The burial ceremony of former Nyando Member of Parliament James Miruka Owuor on Saturday turned chaotic after angry residents blocked area MP Fred Outa from addressing the mourners and ejected him from the event.
Trouble started after East Kano Wawithi Member of County Assembly Moses Ochele, while addressing the mourners accused MP and Kisumu Senator Prof. Anyang Nyon’go of engineering the confusion that marred the ODM party primaries in Kisumu County.
The allegations apparently rattled Outa, who shot up from his seat and grabbed the microphone from the MCA in a move that saw irate youths surge to the scene turning what had otherwise been a solemn send-off into frenzy.
Heavy security personnel present at the function were forced to whisk away the legislator whose bodyguards had to fire into the air to repel the hostile crowd that had started hurling stones and plastic chairs at the MP.
The incident disrupted proceedings at the ceremony for nearly two hours before the politicians who graced the event including Governor Jack Ranguma, ODM parliamentary candidate Jared Okello, Senatorial candidate James Ogoda and Citizen Convention Party (CCP) leader Grace Akumu who is also eying the Kisumu Woman Representative seat among a host of MCAs could eulogise their fallen compatriot.
The leaders describer Owuor who passed on at the age of 80 following a prolonged battle with diabetes as a gallant defender of justice and an astute lawyer who not only tempered his work with philanthropy but also served as Law Society of Kenya Chairman of Western Kenya region besides being the pioneer African town clerk.
The speeches were however laden with heavy political undertone with the candidates firing salvos at Prof. Nyong’o and Outa for allegedly masterminding the bungled ODM nominations in Kisumu.
We have no problem with ODM candidates who won the nominations fairly, but we will not accept impostors who retreated to the bush and announced themselves as winners, said Ranguma who is defending his gubernatorial seat as an Independent Candidate after Nyong’o bagged the ODM ticket in the fiercely contested party primaries.
Ranguma reiterated the leaders’ support for NASA’s flag bearer, Raila Odinga, presidential bid but vehemently opposed the former Premier’s calls for the controversial six-piece voting pattern in the region.
The people of Kisumu County know whom they will elect as their leaders. They must be allowed to exercise their democratic right in choosing their leaders in a free and transparent manner, added Ranguma who further exuded confidence that he would trounce Nyon’go on the August 8 polls.
Ogoda and Okello on the other hand distanced Odinga’s name from the nominations debacle that is now threatening unity in the ODM stronghold of Nyanza and instead blamed a cartel within the party for the botched primaries.
The incident seems to fly in the face of a recent visit by the party leader Raila to the county in a mission that was intended to mend the deepening rift that has pitted those who lost versus the winners in the disputed ODM primaries.
Following the violent confrontation at the funeral, Outa headed straight to the Kisumu Central Police Station where he reportedly recorded a statement alleging that his life was in danger.
Outa further claimed that goons had been hired from outside the constituency by unnamed opponents to attack and possibly end his life at the funeral.
Source: Kenya News Agency