Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Barbs to our Cameroon Brothers

Insensitivity in this Our Times
I recalled sometime back for those who used to read The Daily Nation on Fridays’ and there used to be this article by one Tom Mshindi (lately appointed as The Daily Monitor MD in Uganda by Nation Media Group). It used to go by the name “Bouquets & Barbs”. Back then the articles in most newspapers ,though they were not as many, were more objective and also covered a wider reach not just covering our current ‘pollutics’ as one of our entertainers I can’t recall which one says.
OK back to what was itching in my mind. It hurts in this time and age when a country finds within itself to act in a most despicable way. It also hurts more when we are busy talking about some United States of Africa of which I’ll not start blubbering about here. It also doesn’t augur well coming so close to the Kenya Airways air crash (rest their souls in peace) which happened in the same country.
More to the point it’s about the trials and tribulations that the Kenyan Rugby 15 a-side national team went through as they were to play their African Cup game in Yaounde over the past weekend. First the entry to the airport, visa entry cost each team member KShs. 7370 (approx. $110) on arrival on Friday 6th July. But this was after it was lowered from KShs.10050 (US$150) at the airport road-block manned by the local police.
After this, the team was forced to train on a murram pitch as they tried to tune up for the game proper on Sunday. Come Sunday there was no vehicle to collect the players and ferry them to the game venue. The Kenyan officials had to hire 7 taxis to get the players to the venue.
Gallantly our players stood, played and won the game 22-19 making sure of a place in the semi-finals to be played from August 6-12. The other countries include Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar and Uganda.
This is where I throw the barb(s);
Why would anyone in their right mind demand such extortionists’ amounts from a visiting team? Don’t they have immigration officers manning the entry or those are the officers?
How does a country decide to throw the visitors into the woods and even leave them to the ‘hyenas’ for them to find their way back to the ‘civilisation’?
Why would one state show such display to another country that they owe so much especially after such a precarious state of diplomacy following the aircraft crash in May?
{I’m reminded that they had the audacity to send regional heads to accompany a whole Minister in the search for the plane which they even didn’t know where it was only for it to be found a throwing distance from the airport}

Barbs in abundance to the Cameroonian authorities and their rugby officials!

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