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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Naomi Campbell and Mass Action Over Safaricom IPO

Kenyan politics is getting rather tiresome and exhausting, especially for yours truly. So let’s start this political post on the fringes.

World super model Naomi Campbell loves the Kenyan Coast and that is where she spent the recent Easter holidays. Kumekuchans will remember that one of the most desirable women on earth had a case in 2006 where she was accused of throwing a cell phone at her maid or something. The supermodel has quite a temper.

This was hardly the first time the volatile Campbell, 35, has been accused of assault. Yet another employee said Campbell threw a phone at her during a tantrum in 2001. Then in 2004, Campbell’s maid claimed that her employer slapped her. Campbell pleaded guilty to an assault charge for beating yet another assistant in 1998. As the Americans say, Phew, some broad!!

But even more fascinating was the fact that during her recent stay in Kenya, Ms Campbell released a statement from her Malindi hideout praising Kenya as a holiday resort and declaring it very safe for tourists. That was excellent PR for Kenyan tourism, especially after what has happened in the last two months or so. But wait a minute! Who organized that publicity?

You will begin to understand what I am driving at when you realize where Ms Campbell was staying and who owns it. She was at the Lion In The Sun Resort in Malindi. A mere weeks stay at this private resort costs 36,000 Euros (don’t bother converting it into Kenya shillings, just know that it is a lot of money, actually close to Kshs4 million).

It is owned by world renowned playboy Flavio Briatore. This man has been linked to the underworld. Need I say more, you all know the kind of Italian crowd that runs Malindi don’t you. My point is that you can be sure that Mr Briatore did not do this kind f favour to the Kenyan government for free. Of course the favor will be returned in some way and I leave that to your imagination. Hint: Mr Briatore is NOT an ice cream magnate.

There have been rumours that Briatore and Campbell are lovers, which has been denied by both parties but the paparazzi say they have evidence contrary to the denials.

Those are the kind of powerful persons who deal with the Kenyan government. I must emphasize, the duly elected Kenyan government.

Oh and I almost forgot to add something very important. Despite the hefty prices charged at this resort, in 2002 the angry employees threatened to burn the place down because they were sick of their low salaries which they said were much lower than the generally very low salaries in the Italian neighborhood in Malindi.

* * *

ODM has called for mass action tomorrow (Friday) to protest the launch of the Safaricom IPO after the PNU government completely ignored appeals to delay the IPO so that the issue can be discussed at great length in the yet-to-be-named grand coalition cabinet. Actually the IPO raises too many questions.

However if only you knew the owners of Mobitelea and who is really the power behind the Safaricom offer you would understand a lot of things. Keep your eyes on this space to find out, or alternatively subscribe to my raw notes which has all the shocking details.

* * *

Meanwhile TNK a regular commentator of Kumekucha has the following fascnating observation and suggestion to make;

Having read this article

and the very many contributions by many over the composition of cabinet i must say am still totally in the dark

what exactly is the message being given by these leaders? am going to try below in a simplistic near naive approach

a) that the ministries are not equal and therefore the ministers also are not equal as such some ministers will be considered to be more senior in position on account of holding a more strategic or otherwise more senior ministry or portfolio i.e there will be mheshmiwa senior and mheshmiwa mdogo. supposing that that is true, then why not turn those junior ministries into departments and thereby also solve the problem of bloated cabinet.

b) members of parliament unlike councilors are elected to not only represent the interests of their constituencies in a national forum but to also debate the interests of other constituencies in order to foster harmony and promote the well being of the nation. further, when any of these MPs is appointed to a cabinet assignment then national interest should supersede or be very close to constituency interest and priority. so theoretically it should not really be a problem which MP is appointed to what ministry but that the ministries are well defined and a specific non-partisan and national code of ethics govern the conduct of performance with appropriate checks and balances. kibaki said in his campaign trips that the electorate should give him a clean set of MPs, and as he claims to be duly elected so then are the duly elected MPs who have been chosen to represent their constituents, so why is it a problem to give any MP a portfolio. Is kibaki and pnu saying that only PNU mps are worthy of certain ministries adn why? Is the problem ODM, PNU or is the problem the MPs. Lets suppose an MP say were to somehow cross over, say Anyang Nyongo defects to PNU will he suddenly be a better Minister of Planning than when he is Anyang Nyongo of ODM or will he be rewarded for stoking kibakis ego and therefore performance is inconsequential? if Michuki defected to ODM, will he still be a worthwhile minister fro roads or somehow his credibility will change in an Orange shirt? What exactly is the message? What madness is being preached? if these 220+ mps are unworthy of posts when in opposing parties why pretend to sit in debate with them in parliament?

c) assuming that kibaki finds his distribution of posts very balanced in the PNU proposal, aside from President and PM posts would he give the posts he suggests for ODM to PNU and affiliates, and those he has suggested as for PNU can he give these as is to ODM, remember balance means each team can be awarded either side and it still remains fair.

I hope Annan comes and uses the PNU proposal but awards the PNU side the ODM slots and vice versa and suggests that in all fairness that to be done for the first year and then reverse in the next year. Stupid, yes but these people are also playing stupid games with Kenyans.


Anonymous said...

Chris have you become so desperate so as to fabricate stories? Do some digging around first before making claims that fall flat on their face. Flavio is a clean self made man or is this the Kenyan syndrome of believing it is impossible to excel in something without having stolen?

Flavio Briatore

Briatore has developed a diverse portfolio of business interests outside Formula 1, many of which revolve around fashion.
He created the Billionaire brand in 1998 and owns a club in Sardinia under that name. A line of Billionaire fashion and sportswear is available as well as a haute couture line, Billionaire Italian Couture. In addition to that he opened Cipriani's restaurant in Mayfair, London in 2004 and owns the pharmaceuticals company Pierrel. He also operates a Tuscan beach club and Lion in the Sun, a holiday resort in Kenya.
In 2007 he was linked to a takeover of English Championship Club, Queens Park Rangers, from a Monaco based consortium led by Gianni Paladini. On September 1, 2007 it was officially announced that Briatore (along with Bernie Ecclestone) had bought Queens Park Rangers (QPR) Football Club.

Anonymous said...

Briatore was involved in the bankruptcy of Paramatti Vernici and convicted on various counts of fraud in Bergamo and Milan to 4 years and 6 months of prison. To avoid imprisonment, he fled to Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands.
The owner of Paramatti Vernice, Attilio Dutto, was a known Mafiosi and eventuelly killed on March 21, 1979, in a car bomb attack ascribed to the Red Brigades.

So calling Briatore - whose sources of finance have always been questioned - a 'clean' man is a joke.

This man is a convicted criminal.

Just in case doubt this information, go to


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