Politicians paid people to heckle Ida, says organisers

Ida Odinga during an event organised by the Catholic Women's Association (CWA) in Meru. [George Kaimenyi, Standard]

The Meru Catholic Diocese has blamed politicians after its Feast of Annunciation by the Catholic Women Association (CWA) was marred by heckling of Ida Odinga, the chief guest.

During her speech, Mrs Odinga’s voice was drowned out by chants by some people in the crowd at Consolata Primary School in North Imenti where the event was held.

The event was attended by local leaders, including North Imenti MP Rahim Dawood, Meru Senator Mithika Linturi and Priscillah Murungi, the wife of Governor Kiraitu Murungi.

Sister Gemmah Mbui, the CWA coordinator, who was among the organisers criticised politicians for disrupting a prayer function.

Supporters of Raila Odinga, the Azimio la Umoja flag bearer in Meru, condemned the incident.

Sister Gemmah accused politicians of paying hecklers to disrupt the function.

“This was supposed to be a day of prayer. A politician had brought people with him to the event.”

Gemmah said they had prior information that people planned to disrupt Mrs Odinga’s address, hence the decision not to allow politicians to talk at the event.

“It was decided that only Mrs Odinga would address participants so as to steer clear of politics during the event, she said.

“I told Bishop (Salesius Mugambi) that something has been planned. Then he told me nobody should speak except Ida (Mrs Odinga). They (noise makers) were many and were moving in the crowd, making noise and incited some of the (CWA) women,” she said.

A clearly disappointed Mrs Odinga left the ceremony midway.