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Ubungo Maziwa Railway Station to ‘take six routes a day’

He is quoted to have said: “I would like to call upon residents living 100 metres from the railway to immediately vacate ..... not a single person will be compensated”. Tough words indeed! Did the Minister require those living 100 metres from the railway to vacate? I do not think so. One hundred metres is the length of a football pitch. So if you are already 100 metres from the railway track why should you be required to vacate?

The writer does not tell us the maximum distance from the railway line, to which this order to vacate applies. It is suspected that the sentence is misconstrued. Basically, those who are supposed to vacate are those living WITHIN 100 metres of the railway track (each way?), not those living 100 metres FROM it.

The driver of the train that did the trial run of the new commuter train service applauded the government for the initiative to help decongest Dar es Salaam city: “He said the train will ‘take six routes’ a day”. Let us look at the meaning of the word “route” as applicable in these circumstances. A route is a way between two places that buses, trains, planes, ships, etc, regularly travel. So will our train be travelling between six different destinations every day?

This is highly unlikely since we already know that it will be travelling only between a point known as Ubungo-Maziwa, and the Main Railway station in Dar es Salaam. The writer is therefore not talking about a route, instead of which word he should have used “trip”. The train will be making six trips (not “routes”) a day. Note as well that we have changed the verb “take” into “make”. We congratulate the Government for this initiative and hope it will be sustainable.

We should however, not expect miracles. Running train services requires a lot of money and several other logistics. This may call for heavy subsidies. We remember the past when Dar used to have double decked buses. We remember when travel used to be by articulated and comfortable Ikarus buses. Hopefully, the economic mathematics of running a commuter train services has been worked out so that the trains start and continue working for a long time. Meanwhile, those of you who have property within 100 metres of the railway line do arrange to shift elsewhere. *****

The death of a journalist on duty in Iringa has angered many people especially the journalists and the political party (CHADEMA) that was conducting its business when the journalist was killed. We are told that: “CHADEMA wants JK to act on killing, chaos” (Custodian, 11 September, front page). “CHADEMA has ‘proposed’ resignation of several officials in ministries and departments ‘that were connected’, including the Home Affairs Minister..... In case they don’t resign, President Kikwete should fire them”.

To say “CHADEMA has ‘proposed’ the resignation ......” is to put it mildly. The Party must have “called for” (not “proposed”) the resignation of the various officials. Note that we are told that these ministries and departments “were connected” but we are not told to what they were connected. Could it that they are linked to the journalist’s death? CHADEMA has also called for the resignation of the Registrar of Political Parties.

When the latter was contacted to comment on this he is reported to have said he was not ready to respond to any of CHADEMA’s demands until the completion of a meeting in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi ‘where he is attending’”. Why did the writer decide to use the pronoun “where” in these circumstances? For it leaves the sentence hanging. What does “where he is attending” mean? My feeling is that the writer wanted to tell us that the Registrar was attending a meeting in Nairobi.

In which case the sentence needs to be re-written into something like: “ ..... the Registrar wasn’t ready to respond ..... until the completion of a meeting .... in Nairobi which he is attending”. “Which” instead of “where”! CHADEMA members and journalists (had) watched a video and still pictures depicting what happened in Nyololo village in Iringa that “ciliminsated” in the death of the journalist on September 2”. None of the various sources consulted, including those online, could give a clue as to the meaning of the word “ciliminsated”. My conjecture is that the writer had “culminated” and not “ciliminsated” in mind. May the soul of the departed journalist rest in peace!


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