From the Kenya Forum archive, first published May 2014…
It was last Friday that Raila Odinga’s elder brother, Nominated MP Oburu Odinga, dramatically claimed that some presidents of East African Countries (EAC) were in effect planning the assassination of the former prime minister and ODM leader, an allegation made shortly after EAC leaders Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Salva Kiir (South Sudan) and Kenya’s President Kenyatta had met.
Odinga senior did not mention any names but stated: “I am reliably informed that a President of a neighbouring country alleges the many problems Kenya currently faces are caused by Raila” and that the said leader had a personal agenda that could only be achieved if Raila Odinga was not around.
This is, or could be, serious stuff, a threat not just to kill a leading Kenyan politician but one that is being considered by a regional head of state according to Oburu Odinga and a matter surely of some urgency but what have we got nearly a week after the allegation was made publicly? Farce and theatrics.
OBURU ODINGA “FRUSTRATED”
Yesterday, all the newspapers are reporting, Oburu Odinga headed off to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) accompanied by a 12 legislators and lawyers, including Homa Bay Senator Otieno Kajwang and MP Peter Kaluma, to record a statement before the head of the Investigations Bureau, Mr Samuel Nyabengi. Whether this had been agreed with the DCI is not clear but Nyabengi was not in and had apparently told a junior officer that he had been instructed by DCI head Ndegwa Muhoro to tell Odinga to make his statement in Siaya or Bondo.
“I am frustrated”, Oburu Odinga is reported to have said. “How can they tell me to go to a small CID office to make a statement there on such a weighty plot?”
ODINGA BROTHERS FALL OUT
Meanwhile Raila and Oburu’s younger brother Omondi Odinga lambasted his eldest brother for “shocking” the family with the allegations.
“He is the family spokesman by virtue of being the eldest, but making such a serious allegation before consulting the family was a great mistake”, Omondi told The Star.
Omondi went on: “I don’t think EAC leaders would hatch such a plot because my brother is not contesting for any seat in region”. The Kenya Forum would hope that they wouldn’t consider such a plot even if Raila was to contest a seat in region!
Kisumu ODM chairman Dave Okwach promptly warned Omondi about “politicizing” the Raila assassination plot allegations. (You mean it isn’t political?)
Nyalenda Ward representative Jackton Onunga also piled into his leader’s younger brother. “He is a failed leader who thinks he can attract the attention of the President for employment favours”, Onunga was quoted as saying. (Attractive spectacle, isn’t it?)
Oburu Odinga declared outside CID headquarters that he will not go to Bondo to record a statement but will “name those behind the plot” when Parliament reconvenes early next month.
WHAT HAPPENED TO MIDIWO?
Haven’t we been here before?
Two years ago Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo also alleged, at a public rally, that senior Kenyan government officials had hatched a plan to kill Raila Odinga. Midiwo was eventually questioned by the police but we heard little more of the alleged assassination plot. Some called for Midiwo to be arrested for wasting police time.
RAILA ODINGA IN THE UNITED STATES
Back to the latest assassination plot allegations.
Oburu Odinga said the plan was kill the former Prime Minister on his return from the United States and that he had told his brother Raila the details of the plot, which brings us finally back to the matter of Raila Odinga in the US.
The Standard helpfully reminds us today, as to the other newspapers quite regularly, that Raila Odinga is currently on a two-month tour of the US. That originally one-month ‘tour’ began on 9 March and was then extended a month later to a two-month tour which would have finished about last Saturday but still there is no news of Raila Odinga’s return to Kenya.
The Kenya Forum again repeats the question we raised on 24 April (‘Raila Odinga: In the US for good or ill?’) as to whether Raila Odinga is really in the US on a “study” or lecture tour (there’s scant evidence of it in the news or on the Web) and we again wonder why our leading newspapers’ editors and journalists are not asking the same question.
Could Oburu Odinga’s assassination plot allegations just be an attempt to divert attention from the continued absence of his younger brother?