, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 26 – CORD leaders have roundly condemned Government Spokesman Muthui Kariuki for claiming former Prime Minister Raila Odinga hired goons to heckle leaders aligned to the Jubilee regime during a burial ceremony in Kisii this week.
Speaking during a press briefing on Friday, Dagoretti North Member of Parliament Simba Arati described Kariuki’s utterances as shameless saying that it beats logic.
He pointed out that there is no way the former PM could have ferried a whole group of hecklers to the funeral, revealing that Odinga had actually accepted the invitation to attend the occasion at the last minute.
“We find it very unfortunate for the government to claim that the Right Honourable former Prime Minister Raila Odinga had the capacity to ferry people to pack a whole football stadium beyond capacity, pay all of them and ask them to shout,” he said.
“This position amounts to the demeaning of the intelligence of the entire Kenyan community and it cannot wash.”
He further indicated that demands that Odinga returns government vehicles is vindictive and stated that both former presidents Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki were not treated in such a manner.
“The government has suddenly remembered that the former Prime Minister has not returned government vehicles and that he has a siren and that he has demanded respect,” he stated.
“If a government’s response to people’s freedom of expression is to demand vehicles of the former Prime Minister, then it is obvious that the government is hinting at a deep and troubling law,” he added.
Siaya Senator James Orengo on his part said that Odinga who was not to speak during the function was prompted to by the crowd which demanded that he addresses them.
“In the first instance, Raila Odinga was not in charge of the program. He spoke there because the people wanted him to speak and I can tell you that in situations like this when there is a topical issue of concern to the public, it will be wrong for the former Prime Minister not to address those issues,” he revealed.
On Thursday, Kariuki urged Odinga to stop making alarming political statements and asked him to move on from an elections mood.
Kariuki condemned the Kisii incident where leaders aligned to the Jubilee coalition were heckled.
He described it as extremely disturbing that Kenyans were treated to a drama that was not only unfortunate but also hideous to the extreme in terms of our African culture.
Kariuki also accused Odinga of galvanizing political temperatures barely three months after the general elections saying it was not good for the country’s development.
He said what happened was disrespectful to the dead and blasphemous.
He urged him to cultivate a culture of tolerance and let the government concentrate on its development agenda.
He urged Odinga to join the government in building the country and stop mourning that the government is not giving him recognition, “yet he has refused to return six government vehicles.”
Kariuki said the government was committed to continue delivering services to all Kenyans despite their political affiliation.