect and treat women. I only hope that one day all this decadence will end.
2013; This will be the year of hope, the jubilee year as many have called it. We need to show the world that 50 years down the line, we have grown into a great nation, one they can be look up to, one that we can be proud of.