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Kenya

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Index
  1. Kenya Main Page
  2. Kenya Wins Independence After a Long Struggle
  3. Economic Woes, Corruption, and Disasters Stifle Development
  4. Hopes for Reform Under New Administration Are Dashed
  5. Ethnic Violence Follows Disputed Presidential Election
  6. Kenyan Forces Invade Somalia to Fight Islamist Militants
  7. Four Prominent Kenyans Charged with Crimes against Humanity
  8. Kenyan Troops Storm Somalian Port City, Oust Militant Group
  9. 2013 Presidential Elections Largely Peaceful
  10. Somalian Militants Terrorize Luxury Mall
Economic Woes, Corruption, and Disasters Stifle Development

The economy did not flourish under Moi's rule. In the 1990s, Kenya's infrastructure began disintegrating and official graft was rampant, contributing to the withdrawal of much foreign aid. In early 1995, President Moi moved against the opposition and ordered the arrest of anyone who insulted him.

A series of disasters plagued Kenya in 1997 and 1998: severe flooding destroyed roads, bridges, and crops; epidemics of malaria and cholera overwhelmed the ineffectual health care system; and ethnic clashes erupted between the Kikuyu and Kalenjin ethnic groups in the Rift Valley. On Aug. 7, 1998, the U.S. embassy in Nairobi was bombed by terrorists, killing 243 and injuring more than 1,000. The embassy in neighboring Tanzania was bombed the same day, killing 10.

In a successful effort to win back IMF and World Bank funding, which had been suspended because of Kenya's corruption and poor economic practices, President Moi appointed his high-profile critic and political opponent, Richard Leakey, as head of the civil service in 1999. A third-generation white Kenyan, son of paleontologists Louis and Mary Leakey, he had been a highly effective reformer as head of the Kenya Wildlife Service. But after 20 months, during which he made a promising start at cleaning up Kenya's corrupt bureaucracy, Leakey was sacked by Moi. Kenya is regularly ranked among the ten most corrupt countries in the world, according to the watchdog group Transparency International.

An anticorruption law, sponsored by the ruling party, failed to pass in Parliament in Aug. 2001 and imperiled Kenya's chances for international aid. Opposition leaders called the law a cynical ploy meant to give the appearance of reform; the proposed law, they contended, was in fact too weak and full of loopholes to make a dent in corruption.

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