Raila forced to abandon rally in Mumias
Police shot in the air to disperse irate youth who had barricaded the Kakamega–Bungoma road at Shibale market, where Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga was to address a rally on Friday.
At that time, Mr Odinga was addressing a rally at Matungu.
Mr Odinga was forced to change his plans and flew from Matungu to Shianda, a distance of less than 20 kilometers, as the youth blamed ODM for the near collapse of Mumias Sugar Company.
At Shianda market, the ODM leader urged western region residents to remain in his party, accusing the Jubilee administration of neglecting the area.
In response, the stone-throwing youths urged Mr Odinga to support a Luhya presidential candidate in the next election.
“Raila, rudisha mkono (Raila reciprocate the favour),” they said.
Speakers at Matungu urged Cord co-leader Moses Wetang’ula to support Mr Odinga, saying the ODM leader has a broader national network.
“Wetang’ula should stop grumbling about the Cord ticket and help to popularise the coalition,” said Butere MP Andrew Toboso in response to Mr Wetang’ula comment on Thursday night that he was the most suitable candidate to face Jubilee next year.
Mr Odinga, however, accused Jubilee of having paid the youth who disrupted his rally, to paint his tour as futile.
The protesters also urged Mr Odinga to address the woes in the sugar sector, but the ODM leader claimed he is not responsible for the problems bedevilling the industry.
“The problems at Mumias have been caused by poor management and dumping of cheap sugar into the local market,” said Mr Odinga.
There are also reports that Mr Odinga will go to Shibale market to address the youth who disrupted his planned rally there.
The leaders who accompanied Mr Odinga were Tom Kajwang (Ruaraka MP), Rachael Ameso, Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja MP), Nancy Abisai (EALA) and nominated Senator Daisy Kananinza.
Meanwhile, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya reiterated that his county is an ODM stronghold and that other parties do not stand a chance in the region.