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NASA supporters in Kisumu demand for buses to take them to Raila 'swearing in' ceremony

By Standard Team | January 30th 2018
Youths flock Kisumu Central ODM office to push their leaders to facilitate their travel to Nairobi to attend Raila Odinga's swearing-in ceremony at Uhuru Park, Nairobi. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Hundreds of youths staged protests in Kisumu over alleged ‘laxity’ by area leaders to ferry them to Nairobi for today’s planned swearing-in of Opposition chief Raila Odinga.

The youths, who were chanting pro-NASA slogans, stormed the county headquarters demanding audience with county officials.

They said they had been promised buses to ferry them to Nairobi, but were yet to get any positive response from any of the local leaders.

Led by Bunge La Wananchi (People’s Assembly) chairmen, the youths claimed a number of county leaders, including MPs and a host of MCAs, had promised to provide them with the buses but had since disappeared.

Neither Governor Anyang’ Nyong'o nor his deputy Mathew Owili were present at the time of the incident.

The youths spent several minutes at the county headquarters as armed policemen watched at a distance before proceeding to the county assembly to seek audience with Speaker Onyango Oloo whom they claim had also promised them a bus.

They, however, did not find Mr Oloo but accosted Majority Leader Kenneth Onyango who was forced to give them money.

Martin Ongele, the chairman of people’s assembly at Uhuru Gardens told journalists that they were disappointed over the laxity by the leaders to aid supporters to attend the fete.

Mr Ongele noted that most of the youths had prepared for the trip and had wanted to travel to Nairobi a day earlier.

James Maina, a member of Kondele Bunge La Wananchi, said many people were willing to attend the event but were yet to see any bus produced by area leaders.

“We are not going to play with them because they also relied on Raila’s influence to get those seats. If we use our own means, we will remove them from their positions when we come back,” said Maina.

The agitated youths then proceeded to Kisumu Central constituency Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) offices as they vowed to do everything to make sure they travel for the event.

Several ward reps led by market Milimani MCA Seth Kanga and Kondele MCA Joachim Okech calmed the agitated youths.

In Busia County, Governor Sospeter Ojaamong’ said his office had no arrangements to ferry NASA supporters to Nairobi.

None of county assembly members affiliated to NASA was willing to speak to the media over the matter.

About 300 supporters from Vihiga were confirmed to have left for the function by yesterday afternoon.

“We had a meeting where it was agreed that individuals offer to ferry people to the event using private means as opposed to ferrying groups in buses to Nairobi,” said local politician Reuben Ombima.

In Kakamega, it was business as usual with a section of NASA supporters saying they had no means to travel to Nairobi.

“Some local MPs had pledged to provide at least six buses to ferry as many people as possible for the occasion but as you can see, there is nothing happening since the buses were not available,” said Patrick Shitera.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, Matungu MP Justus Murunga and NASA Western region coordinator Khalid Njiraini said they expected Raila to be accorded security.

Story by Harold Odhiambo, John Shilitsa and Ignatius Odanga  

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