Kenya speaks softly, and carries a small stick ...

Monday August 10 2009


Is Kenya's pacifist foreign policy, which has seen the country not fight a major war in its 46 years of independence, being mistaken for weakness?

That’s the question many Kenyans are asking following a number of border incidents.

In the first of these, Ugandan troops hoisted their country’s flag on Migingo, a one-acre island on Lake Victoria, despite the fact that ownership was disputed.

In the east, Somali militants have taken to raiding Kenyan territory at will, issuing threats of worse from the top of pick-up trucks.

Not to be out-done, the Southern Sudanese, until recently refugees in Nairobi, have twice blocked top Kenyan ministers from visiting government installations inside Kenya.

Perhaps it is time to integrate a couple of air-force squadrons into foreign policy?



Sex workers more trusted than politicians – so what’s new?

It's official: Sex workers are more trustworthy (and this does not refer to a condom brand) than politicians.

At least that’s what one survey in China established, with 7.9 per cent of respondents saying they believed what they were told if it came from religious leaders, farmers and prostitutes, in that order. Soldiers came fourth, but politicians were far down the list, closer to scientists.

“A list like this is surprising and embarrassing,” said an editorial in the state-run China Daily. “The sex workers’ unexpected prominence on this list of honour... is indeed unusual.”


Indian newsflash: Rugby is not cricket, guys

Norman Laker, the South African coach of India’s unfancied rugby team, has one message for his players: “Eat!” Mr Laker’s edict was compelled by the fact that the team is currently made up of underweight players who do not have a chance in a game with a decent side.

“I have told them they must eat at least 15 eggs a day, six for breakfast and the remaining nine any time, anyhow, during the day,” Mr Laker said ahead of the team’s departure to South Africa for a training stint. “Indian players weigh 72-77 kg on average whereas the international players weigh between 88 and 100 kg.”

According to the coach, in South Africa elite players have seven meals a day!


Lift a leg if you want to crack a US joke

Some things are so tasteless it is hard to explain how anybody allows them to happen.

Take the US-made film, I Love You Man, which has a character who, when asked the name of his dog, replies: “Anwar Sadat — after the former president of Egypt”.

When pressed by his co-star whether this is because he admires Mr Sadat’s policies, he replies: “No, because they look exactly alike.” The film then cuts to a shot of the dog.

It surely couldn’t have been lost on the movie’s director that a dog is considered unclean in Islamic culture? Or should Egyptians make a movie calling JFK a pig?


Some have too much to do, some too little….

Uganda's acting Inspector General of Government, Raphael Baku, recently appealed for relief, saying that he was so overloaded with work that he was afraid for his health.

Mr Baku said that he was doing the work of three people, since his department did not have a substantive IGG and two deputies as stipulated by the law.

The personnel shortages had real repercussions, Mr Baku told a committee of Parliament.

Out of 3,400 corruption complaints made by the public in the 2008/09 financial year, only 813 were investigated and completed.

Now, if only they could give the poor man the gross salaries of three people…