Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Kenyan Weirdness: Plot Thickens

After the Kenyan censorblitz crisis, a curious story from the Nairobi Nation via AllAfrica.com. Apparently some poor chap turned up, bleeding, near a house occupied by mysterious white foreigners regularly visited by vehicles with GK- plates (i.e. Government of Kenya). Sez he's been bitten by a dog. Locals say he's dusting crops where there ain't no crops..at least they haven't heard any barking, but they did hear screams. It seems he scrabbled over the wall, identified himself as a policeman, and got a lift to the next police station. There, however, he made no mention of his status. Meanwhile, men in a white car claiming to be detectives drove out of the place and searched for him.

Later that night a large truck was observed leaving the building, apparently containing all the household goods.

Govt. of course denies knowledge of everything. As Joseph Kamau of CID put it, Kenyans must not take this seriously. So who are these men? Well, everyone thinks they are Russians, but as usual in Africa that's a general designation for anyone from the former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe. They may actually be Armenians, and they came from Dubai. (Does this remind anyone else of the old Tricky track with the line German Jamaicans/With twisted faces!/Same as it ever was..? Suitably paranoid.)

The Standard reports claims by an MP that the "mercenaries" were ordered to target members of the opposition. But then, what's this?

Two men involved out themselves as "Artur Sargysyan and Artur Margaryan", Armenian brothers with the ear of the president, who claim to have lent the MP in question a large sum of money to launch a vote of no confidence in the government. They've even got CCTV footage...they say. What business are these two in? Well, one of them claims to be "the next President of Armenia" because their uncle, the incumbent, can't stand again due to a term limit.

I think they must be the guys who keep sending me those emails.

More seriously, they claim to be in the diamond trade in the Congo. So clearly their version of events is to be believed without question. Especially as, in another report, they claimed to be importing electronic equipment and investing in property. More fascinating yet, one of them claimed to arrive on Kenya Airways flight KQ311 from Dubai...but his name ain't on the passenger manifest.

They had this to say to the press:
"Do not allow provocation from political leaders. We have seen provocation like the attack on the Standard or whatever. Your people have to differentiate between democracy and anarchy. I want to say something to the Press, if I say something about Raila you will not put in the newspapers. Journalists are getting money from political leaders to put their articles. Let Raila come to court. He will suffer with his girlfriend.

We gave him money believing he was a gentleman. We did it on humanitarian grounds, but he going against us so that he does not return it. I am not afraid of him."
Well, it's not quite as elegant as the Minister of State Security's crack about twisting the lion's tail, but much the same content.

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