Nyongo heckled at Oulu burial

March 20, 2009 12:00 am

, KISUMU, Kenya, Mar 20 – Medical Services Minister Prof Anyang Nyongo was heckled by University of Nairobi students on Friday, forcing him to cut short his speech during the burial of slain activist John Oulu in Kisumu Rural Constituency.

The students waving placards demanded that the Minister tell them who was behind the shooting of the former Oscar Foundation Project Officer was killed alongside the organisation’s Executive Director Kamau King’ara.

The two were shot dead on March 5 as they drove along State House road in Nairobi.

“We want to know from the government since you are a Minister, who killed Oulu and King’ara,” the students shouted, disrupting the funeral that took place at the Mr Nyongo’s constituency.

There were no security officers as had earlier been promised by Nyanza Provincial Police Chief Antony Kibuchi to keep law and order.

Prof Nyongo had difficult time assuring the students that the government had sought help from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to unravel the killings.

“The government has sought assistance from the Scotland Yard and FBI to help unravel the killings. The Prime Minister Raila Odinga has stated that before,” he said.

But the students kept on shouting at the Minister, as some waved placards calling for quick action by the government over the killings.

At one point, the students surged onto the podium, forcing the minister to hand over the microphone to their leader Isaac Kemboi, who raised their grievances over the shooting of two activists and a university student.

Mr Kemboi accused the government of failing to bring to book the perpetrators of the heinous killings and questioned why the Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti and Government Spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua had not been sacked.

The students held demonstrations in Nairobi two weeks ago where they demanded the sacking of the Police Chief Mohammed Hussein Ali, the Internal Security Minister and Attorney General Amos Wako.
“Mutua issued alarming statements and barely three hours later King’ara and Oulu were shot dead on that fateful day, why not sack him,” Mr Kemboi went on.

The Minister responded that Dr Mutua was not speaking for the coalition government and noted that the government is a coalition where issues must be reached by the two principals before any action is taken.

“The Prime Minister has made this clear that Mutua is not speaking for the coalition government. That is our stand,” he said.

Prof Nyongo added that the government must put in place reforms to guarantee democratic systems in the country.

Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale who also attended the burial said he would push through parliament the removal of the Internal Security Minister and the Government Spokesman over the killings.

Mr Khalwale said Prof Saitoti and Dr Mutua must be forced to resign over the killings and urged Prof Nyong’o to stand by him when Parliament reconvenes to have the two forced out.

“Mr Minister, I am calling upon you to join me in calling for the ouster of Prof Saitoti and Dr Mutua from their positions over the killings. Even if I will remain alone, I have to make a point why the two should resign,” said the MP.

Mr Khalwale charged that the activists were executed by the government for their stand in championing for human rights.


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