brad brace contemporary culture scrapbook

July 23, 2005

Country profile: Kenya

Filed under: kenya — admin @ 6:59 am

Situated on the equator on Africa’s east coast, Kenya has been described as “the cradle of humanity”.

In areas of the Great Rift Valley, palaeontologists have discovered some of the earliest evidence of man’s ancestors.

In the present day, Kenya’s ethnic diversity has produced a vibrant culture, but is also a source of conflict.

After independence from Britain in 1963, politics was dominated by the charismatic Jomo Kenyatta. He was succeeded in 1978 by Daniel arap Moi, who remained in power for 24 years. The ruling Kenya African National Union was the country’s only legal political party for much of the 1980s.

Violent unrest – and international pressure – led to the restoration of multi-party politics in the early 1990s. But it was to be another decade before opposition candidate Mwai Kibaki ended nearly 40 years of Kanu rule with his landslide victory in 2002’s general election.

With its scenic beauty and abundant wildlife, Kenya is one of Africa’s major safari destinations. But the lucrative tourist industry has been hit by fears of terrorism; flight cancellations and travel warnings issued by some foreign governments have had a severe impact on the sector.

Despite President Kibaki’s pledge to tackle corruption, some donors estimated that up to $1bn had been lost to graft between 2002 and 2005.

Other pressing challenges include high unemployment, crime and poverty; most Kenyans live below the poverty level of $1 a day.

One of Africa’s more politically-stable countries, Kenya has been a leading light in the Somali and Sudanese peace processes.

* Population: 32.8 million (UN, 2005)
* Capital: Nairobi
* Area: 582,646 sq km (224,961 sq miles)
* Major languages: Swahili, English
* Major religion: Christianity
* Life expectancy: 43 years (men), 46 years (women) (UN)
* Monetary unit: 1 Kenya shilling = 100 cents
* Main exports: Tea, coffee, horticultural products, petroleum products
* GNI per capita: US $390 (World Bank, 2003)
* Internet domain: .ke
* International dialling code: +254

President: Mwai Kibaki

Political veteran Mwai Kibaki won a landslide victory in the December 2002 elections. The constitution barred his predecessor, Daniel arap Moi, from standing for re-election. Mr Kibaki’s National Rainbow Coalition (Narc) won a parliamentary majority.

Mr Kibaki said he would make the fight against corruption a priority and promised to tackle Kenya’s economic woes.

But two years into his presidency, crime and corruption were widespread and the economy remained weak. A poll suggested that many Kenyans thought that life was worse under the Narc government than under Mr Kibaki’s predecessor.

The president also pledged to introduce a new constitution. Parliament approved a draft in July 2005, paving the way for a popular referendum. But changes to the draft document, which critics said left too much power in the hands of the president, sparked unrest.

A respected economist, Mwai Kibaki served as finance minister and vice president in the 1970s and 1980s. He left Kanu in 1991 and founded the Democratic Party.

His victory marked the end of almost 40 years of uninterrupted rule by Kanu, and it was third time lucky for Mr Kibaki, who lost two elections in the 1990s.

Mwai Kibaki was born in 1931 and hails from Kenya’s largest tribe, the Kikuyu. He studied in Uganda and Britain, before joining the push for Kenya’s independence in the 1960s. He became an MP in 1963.

Kenya enjoys a more diverse media scene than many other African countries, with a large middle class providing a base for substantial advertising revenue.

There is a tradition of a relatively independent press, although newspapers often had to practise self-censorship during the era of Presidents Kenyatta and Moi. The print media is dominated by two major publishing houses, the Nation and Standard, both of which also have substantial broadcasting operations.

Most Kenyans rely on the broadcast media, particularly radio, for news. Until recently the liberalisation of broadcasting had a limited impact outside Nairobi but some private radio and TV networks now have wide coverage of much of the country. TV viewing is substantial, but few Kenyans are regular internet users, owing to cost and access problems.

The Kibaki government came to power promising further media liberalisation, but some incidents since then have alarmed observers. In late 2003 there was a crackdown on unregistered “alternative” newspapers, using a controversial law passed by the previous government.

Months later, a court criticised the information minister for harassing Kiss FM, the most popular private radio station, which had gained a reputation for upsetting the government.

Full-time FM relays of the BBC World Service are on the air in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu, and some BBC programmes are also rebroadcast by private Kameme FM. The Voice of America has an FM relay in Nairobi and Radio France Internationale is relayed on FM in Mombasa.

July 22, 2005

pedro’s inn (peter lawrence) for sale

Filed under: belize — admin @ 1:34 pm

Pelican Properties Logo.


*/20 Room Hostel and House /*

*Great business opportunity with residence included *

*Asking $295,000.00US.*

“Pedro’s Inn” is Ambergris Caye’s only hostel-style lodging spot. With
20 simple, clean and comfortable rooms and room to expand all the tools
are there to make this a great business for a couple looking to live and
work in paradise.

The property consists of 2 lots. The main hostel sits on one lot and the
owner’s house is on the other.

The main building is the hostel. It has 20 rooms, 2 beds in each room.
Fans provide cooling for guests. Bathrooms are shared, hostel-style.
Backpackers really appeciated the opportunity to stay in budget lodgings
in Belize. Pedro’s Inn is the only hostel on the island and so since it
was built in 2003 it has received a steady stream of guests. But, for
the motivated couple, willing to market the hostel properly and interact
with guests there is much room for improved occupancy and profits.

The smaller building is the owner’s residence. It has one bedroom, one
bathroom, a kitchen, living and dining area along with a big veranda
which catches the cooling breezes. It’s perfect for a couple and there
is room for expansion underneath the house.

All furnishings, bedding, towels etc. are included. The hostel is
absolutely turn key read to operate with loads of opportunities for
expansion. For example, there is ample room for the addition of a bar
and eatery, a tour office and even a small gift shop. All of these
additions could be done for a small additional investment. The income
potential of Pedro’s Inn has not been tapped to anywhere near its potential.

We will be putting more photos and information of this great listing up
in the coming days. It’s a great buy and the owner is MOTIVATED TO SELL.
All reasonable and serious offers will be considered.

* 20 room hostel, turn key business
* Cute 1 bedroom owner’s house
* Hostel and house sit on 2 lots
* Fully furnished
* The only hostel on Ambergris Caye, fantastic business opportunity
* *Asking just $295,000.00US*

July 21, 2005

Kenyan police clash with protesters

Filed under: kenya — admin @ 6:19 am

Kenyan security forces battled stone-throwing protesters and looters in Nairobi in a second day of unrest touched off by moves to protect the president’s power in an overhaul of the nation’s constitution.

One person was killed, at least seven arrested and four injured as riot police and troops fought street battles that criss-crossed the capital and shuttered many stores.

Kenyans making their way home from work moved in panicked groups across the glass-strewn streets, fleeing wind-whipped teargas clouds and soldiers chasing protesters and looters.

In several hours of skirmishes, police and soldiers turned water cannons on pockets of protesters, fired teargas, beat ringleaders and hurled back stones tossed at them.

Standing in front of the police lines, scores of people sang songs calling for an uprising. “Even if you kill us, we still want our constitution,” they chanted.

Protesters dragged metal kiosks into the streets to frustrate their pursuers, threw garbage cans, rocks and furniture and lit fires at intersections. Some took advantage of the chaos to steal, leading to one looter’s death.

“He was looting and was cornered by the public and killed,” said Nairobi police chief Kingori Mwangi. “We did not fire even a single live bullet.”

Groups opposed to President Mwai Kibaki’s handling of the constitutional reform process had called for three days of protests before Friday’s deadline for parliament to finalise its version of the new document prior to a referendum.

The protests have been banned by the authorities.

The most contentious issue is the president’s power which the latest version, the Kilifi Draft, by a government-dominated parliamentary committee leaves virtually untouched.

A previous version – the so-called Bomas Draft – from a wide cross-section of Kenyans recommended most authority go to a new prime minister’s post.


“The common citizen wants the Bomas draft and a small clique of MPs want the Kilifi Draft,” said Nicodemus Nyabwa, a bystander who was caught up in the chaos.

“This is what has caused the havoc. President Kibaki should give the people the constitution they want.”

Most Kenyans are disillusioned with Kibaki’s two-and-a-half year rule, saying he has failed to live up to his 2002 election pledge to end the tribal politics and corruption that flourished under predecessor Daniel arap Moi’s 24-year rule.

Critics say cronyism is rife in Kibaki’s government, which they accuse of watering down initial cross-party recommendations for rewriting the constitution, drawn up by Kenyans before independence from Britain in 1963.

Members of Kibaki’s National Rainbow Coalition have accused opposition parties of trouble-making hypocrisy, saying they failed to deliver a new constitution in the past.

By late afternoon, the streets of central Nairobi were strewn with stones and garbage. Police barricaded roads and shops were locked up, many with people cowering inside.

“They are just looters, idlers, thieves and time-wasters throwing stones. It’s just stupid people. We cannot leave now or go about our duties,” said Vicki Lucas, a pharmacist locked in her store with about 10 other people.

Many shop fronts, telephone booths and car windows were smashed. Several dozen movie-goers were forced to stay in a downtown theatre while the mayhem died down.

July 13, 2005

kenya feud

Filed under: General,global islands,kenya — admin @ 5:08 am

13.7.2005. 19:21:55

Up to 66 people, around 22 of them children, have been killed and dozens wounded in a bloody raid on a remote village in eastern Kenya.

Residents said the raid was an inter-clan attack sparked by long-running disputes over water and pasture.

Witnesses who ferried some of the most seriously injured to hospital spoke of a grisly attack with dead bodies lying on the streets of the remote village of Turbi.

They said members of the Borana clan invaded and shot the victims, all of whom are believed to belong to the rival Gabra clan.

In Nairobi, police said at least 19 people — 15 villagers and four attackers — had died in a raid on one compound or manyatta in Turbi, about 580 kilometres northeast of the capital, but said the death toll could rise.

However, residents of Marsabit, the nearest town to Turbi about 150 km south, said between 21 and 23 people had died in the attack.

Others, including a local businessman who has radio contact with Turbi said at least 23 people, the majority of them children, had been killed but his death toll could not be confirmed by independent sources.

Roba Eleme, a mechanic with Kenya’s water ministry who brought 12 seriously wounded Turbi residents to Marsabit for treatment, said he had seen numerous dead bodies outside one large house and several in the street.

“I could not count, but there are very many people dead as many as 30 or even 100 and most of them are apparently children who it appeared were running out of the house,” he said.

The two clans have feuded persistently over water and pasture in the region.

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