ODM summons leaders over fracas in Migori, Kisii counties


ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna takes a selfie with the party supporters in Kisii town. [ammy Omingo, Standard]

The Orange Democratic Movement party (ODM) has summoned all elected and nominated leaders who were present during fracas at a funeral in Migori and church service in Kisii county.

According to the letter, the party wants the leaders to appear on May 8 at 10 am to explain their role during the events.

“Our attention has been drawn to the disturbing incident on May 3 in Uriri sub-county, Migori county where a funeral service was disrupted after police lobbed teargas canisters at peaceful mourners, occasioning injuries and destruction to property,” reads the letter by the party.

The party said footage from the venue showed that the attack was coordinated and synchronized through collusion between some local politicians and the police.

Trouble started when goons armed with clubs blocked Governor Ochillo Ayacko's vehicle from accessing the venue.

It was then that fracas erupted and gunshots were being fired in the air as mourners scampered for safety.

Politicians and the clergy were not spared as they too had to run for their lives, temporarily disrupting the burial.

Chairs were scattered everywhere as police engaged rowdy youths in running battles.

The fracas that left one with a gunshot wound and several injured erupted again after some local politicians had left.

Two days later, similar scenes were witnessed in Bomachoge-Borabu during a church service.

The party condemned the chaos saying that political engagements need to have the people’s approval and be conducted peacefully and respectfully.

“The party condemns the dangerous rhetoric by local politicians, which played a part in inciting the violence in Migori,” the ODM party Secretary General Edwin Sifuna said.

The party wants the Inspector General of Police to thoroughly investigate the circumstances under which police lobbed teargas at mourners and bring all the culprits to book.

ODM also wants National Police Service to educate the public about their mandate saying it does not extend to being jurors in political party activities.

Elsewhere, several leaders and residents in Migori county have condemned the chaos in the county.

Jabuya Oketch who is an elder in Uriri maintained that it was not good for leaders to fight each other.

“It is becoming something that we cannot sit and watch happen. Why are we placing our children to fight their mothers and fathers? It is not time for violence,” Mzee Oketch said.

He warned youths against being used by politicians to cause violence.

Migori County Assembly Majority Leader Ken Ouma accused some leaders of abuse of firearms and teargas.

“The scenes witnessed are unfortunate. We are a peace-loving county and that is how it should be,” Ouma said.

He asked leaders to iron out their differences amicably.

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