Dear Kenyan MP, please come back from Utopia

Dear MPs ,

Please get down from your ivory tower and get real.

Firstly as Kenyans we are NOT indebted to you if anything we helped many of you find decent jobs and in addition to that a Mheshimiwa title. Please can you for once think and act like real Mheshimiwas.

Allow me to educate you .

KRA collect taxes and in turn Treasury will then share what has been collected. If you care to read newspapers and follow the news many companies are closing down and export like flowers and horticulture is now dead. Tourism is also dead when no one can come here. Close to 40 hotels have suspended operations including many in Nairobi , most of the lodges closed and coast is not any better. Diaspora cannot send any more bucks , they are also fighting to remain alive and here you are behaving like some spoilt brat.

When businesses that generate taxes that pay your salaries are closed where do you expect money will come from ? Why do you behave so ignorant of what is going on ? If you think I am making a blanket condemnation then I dare you to step out and support the salary reductions, In the absence of that it is clear you are all united in greed and it is high time we called you out.

You have HUGE loans to pay , bla bla bla. Who told you going to parliament is where you buy a palatial home to be paid in under 5 years ? Oh some of you claim that loads of deductions take away your pay. It is clear you choose to live beyond your means . You are breaking the same law you make where an employee should not take home less than a third of their pay. It is now clear why corruption will not end in this country when you live beyond your means.

Even Wanjiku who sent you to that August house has a Fuliza to service and she is dealing with her woes.

Going to parliament or Senate is a calling , it is NOT some get rich quick plan. You should not expect to do all the things you wanted to do in under 5 years that is greed and lack of planning . If that was your intention then you are in the wrong place. Come and join us in the private sector or come run your business and see if it is any easier.

Instead of helping the Executive you are busy digging in on why you cannot take a pay cut.

This Saturday you earn yourself a huge barb, for those of you who my friends as long as you fly with the same flock you are not any better and greed is the common denominator.

Step out and take a paycut only then will you earn back your Mheshimiwa title.

This time we say Shame On You

Mohammed Hersi

If we are to go lockdown let’s give it a human face more so for the urban vulnerable poor.

Dear Fellow Kenyans,

To defeat this global Covid19 crisis we now need to start thinking of lockdown. It is only a matter of when and not if.

For a smooth lockdown we must get a few things right to make it a success more so to help the vulnerable urban poor.

Firstly many of the urban poor have already left Nairobi and big towns for their rural homes. While middle class Kenyans can stock on dry goods and fill their fridges ordinary folks live hand to mouth. They WALK everyday from Kibera.Likoni. Kisauni etc to go to town to earn a daily earning to help them see another day hence the small packaging that many firms developed and dubbed kadogo economy.

Now we are quite good with Nyumba Kumi and this is where Huduma data should come in handy , we should map all the informal settlements and supply them with basic ration and fresh water. The daily needs by our brothers and sisters in these informal settlements is bare minimum. We just need to be considerate and practice some compassion. If GOK with support from private sector , Kenya Red Cross and well wishers worked together we can get them a ration to last them 21 days then another 21 days if need be as we attempt to break the corona infection chain and flatten the curve. We can then give lockdown a human face .

Announcing a lockdown without a plan for these folks we will be playing with fire. It is said a hungry man is an angry man. Let us not get there.

I believe GOK has the financial muscle to do that and as private sector will join in and we will then be good to go for lockdown. Private sector has the distribution network while GOK have the data of the people.

If India a nation of 1.3 Billion people has announced 21days lockdown I believe we can also do it with our 50Million population. Sierra Leone defeated Ebola with a lockdown but they made sure the poor folks also got basic ration to sustain them .

Time is of the essence and we need to move fast to avoid finding ourselves playing catch up.

Finally to my fellow Kenyans if you returned in the last two weeks you should be in self quarantine. This is NOT a holiday . Please stay at home. We have already reported adults who simply don’t care.

To our goverment you will NOT walk alone majority have your back, please don’t relent . You have our full support , The Kenyans who ignore the rules please get firm , tough and ruthless.

Folks Corona is here , it’s fight or flight . We cannot afford the latter we must fight and give it a TKO. I believe we can and as always I choose to remain an optimist.

Mohammed Hersi
Mombasa .

Corona Virus is testing our faith , testing our way of life . It’s disrupting everything.

This was my prayer corner today with a small mat enough for just one , a Friday a big day for Muslims many of us were left to say prayers on our own.

Corona is testing our faith, corona is testing our way of life , corona is disrupting everything .

Mosques started to limit acess to the ablution blocks , we were asked to prepare at home before you get to the mosue to reduce the risk and finally the mosques were closed today . Jamia Mosque in the heart of Nairobi CBD closed two days ago.

Muslim we are expected to pray five times a day , for men it is recommended you go to the mosque and join a congregation on the other hand women are allowed pray at home. Today I was on my own and we could not even join as colleagues at the office so that we comply with social distancing . Folks we are officially in uncharted waters.

According to my faith you are supposed to self isolate if you are suffering from an infectious disease. I believe same applies to other faiths including our strong African culture.

Vatican home to the Catholic faith complied weeks ago while home to my faith Makka has virtually closed down we then have some ” religious leaders ” in Kenya chest thumping that they will not close . Well any such ignorant person is a danger to his followers that is certainly not a Mosque a Church Or Temple that is a cult. Please run away .

While World Health Organisation has virtually written off Africa we may just surprise the world by defeating this virus , please let us surprise the world.

To our CS Mutahi Kagwe Asante Sana for bringing sanity to such a key docket. You have led from the front from Day 1. To GOK keep up the good work . We are together in this .

To my friend Mzee Francis Atwoli Ebs Corona is not a child’s play . Even super powers are running helter skelter. You claim we cant stand a lock down please note we are almost there and maximum respect to Kenyans who are listening to their goverment . Last evening I walked into City Mall Mombasa and a guard whipped a thermometer gun to check my temperature and sanitizer on the side then security check . You have a huge following please guide them wisely. Sierra Leone and Liberia went into lockdown to defeat deadly Ebola lest you forgotten . They are poorer than us.

Back to my prayer corner it is now you and your God. It’s time to reflect hard , entire world is coming to a halt. Everyone is rushing back home, if we had a choice where to die everyone would choose home . It is human nature . Airlines are all looking for parking space , stock exchanges are collapsing but I am also optimistic that we shall overcome but first this is a true test for any believer. We are NOTHING . We can invent Everything but some invisible bug has made us equal.

While we are believers the same teachings also support science so anyone who says science alone is enough is lost. We combine prayers with science . Did someone say …..Titanic was UNSINKABLE

Fact: If you caught the virus today Mbagathi awaits you and it you are to die from it I don’t think Lee Funeral will accept your body . That is the reality check.

Folks as we head to a weekend please take good care of yourself with your loved ones . Please choose to act responsible.

As always I choose to remain an optimist that Allah will guide us to overcome this unseen dangerous virus.

Mohammed Hersi

We must enforce social distancing at the ferry crossing Mombasa.

I have heard more noise than solution on how to control the huge numbers of people crossing the ferry on foot where social distancing is ignored.

Best Illustrations on social distance

My simple solution .

1. Let them queue,  maintaining the required one metre gap. The queue can stretch as far back as Pandya Hospital Roundabout.

On Likoni side the same queue system shall apply stretching towards Shelly Beach Road.

There should be no more holding of pedestrians at the yard to avoid any potential spread of virus . It will be a queue and they will maintain the same social distancing in the ferry.

We have National Youth Service who can implement this with ease. Don’t bring armed police . Masses detest being forced . Teach them why this is important.

2. Suspend the use of the old ferry that does not have a sitting area. The notorious old ferry where pedestrians are packed like sardines while standing  should be stopped ferrying pedestrians

3. Consider spraying the passenger ferry before loading again. A team is kept ready to do that to avoid delays

Anyone asking us to stop ferry crossing, they think that people who cross this channel do it for pleasure but again some of those leaders making such calls are ignorant, forgive them, they don’t know.

I hope and trust my Bro Bakari Gowa will consider this simple ideas.

Mohammed Hersi

You have served your term , please go home.

A big NO to set up of Regional Goverments.

What is Devolution ?

What is the current county goverment ?

Is this NOT Majimbo?

Why would anyone create another layer of regional representation?

If coast is to go that direction then Rift Valley will also ask for maybe 6 regions, Nyanza will follow then Nairobi will also demand to be divided into regions.

Folks let’s get real. We must stop creating offices that serve individual interest as and when . Kenya is already struggling big time with the current county goverments. It’s just too expensive to maintain , on the other hand many counties were better off under the municipality and county councils I dare say that . Bad roads, terrible garbage management, struggling Medicare etc is now the norm . Look at your capital city .

Folks globally if you’ve served your term as a senator, governor, MP even President please don’t insist to hang around , that office is NOT oxygen you won’t die. If it’s withdrawal syndrome fear factor no worries we can afford to fund some counselling sessions . Trust me ordinary life has its beauty .

Let other Kenyans also serve and let Barack Obama inspire you. He is still energetic having led the most powerful nation on earth and he is now enjoying life and speaking engagements. There is life more than a public office besides when we agreed on a term there was a reason.

Please go home and chill and don’t insist on creating a new office that does not exist. If you desire a higher office then run for President and fight for it .

Well as always in my small way I do influence thoughts and if this will be part of the referendum I will vote NO but I still choose to remain an optimist that sense will prevail.

I say a BIG NO to Regional Goverment.

Mohammed Hersi

GOK. You truly let down our young sportsmen and women*

Waking up to Shujaa Team beating South Africa is so refreshing . 36 / 14 is NO MEAN achievement.

At Rugby Sevens , we have lost to South Africa most of the time if not all the time .

Truth be said , our sportsmen and women really do us proud despite the bad treatment they receive . When you look at the pitch where our rugby players train it is like a grazing field , imagine if we gave them the facilities .

Our female football national team against all odds almost qualified for the Olympics . I have now seen that five of them have landed professional playing careers in Portugal. Cyprus & Sweden. Do you know what it means to the family of those poor girls?

Harambee Starlets

What about our Volleyball team ? Against all odds they beat rest of Africa to qualify for the Olympics . Again several of them have landed professional contracts in Europe. Do the people who manage sports in this country know what that means to those poor girls ? One of them lives in a mud hut grass thatched and that is in 2020. That young lady will now be able to uplift the lives of her family and her other siblings .

Malkia Stars

A country like Nigeria rakes in billions from their footballers .

What is so hard in fixing the facilities and you give these low of the low but talented youth a chance in life ?

What is so hard in building a damn stadium with a good playing field, gym +++. Jubillee lied to Kenyans and that is a Known Known. They lied to the young people in this country. Mr President you can still redeem your legacy in getting the stadias done. Our Chinese friends can easily fix 5 to 10 stadium in under 2 years . They are building in under 10 days a 1000 bed Hospital to handle Coronavirus. I honestly don’t mind one more borrowing for the sake of sports .

To fix a stadia is NO rocket science . It is concrete steps in the sitting area and playing field. Poorer countries have done it and here we are insisting we care for sports while we don’t.

We lost supersports KPL sponsorship just like that with our BAD HABIT of eating.

A failed PS in Sports a colourless PS I dare say is transferred to another docket instead of getting fired . Talk of cuddling mediocrity.

We only know how to take credit when the teams do Well. Does GOK know what our volleyball team went through at Kasarani. Boiling hot water using an electric coil in a bucket to get hot water for bathing . It was shared between all of them in cold Nairobi. What is so hard in booking them at even a 3 star hotel with running hot water . One of the girls had to bring a TV from home for them to watch at their so called camp.

Despite all that they made mince meat of other teams . Egypt and Hosts Cameroon had their camps in Europe while we dumped ours at Kasarani but when they do well we pretend that we care for them.

We brag about our Athletes. Athletics is more of individual efforts again not a single stadium or decent gym for weight training. Thanks to the organised agents and sponsors.

To GOK allow me to teach you basic economics . We export flowers to earn forex. We bring in tourists to earn Forex. When we help our youth to excel in Sports and land lucrative contracts that is serious forex coming in. What is so hard in making that happen ? What is hard in getting that ????

Kenya Premier League is struggling today . I asked a key official in my team mighty Gor how much we would need to get the KPL working . He said with Ksh 1.5B to Ksh 2B a year we will have the best premier league and our footballers can then focus without having to worry how they will get paid. You tell me how much have been stolen by some pot bellied chap ?

Well to our young men and women this Sunday I salute you . Don’t give up . Almighty God will help you shine and the young footballers heading to Europe is enough testimony that God will never forsake you. Hard work pays and thanks to TV coverage that exposed your achievement at CECAFA tournament in Dar es Salaam

To GOK please hang you head in shame . Don’t wait at the finish line to bask in glory . That is bad manners.

For now Hongera Shujaa Team

As always I choose to remain an optimist by also being candid with those who fail us miserably.

Mohammed Hersi

Nairobi hotels are not in distress, if anything they are growing.

Good people I have seen a list of hotels either closing or are under duress on various chat groups.

Brand New Raddison Arboretum

While pessimists love to share anything and everything bad please allow me to shed light as follows .

Every product has a shelf life and at some point it plateus. If you don’t invigorate it then it dies. There is also nothing wrong to close and bounce back bigger and better .

While that list focused on some 7 or so hotels we have also have double that number opening in Nairobi while old brand names like Nairobi Serena undergoing a major refurb. Currently Sarova Panafric is doing the same and they are even adding more new rooms.

Mayfair is closing shop since the owner a Kenyan family who own the property wants to redevelop the plot and that may include a hotel. Tsonga Sun were only managing . Anyone saying a South African hotel group is exiting Kenya due to bad times is misinformed. You are just ignorant.

Jacaranda I feel for them . Hotel business and shareholders feuds don’t go together . I hope and pray they resolve their issues soonest possible. Jacaranda is a beautiful hotel in a prime location.

Windsor is going some rough patch as well but downsizing to plan a comeback is very much part of business but again a location to die for.

Stunning Windsor Golf & Country Club

Pride Inn MD / Owner has made it clear . What was said about Lantana was nothing but nonsense. Hasnain Noorani please keep going and you have full faith in Kenya .

Boma is a good business but highly geared and that may not work very well in the hotel industry . Financing a project 100% debt financing is always a long shot but I strongly believe good management can help them come out of their financial turbulence.

The Boma. With right model they’ll bounce back

So much about bad news , now the following brand new hotels have opened.

We now have three yes 3 Radissons in Nairobi.

Hilton 2 and soon 3.

We now have 3 Airport hotels . 5 years ago we had none. 1 Hilton. 1 IHG. I Sheraton.

Hilton Garden Inn serving JKIA

Tribe added a brand new hotel trendy hotel Trademark at Village Market . Go have a look .

City Lodge at Two another great addition.

Then Ole Sereni major expansion which has just been completed

Then throw into the mix Villa Rosa Kempinski. Crowne Plaza. Best Western and I can go on and on and on.

To those who see nothing but doom pole sana you will have to wait for a very long time.

Are we facing challenges ? Of course we are . If you don’t want challenges then please don’t get out of bed. You cannot talk about the weather when you are still in bed.

Folks as always I choose to remain an optimist.

Mohammed Hersi

Chairman Kenya Tourism Federation .

Social Media Bullies…Don’t hesitate to block them .

I have seen friends deactivate their social media accounts because of bullying by characters who feel they own the cyber space.

First things first. Your timeline on FB or handle on Twitter is YOUR personal space . You have been given the title deed by FB and Twitter to that space hence no one and I repeat no one has any business to get into your space to bully you.

If one is faceless without a profile picture I don’t enagage faceless souls / cowards. I simply BLOCK them because they fail Test No 1 of social media . TRANSPERANCY. There is a reason why FB and Twitter have given us the option to block such toxic characters.

There is a big difference disagreeing on something and folks who do nothing but at any given opportunity would write toxic stuff. These are chaps who never create any content but they just trol others spewing toxic. Real existing people , we may not agree on issues at all times but RESPECT & DECORUM is key. I have many of them as friends.

I have witnessed characters who attempt to draw boundaries for you on what you can say or post. I tend to comment on many issues be it business , career and even political status both local and global. For one to be able to comment on issues you MUST develop the good habit of reading books and good books for that matter. Reading opens your mind and reading a book is like spending time with the author. When you read autobiography on world leaders it’s like you spent time with them . It took them years to write such a book.

Back to the toxic fellows, these are people who are unhappy with themselves. They are busy working hard to get you to join them in their corner in being toxic. Some are even unhappy when I thank goverment be it national or county. These toxic chaps do not know the power of GRATITUDE. A simple thank you means alot .

How do you deal with such chaps , faceless ones BLOCK THEM PAP.

Real existing people try to engage them and 80% of the time you’ll become great friends . If it doesn’t work and they keep bullying you well simple block them as well since they came looking for you on your timeline.

Folks don’t quit social media because of such characters . Lock them in the trash bin where they belong. Taka Taka.

Well as always I choose to remain an optimist that I would meet ladies and Gentlemen on this huge social media platform. Truth be said I have made friends and met many including families who are now my best of friends.

DO NOT EMPOWER ANYONE TO MAKE YOU UNHAPPY. Let no one smoke you out of social media . We are here to stay.

Mohammed Hersi

When shall we tap all this water going to waste ?

Masinga Dam excess water being released to avoid flooding in the locality

Last weekend I travelled to Garissa for a family function.

A couple of weeks ago I did ask on this same forum the best route to take .

Going I opted to hit Mombasa Road till Kibwezi and took right turn to Kitui. I must commend GOK for the beautiful road and what a pleasure and the scenery.

I am not a stranger to Kamba land since I attended both O and A level in Eastern province. Mutomo , Kitui and Mwingi were places that are familiar but the road then was rough and dusty.

Last week was all wet and rain and at some point we had to cross a very swollen river ( bridge was intact ) which was Athi River and I could not believe how much water Almighty God had sent our way . We even prayed for rain early this year at the height of biting drought.

The road construction is ongoing with a few miles to go to Kitui town . Some chap even directed me to some short cut where a stream was flowing to bypass the road diversion. I decided to follow the rest of the motorists to avoid becoming one of the motorists who followed the advice of a guy in the middle of nowhere.

The road from Kitui to Mwingi was also very good. I was pleasantly surprised with Mwingi which looked quite neat and well kept. It was also nice to see some good eateries that have come up since the last time I was in this part of our beautiful country.

The stretch from Mwingi to Garissa used to be a good road but security was never that good but not anymore . We drove to Garissa without any issues as dusk set in.

Well Garissa was pitch dark since street lights were not functioning due to some dispute between Garissa County and our usual suspects Kenya Power . Garissa County has some work to do.

Why am I narrating this ?

While I criss crossed from Mombasa. Kilifi. Kwale. Taita Taveta . Makueni . Kitui and Garissa county and on my return Tana River County I saw no evidence of water harvesting in pans and small dams. Those are 8 counties.

The only county where I saw some attempt of water harvesting was along Mwingi Garissa Road.

All these counties I mentioned are water stressed counties. Why is it so difficult to deliberately dam some of these seasonal streams and use this water in drier months ?

When you fly across Europe, USA and even many parts of Asia you will not fail to see the hundreds of water pans everywhere . Once you do that you simply pump the water to a higher level and you give your people uninterrupted supply of water year old round both for farming and domestic use. I thought GOK/ Jubilee to deliver on agriculture as a Big 4 , water is a critical success factors. Bore hole is NOT a solution.

I believe even CDF and the county goverment should be able to do simple water pans to harvest all the water that is going to waste.

It took vision in the 70’s and very early 80’s for the Seven Forks dam to generate power. The people living around the dam will tell you about the micro weather that has resulted from such mass of water.

The same can be replicated downstream. We are currently losing all the top soil that is swept to the ocean . The red soil is destroying our corals in the ocean which helps to keep the balance .

Looking at the water gushing out of Masinga going to waste is one BIG failure by successive regimes.

Ukambani Garissa and most parts of coast should not be facing drought every other year when God give is so much water. God gave us brain to think and work around the challenges we face.

Kenya is not short of resources , leadership is what is failing is from national to county level.

Folks we just can’t continue leaving such good rains to go to waste and 9 months later we are praying to God to help us deal with drought, Well God will be upset with us.

These are challenges but we can surmount them.

Well as always I choose to remain an optimist

Mohammed Hersi

What a move by Rwanda and Qatar….

Visionary move by Rwanda and Qatar.

For a long time location has been Kenyas biggest competitive edge since Kenya was considered almost the centre of Africa. 4 hours flight to any corner of Africa so KQ was well placed to exploit it.

Ethiopia is also in good location but closed economy , military rule and communism policies held them back. While Ethiopia Airlines is older at 73 years even older than BA 43 or Lufthansa 63 they never grew over the years. Until 15 years ago ET fleet was fewer than KQ and passengers numbers were less than half.

Today they handle double our numbers and they are now set to topple Joburg from the top spot thanks to all the mess SAA is going through.

Now coming back to Rwanda.

Kigali is now even more centred right in the heart of Africa.

They have a goverment and President that drive enablers . PK is obsessed with excellence and hates mediocrity. His execution commitment is second to none. Corrupt people have no space let alone to create drama.

The airport at Bugesera is a huge project. PK is inspired by LKY. That airport project has been on paper for close to 15 years and funding was a huge challenge.

Now Qatar ended up being marooned by neighbours who closed their airspace, Middle East geopolitics at work and they had to think out of the box literally hence they are getting a solution in another continent ( in another box ) . It’s clear they are going to bed with Rwanda to go round that nonsense of sanctions . Simply put they are replicating another Doha but in Africa and they can fly to any country in the world with ease as RwandaAir. It is a win win . Rwanda and Qatar two small countries in terms of size are coming together and I salute both leadership.

On the other hand Qatar has just found a great launch pad into the African continent. Due to lack of good roads air travel is still the only option but it is not developed . Imagine for once when they enter DRC Congo and Nigeria big time with RwandaAir backed by a reliable hub similar to Changi or Doha.

All West Africans will opt for Kigali , it’s closer and they consider them truly an African country. Kigali is one country that lifted Visa for all Africans. You may not believe that but I have met many West Africans who considered KQ more African than Ethiopia and it is one reason many still use KQ despite the bad treatment they get at our hub.

Kigali will go places.

Security is key for any hub and thanks to the Somalia mess we are considered not so safe.

In a nutshell everyone will feel the heat including Ethiopian and all the reason why KQ must get it’s ducks in a row.

All the reason why we must fix our summer airport JKIA . It was lied to us that we have an all weather airport.

For a long time we have been the tallest dwarf but soon one of the dwarfs is going to grow and get really tall just like Singapore and become a true giant.

On branding they just signed a deal with PSG football club to target the French market . They already have Arsenal for the English market . They are looking for a good team in the Bundesliga and La Liga . Don’t be surprised if they signed up Bayern and Real Madrid then next stop is American Football and NBA and then Canada Hockey league. Why America and Canada ? These are the guys who can afford to pay the $1500 gorilla tracking fees. Rwanda is taking business segmentation to another level. They are not targeting any Tom, Dick or Harry.

Rwanda is not rich to afford such signings but they are sacrificing for a better bigger tommorow.

Now you know and as always I choose to remain an optimist .

Mohammed Hersi