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I’m not to blame for Jubilee failures, Raila tells DP Ruto allies

By Erick Abuga | February 1st 2021

ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses his supporters in Kisii town on February 2, 2021. [Erick Abuga, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga received a heroic reception in Kisii town on Monday afternoon moments after he attended a burial as he campaigned for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) referendum.

Raila further told Deputy President William Ruto allies not to associate him with the Jubilee Party’s failures.

Raila was in Kisii to attend the burial of Abel Gongera; father to Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi. 

The former Prime Minister who arrived at Tendere Primary School shortly after midday in the company of Kisii Governor James Ongwae was received with jubilation and chants from the crowd.

Raila has enjoyed overwhelming support from the region in past elections. Seemingly he is not ready to relinquish his political authority and strength in the region.

Ruto who has been making inroads in the region arrived at Tendere grounds ahead of Raila, watched as the former premier’s supporters thronged the venue.

Raila who spoke before leaving for Kisii town to address his supporters said Kenya was ripe for change and called on Jubilee leaders to stop associating him with its failures. “Let them own upon their mistakes.”

In his address to Kisii town residents, he said the BBI Bill once passed will solve historical injustices the country has been experiencing.

Raila who spoke after some legislators had clashed at Tendere said leaders must learn to tolerate different views. “We may not agree on what others say but let us respect their right to what they speak.”

His supporters escorted him through Kisii town down to Daraja Mbili where he also addressed another gathering.

“Thank you for supporting my course. Let us maintain peace and love. Kenya will be great. Support BBI Bill.”

Funeral chaos

Early at Tendere, Raila had to excuse himself from the funeral after his speech to address his supporters who had been waiting for him for the better part of the day in Kisii town.

The funeral almost came to a standstill as Raila made a grand exit with his supporters in tow as boda boda riders escorted the ODM leader to Kisii town.

At Tendere, Governor Ongwae was forced to intervene as Dagoret North MP Simba Arati and his South Mugirango counterpart Sylvanus Osoro exchanged blows.

Ongwae had to call for order as Ruto allied MPs tried to shout at Arati who was making his speech.

Osoro was shoved to the ground as Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga was whisked away by some fuming youths.


“We are ready to show our people the direction they will follow. We are clever people. Kisii is not ready for another round of chaos. We must listen on what our elders are saying and shun some primitive characters that will divide our people.”

For more than 20 minutes, the Governor spoke in Ekegusii language telling locals that they will have to make a choice and stop following some individuals blindly.

“I have seen some childish behaviour here that is not so common in our community. We have come here to mourn and not to fight. Once you have been given a chance to speak also allow others to air their opinion.”

A seemingly firm Arati had called on the DP to shun the company of some leaders whom he described as fraudsters.

 “This is a warning to the Deputy President that we are not going to listen to you if you continue walking around in the company of known conmen and corrupt individuals.”

Budalang’i MP Raphael Wanjala too called on Ruto to respect Raila. "I am almost the same age as Ruto, the ODM party leader is the reason why we are enjoying the freedom of speech; let us respect as we do to other elders in our country."

Ruto has been making inroads in Kisii and Nyamira Counties but if Monday’s events are anything to go by then he will have to change his tactics and have a different approach.?

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