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Election Day – Nairobi, Kenya

Moi declared today a public holiday so there aren’t any Air India flights leaving today, let alone the fact that no one at the airport was answering the phone anyway. We ended up just hanging around the Kumuka compound watching the only Kenyan television station for any election information. We knew we weren’t going to see a map of the country light up red and blue as the results came in, but we wanted any information. No dice. Election results would begin to be announced in the morning.

Let’s take a moment to tell you about the Kenyan television station (singular). Kenyan Broadcasting Corp only goes on the air for a few hours in the evening, so for the rest of the twenty four hour period they pipe in CNN International to fill the gap. It was on there that the CNN reporter in Nairobi said, “. . . if President Moi were reelected there are the makings for a civil war.” Wonderful – I went off and tried to call Air India again.

The Kumuka guys told us about an Acacia (another safari company) truck coming up to Nairobi from Mombassa a week before the election. It was cruising along when both the driver and courier noticed this large disk shaped thing in the middle of the highway. The driver swerved around it and after a few moments reassessing the situation he asked the courier, who’d been in the British army, if the thing they’d just avoided was a land mine. The courier affirmed the comment and they continued through a police check (where nothing was said) on to Nairobi. Chalk one up for Kenyan politics.

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