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Election violence

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Pretoria
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Election violence

I have booked two weeks at Mnarani from 3/3/2013 until 17/3/2012, I do not want to cancel because there are perceptions of possible violence during and after the election, I have found hysteria breeds fear.

Is there anyone local who can give me their thoughts on what they think will happen before and after the election, the furtherest we will venture from Kilifi wil be to Malindi if things are quite otherwise we will remain at the resort for the two week duration.

We will fly from Johannesburg into Nairobi on the 3rd then catch a connecting flight to Mombasa then on by resort transport to Mnarani.

I realise one cannot predict what is going to happen but some honest comments would be appreciated, by the way I have lived in Africa all my life so am used to the African political scene, just dont want to take any unnecessary risks.

Thanks for your help in this matter.

Graham

uk
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11. Re: Election violence

you can also keep up to date on line looking at the national papers

Pretoria
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12. Re: Election violence

Doffcokker/Larissa,

Can you please expand on "Kilifi County" and where the boundries are and the who the predominant tribe are, more out of interest than concern.

Thanks

Graham

South West England...
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for Mombasa, Diani Beach, Kenya
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13. Re: Election violence

http://reportingkenya.net/

And here....

Pretoria
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14. Re: Election violence

Just a word of thanks to those who have replied to me and the help given in this regard,really appreciate it.

Graham

Mtwapa, Kenya
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for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
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15. Re: Election violence

Graham,

(apologies in advance because this turned into a bit of an essay)

This will give you some idea

…staticflickr.com/2502/3751122827_d00fb59741…

Kilifi county (strictly I should say District, until after the election when the new County structure comes in) is primarily rural and is a bit of an oddity now as the traditional capital of the district is Kilifi Town, a very small town which is now dwarfed by the tourist town of Malindi towards the north of the district and Mtwapa at the very southern edge. Mtwapa is a boom town undergoing rapid expansion, the UN declared it the fastest growing non-urban area in Central and east Africa a couple of years ago. It is just across Mtwapa Creek from the tourist strip of Shanzu, Bamburi beach and Nyali and many people who work in the hotels, etc live in Mtwapa

Like the rest of the coast the majority of the population, especially away from the towns and tourist areas or inland are the Mijikenda (the nine tribes), a loose grouping consisting of the Giriama, Digo, Rabai, Ribe, Duruma, Chonyi, Jibana, Kauma and Kambe. The Giriama and Digo are the largest and best known sub-groups.

The coast also has a strong Muslim presence (around 30%) particularly in Mombasa, Lamu and the other historic trading areas, the majority of these being the ethnic Swahili.

The towns and tourist areas have attracted people from all over Kenya, plus Somalia and Tanzania, a lot of these have grouped together in some of the poorer areas which can then be associated with a particular tribe or nationality. These were the areas where there was trouble after the last elections.

The reason things have changed at the coast since the last election is that two new factors have entered the equation.

A Coast separatist movement called the MRC (Mombasa Republican Council) has been attracting a lot of support under its Motto 'Pwani Si Kenya' (Coast is Not Kenya), a reference to the 10 mile deep coastal strip that was a British protectorate, technically leased from the Sultan of Zanzibar, rather than part of the original British Colony of Kenya. At independence many of the Swahili wanted to join the Zanzibar administration. The Protectorate was included in the independent Kenya after a last minute deal between Jomo Kenyatta and the Prime Minister of Zanzibar which guaranteed land ownership to the Sultan's subjects in preference to the 'Africans' who had been on the land for centuries but in effect were squatters.

Land still remains a huge issue at the coast where it is hugely expensive by comparison to other areas of Kenya, in addition to the Swahili landowners, politicians and rich people from up country also now own large tracts of the best land, and now that lots of plots of land are being sold for development people are being forced of land that they have used for generations. Land and squatting are a huge problem.

Add to this unemployed, disaffected and alienated youth, a general feeling that the country has been governed since independence by the upcountry politicians who have looked after their own tribal areas at the expense of the coast, and it is not hard to see why the MRC has been attracting large numbers of members.

The same issues have also lead to the second new factor the disaffected Muslim youth at the coast being a fertile recruiting ground for the Somalian Islamist group Al Shabaab, the group that African Union and Kenyan troops have been fighting in Somalia.

Pretoria
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16. Re: Election violence

Hi there,

thanks very much for the detailed explination to my question, I now have a much better and clearer understanding of the area and the politics behind it.

If I may say so, it is refreshing to have people like yourself and the others who are prepared to give up your time and energy to help visitors like myself so that we are better informed before stepping off the plane at NBO, you must get tired of the same questions asked but you carry on helping,for this i salute and thank you all.

Graham

Pretoria
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17. Re: Election violence

Hi Larissa,

Have booked and paid so there is no turning back, my only regret is that I did not know of your place, just had a look at your site and I must say it is stunning and the reviews say it all,but hey who knows maybe you will see us later on in the year.

Once again a very big thank you to people like yourself who unselfishly help visitors no matter where they will be staying, you are a credit to Kenyan tourism.

Graham

Mombasa, Kenya
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18. Re: Election violence

Hi Graham,

Wow, thank you so much for your kind words, this is really nice :) Would be lovely to see you later in the year, who knows as you say :)

Do enjoy your stay in Kenya, I am sure you will. I think it is a nice alternative to Mauritius and Seychelles which have been traditionally very popular with the South African travellers. Kenya is a lovely country which gets under your skin! I love Kenya, marine life and underwater photography - hence our place :) I have not yet figured out how to incorporate Cape Town into this whole picture - this would have been my ultimate paradise!

Larissa

Tijara Beach Hotel

Pretoria
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19. Re: Election violence

Hi Larissa,

Cape Town as a holiday destination,sure,but man I would give my eye teeth to stay where you stay,talk about the Garden of Eden.

I have been importing Baby veg as well as pre packed veg from Kenya for the past few years which I in turn supply to Pick and Pay and Woolworths who I am sure you have heard of and I must say that I am ashamed that I have never visited your beautiful country and now when I do, I possibly choose the worst month to do so,but there again Africa is not for sissy's and now that I am committed to coming I can't wait to get there.

Hoping you have a magic evening in paradise.

Graham

Edited: 11:54 am, February 06, 2013
Mombasa, Kenya
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20. Re: Election violence

Thank you Graham, and lovely evening to you too!

I spent 6 weeks in Cape Town in 2011 due to my husband's surgery and we had the most amazing time! Love it - have been a few times on holidays there as well and can't wait for my next trip :)

I have been closely involved with fresh produce for many years on the side of air transport, so we have things in common it seems!

Africa isn't for sissy's indeed! Pray all will be well with the elections and as for the rest - we will manage it pole pole (slowly) as they say in Kiswahili. Get used to things being a tad slower here that you are used to, especially at the coast. It takes some time to adjust but once you do, you will really feel relaxed :) A few cold Tuskers or Tusker Malts (really nice local beer) will add to the experience! By the way, most of the wine here is from South Africa, so do not be surprised to see some familiar labels! :)

Larissa

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