Odinga family disowns story on ailing daughter Rosemary
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga has denied as false, fabricated and shameful a story indicating that the family was worried about the health of his daughter Rosemary Odinga.
Mr Odinga said in a statement on Sunday that the story carried by The Standard on Sunday that his daughter, who is in South Africa, had suffered a mild stroke, was fictitious and not based on evidence from either the family or friends.
In their reporting, the newspaper said the opposition chief was considering pulling Ms Odinga out of elective politics when she gets back home.
Ms Odinga is aspiring for the Kibra parliamentary seat in Nairobi.
Mr Odinga said that despite his daughter being hospitalised, the position of the family was to treat the matter with utmost privacy and, as such, attributions in the story amounted to fabrication of facts.
“Ida and Raila Odinga are horrified by the lead story on today’s Sunday Standard by the title “Why I fear for my daughter” said Mr Odinga in the statement issued by his spokesman Dennis Onyango.
“The story is a fraudulent exercise of journalism which attempts to pass fictitious suppositions of the writer as truths on the medical condition of Rosemary Odinga and on the position of the Odinga family on matters surrounding her health and career.”
He added: “It is shameful that the writer has sacrificed common decency and trampled over Rosemary’s rights to privacy, both standard requirements of professional journalism, in order to fabricate a headline story for his selfish gratification and sales for the company. Readers must treat this story as a con and know they have been cheated of any money they spent on it.”
Ms Odinga was flown out last week for what the family described as a further check-up to ascertain her well-being. She had been admitted to Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi, for eight days after complaining of persistent migraines that had worsened.
The Orange leader denied reports that the story was sourced from the family.
HEADLINE A CON
“Neither Ida nor Raila Odinga, nor any member of the immediate family of Rosemary Odinga or her doctors, has talked to the Sunday Standard or to any journalist in Kenya or South Africa regarding the matter the writer purports to authoritatively write on,” said Mr Odinga.
He added: “In reality, the facts put forward by the writer are totally fictitious and the headline is a con, all conjured up by the writer to give the impression that Raila Odinga had spoken to the writer or to someone at The Standard regarding the health of his daughter.”