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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 19 October 2014

FORMER RAILA CAMPAIGNERS HITS KIBERA SLUM ALLEYS IN EARLY CAMPAIGNS FOR SEAT



A former aide of Raila Odinga and his campaign manager in Cord Eliud Owalo is sending ripples in the sprawling Kibra constituency where he has declared his interest to lock horns with MP Kenneth Okoth.
Fidel Castro, the son of party leader Raila Odinga is also said to be going for the seat. However, others say Fidel may relocate to either a seat within Kisumu most likely that of Olago Oluoch to avoid confrontation with Owalo who is close to his father. Others say Fidel is also thinking of Langata or even Kasarani. To avoid a bitter fight, he thinks of the Bondo parliamentary seat at times. Okoth is in trouble after he accompanied Uhuru to America tour which was interpreted by his detractors as betrayal to Raila.
Owalo has appealed to Kenyans to embrace sports as a means of enhancing unity in diversity in the country and at the same time asked the youth to maintain peace and avoid engaging in acts of violence and thuggery.
Addressing thousands of football fans who had thronged Kibra’s Woodley grounds during the finals of the Idd-adha  Cup football tournament recently,  Owalo stated that sports is a unifying factor that transcends tribal, political and religious boundaries and should therefore be embraced by all Kenyans to promote national cohesion.
He urged Kenyans of youthful age who are talented in sports to take the initiative seriously as it has now become a major source of livelihood all over the world but not merely a compliment to education as was the case before.
He urged the Nairobi county government to rehabilitate Kibra’s Woodley grounds, stating that the facility has been a breeding ground for many footballers of national repute.
Owalo, who had sponsored the tournament in partnership with the Muslim community in Kibra to mark the end of the recent celebrations, donated trophies and cash awards totaling over Sh200,000 to the participating teams.
At another function recently, he donated over 200 iron sheets, poles, blankets and building materials to residents of Gwatwekera in the constituency after their houses were gutted down and made a day long tour of the area to identify challenges facing the people.
Accompanied by all the constituency ODM party leaders led by chairman Ochieng Jera, the Kibra 2017 parliamentary aspirant last made yet another extensive tour of all the five wards of Makina, Lindi, Laini Saba, Woodley and Sarangombe  with a view to determining the strategic issues that need to be addressed arising from the challenges facing the people of Kibra.
In the course of the tour, Owalo received distraught calls from bereaved families in Kibra requesting for financial assistance in organising funerals for their departed next of kin and decided to respond instantly.
Being a stakeholder in the constituency and a philanthropist who has extended numerous humanitarian assistance to area residents in the past, Owalo made impromptu visits to the bereaved families.
He was escorted on foot by residents, party ward chairmen including Catherine Okoth, Mohammed Gore, Jeconiah Milla, Kopiyo Nyamweya, Rose Masita, Malla Shikokoti, John Paul and Janet Wekesa, youth and women representatives among others.  Owalo was mobbed by the crowd as he waded on foot through the dingy Kibra alleys to the homes of the late Grace Achieng, Mama Okinda and Yvonne Achieng, wife of Jamwaka, a youth leader in the constituency. He consoled each family with Sh20,000.
He made several brief stop-overs along the way to buy merchandise and food from local vendors who were surprised by the humility of the man.
Residents were heard exclaiming that they had never hosted anyone of Owalo’s calibre in their homes in the past, and were therefore encouraged by  his determination to assist them in difficult circumstances willing to walk through the sprawling slum at night despite obvious security risks.