By Madeleine Bunting (THE GUARDIAN, 14/01/08):
It will be Kofi Annan’s turn tomorrow to arrive in a tense Nairobi, following in the steps of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and John Kufuor, the Ghanian president and head of the African Union, last week, and US diplomats and the former Sierra Leonean president the week before. As the tourists abandon Kenya’s beaches, the country has tragically become the premier destination for a new type of visitor – the international mediator. But so far, all of them have managed no more than what could be described as a minibreak, hastily repacking their overnight bags with nothing to show for their efforts.… Seguir leyendo »
By Aidan Hartley, a columnist for The Spectator and the author of The Zanzibar Chest, a memoir (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 11/01/08):
As I write this, the crackle of gunfire is audible from the veranda of our farmhouse. Warriors of the Pokot and Samburu tribes are fighting a mile away. A bush fire engulfs the horizon. I hear the tally in blood so far is three Samburu warriors killed, while the Pokot have rustled 750 of their cattle.
Today I hope our farm and its workers will be spared the violence. But this was not the case two weeks ago on Boxing Day, the eve of Kenya’s elections, when Samburu rustlers armed with AK-47’s made off with 22 steers.… Seguir leyendo »
By M. Steven Fish, a professor of political science at the University of California at Berkeley and Matthew Kroenig, research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. They are the authors of The Handbook of National Legislatures: A Global Survey (THE WASHINGTON POST, 09/01/07):
Kenya’s recent presidential election unleashed turmoil that has so far claimed more than 500 lives and displaced thousands of people. Blame has been pinned on Kenya’s ethnic divisions: The Luo tribe of challenger Raila Odinga has disputed the electoral victory claimed by incumbent President Mwai Kibaki of the Kikuyu tribe.… Seguir leyendo »
By Binyavanga Wainaina, a writer in residence at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. and the editor of Kwami?, a literary magazine (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 06/01/08):
This thing called Kenya is a strange animal. In the 1960s, the bright young nationalists who took over the country when we got independence from the British believed that their first job was to eradicate “tribalism.” What they really meant, in a way, was that they wanted to eradicate the nations that made up Kenya. It was assumed that the process would end with the birth of a brand-new being: the Kenyan.
Compared with other African nations, Kenya has had significant success with this experiment.… Seguir leyendo »
By Binyavanga Wainaina, editor of Kwani magazine; his memoir, Discovering Home, is to be published by Granta in 2009 (THE GUARDIAN, 05/01/08):
I was in Lamu 10 days ago, a slow gentle place, cut off from most of the muscular and modern tempers of the rest of Kenya. I was telling off Patrick, a young Giriama man, for vanishing with my money for a whole day while I remained without mobile phone credit. He was partying somewhere. He finds it very difficult to understand why such a thing would make me so upset. There is a rhythm to things in Lamu, and why do you upcountry people and white people, who to us are really the same people, move so aggressively against the tide of things?… Seguir leyendo »
By Ben Macintyre (THE TIMES, 04/01/08):
I have visited few places more peaceful than Eldoret in Western Kenya. To white settlers, this sleepy corner of Africa was “64”, because it was 64 miles from the railhead of the new Uganda railway. Before colonial times, the area had been occupied by the “Sirikwa” tribe, then the Maasai, then the Nandi. Voortrekkers from South Africa put down roots here, followed by other white settlers, and Asian traders. My memory of a visit to the town many years ago is of a picturesque and placid intermingling of tribes, races and colours.
Earlier this week, a murderous mob from the Kalenjin tribe drove a group of terrified Kikuyu, including children, into a church near Eldoret, and set fire to it.… Seguir leyendo »
By Meera Selva (THE GUARDIAN, 01/01/08):
These were meant to be Kenya’s golden days. A booming economy, a mobile phone for every man, woman and child, a robust and lively press. It is a tragedy for the country and the whole of Africa that a few days after Kenya’s elections, curfews are being imposed, gangs of young men are fighting on the streets, security police are storming through slums looking for agitators, and disfigured corpses are being discovered around the country. As ever, there is a sense that all this bloodshed could have been averted if only politicians had stepped down when their time has passed.… Seguir leyendo »
By Richard Dowden (THE TIMES, 01/01/08):
Shocked by pictures of death and mayhem on the streets of Kenyan towns, a Kenyan friend in Britain called me to express her shock. “But these things don’t happen in Kenya!” she exclaimed, as if Kenya – or Keenya as she pronounced it – was immune from the political ills that have plagued Africa in the past 50 years.
She is wrong. Kenya has been a catastrophe waiting to happen. Every election since multiparty politics was reintroduced in 1991 has involved rigging. So far the margin of victory has always been so great that Western diplomats – keen to maintain “stability” – could claim that the cheating would not have made a difference to the result.… Seguir leyendo »
Michela Wrong is the author of In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz and I Didn’t Do it for You (THE GUARDIAN, 30/01/06):
When John Githongo, Kenya’s anti-corruption tsar, suddenly went to ground during an official visit to Europe last year, the Kenyan and international media launched a frantic man-hunt to establish why «the big man» had abandoned his post. That interest did not die away when Githongo eventually resurfaced at an Oxford college. It didn’t take a genius, after all, to guess that when the official responsible for policing an African government’s finances flees, something is seriously amiss.
Given that the international community each year supplies Kenya with nearly $500m in aid, you might expect the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and western governments to share that curiosity.… Seguir leyendo »