A peek at the headlines of 2007
This is the last day of the year. As we all put down our glasses to wonder about next year, many questions come racing into our minds. What changes will 2007 bring to Kenya? Will life get better or worse? Will it all be very dull, or unbearably exciting? To answer your questions, I decided to dust off my very reliable crystal ball (made from Kitengela glass) and took a look at the headlines and stories the Nation will deliver to you in 2007. Here’s a sample.
GOVERNMENT CALLS FOR FAMINE AID
The government yesterday issued an urgent appeal for relief aid to address the emergency famine situation affecting many remote parts of the country. Cabinet ministers called development partners to a special banquet meeting at a five-star hotel in Nairobi, owned by one of the ministers. After a five-course meal and entertainment by traditional dancers, ministers described the drought prevailing in most parts of the country as entirely unexpected. Hundreds of thousands are at risk unless food aid is provided rapidly. After coffee and biscuits were served, the donors promised to organise an emergency fund.
PARTIES SPLIT AFTER CONTROVERSIAL NOMINATIONS EXERCISE
Every major political party announced splits and the formation of new offshoots after nominations were held countrywide. Members of the ruling Narc party split into Narc (K) and Narc (Fresh). Leaders of the new splinter group took to the streets demanding immediate registration of their party and taunting their former allies that the ‘K’ in Narc (K) stands for ‘Kumbafu’. Meanwhile, the key losers in the ODM poll announced the formation of a new group, the Orangest Most Democratic Movement (OMDM), which was registered on the day of application. Ford Kenya also announced that it was splitting into 3 parties: Ford Bungoma, Ford Kakamega and Ford Busia, in order to provide more party posts and greater flexibility in joining post-election coalitions.
NEW PARTY BUILDING COLLAPSES DURING MEETING
The new building housing the recently created Narc-Orange Multiparty Alliance for the Resuscitation of Kenya (NOMARK) collapsed at 4.00 am this morning as party leaders were discussing strategies for the forthcoming national polls. The building, which was inaugurated just a week ago, is suspected to have been built with shoddy materials and without any architectural plan by a company associated with the party’s treasurer, who was not present at the meeting and has not answered the Nation’s calls. Officials present all sustained injuries, with the exception of the chairman who had gone out to the garden to answer a call of nature.
TRAFFIC POLICE LAUNCH NEW CAMPAIGN
Hundreds of unsuspecting motorists were arrested yesterday as traffic police launched a new campaign to test the roadworthiness of vehicles. The campaign, unleashed without warning, aims to check that the following new requirements are being met by motorists: valid permits for car radios and i-Pods; approved rubber floor mats for every passenger; a separate jack for every wheel (including the spare); two towing ropes (front and back); and a certified air freshener. Statistics showed that all cars checked on the first day of the campaign failed to meet the requirements, including two police vehicles. Dozens of bitterly complaining drivers were taken to the cells.
CITY HALL RANSACKED
Thieves struck again at the Nairobi City Hall in the small hours of the morning and took away all the computers, chairs, tables, curtains, light fittings, and toilet-seat covers in the building. Witnesses said that the stolen goods were loaded onto twelve large lorries over several hours. City Hall guards posted at the building said they were discussing politics and saw or heard nothing. City fathers ruled out an inside job, saying: “This thing was executed too effectively and smoothly to have been done by our people.”
KENYANS ABROAD IN WITHERING CRITIQUE OF HOMELAND
Kenyans in Diaspora yesterday issued a damning assessment of the state of their home country. Members of Tumetoroka Kenya Kabisa (TKK), an umbrella body claiming to represent 18 million Kenyans living in 172 countries, met at an international conference in Boston, USA and decried the state of modern Kenya, noting the lack of a subway system, a work ethic, January sales and McDonald’s hamburgers. They also renewed their call for legislation to enact dual nationality for Kenyans without further delay.
OIL: FIRMS TIE UP DEAL
Following last week’s confirmation that huge oil fields exist off the Kenyan coast, major players moved quickly to tie up rights to the bonanza. A new entity, Angloberg International, has been given exclusive rights to the oil fields and has finalised a deal with a consortium of international oil firms to undertake the drilling. The principals behind Angloberg remain unknown, but government officials said yesterday that they were known only by acronyms so that they could protect the country’s newfound wealth on behalf of all Kenyans.
TOP COMPANIES FETED IN 2007 AWARDS CEREMONY
The region’s top companies were rewarded for their exemplary performance in a glittering ceremony conducted in Nairobi, covered live by NTV. Awards were given out for Most Handsome CEO, Best Head Office Reception Area, Best Retrenchment Package, and Most Aged Board of Directors. All awards were received by the winners in person, except for the Most Outsourced Corporation prize which was collected by the winning company’s management consultants.