Politics at Kajwang’s Service: ODM wants Uhuru to resign
During yesterday’s prayer service for Homa Bay Senator Otieno Kajwang’ in Kisumu, the Cord politicians led by Mr Raila Odinga said the Jubileee Coalition had failed to provide security leading to death of innocent Kenyans.
The cited the recent Mandera attacks in which 28 people were shot dead by terrorists as well as earlier killings in Mpeketoni, Kapedo and the Westgate Mall as, all of which have claimed over 170 lives.
Speaking at the Jomo Kenyatta Sports Grounds, Siaya Senator James Orengo said Mr Kajwang’s death should be a wake up call to the President to match his words on improving security with action.
“Kajwang’s last message while debating in the Senate was firmly telling the Jubilee government to put their house in order to avert the security menace,” Mr Orengo told the large gathering that had turned up to pay their last respects to the senator who died of a heart attack on Tuesday.
Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama asked the Jubilee government to surrender power to Cord to avert an escalation of insecurity.
“Jubilee has failed the country and President Uhuru Kenyatta must surrender or else they will be responsible for the innocent blood,” he said.
Suba MP John Mbadi accused the Jubilee government of hoodwinking Kenyans on security matters.
“The President should stop playing public relations at the expense of the security of Kenyans. He should realise that people are dying,” Mr Mbadi said.
His Suna counterpart Junet Mohamed called for the resignation of President Kenyatta saying his leadership was an example of a failed government.
“It is time President Kenyatta realised that the lives of over 40 million Kenyans are at stake. Time is ripe that Kenyans send the Jubilee government packing,” he said.
A visibly emotional Mr Odinga, who arrived at the venue in a helicopter, led the roaring crowd in chanting “Jowi, Jowi (hero)” to symbolise Kajwang’s bravery.
He thanked the government for the assistance towards the senator’s burial and said ODM was ready to help on sensitive issues facing the country like insecurity. Kajwang’s body was flown to Kisumu in a police aircraft.
Mr Odinga also used the occasion to warn ODM rebels to either toe the party line or resign.
“We had warned them before that they either shape up or ship out. The choice is now theirs,” he said.
In his eulogy, Mr Odinga said: “Mr Kajwang’s death has dealt ODM and Nyanza region a big blow, something that we are yet to comprehend.”
He said Mr Kajwang’ never shied away from enforcing discipline against errant party members.
Before the ODM leader arrived at the venue, there had been a security scare at the main dais when hundreds of youths surged forward as the hearse carrying Kajwang’s body arrived. This compelled the bodyguards of various dignitaries on the dais to take strategic positions.
The security team had a hectic time as they sought to control the hundreds of youths who had blocked the hearse from entering a tent that had been set aside for it.
A section of the youths threw stones at the main dais and brought down one tent near it. However, Mr Odinga’s arrival calmed them down and he later led them in chanting praises for Kajwang.
The senator’s body arrived at the Kisumu International Airport at 9am. ODM youths caused a security scare when they stormed into the moments after the police aircraft carrying the body arrived.
Some of the security officers cocked their guns but were restrained by their superiors. Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong’o and Homa Bay County Women MP Gladys Wanga intervened to calm the situation. The body was by Homa Bay governor Cyprian Awiti and his Siaya counterpart, Mr Cornel Rasanga.
Kajwang’s brother and Ruaraka MP Tom Kajwang and other family members including the late Senator’s bodyguard, Michael Kaoga, arrived at the airport aboard another police aircraft.
There was a one hour procession along Oginga Odinga Street to the Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground for the open-air service. Some people climbed on rooftops to get a better glimpse of the procession. The procession brought businesses in Kisumu to a standstill.
The hearse carrying the body was escorted by youths waving twigs and chanting Mr Kajwang’s Mapambano song.
At the sports grounds, mourners were not allowed to view the body.
Prof Nyong’o described Mr Kajwang as a leader of the people who was gifted with the ability to charm crowds.
“We are mourning but the fight must go on. We still have a long way to go as the opposition in pushing for change in the leadership of this country,” he said.
Mr Tom Kajwang described his elder brother as a courageous leader who never shied away from speaking his mind.
In Nairobi, the country’s top security decision making organ, the National Security Council, met yesterday for the second day running.
The State House meeting started at 6am and was still going on at 6pm. On Tuesday, the meeting went on until 1.30am.
On Wednesday, there was uproar in Parliament over the rising insecurity with MPs calling on the President to take charge of the situation. They also proposed that police training should change. They also blamed corruption for insecurity.
On the same day, the two main Christian religious organisations — the National Council of Churches of Kenya and the Catholic Bishops — asked the government to act to end the insecurity.