- At a funeral in Akala area Orengo ranted that anyone who is opposing the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) cannot speak in his presence.
- Orengo's sentiments were in apparent reference to Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo who was also present at the funeral.
Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo has clarified the circumstances under which Siaya County Governor James Orengo reportedly denied him an opportunity to speak at a funeral in his constituency.
MP Odhiambo was elected on an ODM ticket but has been supporting the development initiative of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party boss and President William Ruto.
During the funeral ceremony in the Akala area of South Gem Ward last Friday, Orengo ranted that anyone who is opposing the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) cannot speak in his presence.
Orengo's sentiments were in apparent reference to Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo who was also present at the funeral.
Speaking at Mutumbu Catholic Church Sunday, MP Odhiambo explained that he arrived late at the funeral and found the governor addressing mourners.
He was in the company of former Gem MP Joe Donde and one of his assistants, and with no security personnel, he explained.
Odhiambo alleged that the governor started shaking following the warm welcome that he (Odhiambo) had received.
The casket was then hurriedly picked to the graveside for interment when some goons started to hurl stones, Odhiambo said.
According to the lawmaker, he remained calm and opted to board his vehicle and depart because the scene was becoming messy with stones being hurled.
"Nobody roughed me up. As a leader I opted to leave the funeral and went back only later after the tension had calmed to give my condolences," explained Odhiambo.
Not a single stone hit him, Donde or my aide, he explained.
The second-term MP stressed that he is solidly in the ODM notwithstanding the wishes of some of his political opponents.
He further noted that he has since triumphed following a tribunal ruling that last week affirmed that he is still a member of the ODM party despite his association with President Ruto.
While referring to the Saturday event that was attended by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and other ODM dignitaries at Wagai, and in which he was roasted over his association with President Ruto, MP Odhiambo laughed off the endeavour saying that nobody will snatch the seat from him in 2027.
"They said that they were coming to fundraise but ended up making me the topic of discussion. They brought Kalonzo, Ida Odinga, MP Opiyo Wandayi, and many others to talk about me and it shows that they fear me and I will defeat them again," he said.
The ODM MP said that he will not backtrack in his association with the ruling regime to ensure development goes to the people of Gem.
Ugenya MP and Movement for Democracy and Change (MDG) party leader David Ochieng has since faulted Orengo over intolerance to multiparty democracy.
Ochieng said that it is ironic that people like Orengo who fought for multiparty democracy in Kenya are the same people who now do not want to hear anyone opposed to the ODM speak in his presence.
"I was not happy Sunday following what happened in Gem. We cannot accept a situation where those who fought for our democracy and our revolution are now frying their children and saying that those who are not supporting ODM cannot speak where they are," Ochieng said.
The chairman of the speaker's panel in the National Assembly said that everybody should be left to speak their minds and the people left to decide.
MP Ochieng vowed never to return to the ODM.
Many parties are the epitome of democracy, he said
"Democracy is a very important thing," he said.
In a rejoinder, Governor Orengo's Press Director Benjamin Agina said that his boss was on an official trip to India but noted that he is the most tolerant.
“The Governor is the most tolerant, and more attentive to the rights of every individual, including politicians. He will be the last person to try and claw back on the gains we have made as a country," said Agina.