Raila jets back,avoid humiliation, opts for public arrival unit at JKIA


NAIROBI, KENYA: Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga arrived back in the country last evening and snubbed the use of the VIP lounge 11 at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, instead choosing to use the public arrival exit.

Raila who was on a visit to South Africa appeared keen to avoid the humiliation he suffered when he was denied access of the VIP lounge as he walked, alongside other members of the public, through the public exit area.

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Though he claimed that lounge was closed for him, sources at the international airport indicated to the contrary.

“I have been informed that the lounge is locked and I can only use it when it is opened. Once it is opened for me I will use it,” claimed Raila.

Raila said that it was ironical that he was accorded VIP treatment in South Africa, including the use of the VIP lounge at the Oliver Tambo Airport, yet the same facilities were not being granted to him locally.

Accorded respect

“While there (in South Africa) I was accorded the respect that I deserve, just as we do here to retired Presidents and Prime ministers when the come visiting. Am not demanding for anything more,” he said.

However Raila termed the debate over his use of the VIP lounge as mundane, saying he will not get preoccupied with such a “non-issue” when there are more pressing matters for his attention.

“These are minor issues. I will not waste time debating on who is supposed to be going through which route and who is not,” he said.

Raila said he would not engage the Government on house-keeping issues, saying it should be upon its members to know how to treat him as a former Prime minister.

Received by allies

“I would not want to engage the government on this. They really know their responsibility, much as I know mine,” said Raila, who was received at the airport by a number of MPs allied to his Cord Coalition and a section of ODM supporters.

Raila said members of the government should not think that they are humiliating him by subjecting him to use of facilities used by other members of the public, saying he likes operating from such areas.

“If you catch a fish and drop it in water do not think you have punished it. Likewise if you direct Raila to raia  (public) you have not hurt him. Our flag will remain up high and our voice will continue being heard all over the world,” he said

Raila declined to comment on the public apology offered to him by Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Adan Dualle over his humiliation at the airport, saying the same had not been delivered to him.-standardmedia.co.ke

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