Opposition leader Raila Odinga always has a witty answer to every question.
But on Tuesday evening, a six- year-old boy asked him a question that caught many by surprise.
Alvin Mitch, a Class Two pupil, walked up to Raila, who had visited his home in Nyayo Estate, Nairobi, to comfort the family after the killing of his father, Chris Msando, an ICT manager at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
He smiled as greeted the Opposition leader, but the smile quickly faded as he asked a question with eyes focused on Raila.
“Who killed my father and why?” asked Alvin.
Everyone in the room froze. National Super Alliance (NASA) politicians who had accompanied Raila could not hold back their emotions as tears flowed freely.
For a moment, Raila remained quiet, just staring at the boy. Ugenya Senator James Orengo wiped a tear that had escaped underneath his spectacles as Rarieda MP-elect Otiende Amollo fought back tears.
Even journalists in the room were jolted by the question and the way it was phrased. Cameras and microphones pointed at the former Prime Minister as some journalists looked away.
The NASA leader fumbled with words as he tried to give an answer to a question that is on the minds of many Kenyans.
“We don’t know yet…,” began Raila as the young boy maintained steady eye contact.
“We are trying our best to find your father’s killers and I promise you that we shall. Your father was a great person,” said Raila.
The answer seemed to placate the boy, who quipped: “Whoever did it, God is watching you,” then leaned against Raila as if seeking solace.
The politicians in the room, perhaps trying to ease the moment, started giving explanations but none of them could tell Alvin who killed his father and why.
Finally, the NASA leader, still holding the young boy close to his chest, began addressing the media.
“It’s heart-breaking and unbearable pain to this young family. It is a Kenyan tragedy. No one has a right to tear at the fabric of life which another man has painfully woven for himself and his children. Msando’s death has degraded our nation,” he said.
Earlier, Alvin had asked Raila to show him his bodyguards. The presidential candidate smiled and guided him towards his handlers as he chatted with family members.
Two suspects have been detained in connection with the killing.
US, UK applaud Raila’s decision