• Party leaders condemned the incident and called for speedy investigation and arrest of the perpetrators.
• Chaos started when Raila stood to speak about Special Economic Zone the government wants to build in the area.
ODM party officials in Kisumu county have demanded the immediate arrest of the youths who caused chaos at a function in Muhoroni, attended by Raila Odinga and three cabinet secretaries.
The party’s coordinating team, led by former Muhoroni MP Ayiecho Olweny, condemned the incident and called for speedy investigation and arrest of the perpetrators.
They said they are fully behind the projects noting that it will, directly and indirectly, uplift the livelihoods of thousands of people in Kisumu.
Raila, who was accompanied by John Munyes (Petroleum), Peter Munya (Trade) and James Macharia (Infrastructure), met hostility on Monday.
He was heckled by angry residents who carried placards ridiculing his handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday.
Chaos started when Raila stood to speak about Special Economic Zone the government wants to build in the area.
Olweny, Festus Achila (Treasury) and Florence Olang’o (chairperson ODM Kisumu Central) claimed the youths were hired by a local politician to heckle Raila.
They noted that locals from Sidho community where the project should be located have all along supported it.
Achila said the proposed site of the project is not in disputed and tabled a search document showing that the land is held in trust by the County Government of Kisumu.
There is no amount of heckling, he said, that deter implementation of the project in Kisumu. Achila claimed money has been given to sympathisers of Tanga Tanga team to tarnish Raila's name image ahead of 2022 succession politics.
He said ODM leaders who did not attend the function have given flimsy excuses that they were busy in Nairobi.
"Any elected leader on ODM party involved in the incident must face disciplinary action," Achila added.
"Why would a politician hire hecklers from another area to cause chaos in a government function? We want to see people being arrested and charged,” Olweny said.
The former MP alleged that a CDF vehicle was used in ferrying the placards used in disrupting the function. Olweny noted that county commissioner Pauline Dola and top police chiefs were present during the incident.
He, however, said that ODM will take stern action against any member found culpable to have sponsored the chaos.
On development, Olweny said, the Luo community has always complained of being sidelined by the government and wondered why they could fight a project that will benefit them.
“It is high time Nyanza residents stop hostility and learn to embrace development projects like those from other regions,” Olweny said.
He warned the community to stop chasing away projects noting two mega projects-fish farming and irrigation projects- destined for Muhoroni were in the past diverted to other regions over hostility.
“For how long are we going to keep on chasing way developments that would improve our living standards,” he posed. Our people must wake up and support governments projects or else such projects will be taken to other regions,” Olweny added.
The officials also took issue with some of the elected leaders from Kisumu for allegedly boycotting Raila’s function.
Apart from nominated Senator Rose Nyamunga and Nyando MP Jared Okello, Olweny said, other leaders deliberately skipped the event.
Governor Anyang Nyong’o, who had earlier faced hostility at Sidho ahead of the function, skipped the event. He was in Copenhagen, Denmark.
MPs Aduma Owuor (Nyakach), Onyango Koyoo (Muhoroni), Olago Aluoch (Kisumu West), Fred Ouda (Kisumu Central), Shakeel Shabbir (Kisumu East), James Nyikal (Seme), Rozaah Buyu (Kisumu Women Rep) and Senator Fred Outa were absent.