MP Onyonka: Thank God I am alive, MP speaks after alleged food poisoning

Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati and his Kitutu Chache South Counterpart Richard Onyonka at Simba's meeting held at St Vincent Hotel in Kisii town. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka now says he is grateful to his God for sparing his life after an alleged food poisoning.

Although the politician has not provided evidence or medical report to show he was poisoned, he has insisted that he was 'poisoned' during a public meeting in Kisii last Friday.

“I thank my God that I am alive today after that close shave on my life,” Onyonka told The Standard on phone.

He said he would disclose full details of the happenings at Ibacho that led to his poisoning once he got healed.

“Before last Friday happenings, I had been getting text messages in my phone asking me to stop supporting Simba Arati for Kisii Governorship seat in 2022 or face the consequences. I am surprised that some people are claiming that I am faking poisoning,” said Onyonka.

The MP noted he was serving his third term in parliament and had never had worries about his wellbeing.

He questioned why someone would want to target him and told those claiming that he is lying that they will one day be in his shoes.

Oasis Hospital Acting Administrator Joash Mwanzi confirmed to The Standard Onyonka was treated at the facility on Friday evening at around 7 PM and was discharged.

Mwanzi however declined to reveal what Onyonka was suffering from saying the only information he could reveal was that the legislator underwent a medical examination and got help before being allowed to go home.

''Due to Patient-Doctor confidentiality we cannot reveal the medical report to the Media, it is upon the patient to do so if he wishes, the only thing I can confirm is that Onyonka was brought here for medical attention,'' said Mwanzi.

Meanwhile, Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri has continued to mount pressure on the legislator to provide evidence that he was poisoned.

Ongeri said it was wrong for Onyonka and Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati to make serious allegations "which they are not ready to substantiate."

Ongeri said such utterances were likely to cause animosity among members of the Gusii community "for no good reason."

Speaking during the burial of Mzee Meshack Arande, an uncle to Governor James Ongwae at Nyagoto in Kitutu Chache North Constituency on Sunday, Ongeri said as a professor in medicine he would like to be given the alleged content that Onyonka consumed for tests.

“I am asking Onyonka to provide the water bottle that he claims to have taken for forensic tests. He should also provide a medical report showing that indeed he was poisoned so that we do not have a scenario where some people are tainting the image of innocent leaders,” said Ongeri.

Governor Ongwae, his Deputy Joash Maangi and Woman MP Janet Ongera have however steered clear of the subject only asking Arati and Onyonka to respect other leaders.

Arati on Saturday announced that his team had suspended all the activities lined up for the next few weeks until Onyonka, whom he said had been poisoned, fully recovers.

He condemned the incident saying that it was setting a bad precedent as campaigns for 2022 gains momentum.

The Dagoretti North MP said he was saddened that some leaders want to make a joke out of a "serious matter."

He said it was by sheer luck that Onyonka did not consume the entire contents of the water bottle which he said according to medical personnel could have been fatal.

“On Friday evening we held a meeting at Ibacho area where an unidentified person passed on a water bottle to Onyonka who proceeded to drink it, only to discover that it had some strange test, he immediately spat it out, but his body reacted immediately in which he started vomiting with blood oozing from his mouth,” said Arati.

He said luckily, Onyonka was rushed to Oasis Hospital where upon examination the doctors noted that the contents the MP ingested were not swallowed.

According to him, an examination of his mouth showed there was erosion and ulceration of his mouth’s lining.

Arati said the doctors did not rule out poisoning but stated that if the content of the bottle reached Onyonka’s stomach it could turn out to be fatal.