Raila Odinga with Ida and their daughter Rosemary during his recent visit to South Africa. Rosemary is recuperating there.
Raila Odinga’s daughter Rosemary has withdrawn from the Kibra parliamentary race ahead of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) nominations today. In a video message posted on her Facebook page, Rosemary said she was recovering well and wished to share the good news with those who had been praying for her.
“I know many of you have been wondering where I have been for the last couple of months. I wish to share with you what has been happening to me. I was on a short break in Naivasha where I suffered a stroke. I was airlifted to Nairobi where I underwent surgery,” Rosemary said in the video message.
She continued: “Shortly after that I was flown to South Africa where I am today. Like they say in South Africa, Amandla (Zulu for power), I am feeling much better and strong every day. I thank those who have been sending me messages praying for my recovery.”
Path to recovery
Rosemary has been recuperating at a South African medical facility after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumour. She was flown to South Africa on February 28 for further treatment after being admitted at the Aga Khan and Nairobi hospitals for eight days.
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She told the people of Kibra Constituency, where she was to fight it out with incumbent MP Kenneth Okoth, Martin Okoth and Eliud Owalo for the ODM ticket, that she had quit the race but would still remain a strong and active member.
“Over the past 30 years I have fallen in love with the people of Kibra. You have walked hand in hand with my family. We have laughed together and we have mourned together,” she said.
She added: “I must say, the past two years have been the honour of my life getting to engage in the place known as the ‘Heart Beat’ of Kenyan politics, not only as a voter but also as a competitor. The spirit of the people of Kibra and their passion for justice has always inspired us as a family to champion their interests both in and out of Parliament.”
She noted that it was in keeping with her doctor’s advice, that for the time being, she continues serving the community in other capacities.
Keep the fire burning
“Regrettably I am bowing out of the race for Member of Parliament. I would like to thank each and every person that supported my bid and the people of Kibra for opening their hearts and homes to me. I will forever cherish your outpouring of love and prayers,” she said.
She added: “To my sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers of Kibra, we always knew the journey was not and will not be easy. You are known the world over for standing up for what you believe is right, do not let anyone extinguish that flame. Keep going, keep the fire burning and on August 8 2017, make your voice heard loud and clear and change Kenya for the better. God bless you all.”