Raila blasts chaotic scenes witnessed during Turkana visit
Azimio leader Raila Odinga has termed as ‘backward’ the ugly confrontations that marred his recent visit to Turkana County.
The opposition leader was on October 13, 2023, denied an opportunity to address a political gathering when he graced the Turkana Tourism and Cultural Festival in Lodwar after violence erupted following heated speeches in which some local leaders accusing the former Prime Minister of abandoning them.
The situation got out of hand when Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) were given the opportunity to address the crowd.
When MCA Ruth Kuya from Lodwar Town took to the stage, she accused Mr Odinga of abandoning the region despite receiving strong support during the 2022 presidential elections.
Ms Kuya launched a verbal attack on Odinga, accusing him of favoring other regions and neglecting Turkana County during appointments to the National Assembly and Senate.
“Raila, I respect you as our father…This is a personal statement; I’ve been requesting to meet you in person to tell you these things instead of whispering behind each other’s backs. I want to tell you that we Turkana loved you like Jesus, and you despised us like the devil,” she said.
The Ward Representative complained that ODM ignored the local community despite receiving significant support in elections, including the 2022 general election.
She further alleged that Odinga was distributing positions, especially nominations, to other communities in the country and neglecting Turkana.
“Some ODM leaders in Turkana have supported you for a long time, but you do not consider them in party nominations to represent it in assemblies,” she complained.
Appearing bold in her verbal confrontation with Raila Odinga, she pointed an accusatory finger at him, saying that the opposition leader prioritizes his personal interests, including appointing his daughter as one of the members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).
Winnie Odinga, the daughter of the ODM leader, is among the lawmakers representing Kenya in the EALA.
The UDA party MCA complained about the youth from the Turkana community continuing to struggle due to unemployment.
“We love Ruto because he gave Ekwe Ethuro a job. Has your office ever appointed us? Not a single Turkana has ever received a parliamentary or senatorial nomination. ODM has never uplifted the Turkana community. I’m not afraid; I only fear God and electricity,” Ruth erupted.
Odinga’s visit to the region came a day after President William Ruto joined the local community to participate in the festivals.
Mr Odinga blames President Ruto for what happened in Turkana, saying that he has long had significant support from the community.
He was accompanied by other leaders from Azimio la Umoja, including former Defense Minister Eugene Wamalwa, his running mate in the run-up to the 2022 general elections, Ms Martha Karua, and former Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria.