Monday, 20 July 2009

Travelling with a Kenyan Passport

Last week while I was at work, my boss told me that it was time I took leave. I could not believe my ears. I normally have fought to take leave in previous jobs. I know that she is worried,as I have a lot of leave, and the rule is you can take a maximum of two weeks at a time. They have made exceptions for me, and said that I can take three weeks to go home. The rule annoys me, as before in other jobs, I could take however many days I had at a time.

So, I was thinking of planning a short break, and not doing the long haul trip home, yet. I don't like travelling during high season, as it is the most expensive time to travel, and I don't like the crowds everywhere. It is hard for parents to travel with school children here, outside of school times, as they get penalised.

I have browsed on the net for places to go, and finding places that I can travel to that are shorthaul, without the visa hassle is a challenge. In my search I wondered which countries Kenyan passport holders can travel to without having to apply for a visa. This is what I came up with, although I am not sure how accurate it is. If anyone has any other information, let me know. I could have applied for a British passport years ago,but have held onto my Kenyan one. I am waiting to see what will happen in 2012, and also what they do about the whole dual citizenship thing. This is when having a British passport makes travelling easier.

I like to travel, but don't like flying. My anxiety levels are pretty high after 9/11. I don't relax until I get to my destination. So reading about airlines flying to Nairobi hiring private guards, scares me. The last time I was in Nairobi, checking in with British Airways, I went through a number of security checks, and have to say I found it excessive, and hope that noone can bypass the systems. I was just puzzled that the checks in London travelling to Nairobi, were nothing like what I experienced in Nairobi.

It looks like the only place I can go to without a visa in Europe is Kosovo, and am not keen to go there. Everything else is longhaul, in which case I may as well go home, or join the long visa queues.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Trying to shut the stable door when the horse has bolted

The last ditch effort meeting that Raila and Kibaki have summoned to salvage plans for trials of Post election violence , is too little too late.

Ocampo is on the case, and will spill the beans this week. All will be named. However Ruto wants those who rigged the election to be tried first.

I am with Sue and thank Annan for handing over the envelope, and agree with her view that had Mr Kiviuitu behaved differently,we would not have this discussion.

The long arm of justice will come after some of the culprits, whether they like it or not.

I see the Hague as the only option. The local tribunal option I have no faith in whatsoever.

Update related article:What next after handing of Waki ‘envelope’ to ICC? A legal perspective from Paul Muite

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Diaspora dollars down the drain

Reading this article earlier today on why diaspora dollars elude local real estate, brought back some memories.

I have a Ghanaian friend who is now retired, who used to send money to his brother, each month. My friend had not been back to Kumasi, in over twenty years. He was working to build properties back home, and assumed his brother was taking care of business. The plan was, he would leave the UK when he retired, and live comfortably at home. He went home, just before retirement, to check on the state of his properties. Sadly, there were no properties, no bricks, nothing, nada, niente! When he told me what happened, I cried. This guy worked day and night to send money home. I am surprised that he can still talk to his brother.What his brother has done, is wicked.

I have uncles in Kenya who have done the same thing to members of my family, and am at a loss for words. The same uncles who know where to go when they are in a bind, and need money for their children's school fees, or to pay for some emergency.

Life sucks, if you can't trust your family.

My mother is always going on about blood being thicker than water. I don't think so.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Kenya and the Failed state Index

I get home from work, and come across this article on Kenya's decline and fall.

The keywords for me in the article are Kenya and the Annual failed state index 2009. I am relieved that we are not in the top ten rankings, yet.Kenya ranks at 14 in 2009.

I am still getting my head round the idea that we are a failed state, denial ,or wishful thinking, still don't know what it is .

I look back at 2008 and Kenya was ranked 26 on the list. In 2007 we were ranked at 37. So since, 2007, things seem to have gone downhill. I thought that things had improved somewhat, but then I look at the social indicators and political indicators . The truth is staring me in the face loud and clear. We could be in the top ten, and seem to be on the way there.

I live in hope, regardless.

Update related article:The Kenya police is the most corrupt institution in East Africa