Raila skips Mashujaa Day fete as Kalonzo, Wetang’ula attend

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From left, Cord principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila Odinga and Moses Wetang'ula at the coalition's rally at the Mulu Mutisya Grounds in Machakos on July 3, 2016.
From left, Cord principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila Odinga and Moses Wetang’ula at the coalition’s rally at the Mulu Mutisya Grounds in Machakos on July 3, 2016. Mr Odinga will not join Kenyans to mark this year’s Mashujaa Day as he flies to the United Kingdom. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Cord leader Raila Odinga will not join Kenyans in the celebrations of this year’s Mashujaa Day as he flies to the United Kingdom.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to lead the celebrations in Machakos County.

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On Tuesday, Mr Odinga’s co-principal in Cord Mr Kalonzo Musyoka had said they would lead other opposition leaders during the celebrations in Machakos.

“On Thursday (today) we will be in Machakos as Cord to celebrate our heroes. I ask the people of Machakos to come out in large numbers to celebrate,” Mr Musyoka said at a Nairobi hotel on Tuesday.

This came following claims the Cord brigade would organise parallel celebrations in Makueni County, allegations that were denied by the coalition’s management committee co-chairmen, Siaya Senator James Orengo and Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu.

“Happy Mashujaa Day fellow Kenyans. I will not be able to join you in Mashujaa Day celebrations today for I have had to travel to the United Kingdom this morning,” Mr Odinga said in a statement on Thursday morning.

He continued: “I am scheduled to address students, scholars, public service officials and political leaders at the London Metropolitan University tomorrow during the opening session of the London Political Summit 2016.”

The Cord leader said he will address the Summit on “The Place of Opposition in a Hostile Political Environment”.

“The summit will be opened by the Vice-Chancellor of London Metropolitan University Prof John Raftery, who will also be the chief host,” he added.

The former prime minister said: “I am however in solidarity with fellow citizens in Kenya and around the globe as we reflect on the state of our nation on this Mashujaa Day and how we can best contribute to make our country, better, stronger and more united today and into the future thereby creating new heroes that the next generation of Kenyans can be proud of.”

nation.co.ke

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