Kenya Situational Update as at 13.00 Thursday January 31 2008
By TTM on 31 January 2008 in News
This is an Update from the Kenya Tourist Board working with the Kenya Tourism Federation to reflect the current position in Kenya following this morning’s reported shooting of a Member of Parliament in the western town of Eldoret. All times in this statement are Kenyan local time which is GMT+3
Murder of MP today in Eldoret:
It was reported that an ODM opposition MP, Mr David Kimutai Too, was shot dead in Eldoret this morning. Some international media reports have appeared claiming that Mr Too was shot by police at a road-block. However the Kenya Police have now issued a statement indicating that the shooting of the ODM opposition MP today appears to be a “crime of passion” and that the correct details are as follows:
- At 10:00 am Eldoret Police Station received a report that a policewoman who was in the company of a man had been shot by a colleague in the town of Eldoret.
- Police moved to the scene and commenced investigations where they established that at about 09:30 am PC Eunice Chepkwony was picked up by a man outside the police station in a vehicle and that they drove off towards a hotel. The policewoman’s boyfriend, another Police constable, PC Andrew Maoche, then trailed them on a motorcycle.
- PC Eunice Chepkwony and her companion stopped outside the hotel and as they were about to enter PC Maoche approached the couple and fired several shots at them. The man died on the way to Hospital while PC Eunice Chepkwony was admitted in serious condition.
- Later it was established that the deceased is Hon. David Kimutai Too, the MP for Ainamoi Constituency.
- PC Andrew Maoche has been arrested and will appear in court tomorrow charged with murder.
We hope that the international media will correct their reports to avoid creating the impression that this incident was linked to post-election unrest.
Other than some initial anxiety over speculation about the motives for the killing of the MP Hon Kimutai Too, which has now been allayed by the statement issued quickly by the Kenya Police, the situation throughout the country has been calm today with no reports of any disturbances or violence linked to the post-election crisis as at 3.30 p.m. today.
Nairobi: Â The situation within the city of Nairobi was all calm and normal today.
The main tourist areas at the beach resorts and the safari circuit continue to receive international tourist visitors as usual and the current situation is as follows:
Mombasa and coast: there are no problems at any of the beach resorts and the roads between Malindi, Watamu, Kilifi, Nyali, Bamburi, Mombasa, Diani, Galu, Msambweni are all open and reported to have no problems.Â
The international airport at Mombasa is operating as normal with both charter flights and daily scheduled services flying in and there is no problem with access to the airport on the roads from the north and south of Mombasa. The ferry at Likoni is operating as normal for tourists travelling to the south coast.
Safaris: all the national parks and wildlife reserves are operating as normal with most camps and lodges open for business. The roads linking the parks and reserves are all open and conditions are normal with the exception of roads through Naivasha town (see below). For tourist vehicles travelling by road to the Mara, the road passing Narok town is a stretch of approximately 4 kms and is now being monitored by a permanent security patrol to ensure that there are no problems for tourist vehicles. For the past week tourist vehicles have been driving along this route from Nairobi to the Mara daily without any problem and latest reports indicate that the road is open and that traffic is moving freely. The route to the Mara is south from Narok and drivers do not need to drive north to Bomet which is within the area recommended as off-limits to tourists (see below).
Areas which should be avoided for the time being
The Kenya Tourism Federation continues to monitor the security situation to ensure that any areas considered unsafe for tourists are avoided. While the beach resorts, the safari circuit, the airports in Nairobi and the highways between them to the Nairobi international hotels are considered safe for visitors at the present time, the following areas are off-limits for tourists until further notice:
Naivasha and Nakuru
Following the recent clashes between rival groups in and around Naivasha and Nakuru, the roads have been open to traffic for the past three days and the police have restored order. However the Kenya Tourism Federation recommends that road safaris through Naivasha town and on by road to Lake Nakuru should be suspended for the present time while we monitor the situation and until we can confirm that peace and calm have been fully restored once again in the area.
Air safaris may continue to Lake Nakuru National Park using the airstrips next to the park in the Congreve Conservancy or at Lanet. The Warden of Lake Nakuru National Park has confirmed that all is calm within the park and that tourist visitors have not been affected by the clashes beyond Nakuru. Lake Nakuru Park remains secure and safe for visitors with KWS rangers on duty.
Western Kenya, areas off-limits for tourists: In addition to Naivasha and Nakuru, the Kenya Tourism Federation continues to recommend that for the time being visitors should avoid the following areas where there have been sporadic incidents of civil unrest in recent weeks: Nyanza Province, Western Province, and the western area of Rift Valley Province including roads to the north of Narok to Bomet, Sotik and Njoro, the areas surrounding Kericho, Molo, Londiani, Nandi Hills and Eldoret. These places are not normally visited by tourists and members of the Kenya Association of Tour Operators have avoided these areas since the onset of the post-election problems. Currently the situation in these areas is reported to be calm.
For visitors to Nairobi it is recommended that the high density housing estates and slums should be avoided, including Eastleigh, Mathare, Huruma, and Kibera but tourists have always been advised to keep away from these areas.
For visitors to Mombasa and the Coast:Â all has been calm and normal for over a week now but it is recommended to avoid going to the following areas in MombasaÂ at the present time: Majengo, Tonononka, and Bondeni. Â Sporadic demonstrations had occurred previously in these areas.Â Mombasa is an island and not a beach resort and the areas mentioned can be avoided by tourist vehicles transferring from the airport to the beach resorts on the north and south mainland.
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