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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 November 2007, 16:03 GMT
Kenya storm over president lunch
President Mwai Kibaki
President Kibaki is running for a second five-year term
Top Kenyan politicians, businessmen and corporate executives have reportedly paid $15,000 each to have lunch with President Mwai Kibaki in Nairobi.

The event, held at a five-star hotel, had a menu representing Kenya's different regions, with dishes such as stewed tripe with banana and potatoes.

Mr Kibaki's spokesman says the guests were attending a website launch and not raising funds for next month's polls.

The event has twice been put back after public uproar over reports of the cost.

It is reported that the organisers were trying to raise $1.5m.

$15,000 MENU
Pureed pumpkin and ginger sauce
Tilapia in tomato sauce
Stewed tripe with bananas and potatoes
Fish in coconut sauce
Fried camel meat
Ugali (maize meal porridge)
Vegetable masala
Fruit salad

President Kibaki's press secretary Isaiah Kabira said the event was to promote Mr Kibaki's election website.

Journalists were not allowed to film the event.

The BBC's Kevin Mwachiro in Nairobi says President Kibaki arrived at the Safari Park Hotel at midday to join top industrialists, stock markets executives and government officials.

Fried camel meat and pureed pumpkin and ginger were among other menu options.

Some observers have described the event as an affront to poor people in Kenya.

About 50% of Kenyans, many living in slums and rural areas depend on less than $1 a day.

President Kibaki faces a strong challenge from former minister Raila Odinga in the presidential race.

Latest opinion polls show Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga remains the most popular candidate with 45% of Kenyans backing his bid, compared to 41%, who support President Kibaki.

President Kibaki, 75, is banking on a strong economic growth and promises to expand his universal free education to secondary school if elected.



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