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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 July, 2004, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Kenyan papers stung by corruption claims
Edward Clay
Edward Clay has been asked to "name names"

The stinging allegations of Kenyan government corruption by the UK High Commissioner Edward Clay have prompted protest and resentment in the Kenyan press.

Some papers see Mr Clay's criticism as too frank for a diplomat, but others concede he has a point and there is criticism of what some see as President Mwai Kibaki's failure to fulfil an election pledge to battle corruption.

Elsewhere, there are calls on Mr Clay to substantiate his allegations with proof.

All of us as Kenyans are hurt by Mr Clay's common disdain for our government and its officers. It is hard to remember more cutting, more discourteous remarks against the officers of the government of the Republic of Kenya... Did he really have to tear us apart? Did he have to make us look like damn fools?

East African Standard

It was not just undiplomatic, but highly emotional as well... While he could have had genuine concerns, the manner in which he expressed himself, or his government's concern, is unacceptable.

The People

His message came through as nothing but an annoying Big Brotherly ukase [edict] from yet another disdainful foreigner... It's doubtful that the Kenyan ambassador to London can start calling David Blunkett or Tony Blair names and survive a day.

Commentator Waithaka Waihenya in East African Standard

One might, of course, find fault with the British high commissioner's language... But a time may come when the leaders of a sovereign state show by their increasing absence of dignity that they no longer deserve any linguistic caress.

Daily Nation

We bravely acknowledge that below the indelicate vomit imagery, beneath the usual British scepticism about us, Mr Clay was speaking the ugly truth... We are inviting the government once more - before we totally lose confidence in its many pledges - to do what we know it is capable of doing: To please cut out the festering rot that threatens the life of our nation.

In the name of God and country Mr President, do not allow us to go back into the hole from which we are attempting to climb out.

East African Standard

In a hundred ways, President Kibaki shows the electorate, the donors and investors that he is not keen to face corruption and wasteful spending and that, to feed venality, he may soon resort to the human rights abuse which, while in opposition, he purported to fight for 11 years...

How can you keep hopping from one capital of the gnomes of Zurich to the next, a beggar's bowl in hand, and hope that they will not raise their voices while their aid goes into individuals' pockets?

Daily Nation

His job is not to mock us before his countrymen. He has looked down upon us and even abused us. He must either substantiate, or withdraw and apologise.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere in East African Standard

Let the government be told who among its cabinet ministers and civil servants are corrupt and the figures involved. If credible, the culprits will immediately be sacked.

First Lady Lucy Kibaki in East African Standard

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.


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