Lessons learned and improvements
made. Our government ministers are learning to temper their rhetoric and
are not so prone to making alarmist statements to the press. The fight
against corruption continues with the scandal of the Goldenberg Enquiry
reported daily in the press listing the billions stolen by stooges of
the KANU government. The extent of the previous government's looting (not
only money, but also land and forest) continues to leave Kenyans agape
As we sent out our last newsletter,
the US Embassy closed yet again for two days "following a Pentagon
alert that the threat of a terrorist act had increased significantly"
and blaming Kenya for not arresting suspects of the coast terrorist bombing.
Two days later 4 were charged, and thereafter pace quickened. UK sent
out two Scotland Yard terrorism experts who immediately declared that
they felt as safe in Kenya as anywhere in the world (probably not what
the High Commissioner wanted them to say). The government banned flights
to Somalia, temporarily killing the miraa (khat) industry before being
lifted 2 weeks later. Many new security measures were enforced at Jomo
Kenyatta International Airport and Kenya Navy security patrols increased
and are working closely with the US fleet based in Djibouti. On 4th July
British Airways resumed flights to Nairobi, at the same time lifting the
UK travel advisory, and US Ambassador Johnnie Carson had a party! He announced
that the US travel advisory "will also be lifted soon"
we are still waiting. The Anti-Terrorism Bill is facing some dissent in
Parliament but we hope all parties can find common ground and pass it.
Support, both monetary and
moral, continues to pour into the "new" Kenya. EU 1 million
from Sweden for Environment (25 Jun), USA pledged $1 billion to combat
terror in the East African region and Congress passed a major resolution
pledging support in Kenya's efforts towards economic recovery (30 June),
Kofi Annan praises Kenya's example to Africa (12 July), IMF to resume
lending to Kenya in September (13 July), $15 billion from the US to combat
AIDS in Africa, and World Bank ready to fund President Kibaki's reforms
(today, 24 July). Kenya was not included in George Bush's Africa Tour.
President Kibaki declined an invitation to meet President Bush in Uganda
and instead attended the African Union summit in Mozambique.
Tourism is picking up quicker
than expected and it is predicted that this year's wildebeeste migration
will be bigger and better. On 21-22 September, all hotels are full as
Nairobi hosts the 13th Annual Conference on AIDS (ICASA). Carnivore has
been voted one of the top 50 restaurants in the world and one of only
2 in Africa. Kenya Film & TV Professional Association and Baraka Films
won the Golden Dhow Award at the Zanzibar International Film Festival
for "Dangerous Affair" (co-produced by Jenny).
Irony - again
Wambui Otieno is a feisty 67 year old who has thrived on controversy all
her life. Seventeen years ago she fought a prolonged and very public court
battle to bury her husband in Nairobi. His clan in Western Kenya won the
case but not before it resulted in street demonstrations countrywide.
Wambui has just married a 28-year old stonemason, stating "my family
neglected me; anyway, where can you find an African man who will wash
your underwear?" Indeed! Again, Kenyans are in shock and awe at Wambui.
it's OK for our Vice President to marry a PYT (pretty young
thing) half his age in the society wedding of the year
about Masai octogenarians taking school children as their brides?