Raila's allies record statement as Kalenjin elders condemn attack

The Myoot Council of Elders in Uasin Gishu County led by their spokesman Edwin Chepsiror (centre) in Eldoret yesterday. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga’s allies want Deputy President William Ruto to record a statement with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations over the chopper attack.

The MPs led by Suna East MP Junet Mohammed questioned the DP’s public apology soon after the Friday attack. They say Dr Ruto was insincere.

The lawmakers had accompanied Mr Odinga to businessman Jackson Kibor’s funeral.

“He was apologising over what? You only apologise for a crime you have committed. What he needs to do as a leader is to denounce the violence,” Mr Junet said. He recorded a statement as a witness alongside Embakasi East legislator Babu Owino.

Mr Junet added: “If he knows something, he should come to the DCI offices and share his statement with them.”

Other leaders who accompanied Mr Odinga were National Assembly minority leader John Mbadi, Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir, Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga and Seme MP James Nyikal. 

Mr Junet added: “This was an attempt on the life of a party leader. We will not take it casually. We want this matter to be taken to its logical conclusion.”

MP Nassir called for tolerance among Kenyans. “Let us not take situations into our hands. Whoever comes should be listened to,” he said.

Ledama Ole Kina said, “When we get to this kind of behaviour, it shows the hooliganism that exists in some parties.” The statement by the MPs came as Eldoret Resident Magistrate Emily Kigen granted police seven days to continue holding 17 suspects arrested over the incident.

The suspects are likely to face four charges, including attempted murder and malicious destruction of property.

Meanwhile, the Myoot council of elders from Soy, Uasin Gishu County, converged at the scene where the Azimio flagbearer’s chopper was pelted with stones and condemned the incident.

The elders prayed at the scene and announced that a cleansing ceremony will be held in 40 days in line with the community’s culture.

The elders said the family of the late Uasin Gishu farmer and politician Jackson Kibor was still in mourning and that no traditional ceremony can be held until after 40 days. 

Addressing the media at the venue led by elders David Sing’oei, Edwin Chepsiror and Paul Tumbo, the group termed the incident ‘unheard of’ in the Kalenjin community and should never be repeated.

“What happened was taboo and unacceptable in the Kalenjin culture. An incident that can lead to loss of life should not happen during a burial ceremony,” elder Sing’oei said.

Report by Emmanuel Too, David Njaaga, Titus Too