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        Wednesday, March 29, 2006
        Who is the pot and who is the kettle?

        Last month, I was thinking of writing about the lessons that the general public in the US can learn from Kenyans. I was impressed by the fact that Kenyans hit the streets of Nairobi protesting against corruption while demonstrations were BANNED. And their aim was to force the Vice President of Kenya to resign following the allegations of his involvement in sleaze.

        I was also impressed by the whistle blower, John Githongo – the former anti-corruption chief and before that head of the local Transparency Agency. I admire his integrity and courage to do the right thing against the backdrop of possible danger in messing with the powerful. The result of his brave act is to live in exile. Still, he did what he had to do.

        Now what is not settling well with me is the tone of William Bellamy’s, the US ambassador to Kenya, lecture on doing more about corruption.

        "The US government is not satisfied with the efforts made in fighting corruption."

        No kidding?

        Your Excellency, on a scale of minus ten to ten (minus ten being ‘depressed and in fetal position sucking my thumb’ and ten – ‘on the roof with joy doing the chicken dance singing I Got Chills’), where is your satisfaction level regarding the ex-Chief of Staff’s meddling with scientific reports on global warming so that his ‘real’ employers, the American Petroleum Association, will continue to screw earth and living organisms therein? How about your VP’s company being the biggest contractor in Iraq? How about…?

        Commenting on the recent action taken against corruption cases, the US ambassador to Kenya, Mr. William Bellamy, said there was still more work to be done in dealing with the problem."

        You think?

        Your Excellency, can you share some examples of ‘work done in the US’ to solve the problem of corruption so that Kenya could learn from your country’s great experience? I tried to find out myself, but your government’s website talk about corruption of others only. I am asking, Y.E., because all Kenyans achieved were sending the whistle blower to exile, force three ministers to resign, expose the VP and put pressure on him, protest while demonstrations were banned, threaten their freedom to speak, and send their press ablaze.

        "Mr Bellamy said the US would continue its military co-operation with Kenya on both land and air for the benefit of the two countries' armed forces.

        I beg your pardon?

        Y.E, thank you for changing the subject from corruption to co-operation. The first was beginning to depress me. However, I must tell you that the latter is one gigantic rotten carrot ever.

        There is no denying that corruption is huge in Africa, it is hurting the poor even more and it is one of the main reasons why foreign aid is not doing much in the continet, yadi yadi ya. Nonetheless, it goes down really hard being lectured by the US.
        posted by Fikirte @ 3:30 AM   Digg!
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