Police lob teargas to disperse mourners at Jakoyo Midiwo’s burial

Police lob teargas to disperse mourners at the burial of the former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo. [Harold Odhiambo, Standard]

Police officers were on Saturday forced to lob teargas at mourners who had turned up in large numbers for the burial of former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo.

The residents had started streaming at the Ndori Primary School where a short ceremony before the burial was expected to take place.

But police had been instructed to only allow a handful of mourners in line with Ministry of Health burial protocols and Covid-19 containment measures.

This prompted a commotion as police officers intervened to separate groups of supporters who were trying to force their way to the venue.

Upon resistance to guidelines, police had to lob the teargas to disperse the groups.

A number of mourners told The Standard that the Covid-19 situation has denied them an opportunity to mourn a leader who served them with passion.

Joseph Apiyo said Midiwo was astute leader and residents ought to have been given a chance to give him a befitting send-off.

"I was hoping to participate in the burial. Unfortunately, I have been blocked but I understand the worrying Covid-19 situation," he said.

Several leaders including ODM leader Raila Odinga and a host of legislators are expected at the burial.

Siaya Senator James Orengo, Governor Cornel Rasanga, Several MPs and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa are in attendance.

Midiwo passed on two weeks ago while undergoing treatment at a Nairobi hospital after he suffered from a cardiac arrest.

Midiwo, 54, served as the MP for Gem constituency between 2002 and 2017. Before his death, he was eyeing a political comeback ahead of the 2022 elections.

He was last seen in public when President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila launched a water project and a road project in Gem.

Prior to the 2017 elections, Midiwo fell out with Raila’s ODM party and decamped the party to contest as an independent.

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