There was a mild scuffle at the Nyayo National Stadium when Raila Odinga’s bodyguard was blocked from accessing the VIP holding area on Friday, April 29.
The Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya presidential candidate had made his way to Nyayo for the State Funeral service of Kenya’s third President Mwai Kibaki, who died on April 22, 2022.
Odinga had arrived at the stadium alongside his wife Ida Odinga at around 9:50am, and upon disembarking from their vehicle, they went straight to the VIP holding area, with their bodyguards in tow.
The couple’s other bodyguards stopped outside the entrance, with only one attempting to enter the lounge.
The bodyguard was, however, blocked by the security officers at the entrance as he sought to follow Raila Odinga and Ida Odinga into the lounge.
The officers, dressed in suits, had seemingly been directed to only allow the VIPs inside, minus their security team.
Committed to ensuring the prominent couple’s security was guaranteed, the bodyguard, who was dressed in a grey suit, attempted to force his way in, but was grabbed by the arms and pulled back.
He tried disengaging himself, but was subdued by the security officers and thrown out.
One of the security officers could be heard telling the ODM boss’s bodyguard that Raila “is very safe [inside there]”, as another said: “Don’t bring unnecessary commotion here.”
The Standard understands that the security officers, who blocked the ODM boss’s bodyguard, are part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s security detail.
The Principal Administrative Secretary (PAS) at the Office of the President, Kennedy Kihara, on Wednesday, April 27, said that where the President’s security team is, especially in an enclosed space, other VIPs’ security officers surrender the protection function to the President’s officers.
“We will have a situation where the VIPs will be allowed in and their security [officers] will not be accommodated in the same venue. After all, the place is secured by the Presidential Escort,” Kihara said in Othaya, Nyeri County while giving a status update on preparations for Mwai Kibaki funeral.
Several Heads of State and other senior government officials attended Mwai Kibaki’s Funeral service at the Nyayo National Stadium on Friday, April 29.
At least three sitting presidents attended Kibaki’s State Funeral service.
The three are South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, South Sudan’s Salva Kiir Mayardit and Ethiopia’s Sahle-Work Zewde.
Former Malawi President Joyce Banda was also in attendance.
Three vice-presidents also attended the function. They are Philip Mpango of Tanzania, Jessica Alupo of Uganda and Constantino Chiwenga of Zimbabwe.
Rwanda’s Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente was also in attendance.
Others were the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Patricia Scotland, Sri Lanka’s Special Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake, South Africa’s International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor and South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mayiik Ayii Deng.
Kibaki, who died aged 90 on April 22, will be buried on Saturday, April 30 at his Kanyange Village home in Othaya, Nyeri County. The ex-president died while receiving treatment at the Nairobi Hospital after three months of illness.
Kibaki, who ruled between 2003 and 2013, is survived by four children.
His wife, Lucy Kibaki, died on April 26, 2016, aged 80. She succumbed while receiving treatment at the Bupa Cromwell Hospital in London, United Kingdom.