So, Tom Cholmondeley's lengthly trial has finally reached the end and the murder charge has been reduced to manslaughter by the judge. The accused said that he was 'shocked' by the verdict. His hopes were raised when a couple of weeks ago crime investigators had given a 'not guilty' result and many believed he would walk free. The judge might have felt he could not do this as it would not be well received publically - 'wealthy landowner walks free after second murder'. He is to be sentanced next Tues and they say will get 3-5 years, though the three years he has already been in held prison on remand apparently won't count towards that total, according to Kenyan law. The family and friends must be gutted.
Kibaki and Raila had a bit of a direct dressing down by church leaders yesterday when they attended a church mass. The Bishop said that the Kenyan people had lost faith in the Coalition Government - that the people have a right to fresh elections so that they are given the chance to get rid of the politicians who are not doing their job properly.
The National Council of Churches of Kenya and Transparency International (Kenya) recently conducted a survey of 1,400 Kenyans in April. Results of a recent survey/opinion poll revealed that Kenyans would like to see an equal sharing of power between the President and Prime Minister - plus 78% do not believe Mutula Kilonzo will be able to deliver a new constition within a year, as promised. 62% believe that political interference will stand in the way and other said bickering and tribalism will be the main obstacles.
A teacher (Kenyan) at the kindergarten that two of my daughters attend asked me if I could donate a high chair to the school she helps at for children with learning difficulties. She knew my kids were getting older and said it would be a huge help to be able to strap in the children while trying to feed them three or more at a time. The school/day care centre is located in a low cost area on the outskirts of Nairobi off Thika Road. The centre (which has just been set up) helps children with special needs who might otherwise be left at home all day. Normal schools and daycare are generally reluctant to help them. This means that the majority of mum's of children with special needs cannot go out to work.
I am also handing over my cot that we have had for years as the teacher said that it would also help. It was originally made on the side of the road in 2000 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (a very rough copy of a Mothercare design). The cot has served us well and it is strangely quite a wrench to say goodbye to it.. but I really admire this lady - she made me feel pretty humble this morning.
My American friend who set up 'Acacia House' (see link below) orphanage just outside Ngong Town now has six girls resident - (for a while there have only been two)! Two recent arrivals are from the home that Liz and Stu worked in voluntarily when they arrived in Nairobi a year ago, and which turned out to be being run by a very nasty man and a Pastor to boot. He was taking donated money and the children were treated and fed poorly. This home has recently been closed down by local authorities at long last.