Mercury Retrogade

Three or four times a year, for about three weeks at a time, Mercury appears to us mortal humans to be orbiting backwards, or in retrograde. This is supposed to cause a disruption in our ability to communicate. In other words, three or four times a year, for three or so weeks at a time, we are allowed to cast interstellar blame for our cussing out, miscommunications, gossip talk, typos, swearing in front of religious children, badly worded texts, and professional failings. In 2018, the first occurrence is supposed to be sometime between March 22nd and April 15th (Dates to be confirmed by the astrologists).

It would however seem that the retrograde is active 24/7 in the Kenyan scene. It remains a madhouse where the persuasion to relish in rumor, speculation and conspiracy theories is booming. You only have to have a Twitter account to bare witness. The more the sensationalism the better. So much so that it seems that sometimes even the news producers that we trust for reliable information, lay more credence to such scandalizing stories. Hence the perpetuation of investigative journalism, read Jicho Pevu, where Mohammed and John helped to unearth hidden gems. All the while taking investigative journalism (and ratings) to the newer heights. Its all about ratings and euphoria right?

Admittedly, I am one of the proponents of the dishing nation. I love me a good and juicy conspiracy theory. Guilty as charged. With that said, I can’t help but to reminisce on some moments that were rife with speculation.

December saw Kenyans hail against the high tariffs imposed suddenly by KPLC. I had to reassess all my appliances just to make sure I was not running an EPZ-scale factory when my tokens were way less than the norm. Coincidentally, days later both Kenya and Uganda were plunged into total darkness for hours on end. In 2018! So much 21st century modernization. KPLC claimed ‘power system disturbance, upgraded systems and Uganda’s shared interconnection with the Kenyan grid’ as their backing reason. This only served to bring back to light the monopoly in the country, with the competitors remaining candles and charcoal (*cough cough* Kengen).

Secondly, what the fuck happens to the unga prices in this country? I was in utter shock when I recently visited two Tuskys branches with absolutely no ugali flour in sight. Yet the farmers are harvesting maize(in surplus) as we breathe. This has been a recurring trend with the last bite being just before the contested elections. Funny how the 90 bob unga disappeared as quickly as the Nairobi Business Community. Political ploy perhaps?

Consequently, were mall owners really honest in their brutal expulsion of Nakumatt stores? Stories are hyped with all sorts of conspiracies ranging from alleged ties to silent shareholders withdrawing, to the untimely closing of Imperial and Charterhouse Banks that were allegedly affiliated to Nakumatt. Let’s not forget the mysterious death of that auditor following his discovery of the 50M global card fraud some 3 or so years ago.


Another honorable mention is the Marsabit White Elephant, because how is 4 billion sanctioned for contractual obligations of a much needed dam, and have nothing to show, damn near 10 years later. The solution to this problem was hiring a new consultant, by the way. Well, Minister Eugene Wamalwa, who was the face of the project, was given the boot following the newly appointed Cabinet. So we might never know. Yet another unsolved mystery.

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