Darren Taylor

Justice and reconciliation still elude Kenya

A recent statement by Kenyan Minister of Justice Kiraitu Murungi that it is ''no longer necessary'' for the country to establish a commission to investigate atrocities committed under previous governments has been greeted with both outrage and delight. The promise to set up such a body, was one of the key pledges made during the current head of state's campaign for office.

Ethiopia’s path of oppression

It wasn't the remembrance of Ethiopian rebel leader Jettane Ali, that darkened the mood around his grave at Marsabit. The 36 Ethiopian refugees from the disputed territory of Oromia in southern Ethiopia who gathered in the oasis in northern Kenya to pay their respects ahead of this Sunday's parliamentary poll were convinced that the election would yield victory for Ethiopia's ruling party.

Desert of death and dreams

The Dida Galgalu desert is a good place to hide. Perennial drought and famine extract their daily toll here, where warring nomadic tribes battle over livestock and shifta (bandits) prowl the dead land in search of bounty from the odd supply lorry that chances over the twisted network of rough tracks.

Death by land

The descendants of British colonialists in Kenya are reeling in shock following the arrest of a member of the country's most prominent white settler dynasty, the Delameres, in an incident that has ignited debate about land reform in East Africa's largest economy. Tom Cholmondeley (37), a farmer, is expected to be charged in connection with the fatal shooting of Simon ole Sitima (44), a Kenya Wildlife Service game ranger.

Nuba faction feels betrayed by peace deal

Dadu Abdi Mohamed wasn't jumping up and down with the rest of the cheering, flag-waving mass when the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and the Sudanese government signed a "comprehensive peace deal" to end Africa's longest conflict. The former SPLM/A guerrilla, living in exile in Kenya, believes they were sold out by their leader.

A fragile peace in the desert

Ethnic clashes, blamed on competition for increasingly scarce water and grazing, are sweeping northern Kenya, as drought and famine intensify in the neglected region. Since the beginning of the year, more than 100 people have been killed in renewed violence perpetrated under the cover of long-simmering ethnic animosities, and fueled by the myriad conflicts which surround northern Kenya.

Moi casts shadow over corruption commission

''Well, he's damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't,'' says leading Kenyan lawyer Albert Mumma of the dilemma that may shortly face President Mwai Kibaki: whether to prosecute former head of state Daniel arap Moi in connection with the Goldenberg scandal. For the past two years, a commission has probed the dealings of the company at the heart of this corruption scam.

SA frozen out of note tender

The Central Bank of Kenya has secretly removed the South African Bank Note Company, a subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank, from a shortlist of international security printing firms in line to win a tender worth almost R800-million to print "new generation" currency for the East African country over the next five years.

Land clashes sweep Kenya

Hundreds of thousands of hectares belonging to the elite lie fallow and unused, while impoverished Kenyans kill one another for access to tiny parcels of overworked land and muddy trickles that were once rivers. The flames of rebellion have been fanned by a drought, failed harvests and increasing competition between crop and cattle farmers.

The ART of treatment

The hospital on the outskirts of Nairobi wasn't built because of its proximity to the Kenyan capital's massive townships, although the chaotic slums do provide it with an overflow of patients. It wasn't constructed using millions of dollars of donor funds, which is why it consists completely of cold, grey cement, overcrowded wards and medical equipment dating back to the 1960s. The wind created Mbagathi Hospital.

A month with new meaning

It's supposed to be a period of serene, prayerful contemplation, a time to explore the depths of faith and to think of the poor. But for many of Kenya's 10-million Muslims, the month of Ramadan this year has become a reflection on crime, HIV/Aids and the effects of the United States-sponsored war on terror on the followers of Islam around the globe.

Another shade of green

Lauded as both ''legend'' and ''prophet'' in the Kenyan media, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize continued to command world attention last week. But Aids activists, health NGOs and small-scale farmers in Kenya considered the honour bestowed upon the country's assistant minister of the environment with mixed feelings.

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