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Youths block Raila Odinga from addressing rally in Mumias

Jubilee supporters in Mumias have blocked ODM leader Raila Odinga and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya from addressing victims of police brutality at Shibale in Mumias.

Mr Odinga and Mr Oparanya had driven to the slum village to visit families beaten and injured the General Service Unit during the ongoing operation to recover seven guns and 184 bullets stolen from the Booker Police Post.

The weapons were taken away by gangsters who also slashed a police officer on Tuesday morning.

STONED VEHCILES

The youths stoned vehicles and beat up Kakamega County Assembly member Crispus Odour and Rockie Omwando, sparking a scuffle.

Former ODM national youth leader Rashid Mohammed, who had accompanied MPs Benjamin Washiali and Emmanuel Wangwe, told Mr Odinga not to politicise the issue of the police operation.

A brawl broke out during Mr Mohammed’s war of words with Mr Odinga’s supporters.

“Where were you when police were beating our youths and raping our women. We have no time for your stories,” Mr Mohammed told Mr Odinga.

Mr Odinga landed at Matungu Cultural Centre before driving to Shibale. He was on his way to address the ODM delegates meeting in Kakamega Town.

20 MINUTES

The youths dismantled the public address system, making it difficult for Mr Odinga to address the crowd.

The commotion lasted for nearly 20 minutes before Mr Odinga and Mr Oparanya drove away.

In Kakamega, Mr Odinga is expected to address more than 2,500 delegates from five counties of the former Western Province.

He will deliver the keynote address and outline his vision for the region when he ascends to presidency.

ODM Communications Director Philip Etale, in a statement, said members drawn from Kakamega, Bungoma, Vihiga, Busia and Trans-Nzoia counties would form the “biggest regional delegates’ conference ever organised by a political party in Kenya.”

WAY FORWARD

“Over 2,500 party delegates will meet for the first time at the Masinde Muliro University Multipurpose Hall to chat the way forward for the party and make a number of declarations ahead of next year’s General Election,” he said.

The meeting dubbed The Western Region ODM Delegates Convention has been organised by party’s officials in the region and convened by Mr Oparanya, one of Mr Odinga’s deputies.

“The five counties have a total of 38 constituencies and each constituency will be represented by 60 delegates,” Mr Oparanya said.

DEAD INDUSTRIES

The meeting, he said, would give party members a chance to give their views on the party’s preparations for the August 8, 2017 polls.

“We want our people to have a say on the choice of the flag-bearer in next year’s General Election,” Mr Oparanya said, adding that the region had been forgotten by the Jubilee administration in terms of development.

“We want a leadership that will revive our dead and ailing industries and not just baseless and empty promises,” he said.

The governor said the desire to set the pace for the country in terms of growth drove them to organise the event.

POLITICS

“The ODM constitution provides for regional delegates conventions and we are proud to be the first ones to have one,” he said.

Besides development, Mr Odinga is fighting to maintain his grip on region after former ODM secretary-general Ababu Namwamba and Sirisia MP John Waluke exited the party.

Mr Namwamba has since joined the Labour Party of Kenya as its leader while Mr Waluke joined the Jubilee Party.

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