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ALLIANCE HIGH SCHOOL
Comprehension, Literary Appreciation and Grammar
Time 21/2 hours
Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow.
The statements, events and reactions of the past couple of weeks surrounding the perennially vexed subject of corruption makes me wonder. "Are we on the cusp of the challenge to and confrontation against corruption?"
Certainly we have come a long way in identifying and isolating it. Let me give a small example. Twentyone years ago, I wrote a piece for the Sunday Nation, which was entitled "Why Kenya's looting brigade now has its eyes on public land."
The main thrust of the article was that after the monetary excesses of 1992 and 1993, there was a growing penchant for Kenya's looting brigade to next move their focus and activities to public land. The process was as simple and as was crude. A handful of politically connected private individuals or entities would get allocated a prime piece of public land for a nominal suin. A title would be processed and then it would be sold, in part or whole, at a much higher price to a public institution that had the cash resources. It became known as "land grabbing" and most Kenyans can give countless examples of where this has taken place. It was double plunder because not only was the land grabbed; it was often paid out of public resources or savings that were meant for cther things.
Today, we talk about this activity and make reference to it with alacrity and in most cases without fear. Not so in 1994. When I first wrote the piece and offered it to the Sunday Nation, it passed the relevant tests of being well researched and factually correct, but publishing it was another matter. There was a culture of fear that shrouded the whole country and putting one's head above the parapet was regarded as dangerous and reckless. The piece was pushed around a couple of editorial desks and the decision to publish was deferred. For a while I recall I was requested to "soften" the piece. When it did eventually get printed, I was very much aware that I might get a backlash and braced myself accordingly. Today, there is much less remaining of that culture of fear but as we have been reminded several times recently, corruption at many levels continues unabated. The dossier compiled by the Ethics and Anti-corruption Authority (EACC) is evidence enough. The stance made by the president on Thursday is also encouraging.
So where to now? There is no doubt that the public outrage the majority of the population, who is mere victims, as opposed to beneficiaries, is gathering the momentum of landslide proportions. We should not underestimate that growing anger. This is both unsurprising and gratifying. For most of us, corruption just makes our lives much tougher, more fatiguing and even expensive.
The big question is: how seriously will those who have been named take it? The norm in many countries, which aspire to high integrity standards, is that when a person is named by such a body as the EACC, then that person should step aside. The onus is on the relevant bodies to complete investigations and prosecute as and when necessary and for the person named to defend him or herself.
That is where we should be heading. The president should make it clear that all the people named in the scandal should step aside. If we move down that road, then we are indeed heading in the right direction. If we do not then this will just be another bout of public gesturing of the bread and circuses variety.
Lastly, the EACC and in turn the Director of Public Prosecution, need to do some serious ground work to fully support and, where applicable, prosecute what is being alléged. We are watching and in a number of cases rather skeptically."
- What indicates that land grabbing has taken a long time to be addressed? (2mks)
- Why is it easier today to talk about land grabbing with alacrity than before? (2mks)
- How does corruption affect the wider society? (2mks)
- According to the writer's perspective what is land grabbing? (2mks)
- Giving your answer in note form, state the steps that should be taken when suspects involved in corruption step aside. (4mks)
- In which way can EACC help in the fight against corruption? (2mks)
- Explain what used to happen before 1994? (2mks)
- We should not underestimate the growing anger. (Write in the passive (1mk)
- Explain the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. (3mks)
- "Soften" the piece
LITERARY EXTRACT. (25 marks)
The River and the Source by Margaret Ogola.
"Why don't you help me get some tea, Wandia?"
“Yes, yes,' she answered jumping her feet with alacrity. They left the old lion and the young one to their duel.
"Well son, how have things been with you?"
"OK Father. I am a registered doctor now. I want to work for two years or so, to gain some experience - and then I'll go back to study surgery-that's always been my interest."
"Good. Very Good. How about this marriage business - don't you think it is too soon? I mean you've only worked for a year - do you really have anything to offer a wife?"
"I guess not. But then I doubt if a large house and a Mercedes Benz would make any difference to Wandia. She's not that kind of a girl."
"You can never tell. She is a Kikuyu after all - they have a thing about money. In any case why don't you wait a little? I am sure there is a nice Luo girl somewhere who'd make a perfect wife for you."
“Father," Aoro struggled to control his voice. 'Father, I don't know anything about the rest of the tribe, but I know Wandia. She is the one I have chosen. I love her - which is a feeling that I cannot just transfer from one girl to another at will. In any case, I have done anatomy, and beneath the skin everyone is remarkably the same. Even the blood, which is supposed to be thicker than water is all just a combination of iron and protein in every instance. Some people are good. Others are bad - it's got very little to do with their blood or tribe. It's all in the heart. I am sure you know that father."
Mark was silent for so long that his son feared that he would simply get up and walk away.
"You are my elder son and whatever you may think, I love you. I am proud of you. I want you to be happy. Even though you are a doctor -and I suppose doctors know a lot, there are some things that are understood only by experience. I was only trying to forestall any possible misery which may arise in future. Things like the language to be spoken at home, the religion to be practiced - and by the way to what faith does she belong?"
"Her mother who is a widow is a Protestant of the saved variety. She is very dedicated to it. Her father was a non-practicing Catholic. Wandia herself subscribes to no faith that I know of."
"What faith do you subscribe to yourself?"
"Me?" asked Aoro taken aback.
"I am no Tony or Vera, but I suppose I am a Catholic."
"What I mean is that does it matter enough to you to make a difference if Wandia got saved and took along the children?"
"I hope we should be able to talk things over as adults, father. She is not an irrational person.
"No doubt about it son. It is clear you have made up your mind and I wish you the best. Have you raised the issue about the bride price with her family?"
"Yes, I did. Her mother informed me that the only thing she wanted was for me to live in peace with her daughter."
"Interesting." Mark was beginning to have second thoughts about things he has heard about the avaricious Kikuyu. May be he had been mistaken after all.
- State what happened just before this extract? (3mks)
- What are Mark's reservations about Aoro's marriage to Wandia? (4mks)
- With relevant examples from elsewhere in the text, give two character traits of Wandia. (4mks)
- Who does-Wandia answer to whale jumping to her feet and what relationship do the two have? (2mks)
- 'I am no Tony or Vera, but I suppose I am a Catholic". What information do we know about. Tony and Vera that is relevant at this juncture. (4mks)
- Using information elsewhere in the text, how different is the bride price paid for Wandia from 3 other characters who get married in the text? (6mks)
- Identify and illustrate ONE aspect of style used in the excerpt. (2mks).
POETRY (20 marks)
THE FOOLISH OLD MAN
My father began as a god
Full of heroic tales
Of days when he was young
His laws were as immutable
As if brought down from Sinai
which indeed he thought they were.
He fearlessly lifted me to heaven
By a mere swing to his shoulder
And made me a godling
By seating me astride
Our milk cow's back and too,
Upon the great white gobbler.
of which others went in constant fear.
Strange then how he shrank and shrank
Until by my time of adolescence
He had become a foolish small old man
with silly and outmoded views
of life and morality.
that as I became older
his faults and his intolerances
scatted away into the past
such as honesty, generosity, integrity.
Strangest of all
how the deeper he recedes into the grave
the more I see myself
as just one more of the little men
who creep through life
no knee - high to this long-dead god.
- Briefly comment on the theme of the poem. (4mks)
- Comment on the suitability of the title of the poem. (3mks)
- What is the attitude of the persona towards his father? (3mks)
- Identify and explain any Three features of style used in the poem. (6mks)
- What do the following groups of people learn from the poem? (2mks)
- Explain the meaning of the following words as used in the poem. (2mks)
Rewrite the following sentences according to the instructions. (4mks)
- Lillian Gilbreth invented the step-on garbage can. Her children wrote about her life.
(Join into one sentence using 'whose")
- I wouldn't have preferred these criminal charges against the Journalist if you had mentioned this to me last year. (Begin: Had...)
- Only after much persuasion did the patient agree to be operated on. (Begin: It took....)
- The principal informed form one parents that fees once paid cannot be transferred for whatever reason. (Begin: The principal..... that under .....).
- Lillian Gilbreth invented the step-on garbage can. Her children wrote about her life.
Fill in the correct form of the words in brackets (4mks)
- She is a very .... woman (attract)
- That is a .... issue. (content)
- Do you remember .... visit in Kenya? (pope)
- How she landed the job remains .... (question)
Complete each of the following sentences using the correct phrasal verb formed from the word given in brackets (3 marks)
- It was so dark that I could hardly .... the person lurking in the darkness. (make)
- The nurse was so ..... that she threw the file onto the doctor's desk (work)
- The number of AIDS patients in Kenya is ................ (come)
Choose the correct word to fill in the blank spaces.(2 marks)
- I came here with Don and ...............(she, her)
- Between you and .......... (I, me) who is more generous
Punctuate the following sentences correctly. (2 marks)
- The frog states an old African proverb does not jump without a reason
- The principal said thank you for the information Mrs. Mulwa
- Rewrite the following sentences according to the instructions. (4mks)