Author Archives: Kariz

About Kariz

Thrilled by technology, innovation, music, current affairs, defence technologies, photography, travel, theatre and the arts. Also father, husband and writer. Twitter: @fkariuki

2017 Polls Analyses and Assumptions Using Math

Much of the analyses found on social media about the outcome of August polls have largely been informed by gut-feel and, depending on the analyst, fuelled by ethnic bigotry.

And if you have been listening to TV panelists during prime time news, you will agree with me that opinions are long on popular public chatter but short on trend analyses and number crunching.

Using the latest IEBC figures, good old Microsoft Excel and factoring 2013 voting patterns, I took advantage of the long Eid ul Fitr weekend to undertake emotion-free analyses of the chances that the two leading candidates for the presidency, Uhuru and RAO, have of occupying State House come August.

In my analyses, I have found that if RAO in August ‘inherited’ 5% of votes that UK got from EACH county in 2013 (but using latest 2017 official figures), the incumbent could still register a marginal win by approximately 128,000 votes.

But, hey, I do not claim to have monopoly of accurate assumptions. Mine are based on math, reasonable probability and, importantly, 2013 voting patterns.

What I did was study the actual stats from the 2013 polls. I looked at number of votes cast per county, voter turnout by county, and the votes that the two leading presidential candidates, RAO and UK, got in each county, all 47 of them. My analyses have been made simpler by the fact that like in 2013, RAO and UK are again the two leading candidates in 2017.

Different from the 2013 polls, IEBC created three more national ‘constituencies’ after recent voter recruitment drives. These are 1. Huduma centres 2. Universities and 3. Diaspora.

For these three constituencies, I have assumed that the two candidates will get votes at percentages similar to those heavily cosmopolitan Nairobi gave them in 2013.

In IEBC’s voter recruitment drives held post-2013, it is clear that zones perceived to be pro-Jubilee registered comparatively higher numbers of new voters than did NASA strongholds.

And did you know that Kajiado, which boosted in just four years its 2013 number of voters by 20%, and Mandera, are among counties that exceeded by a wide shot IEBC new voter registration targets? Interestingly, in 2013 Mandera defied the voting pattern of other NEP counties. Mandera is the only county in its province that overwhelmingly voted UK (93.2%) in the last polls. In the other counties of NEP, RAO beat UK.

It will also be interesting to see how Kajiado votes this time. In 2013, RAO and UK got 44.8% and 52.8% votes from this county respectively. But Kajiado has since registered a massive wave of new voters. I believe majority of these are natives of central Province. Why? Because Kajiado borders populous Kikuyu areas and, secondly, the House of Mumbi is certainly the single largest immigrant community in this county.

Anyone can make assumptions on how the 2017 polls will turn out. In my analyses, I decided to look at a reasonably possible worst case for the incumbent, UK. I assumed that relative to the 2013 polls, his performance per county – including his strongholds, will this time in percentage terms worsen by 5%. Note use of ‘5%’. Not ‘5% points’.

If Uhuruto’s camp haemorrages 5% of the percentages won in each county in 2013, it means someone has to benefit from this loss. So I applied this 5% loss of Uhuru percentage votes per county in favour of RAO.

In short, I assumed that come August, RAO will ‘inherit’ this loss of UK votes. Let’s call this assumption the Uhuruto voter haemorrage scenario.

And I have used latest IEBC figures per county in my assumptions. I looked at what each of the two leading candidates got in 2013, and what the voter turnout was in each of the counties then. I have further assumed the same voter turnout per county in 2017 as it was in 2013.

Then I used the latest 2017 numbers from IEBC, ‘discounting’ 5% from the percentage (not the number) of votes that UK got from each county, including Uhuruto strongholds, in 2013, and applying that ‘discount’ to boost RAO’s tally, based on what the latter got per county.

Let me illustrate what I mean, using one county as an example:

From IEBC stats, 90.8% of all votes cast in Kiambu in 2013 were, needless to say, in favour of UK. So what I have done in my analysis is discount the 90.8% votes by 5% to come to 86.3%, which is the percentage that I have, perhaps harshly, assumed UK will get in August.

And since RAO actually got 7.9% of votes cast in Kiambu in 2013, my assumption is that in 2017, he will harvest an additional premium of 5% of the percentage vote he got in 2013. Thus the 7.9% for RAO in 2013 becomes 8.3% in 2017.

In short, I have assumed that UK’s loss in each of the 47 counties will become RAO’s gain. And when I simulated the Uhuruto voter haemorrage scenario across all counties (plus the three ‘constituencies’) on MS Excel, it turned out that UK would garner 8,018,906 votes against RAO’s 7,890,093.

Moreover, I have not seen the need to add Mudavadi’s votes to RAO’s tally. Mudavadi garnered 484K votes in 2013. Whilst this figure seems significant, the newly registered voters in pro-Jubilee zones will put a check on that.

For example, Nyanza and Western combined registered about 752,000 new voters since the last elections. On the other hand, Central and Rift Valley combined registered close to 1.4 million new voters! And, mark you, I have not even included Upper Eastern’s (Meru) avalanche of new voters.

Also, I have heard some observers argue that Isaac Ruto will inflict significant loss of votes for the Jubilee camp in Rift Valley, and Kipsigis areas in particular. I am not sure Isaac Ruto has enough clout to spoil the Jubilee party in a significant way.

Consider this: At the height of the spat between the two Rutos, William and Isaac, Charles Keter, a Kipsigis from Isaac’s backyard, was appointed to the Cabinet, thereby occasioning a by-election. Contrary to widespread expectation, the vacant seat was not won by Chama Cha Mashinani but by Jubilee.

In any case, voters in 2017 are far more enlightened nowadays to discern when a candidate is a ‘spoiler’.

Overall, if I were Jubilee, I would work overtime to creatively charm, and win, new voters from NASA areas, thereby creating splits. Jubilee seems to be doing just that. On the other hand, NASA would do well to avoid talk of ‘us’ and ‘them’.

Why? Because their greatest chance arguably does not lie in traditional NASA areas but in Jubilee ones. Remember, NASA seems to have more political goodwill now in Jubilee areas than it did in 2013. In fact, Raila’s chances lie in his camp prying significant chunks of votes from Jubilee zones, and Nairobi.

Thus NASA should be busy staging charm offensives in pro-Jubilee zones, not antagonising them by using innuendoes that have a whiff of revenge, or hate. But alas, they dont have much time.

As was the case in 2013, voter turnout in their respective strongholds will be extremely key for the two front runners.

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Series of Tactical Mistakes That Led Airtel To Its Current Woes 

Lately, debate has raged on social and mainstream media on whether Safaricom was actually a dominant player in Kenya’s telecommunications sector. 

Those accusing the Telco of unfair dominance are quick to cite its disproportionately high numbers of subscribers and bulging market share. 
But they forget that Airtel (initially Kencell), which has been touted as the greatest ‘victim’ of the alleged dominance, started operations at the same time as the Vodafone-affiliated player.

I don’t think disproportionately higher customer numbers are an irrefutable pointer to one player being dominant over its competitors. In my observed opinion, having been one of the early crop of Kenyans to subscribe to a mobile provider at the turn of this century, Airtel is a victim of its own circumstances. 

Consider these strategic blunders that have haunted Airtel and her antecedent entities:


1.Mistake #1- Target Market Misjudged



When both Telcos started operations, Kencell, which was partly owned by Vivendi of France,  largely targeted the upmarket community. It was much easier to find the telco’s services and airtime being peddled in posh, sparsely populated locations. 

Contrariwise, Safaricom sim card agents and airtime salesmen milled with the masses – around matatu termini, in the suburbs, informal settlements, everywhere.

Safaricom gradually started pulling away from Airtel.

2.Mistake #2: Agents’ Commissions




Telco providers partnered with retail outlets, shop owners, pharmacies and the like to reach the masses. It was common for these shops to stock upon and sell both Safaricom and Kencell lines. 

However, Safaricom paid a fatter commission to the agents for every line sold. 

Thus, naturally, the agents convinced anyone who wanted connectivity to join the Safaricom bandwagon. 

And because calls were expensive then, more so across the different networks, everyone wanted to subscribe to the same network their loved ones, siblings and business associates had signed up to.

3.Mistake #3: Per Second Billing



Safaricom charged subscribers on per second basis. Kencell charged per minute. This made a huge difference at a time when the cost of calls was dear. 
Rival ads from Safaricom and Kencell raged in the media, each trying to prove why their billing method was the best.

 
What was obvious, however, was that with the high voice call tariffs, per second billing made much economic sense, particularly to the masses. So Safaricom won. 

Meanwhile, Kencell was so beleaguered by Safaricom in the media campaign that the former subsequently replaced their per-minute billing equipment.


4.Mistake #4: French Management at Kencell


France’s Vivendi saddled top leadership positions in Kencell with clueless, condescending French managers, who had scant understanding of local market behaviour, and hardly consulted. 

The result was that Kencell’s marketing strategies were incongruent to the market’s adoption inclinations.

5.Mistake #5: Kencell Rebrands to Celtel


The French abandoned ship and Vivendi sold their stake to Celtel. The result? Kencell rebranded to Celtel. A significant portion of Kencell’s clientele, particularly upcountry, could have been forgiven for thinking that Kencell was no more. 

Days after the changeover, airtime agents struggled to convince Celtel subscribers that Kencell-branded recharge cards worked. It would be naïve to imagine that the rebranding did not occasion subscriber attrition.

6.Mistake #6: Safaricom Delights


As Celtel was bogged down by the challenges that came with rebranding, Safaricom was busy doling out value-add services. If it wasn’t 191Direct, it was Please Call Me or Sambaza Airtime. Still, MPESA was yet to come.


7.Mistake #7:  Celtel Rebrands, Again, To Zain 


Celtel globally decided to cease investments in the telco sector. So Zain of Kuwait bought them out. The attendant changes in strategy and working culture undermined innovation at the Telco. 

Moreover, subscribers became more muddled by the changes.


8.Mistake #8: Customer Service Outsourced


The worst mistake any service company – be it an airline, insurer or telco, can do, it is to outsource customer service. Yet this is what the telco did. The BPO company that took over the customer service function had an interesting compensation package. 

Curiously, the shorter the duration of the subscriber calls it handled, the more it earned. Guess what happened as a result?
Naturally, the customer care agents rushed the calls, were poor listeners and showed little empathy to subscriber woes. Customer satisfaction levels plummeted and lots of exasperated subscribers dumped the telco. 

Little wonder that not too long afterwards, Zain wanted out.

9.Mistake #9: Zain Rebrands To Airtel



Need I say more? Airtel inherited a derelict Telco. The current owners have done little to shore up customer satisfaction and trust. The billing system  and subscribers have questioned the integrity of their billing system. 

I do not buy the argument that ascribes Airtel’s woes to a large extent on Safaricom being a dominant player. The adventure of the former has been replete with too many tactical mistakes for it to have become formidable. 

In my view, the greatest challenge for Airtel right now is to restore trust and improve on her customer service. This is far more important than attempting to charm its few remaining subscribers with new innovative solutions. 

Is The Dearth of Real Heroes Made Worse By Commercialisation Of Heroism?

Recently, a hitherto unknown crop of ‘Mau Mau veterans’ from Murang’a sent a petition to the county’s Assembly, seeking to have schools and hospitals named after them.

They sought ex-gracia payments to be made to them as tokens of appreciation and compensation. 

It is absurd, in my view, for individuals who undertake good deeds to file for reward. Such acts reek of corruption – at least that of the mind.

Real heroes are those who step forward from the shadows to rise to an occasion. To help. To save. To fight for a cause. Their good deeds being done without any contemplation by them of a reward, or to be in tomorrow’s headlines to soak up the limelight. That’s the stuff that distinguish ordinary men (and women) from extraordinary ones. 

 

I have a lot of disdain for people who step forward to claim some recognition or reward on the plea that they did well. 

My great uncle was a Mau Mau oath administrator. He fought for land freedom. He died, nay passed on, without much fanfare. I admire the way he sailed on, humility with him. Great. 

A veteran of WWII, he just played his part as a hero once he returned to his country.

I have a lot of disdain for, say, would-be good Samaritans who, finding your car stuck, hint or even explicitly negotiate for a reward in exchange for help.

However, recognition is good. What I find outrageous is people doing things for recognition sake. Our society, led of course by its government, should look up heroes hidden in the debris of humble obscurity, and recognize them.

And many heroes are found away from prime time news and screaming newspaper headlines.
 
Recognition can take the form of a plaque, monument or naming of a road after someone. 

Speaking of which…..why do we name a road ‘Thika Highway’? Why do we have Westlands Road? Or Jogoo road?

This country teems with so many heroes. And their name is not ‘Jogoo’.

We all know where Thika is. How about naming the highway after Muthoni Nyanjirû – that gallant woman who was shot dead in 1922 leading protests against Harry Thuku’s incarceration? Or Abdul Haji – he of the Westgate rescue effort? 

Certainly, both Haji and Muthoni never contemplated reward, or the limelight. Their sense of action was undoubtedly instinctive.

Such are my true heroes.

If I had it my way, the country would be replete with monuments and plaques celebrating real heroes. I’d name, say, Riverside Drive Abdul Haji Drive. And I’d identify a spot along the road on which a symbolic sculpture of the man would immortalize him. 

I’d do the same for other heroes on many roads, or structures. 

Besides serving as bookmarks of history, these monuments, if well conceived, could as well then become attractions for tourists, if not history enthusiasts such as I. And our kids would better appreciate and be inspired by the virtues of selflessness and heroism.

But to start off, we need to redefine the criteria and tactics that we use to recognize our true heroes. Otherwise future generations will judge us harshly on the approach we used to determine heroes.

Why Kenya Border Barrier Opponents Are Driving Me Up The Wall

For most opponents of the barrier wall that is set to be constructed on the border between Somalia and Kenya, the project is in vain because – the argument goes – the terrorists are within our boundaries anyway.

Isn’t that a bit like arguing that since past raids to a house have been through the fence situated at the rear, there is no need of putting up a solid gate at the front? 

 Security barrier in Israel

I strongly support the barrier. Israel’s border breaches by militants fell 75% within the first year of the Jewish state building theirs, the Koreas are separated by one, the Americans have it on their Mexico side and Bulgaria is currently building one on their border with Turkey. 

Granted, not all walls have been successful in warding off threats. Indeed, the wall is not the panacea to all our security woes. No one thing is; not the installation of security cameras everywhere or doubling the numbers of our police service members. We have to keep aiming to seal all avenues through which crime and terror rear their ugly head.

Others argue quite foolishly that the fact that certain characters will use the security barrier project to ‘eat’ is more reason why we should have no wall.

Even though this post is intended to defend the merits of the wall, not the process through which it comes to being, it would be the height of folly if we formed a habit of killing projects “so money is not ‘eaten'”. 

And if the argument is any philosophy by which to run affairs, we could as well shut down the port of Mombasa because contraband goods pass through it. 

 

I have nothing but despise for those who argue that having a wall is useless because the Al Shabaab threat is already within our border.

The Arabs have a saying – Pray to Allah but tie your camel. Let’s pray and tie all our camels. All of them. Including the wall.

Besides, the wall is not only for today’s security challenges. Think about tomorrow’s illegal incursions, or the influx of illicit arms and merchandise like sugar, drugs. Think also of how cheaper it will be in the long term, in terms of security headcount, patrol cars and fuel savings, for instance.

Moreover, the barrier won’t shut out Kenya from her eastern neighbour. There will be intervals at which cross border movement and interaction will be allowed, but in a controlled (read secured) way.

Disenchanting Service From Airtel Kenya

Airtel is a great brand. 

I mean, they have an expansive network covering a large part of Africa, calls made from their network are famed for their clarity and they have, for much of their presence in Kenya, weathered the gargantuan storm that is Safaricom’s dominance.

Who knows? One day, Airtel might just be Kenya’s – nay, Africa’s most successful network. 

But going by the disenchanting experience I had as their subscriber, the prospect of this happening is as low as the image I gathered of their service.

When I signed up to their postpaid service, I gave out my credit card details and granted the Telco the right to charge my card whenever my bill was due. However, on a number of occasions, they cut me off their network, each time explaining that I had reached my limit. 

I wondered why they wouldn’t just pay themselves off, which authority they already had from me. The billing, an official explained, happened once a month (if my recollection is correct, I was advised it took place around the 3rd of every month). Although they contractually may have been obligated to undertake the billings once monthly, I found this arrangement commercially inexpedient.

“Why not introduce dynamic billing”? I asked the official. “You are losing revenue because I will use my other (competing) line more while I wait for the 3rd of the month”, I offered helpfully. 

In these days of all-day traffic snarl ups and hectic schedules, no one wants to start making his way towards an Airtel shop in order to clear his bill. Not when he already gave out his credit card details so he can be spared the commuting and the queues (I didn’t even know how to pay up using Airtel money).

The consternation occasioned by the Telco’s confounding messages was yet another reason I found my continued subscription untenable.  Below are actual text alerts I received from Airtel Kenya. When I needed to top up my data bundle, I got message that advised that I was “already currently subscribed…”. To add insult to injury, the provider mocked me by asking me to try a data bundle that was within the Kshs. 0 range!

And if you thought that the foregoing faux pas was a flash in a pan, consider the alerts below. On the 7th of February this year, I received two text messages, each citing the fact that I owed Kshs. 16,936.77. This figure, according to one text message, was “above 60% of my credit limit…”. According to the second text message, sent not too long after the first one, the SAME figure was “above 80% of my credit limit…”

 
Confounding, eh? So, was it 60% or 80%?

As you may imagine, I called up Airtel Kenya seeking to establish whether (1) there was a problem with their billing/alerts system and (2), how on earth I could have used up that much money in a short period of time.

I cannot recall the explanation given to the first question. But on the second question, a customer service agent ruefully owned up to the fact that my credit card payment was inexplicably ‘forgotten’ during the previous billing cycle. So the amount owed had headed skywards as my card was not charged when the billing was last ran.

I was miffed! 

Here was a cellular provider that was playing catch-up in the market and who could not pay themselves despite being granted the unfettered authority to do so by their subscriber.

This incident became the proverbial last straw that broke the camel’s back. I couldn’t take it any more and proceeded to cancel my contract immediately – the fact that the contract cancellation process was itself another ordeal notwithstanding.

The only other time I contemplated canceling my contract – and in retrospect, probably should have – was four months earlier, in October of 2014. This was the very month in which I signed up for the postpaid service.

On Mashujaa day, my Airtel line received two text messages that came in in quick succession – actually seconds apart (see actual messages below). 

If you study the messages carefully, they were duplicate bill notifications for the same period. That is, I received two bills, both as at the same date, but roughly Kshs. 7,000/- apart.

  When I sought for an explanation, Airtel maintained – quite predictably, that the higher bill of Kshs. 18,642/- was the correct one. They even sent me an accompanying itemized bill of this amount a bit later. 

Could Airtel furnish me with the itemized bill that generated the lower bill of Kshs. 11,677/-, I asked. 

I remember laughing when, in response to this question, a customer service official haltingly explained that a hitch with the billing system had given rise to the billing discrepancy and that ‘only the corrected’ (higher) itemized bill could be generated.

I am sure Airtel means well. But it doesn’t show this in the services it offers. Going by my short-lived experience as a post-paid subscriber, it is difficult for me to maintain trust with the provider.

Indeed, Airtel Kenya even billed me on 5th May 2015 and I had to remind them on email that my line has been inactive since February. I further reminded them that they even acknowledged my service cancellation letter on the 23rd of February 2015.

Matatu DNA Is In Many Of Us

There is a difference – I dare posit, between observing and seeing. Similarly, there is a difference between hearing and listening.

I do hope that the authorities, particularly those in law enforcement, will listen to this post, not merely hear what I have to say.

‘Impunity’ is a word that has been bandied a great deal in our country. It’s resounding in prime time news, debate shows, in our local dailies and ubiquitous radio waves. A day doesn’t pass before one hears the word.

The greatest impunity in our society is not the obscure yet wanton graft that transpires within the walls of public institutions. It’s not in the ‘briefcase’ wheeler-dealing that takes place away from our prying eyes and cocked ears.

No.

The greatest impunity is that which manifests itself everyday under our very noses. It’s in the streets. It’s in how we drive, in turning public roads and footpaths into small open-air shops, in carting our mikokotenis on the wrong side of the road, real examples are inexhaustible.

Do you see my point?

Our roads are indisputably the most famous theaters of impunity. Matatu drivers bully us everyday and everywhere. They overlap, make sudden stops, drive with reckless abandon, break virtually every traffic rule on the book. The public is helpless because matatu drivers and a growing number of private motorists have triumphed over those responsible for maintaining law and order.

My 4-year old son doesn’t see or hear about the runaway white-collar graft happening in side parastatals. But I fear that he and many other kids are growing up learning that it’s ok to be a lout; that being rebellious on the road and in the streets is cool.

It is this visible impunity that the authorities should resolutely rein on not merely because of the illegality involved, but also due to the fact that the tacit tolerance by law enforcers is encouraging a general state of matatu-type lawlessness in our society. When a generation learns that its society condones bad manners, it gets emboldened to disregard every fabric of the law with care-free abandon.

A parent striving to raise law abiding kids is looking up to you public authorities charged with bringing about law and order to diligently play your part.

But, are you listening?

As for matatu drivers and reckless private motorists in these days of incessant traffic jams – I have a practicable idea that will bring about order on the road (particularly in the major urban towns).

Central and county government agencies are increasingly on social media. It’s not lost on me that electronic evidence is now admissible in courts of law in Kenya.

So how about initiating a campaign allowing citizenry to share photo or video evidence of offending motorists on Twitter and Instagram with the authorities? For this to work, just adopt a hashtag that can be used, say, #NyumbaKumiReport, and then feedback a case reference number within an hour to the person reporting an incident. 

If I had it my way, I would see to it that the prosecuting authorities via mobile money share a percentage of the resultant fines (upon successful prosecution) with the individual who volunteers incriminating evidence. Sounds far-fetched? I don’t think so. It can be done. Stay with me.

All you do is start off an online portal on which any adult can register. One should even be able to register anonymously, provided that they disclose their mobile numbers, Twitter and Instagram handles. They can bare their identities privately should they be required to testify in court.

Overall, collaborative efforts are needed to stem impunity. Use of social media whistle-blowing tactics, especially where there is indisputable, ready incriminating evidence can go a long way in encouraging a law-abiding society.

Of course, corruption has a way of fighting back any initiatives that threaten its very existence. It takes nose-to-the-grindstone guts to adopt and oversee ideas such as the one described here.

Matatu drivers have guts, and they don’t care. To get rid of our increasingly matatu-type society, we need a leader who similarly doesn’t care, and has guts. I care much about our country. I don’t care what morally acceptable methods we use to become a great Society.

We have been ‘business as usual’ for far too long. It’s about time the authorities concerned became ingenious and employed business unusual tactics to overcome the threats to our societal well-being. By publishing this post, I’ve played my role as a private citizen.

If you believe nothing is impossible, I am listening.

Is The Car You’re Driving A Fraud?

Did you know that an estimated 90% of used cars being sold in Kenya have their odometers (mileage meter) tampered with?

Well, these statistics are not scientific. I obtained them from representatives of two separate car dealers in Nairobi. They both surmised that 90% of used cars are tampered with before being sold off to unsuspecting motorists.

If you are plotting to buy a used car in the near future, please read on. You, too, if you already bought a car.

By law, a used car being imported is supposed to be inspected based upon documents from the country of origin. This documentation is usually accurate and reliable.

Upon being inspected by contracted agents such as the ever reliable JEVIC, the car’s general condition is ascertained and published. The car’s make, chassis number, odometer reading, etc. are also logged and registered with KEBS. This is a condition not just for importation, but also for registering the car in-country (Kenya).

What happens thereafter, however, is that unscrupulous dealers – and they are many – will rewind the odometer reading in the desperate but wicked attempt to sell the car fast, and at a fraudulent premium.

Please note that this tampering exercise happens AFTER inspection. After, because the process is hard to manipulate before (inspection).

So, for example, a car will land at Mombasa port with its odometer reading a mileage of, say, 126,120km. But by the time it is being disposed of at a yard in Nairobi, its odometer will be reading 46,160km.

A prospective buyer will then delight in the fact that the car has been scarcely used when, in fact, the car had been burning rubber on Japanese roads day and night.

Only this afternoon did I bust a Ngong road-based dealer (Ami-pal Motors) who had custody of a car I sought to buy. Individuals purporting to be the used car dealer’s agents knew that the car’s odometer had been falsified but hid the fact until I undertook a professional assessment via JEVIC.

It took minutes for the JEVIC expert to blow the used car dealer’s cover. The mileage, at a little over 65,000 kilometers, had been understated by a whopping 100,000 kilometers.IMG_3604-0.JPG

When I confronted the agents, they betrayed little guilt, even having the shameless, chest-thumping temerity of telling me that 90% of the cars on used car yards along the road, theirs included, featured manipulated odometers. I was miffed!

Luckily, I had not parted with a single cent.

What many motorists don’t know is that it is very simple to tell if one’s car mileage has been tampered with.

If you want to buy a used car, determine its chassis from either (1) original documentation of the car or (2) by physically reading the chassis number, which for most cars can be found under the bonnet of the car.

Having determined the chassis number, you can visit the KEBS website on http://kebs.org/index.php?opt=qai&view=vehicle_search-inspection and enter the chassis number. The KEBS page will then give you the pre-shipment specifications of the car, the genuine odometer reading included.

There’s another way: For only Kshs. 4,060/-, JEVIC can inspect the car for you at a yard and unearth various aspects of the car’s condition (genuine odometer reading included) that you need to know and which the car paperwork hardly bare.

If you believe one candle can light up a million others, please tweet or ‘facebook’ this post.

I pity the hordes of Kenyans who are fleeced at used car yards everyday out of ignorance.

The professionals at JEVIC do a stupendous job. If buying a car that’ll cost you a tidy sum, it’s worth spending a small fee to get to know a lot more than looks can tell.