Several leaders were conspicuously absent when Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga recently toured Kisumu. Kisumu Central MP Fred Ouda was at pains explaining the whereabouts of the leaders who were missing in action.
The absent leaders included Kisumu senator Fredrick Outa, area women representative Rosa Buyu, nominated senator Rose Nyamunga, Kisumu West MP Olago Aluoch, his Kisumu East colleague Ahmed Shabir Muhoroni MP Onyango K’Oyoo, Nyakach Aduma Owour and Seme James Nyakil. Ouda told the crowd at the regional ODM offices that the leaders were absent since the notice for Raila’s coming was too short. “I personally heard about Odinga’s coming on my way to Nairobi forcing me to drive back after reaching Naivasha,” he said.
Earlier there was anxiety in town after word went round that deputy president William Ruto was supposed to attend a church service at St Stephen’s cathedral before giving out goodies to youths. Cathedral dean Canon Zephaniah Kore has since denied that Ruto was supposed to be their guest. Raila said that it was wrong for Ruto to dish out goodies without addressing the root cause of poverty.“It is very wrong for Ruto to run away with a small piece of cake yet we are trying to make it even bigger,” he said.
He said Ruto’s stature does not allow him to dish out wheelbarrows and motorbikes noting that the DP should go for even bigger things. Raila dismissed the notion that the country has over the years been led by people with rich backgrounds known as dynasties. He said the founding father of the nation, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, came from a poor background since he was at some stage a meter reader in the city. Raila said it is the same case with Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki, save for Uhuru Kenyatta. “Kibaki was at some stage forced to stay home for a year due to lack of school fees,” he said.
He impressed upon Kenyans to rally behind the Building Bridges Initiative noting that it was the only way of addressing injustices that have bedeviled citizens for many years. Raila said the BBI will solve various historical imbalances that have led to conflicts in every election period. Speaking outside the ODM regional offices in Kisumu, Raila said that the handshake between him and Uhuru Kenyatta has brought a favourable atmosphere for development. He said that it was the aspiration of the government that all Kenyans share the national cake equally. Also present were Kisumu governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, his deputy Mathew Owili, Ouda, his Nyakach colleague Aduma Owuor and Seme counterpart James Nyikal and ODM regional coordinator Ayiecho Olweny.