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Lamu donkey riders in boycott

By | March 6th 2011

By Maarufu Mohamed

The ongoing weeklong Lamu Maulid Cultural festival hit a snag on Friday after donkey riders boycotted the finals, demanding increase in the prize money from Sh3,000 to Sh10,000.

The more than 20 riders who had qualified after the preliminary rounds on Wednesday failed to participate in the final, which was scheduled to start at 9am.

They gathered at the starting point along the island’s seafront with their donkeys, chanting ‘no money no finals.

The incident caught the organisers and hundreds of both local and international guests by surprise.

Cracked whip

Guest who had lined up along the island’s seafront to watch the event’s finals were disappointed when an official announced the decision to put off the event.

"We are sorry to announce that the finals of the donkey race has been cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances," said an official.

The riders claimed Sh3, 000 prize cannot even sustain a donkey. They said the money could not meet their medical expenses in case of injuries during the race.

Meanwhile the Government has said it will repossess all wetland allocated to private individuals in the next three months.

All structures built on the wetland near rivers, lakes and even the ocean would be demolished. National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has cracked the whip on beneficiaries of such land.

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