Informations Systems Consultant

Archive for November, 2012

IEBC: What about Patients?


I made the effort to get registered as a voter. The process hardly took ten minutes. Very impressive and the clerks have definitely polished their act. They are warm, well spoken, helpful and kind. I speak of those at my polling station of Uhuru Gardens Primary School. It is true the voter turn-out is slow and far-spaced. But the clerks continue to wait patiently hoping to register as many as they can each day.

My dad who has been in town for treatment for the last six weeks and has about five more to go, raised a very genuine concern. He resides in a far-off constituency and wants to register as a voter only that the condition of registration holds him back. When the treatment he is undergoing is done, he will travel back and by then the voter registration period will have elapsed  He mentions six other people he knows that in the same predicament.

IEBC should re-consider this and allow for visiting patients to choose their polling stations. Further-more go into hospitals to register those fit enough to sit-up. This can also be extended to students who have closed school and are visiting grandparents upcountry. There are also other students on teaching practise or industrial attachment in far-off locations  who will have to come back when their tenure comes to an end.

We also have the Diaspora family that religiously travel to Kenya in December. What then? They will have missed the voter registration in their second home countries and can not register while here. Every vote counts and we beseech IEBC to reconsider their strategy and include this exception for patients, students and visiting Diaspora families. Or just overhaul the process and allow all to choose their polling station. Ben Williams Branch Manger of Bank Of Africa reminded me this morning that even with the manual system we were allowed to change our polling station from any registration point.

Voter Verification:

It is a crime to be registered twice. This we know but what if malicious people have used my details to register elsewhere? When time comes for verification could we have a short-code text service(could be a small income generator for IEBC-pegged at Kshs. 5 per verification) be set-up so that I can check using my ID number? This can also be set-up on their website so that we can query the system using our ID numbers still. Remember the double registration crisis at The Registrar of Political parties?

IEBC needs to step-up and step-out of rigidity!

Find the Voters-Be Found


Voter registration has began. With the time set I believe IEBC should do all in its power to find qualifying citizens. And citizens alike should be found and work to find the designated registered places.

But thinking like any good businessman. When the potential customer does not find you – you find them! They are king remember! Any good business has branches/shops/office(s) where their goods and services can be accessed. But time and again they employ marketing strategies that are meant to reach out to the customer. They advertise and IEBC is doing well on that score both on TV, radio and print media – I mean I can literally sing along their ad-verses. But then again the best businesses know too well this is not enough. They activate sampling by having spots where people can be found to create the experiential marketing.

I believe with the bio-metric registration IEBC a lot more can be done to meet and surpass their projected voter numbers. They could stage registration booths in public places like shopping malls, churches, mosques, major hotels, select hospitals and bus terminus.They can tweak their registration software to allow for people to choose where they want to vote from no matter where they register from.

There many Kenyans who are in hospitals, there are those who work or run businesses that require them seven days of the week. There are those that work 6am-10pm jobs. Then there are those upwardly mobile people who work and study in the evenings including weekends. IEBC should consider these wonderful potential voters and find them. I am prompted to write this from an answer I received from an acquittance when I inquired if they had registered as voters. The person told me the last they checked IEBC kits had not arrived and IEBC had said they will revert to the manual system where he is already registered. literally this guy is not informed that was resolved and bio-metric registration has been launched. But I could not blame him but only updated him and encouraged him to share the news.

It is incumbent to share about the voter registration but also encourage IEBC to find voters by being a little more creative.

Fiber Cable Routing- The Nightmare


The fiber technology is phenomenal! Many now enjoy higher internet speeds, relatively affordable subscription costs and ooo yes the magic that is triple play connectivity.

The excitement and the opportunity fiber connections has brought and will continue to bring is still unprecedented. We encourage the current fiber infrastructure in East Africa and laud the efforts of Telcos and ISPs for their determination to cover the last mile.

However, there is the ugly truth. Telcos are outdoing each other in digging up routes and criss-crossing each other leading to foul play by unscrupulous players. They orchestrate fiber cuts and treacherously snatch each others consumers by promising internet heaven.

I believe the main issue is the management of fiber routing. My opnion would be that CCK with the municipal councils together with the Ministry of Roads & of Public Works have a round table on how to build and sustain fiber routing.

This is what I mean; that a fund be set-up that oversees the building of metallic/plastic/concrete conduits along roads and round towns as managed by this fund. The telcos and ISPs then just run their cables in already set-up conduits and routes. They do not have to outdo each other in digging up roads or routes along it. For by this they only dig and not install conduits that can be used later. And by so doing they cannot effectively repair cable cuts as they have do dig-up the cables again!

Culvert Conduits will be a safe way to manage cable installations. They will look more neat and will save our towns and roads the nightmare of digging up fiber routes that leave unsightly heaps. that destroy the neat work done by development of good roads.

Upperhill Roads – huge sacrifice or misfiring plans?


I like plans especially architectural plans with 2D models (pictorial impressions) and more so the 3D models(makes everything look so beautiful and believable). When I first saw the impression above of the Langata Road Upgrade Plan. I was smitten like an adolescents with his first crush. I was so overjoyed that no amount of dust, mud and snull-up to Karen or galleria mattered while the contractor was at work. For I believed all that was the sacrifice we had to pay for the promising future. I also believed that finally Rongai will be part of Nairobi.  Every comedian made fun of the long hours trips Rongai residents and those of its environs made each morning coming into town.

So far so good, we can see progress and the pain of the last seven months is slowing being replaced by sighs of relief. For we are now seeing the road take shape. It is not exactly as the impression but it will be soon.

Upperhill’s road network was also ear marked for upgrading. Given that KENHA among other government agencies in the Road Ministry are housed here I thought the works would be quickened. We all know the traffic Upperhill commands since many blue ship firms, embassies, Kenyatta Hospital and SMEs dot the whole place. I know there is a plan and models but the sight of Ragati road which was redone a few months back is appalling. A new road not two years old and already they are patching it up? Remember they had not even fully finished it for it floods after every downpour. Kenya Road outside TSC is shaping up but their pace is worrying. The other roads undergoing upgrades are all dug up!!

Could the contractors and the agency involved consider finishing at least two roads first? Instead of digging up all and leaving only two for the huge traffic that Upperhill commands? It could be a misfiring plan that adds salt to the injury that is our huge sacrifice. Something has to be done and contractors must be briefed.

This brings the other question that I will address tomorrow of the fiber cables dug up.

KQ: Time for Naikuni’s take-off!!


Dr. Naikuni is a fine gentleman. He has served this country in many capacities. He has and continues to serve in many boards of relevant organisations. He has good insight of the organisations vision and with his enlightened background of the world economy and global divergent views gives good direction and advice.

He has come of age from the stories about his background as published in local dailies and magazines around the globe; we can agree he is living his dream. to have risen to MD at Lake Magadi when still very young, to have clinched the CEO position at KQ amid the politics that grapple many state owned organisations is sure as God’s favour. He has done well from the time he joined KQ. Having led the firm to growth after growth and bolstered its performance across the globe.

My two cents to Dr. Naikuni, a person I have admired for his good qualities would be simple: Its time to take-off!

Great men know their welcome, the Greatest know their exit and are wise to groom others to take after them. In Bible History we see a great leader in Moses. Having single handedly(by God’s grace of course  guided three million plus multitude out of Egypt). But amazingly even when we was first sent he sought the help of Aaron. And later in God’s wisdom charges Aaron, Joshua, Caleb and others to be his immediate support. Just when God wants to settle Israel into the promised land, Moses receive a memo from The Almighty Jehovah. The memo categorically omits his name from the great march into the promised land. Moses does an amazing thing, he does not cling to his leadership or coerce God. He accepts the notification and intercedes for the incoming leaders and his people. He goes further to beseech God to choose Joshua for he saw his potential, had mentored him and confirmed his gentle but firm spirit.

The world Greatest Leaders continue to do this, they understand the issue of God’s stewardship. That we are only but stewards and we have to give room for others that God chooses especially those that work alongside us. We need to guide them, delegate to them effectively and let God be their strength. I like the way Dr. Julius Kipngetich left KWS, Dr. Michael Joseph of Safaricom among many others. It is a pity that Dr. Naikuni has stayed long enough to see his performance dwindle as witnessed in the KQ losses reported yesterday in the business news just as bad as the quarrel-some debate over staff matters, the Embraer Jets riddle and many issues arising at KQ.

I know in his wisdom he will salvage his record. He can do this by effectively engaging a high ranking communications firm to do damage control of the negative publicity of KQ in recent times. He can also engage the services of financial and business consultants like Ernst & young, Deloitte or McKinsey & Company to aggressively handle the staff reorganization process. He can go further and groom his deputies by actively delegating them to take on KQ’s responses to the media, finances reporting and many other tasks. He has to prepare for his exit.

I am more than sure many organizations would love to have  a man of his stature. I wish him well.

The country needs his management prowess even if it means he takes a pay cut or an advisory role he should grab any of these opportunities and take-off!

Mazda: Kenya’s growing interest


Another Asian Baby(Mazda Axela-station wagon) worth adopting:

      

It is true many Kenyans and East Africans have grown interest in the Mazda Auto models. Many own or know people who own the famous “Familia” model. The “Demio” model has been sold to thousands of both the 2002 to 2005 models.

I remember the crush I had on this car when planning for my first car. I fell short of the down-payment and had to go for another make altogether. But I liked the sleek interior, sports reams, dynamic and fluid shape of the “Familia” saloon back then in 2003. Today Mazda has shown their prowess by producing vehicles in the family range(saloons, station wagons) executive (sports versions, luxury line, SUVs) and commercial (vans & light trucks). I am yet to see a Mazda Bus or heavy equipment machinery but am sure their engineers are at work.

They have proven to be efficient and have low maintenance. I am not sure if they are sturdy for the bumpy African terrain but they look capable. What I alike about this make is they think of the client and add little extras for that extra comfort. I particularly like the factory tint on windows, the detailed spoke reams, the ground clearing and choice of sound system that requires nothing extra after purchase. Not that other makes do not have such but that one can get this with the affordability that Mazda brings is sheer happiness for the constrained Kenyan buyer. It is no secret that many auto and spare dealers have stocks of Mazda parts and accessories.

This is a car my gaze is on at the moment and would not mind having one.

PK-Tunawesmake!


Yesterday, the bar of Presidential campaigns in Kenya was raised  by one Hon. Peter Kenneth. He was point blank on his agenda; eloquent, articulate and emphatic on his service when elected fourth President  of Kenya. The campaigns have done him good, he is more athletic and did a jig together with his son Andrew as well as JuaCali. He is also confident, having led Gatanga into CDF success and envy among other constituencies. He is polished for the many places his leadership star rose and shone like his reign at Kenya-Re, KFF among others go along way to show his administrative prowess.

He is wiser, the deep reflections and emphatic pauses after every weighty issue he tackled was a spectacular showcase of this.

I liked his challenge to Kenyans on tribalism, I liked the fact that one youthful Ronald Osumba curtained raised his entry. Of all the other Presidential candidates is there one that has allowed more than three young Kenyans (one barely 18, the other 26 and Ronnie in his early thirties) grace their launch with speeches?? This was just wow! He seems poised to work for the Youth.

With the heated debate around his campaign slogan”Tunawesmake” ; I tend to think his campaign secretariat does not have many old guards or young-conservative and old thinking guys otherwise it would not have seen the light of day. He is not the usual Presidential contender. He has wind in his sail and with the responses on social media who knows if he will be the man going to the house on the Hill??

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