Chicago Sun-Times
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Kenyan Government: Takes out ad to counter Obama assertion of shakedown of Chicago TV crew at airport.

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NAIROBI,Kenya--The Keynan government took out an ad in a Monday paper to dispute Sen. Barack Obama's charge that Chicago TV crews had to pay bribes to get their equipment through customs when they entered the country.

"The allegations that there was corruption involved," ad said, "are totally unfounded.''

Pressure from Obama resulted in the return of $1,000 and $800 to two crews of Chicago from the Kenyan government, with an explanation.

1 Comment

I am not surprised at all at those allegations.

A culture of corruption permeates Kenyan society from the President all the way down to the most ordinary citizen.

The issue of governance & ethics is a huge challenge of Kenya and many other African governments.

Jerry Okungu, a veteran Kenyan journalist posted an article on governance & ethics in Africa which is delves into this problem very insightfully.

"Chai" as corruption is affectionately referred to in Kenya, is rampant and is the primary cause of sub-standard development of Kenya, an African country which has been spared of civil strife unlike many others.

In my opinion, a Kenya without a corrupt government would be far ahead of many other African nations --- Obama mentioned quite correctly that at the time Kenya gained independence from Britain in 1963, it's economy was at par with that of South Korea, but debilitating corruption and gross mis-management has stagnated Kenya catastrophically.

The Kenyan government ought to be ashamed of itself, for those officials who demanded and got bribes to get Obama's equipment through Kenya customs are just following in the footsteps of an inept and "cancerously" corrupt government.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on August 28, 2006 12:31 AM.

OBAMA AFRICAN TRAVEL: WHO PAYS was the previous entry in this blog.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maathai: "Imagine if everyone in the world planted a tree." is the next entry in this blog.

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