Gunshots fired as Obado, Ayacko supporters clash at funeral in Rongo

| August 22, 2016 | 0 Comments

A bodyguard draws his pistol to fire in the air as youths allied to Migori Governor Okoth Obado and former Rongo MP Ochillo Ayacko clashed at a funeral in Rongo, August 22, 2016 /MANUEL ODENY

Supporters of Migori Governor Okoth Obado and governor aspirant Ochillo Ayacko clashed violently during a funeral at a school in Rongo on Monday.

Police and security officials were forced to shoot in the air several times, and armed police had to stand between the two groups as they booed each other down.

The chaos delayed proceedings of the funeral of Daudi Sollo, father of North Kamagambo MCA Richard Sollo.

The funeral was taking place at Lwala Primary School.

Sollo and other church leaders were forced to remove the body from the venue as efforts to calm the youths proved futile.

Scored of mourners were injured as they fled for safety within the nearby classrooms.

Trouble started when Obado walked into the venue after Ochillo was seated, leading to tension among youths who jostled to organise a set for the governor.

When another governor aspirant, Mark Nyamita, arrived, he was forced to stand aside as youths fought with knives and other crude weapons.

“It is a sad episode to happen at your own father’s funeral. North Kamagambo residents have been calm and this problem has been brought by outsiders. I request for calm,” Sollo said.

But Obado and Ayacko denied instigating the incident and instead accused each other.

“I came here peacefully in time, but Obado has brought bullets at this funeral after he had a meeting last night knowing it was not his area,” Ayacko said amid boos from youths supporting the governor.

The funeral was only able to resume when Ayacko stormed out of the funeral with a group of youths in tow.

“Youths were hired from neighbouring counties to cause mayhem at this function. We need security officers to ensure they are arrested as Migori does not have any space for violent politics,” Obado said.

He added that politics should be about development and peaceful co-existence, saying using “pangas and knives” in campaigns is illegal and primitive.

Nyamita said all governor aspirants should compete on policies and avoid misusing youths.

“I arrived as bullets were being fired in the air and it was unfortunate. Next time any governor aspirant gives pangas and rungus to youths for mayhem they should be attacked first,” he said.

Rongo parliamentary aspirant Paul Abuor said the problem of violence in politics has no place in the constituency saying the incident was “a big shame and should never happen again.”

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