Former Kenya detainees in rare meet

February 27, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Friday met former opposition leader and one time political detainee Mr Kenneth Matiba.

The PM, accompanied by his wife Ida and Medical Services Minister Prof Anyang Nyongo visited Matiba at his Riara Ridge home in Rironi, Limuru where they discussed past and current events in the country and Mr Odinga’s visit of Muranga on Saturday.

The two also discussed Mr Matiba’s health and the state of his businesses. The two politicians also discussed a range of issues, from past and present politics, sports, the state of the economy to religion.

During the late afternoon discussions, Mr Matiba, flanked by his wife Edith was in high spirits and exuded confidence that he is on the path to full recovery.

The two reminisced about their life as political detainees and agreed to set up a meeting between the two of them and former Minister Charles Rubia where they will discuss the past events that continue to shape Kenya’s future over tea.

Mr Matiba said Rubia visits him often.

The former Minister said he welcomed the PM to Muranga and asked him to pay particular attention to the state of the roads.

Without betraying any signs of bitterness and with anecdotes from his personal life, Mr Matiba talked repeatedly of “the history of injustices in Kenya.”

“Some of the things that have happened in Kenya are very, very sad. Sometimes I count myself lucky,” Mr Matiba said.

He also talked about the many missed opportunities in Kenya that would have put the nation ahead.

He lamented that there are “too many things in Kenya that have never been made known.”

Responding to Matiba, Mr Odinga said he would take with him the ministers for Roads, Medical Services, Cooperatives and Water to address the issues the locals petitioned him to tackle.

The PM said he was not a stranger in Muranga, recalling that Mr Matiba once took him on a tour of the entire district and later visited Matiba’s ancestral home. The PM said he in turn took Mr Matiba to a four day tour of Nyannza.

The two talked about their life in detention at the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison with Matiba saying in those days, even medical doctors were part of the government’s terror network.

“Medics were part and parcel of the torture system,” he said.

Raila recalled that one doctor who had prescribed for him drugs for high blood pressure which he did not need while he was in detention at Manyani, was the same one who followed him and Matiba to Kamiti and insisted that the former Ford Asili leader was well when Matiba was very ill.

“All that is in the past now and the challenge is for us to continue the struggle that we began and drive it to conclusion,” Mr Odinga said.


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