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Two Cabinet ministers, I have spoken to about President Kibaki say what a delightful old man he is to work for.
Two Cabinet ministers, I have spoken to about President Kibaki say what a delightful old man he is to work for.

Ministers always get an appointment to discuss official ministerial business with the boss.

During those sessions, he is animated and engaged (a world removed from his usual circuitous elocution) so long as the discussion is business.

When the discussion turns to political rumours, fitina and “I have a very close friend from Korea who would like few a minutes of your valuable time, sir”, then the circumstances become, um, a little challenging for the minister.

Of course, they would praise the man who has the power to appoint and disappoint.

And, let’s not forget, ODM ministers who accuse him of stealing their votes have a distinctly divergent take on the issue.

Be that as it may, this sounds like a guy I can do business with. I like machines; let me rephrase, I like powerful, fast machines. I find the printing press, which, in full operation, sounds like an earthquake, a wonderful thing and I just stand and absorb the mayhem for hours.

I am also a little partial to powerful, well-machined (in American enunciation) motor vehicles.

I don’t know where in this argument I should insert the terminology “ergo”, put it here if you wish, I am, therefore, very excited about the new Thika highway.

It’s the next best thing to flying. You enter it in Thika and you never see Ruiru, Juja, Githurai and all those other places which used to manufacture traffic jams. You fly over them.

How would it feel to cruise from Kenol to the City Centre in an Aston Martin DB9?

Now we’ll never know. Because the most amazingly kumbafu thing has been done to that beautiful road.

They have built the ugliest, highest, most destructive speed bumps ever. But the really horrible thing is putting a speed limit of 50kph.

If they have done these things because the contractor is still on site and some nancy boys in Subarus might kill someone, then that is fine.

But if those things are permanent, what is the point of spending Sh30 billion on bumps and a speed limit that is insufficient to clear traffic?

This road was not built just to get tomatoes to Wakulima Market or the Women’s Guild to the song competition at KICC.

It was also so that rich, motor sport-loving, middle-aged men — the fellows who paid for the party — can have an afternoon with a little wind in the hair.

If Mr Kibaki is a real sport, there are two things he can do: first, order those bumps removed and proper walkways built for pedestrians.

If he is in a good mood, he can also ask that motorway regulations be developed to keep matatus on the service roads and the bus lane and that if any matatu driver strays to the rest of the road he is shot on the left leg on the spot.

Finally, if he is in an expansive mood, he can ask his minister for Industrialisation to make available free exemptions for motor enthusiasts to import, restore, love, race and show off some great motor vehicles.

And this is not free stuff; the government can collect a lot of taxes on chamois cloths, turtle wax, paint, spares and accessories, a hefty tax on the ingredients for Indian korogas and cook-outs and so on.

Another thing, what’s he going to do in retirement? Sit in the house the whole day? He is better off toodling around with us on an old, enormous Harley Davidson.

If Mr Kibaki does not grant these wishes (and I have a feeling he will not) then my appeal goes to all these presidential candidates we have crawling out of our hair.

Promise to fix these things for us and, whereas I probably won’t give you my vote for it, I will do the next best thing: I shall request my daughters to include you in their dramatic, if fervent, bedtime prayers. Amen.

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Since we have written a frivolous column, let’s end the thing with a flourish. I got this on Facebook. An Arab prince writes to his sheikh father:

“Dear Dad, Berlin is wonderful, people r nice and I really like it here bt Dad I am a bit ashamed 2 arrive at my own college with my pure-gold Ferrari 599GTB, when my all teacher and many fellow student travel by train. Your son, Ahmed.”’

Sheikh replies: “My dear loving son. 20 million US Dollar has been transferred 2 ur account. Please stop embarrassing us. Go and get yourself a train too.