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Funky Gibb 'un

Letters

Your article on Paul Karekezi (NCE 17 March) took me back to the 1960's when I worked with Gibb alongside Gibb Africa staff in Libya.

I was allotted a flat in Tripoli, with a lift to the third floor, air conditioned, ceiling fans, wall and overhead lighting, and a well equipped kitchen with modern electric appliances.

There was one snag: the power reached no further than a substation 50m from the block.

No problem, I was told - a few backhanders in the right direction will soon have it fixed. But Gibb policy had been made clear.

I carted gas cylinders up the stairs, and we used paraffin lamps and oil cooking for the whole of the very hot summer we were there. We endured taunts of being naive and oldfashioned, but when Ghaddaffi took over, Gibb was, I believe, one of the few companies to be given a clean bill by the Revolutionary Committees which investigated construction projects.

I hope the current African authorities appreciate the lean years resulting from Karekezi's policy, and that it now helps him to build on the success he deserves.

Bob Matthews, Burcot, Oxford, ramatriv@clara.co. uk

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