Daniel Kalinaki's weblog

A commentary on news and events in Uganda and elsewhere

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Just an ordinary bloke.

Friday, July 21, 2006

When Africa is cooler than Europe....

I have been in Nairobi for a couple of days. I have been to this city several times but this -- seven days -- is the longest I have been here.

Officially, I am attending a Reuters Foundation meeting for African journalists discussing this whole debate on whether Africa needs more aid, trade, both, or none of the two. In reality, I have been using the break away from work to shoot the breeze a bit and catch up with my reading.

I have been reading William Easterly's book, the Elusive Quest for Growth (you can never really run away from work, can you) which has some interesting stuff on how to develop, or not to develop Africa.

Temps in Nairobi have been in the single digits on some nights (at least it feels that way) and it has been one of those times when I wished I could go to England to escape the cold (temperatures in London have been a golden 27 degrees plus. Can you imagine? Think picnics in Hyde Park, think swinging Stella Artois on tap at the Nobody Inn at Newington Green....

Stop dreaming and get back to blogging.

Anyway, the news in Nairobi has been all about Raila Odinga, the veteran politician, who is running for President next year after falling out with President Mwai Kibaki. It started with the release of a half-official biography about Raila in which he revealed some involvement of sorts (have not read the book yet, no details) about his role in the failed coup in 1982.

His political opponents quickly jumped into the fray and said Raila, whose father, Jaramogi was an icon in Kenyan politics, should be arrested for treason. No chance, said Amos Wako, Kenya's Attorney General.

The admission in the book was not the same as a court admission, there was no complainant and the charges were time-barred, anyway.

Little has changed in Nairobi. The streets are still as dirty as those in Kampala, the traffic jam is worse but I am told you now get mugged after dark, not in the day as used to happen.

I have been too busy with this aid and trade stuff, I have hardly seen the town at night (did not want to get mugged as well). That is about to change.

Carnivore is on the cards tonight and although I have an early flight to catch tomorrow, I might squeeze in one or two clubs. Nothing fancy, just my humble contribution to the Kenyan economy (giving aid so that Kenyans can trade).

D

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

HEY, dont be acoward, its a chance to prove your muscles, so step out and have fun.
Anyway, no thug is out there to mug you, only the Police.
Police mugged me, not those kanyama thugs your imaging.
bamong
Enjoy

5:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just read, I think a summary of the most dramatic incidents of the Raila Odinga thing in one of the Kenyan papers- I think The Standard- I am not sure.

The man according to the story has ever dressed as a priest among others to escape from the bare fangs of OLD Prof of politics, Moi who wanted his neck.

I am for Odinga- let him be president-old Kibaki is ..ckless! He leads from behing.Even his wife beats him!

11:49 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sound like you are missing somebody in London... picnics, Stella Artois......uumm how romantic! Who's the lucky gal?

1:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Picnics in Hyde Park, swinging Stella Artois..... How romantic. Sounds like you are missing someone. Lucky gal!

Kulikayo e Kenya.

1:26 pm  
Blogger Daniel Kalinaki said...

You were mugged by the police? Ha ha ha. Nairobi is one of those cities where you have to watch out for the bad guys......and the cops!

D

12:36 pm  
Anonymous ARIAKA said...

And should you be mistaken for a mugger. Woe unto you.

June 2004, I and some scrabblers were heading down to Dar for nascent regional scrabble tourney.

At about 6.00am as we cleaned to travel to Namanga border, we saw a spectacle near Akamba Bus terminal.

A man was pleading for his life. He beseeched the police for help in vain. But a group of people had descended on him and where reducing him to pulp.

Ocassionally, the aloof police would join the fray. Baton here and a kick there.

Astoundingly, this man was beatenn for a full hour, for by 7.00 am the beating had not stopped.

His eyes had now retreated into his face and his mouth, a thick mass of tender flesh. His voice, hoarse and retreating. He must have died.

I feared to imagine it could be mistaken identity. But the crowd had cheered on. Accomplices to murder, yet unapologetic.

8:11 am  

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