We had a holiday on Friday - instead of a bank holiday monday today. It was called 'Labour Day'. The tradition is that people pile off to town stadiums for a bit of a knees up and lots of speeches, singing, dancing and celebration etc.
This year, perhaps due to the bad relations between members of the coalition government and generally very low public opinion of politcians, key leaders gave the Nairobi City Stadium a miss. (at the last function there was a terrible jostle between Prime Minister Raila Odinga's car and that of President Kibaki. Both wanted to arrive last to show their superior importance. The cars were seen to be taking diversions and waiting in lay-bys to avoid being first.) On Friday, President Kibaki, Vice President Musyoka and Prime Minister Odinga were noticable for their absence.
Just as well, as there were stones thrown at the VIP tent and the MP/speaker who was delivering the President's speech on his behalf, was hecked by a crowd who were shouting, 'we want cash not words!'
The MP was forced to skip 6 pages of the President's speech in order to quickly get to the end bit about raising the minium wage. The rise was so small that the crowd began to leave the stadium in digust, refusing even to stand for the National Anthem.
'Politicians - beware a people's revolution' - the newspapers warned the following day.