Presidential hopeful Jimmy Wanjigi’s planned meeting in Migori today aborted after a section of delegates accused him of deriding ODM Party leader Raila Odinga as “too outdated to lead Kenya”.
Wanjigi, an ODM member, had planned to meet the Party's delegates at the Maranatha Faith Assemblies Church in Migori Town, but before he could get to the venue, a section of the delegates vowed not to allow him to address them over his recent remarks on Odinga’s suitability for the President’s seat.
Youths, who were against the meeting, started hurling chairs at the ODM officials in Migori County.
Other anti-Wanjigi youths, armed with stones, invaded the venue and began beating up a section of the delegates believed to be pro-Wanjigi.
The hall’s windows, chairs and other property were damaged during the melee.
A few victims were injured during the chaos, which spilled over to Friday afternoon.
Police used teargas to restore normalcy.
“A person who calls Jakom (Raila Odinga) old is not our friend,” a youthful member of the gathering was heard saying.
“Who insults Raila about his age?” another posed.
Reverend Joshua Ater of the Maranatha Faith Assemblies Church in Migori Town said he was disappointed by the chaos.
“We were forced to close our doors after chaos rocked the hall,” said Ater, who is tasked with managing the Church premises.
Wanjigi had, until Friday morning, held two successful meetings in Kisumu and Homa Bay counties. The presidential hopeful arrived in Nyanza on Wednesday, September 15 to popularise his bid.
Migori County ODM chairperson, Philip Makabong’o, who is the Secretary of ODM’s Nyanza counties’ chairpersons, said he was not aware of Wanjigi’s planned meeting in Migori on Friday.
Another faction of the youths, who disrupted Wanjigi’s meeting, said they “wanted to protect the presidential hopeful from conmen in the region”.
“We won’t allow conpeople to organise Wanjigi’s meeting. He ought to have followed protocol in planning the meeting. There were no local party officials at the venue,” said Suna East ODM Secretary Samuel Obrien.
The meeting was scheduled to start at 9am, but by 2pm it hadn’t kicked off.
Wanjigi’s media liaison officer, Mugumo Munene, said that another meeting would be planned in Migori Town soon.
In late August 2021, Wanjigi said Odinga, who has been active in politics for decades, has no new idea to offer Kenyans if elected President in 2022.