Chaos rock burial after MPs exchange blows

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 00:00 |
South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro is floored during a brawl at KIsii deputy governor Joash Maangi father’s funeral at Tendere Stadium, Kisii county yesterday. The incident was witnessed by mourners who included DP William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga. Photo/PD/ROBERT OCHORO

Chaos rocked the burial ceremony of the father of Kisii deputy governor Joash Maangi after two MPs allied to Deputy President William Ruto and Opposition leader Raila Odinga engaged in a physical confrontation.

Trouble started after Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati, a close ally of Raila, demanded that Ruto President apologises to the Gusii community for the violence that rocked parts of the Rift Valley following the controversial 2007-2008 general election.

“I want to tell the Deputy President that the people you are walking together with are thieves and wash wash.

They are not the face of the community,” he told mourners, referring to the street lingua for fake money merchants.

“I ask you to apologise for members of the Kisii community who were killed in the Rift Valley when you were in ODM,” the MP added.

The remark infuriated South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro, a Ruto ally, who stormed from his seat and confronted Arati in a bid to snatch the microphone from him, prompting an ugly confrontation which saw the former leave the function in a huff after being overpowered.

An attempt by another Ruto ally, Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga, to grab the microphone from Kisii Woman Representative Janet Ong’era was also thwarted by hawk-eyed security officers who whisked her away from the dais as Ruto, Raila and Kisii Governor James Ongwae watched in disbelief.

It took security officers almost half an hour to restore order at the ceremony, held at the Tendere stadium in Bomachoge Chache constituency.

Speaking after order was restored, Maangi warned leaders not to politicise his father’s funeral.

“My father was a peace-loving person. He was hard-working and denominational. Please let us respect the family’s wishes,” Maangi pleaded.

Governor Ongwae, addressing the mourners after calm was restored, admonished Ms Omanga over her conduct, saying her behaviour was not befitting of a leader

“I feel so low with the type of behaviour I have seen. I hope I do not see it again.  Gongera was 101 years and peaceful,” Ongwae said.

Addressing the mourners, Raila took time to rally support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, saying it would address the needs of the Gusii community and the country at large.

Raila, who was flanked by several MPs, thanked the Gusii community for voting for him during the last general election which, he claimed, was rigged.

He narrated how he prevailed upon his allies not to split the country after the Supreme Court ruled that the election had been stolen, and instead entered into the famous Handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta to save the country from descending into chaos.

“I held dialogue with Uhuru and we agreed on nine points to unite the country.

He called Ruto and told him not to worry about it,” Raila said, adding that he in turn briefed his running mate during the election, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka of the developments.

He added that it was as a result of the Handshake that the BBI process was crafted to heal the country and ensure that never again wil Kenyans lose their lives over an election.

Raila criticised the Jubilee government for failing to fulfill its election promises, citing the schools laptop project.

“Those who told us about laptops are here. They told us that in six months, our children will have laptops, some of them are about to sit their standard eight exams, yet they have not seen the laptops,” said Raila in a jibe at the Deputy President who looked on pensively.

He also criticised Ruto’s campaign to distribute wheelbarrows to Kenyan youth, saying it would not solve the problems facing the country.

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