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Stop disrespecting Raila, ODM leaders now tell Ruto

By Isaiah Gwengi | March 8th 2020

ODM party leader Raila Odinga at the burial of Prof Gilbert Ogutu in Wambasa village, Siaya County, yesterday. [Isaiah Gwengi, Standard]

Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s allies have now put Deputy President William Ruto on notice of an impeding political offensive if he continues disrespecting their leader and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

East African Legislative Assembly MP Oburu Oginga and Siaya Senator James Orengo cautioned Ruto against using abusive idioms and parables against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila.

They spoke in Wambasa village in Siaya County during the burial of the late University of Nairobi Prof Gilbert Ogutu. Raila was present but did not discuss politics at the burial.

“We already know the people you were referring to and we can tell you for free that we are soon coming for you,” Orengo said.

The allies said despite Ruto’s office being part of the Presidency, the DP had elected to act contrary to law and decorum of his office.

“The Constitution should now deal with anyone acting contrary to requirements of the office he/she serves,” Orengo said.

He added that those insulting and assaulting others or those who are engaged in looting public coffers will be dealt with as per the law.

Dr Oburu said it is wrong for the DP to continue causing disharmony in government by using his allies to abuse the Presidency and those supporting the Building Bridges Initiative.

He called for the arrest and prosecution of those involved in illegal importation of arms. “There was an attempt to import arms into the country and it is very clear that it was organised in the highest office,” Oburu said at the funeral that was attended by MPs James Nyikal (Seme), Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Jackline Oduol (nominated) and Siaya Woman representative Christine Ombaka.

Blaming people

Oburu challenged the DP to give the DCI the names of the suspected criminals in his office instead of blaming people.

He eulogised the late don as a man who knew the real meaning of democracy and that he loved peace.

“Many people have talked about good things that the late Prof Ogutu did in the academia and his love for culture, but forgot that he was also a politician.” He recalled his campaign rally in Uhanya, where the late Ogutu attended without being invited and was given a chance to address the rally.

“It was very rare for an opponent to attend your rally but Ogutu did and when I asked him why he did so, he told me that he had nothing against me but was vying because the Bondo parliamentary seat had been declared vacant,” Oburu said.

Raila remembered the late Ogutu for his love for culture, and said his contribution in the younger generations to know their background was remarkable.

“He taught us many things including the myth surrounding widow remarriage in the Luo culture,” Raila said. Even as leaders, colleagues and elders eulogised him as a man who combined academics and social development, the cause of his death remains a puzzle.

Others who attended the funeral were Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, his Siaya counterpart Cornel Rasanga and former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo.

Nyong’o, who recalled their first meeting with Prof Ogutu in Makerere University in 1966, said Kenya has come from far and it was important to appreciate the sacrifice made by President Kenyatta and Raila to move the country forward.

The Luo Council of Elders chairman James Otondi described the late Ogutu as the best brain the council will greatly miss.

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