I am sorry for chopper attack, DP William Ruto apologises to Raila Odinga

ODM leader Raila Odinga with Deputy President William Ruto during the Jamuhuri Day Celebrations at Uhuru Gardens Nairobi. December 12, 2021. [Emmanuel Wanson]

Deputy President William Ruto has formally apologized to ODM leader Raila Odinga over Friday’s chopper attack in Soy, Uasin Gishu County.

Ruto said it was unfortunate that Raila had been attacked after he attended the late Mzee Jackson Kibor’s burial.

“I want to apologise to Raila Odinga for what happened to him yesterday. It was unfortunate and I hope those who engaged in this exercise regret what they did,” said Ruto at his Karen residence.

A chopper carrying Raila who is the Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate in the August 9 polls to the burial of Mzee Jackson Kibor was stoned.

Suna East Member of Parliament Junet Mohammed confirmed the incident to The Standard on phone, saying that Raila and his key allies were safe.

The team was just leaving Kibor’s burial at his Kabenes home in Soy Sub-County, Uasin Gishu, when a group of youth charged at their entourage.

“Once we came out of the gate, we saw several youths ready to attack us, pelting stones,” Junet narrated.

So far 14 people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

ODM leader and Azimio la Umoja Presidential Candidate when he arrived in Iten before youth pelted stones. [ Courtesy, Twitter]

Uasin Gishu County Commissioner Stephen Kihara told The Standard that the 14 will be arraigned on Monday, April 4 once investigations are concluded.

But the DP said that alongside the entire United Democratic Alliance and the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, they are committed to ensuring an election that is free from violence.

“We are going to roll out party structures to work with security agencies to get to the root of the acts that are most unfortunate. We will demonstrate our commitment to an election that is peaceful by making sure necessary steps are taken to ensure that both our supporters, party members and candidates engage in this election on the basis of ideas and not any other acts,” said Ruto.

Raila condemned the incident, terming it unfortunate. "The attacks present a very dark reminder of what this country has witnessed before. For today’s unfortunate events, I hold Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and Soy MP Caleb Kositany responsible,” he said in a statement Friday. 

Uasin Gishu County Commander Ayub Gitonga confirmed the incident, saying an irate crowd charged toward the chopper as they wanted to take off.

Police were able to push the crowd back, forcing them to throw stones from a distance. Nobody was injured during the incident as the two choppers managed to take off,” Gitonga said.