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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 23 November 2014


As many look forward to giving departed Otieno Kajwang a sendoff befitting his status, others are torn as to whether to travel to the senator’s Mbita home or keep off altogether. Balancing their personal safety concerns and the need to show respect to Kajwang by being at his burial is the matter gnawing at the conscience of a brigade of leaders from ODM. This after it emerged that there are schemes afoot to heckle certain legislators, governors and senators if they show their faces in Mbita.
Targeted for humiliation are Cord rebel leaders who have been cohabiting politically with Jubilee government. It is said that those out to challenge the rebels come 2017 have been meeting in Nairobi to lay down strategies on how to make hay while the sun shines by capitalising on the death of the flamboyant senator to deal political blows to their political enemies in the hope that this will put them in good stead with voters.
The strategy is to embarrass and traumatise the so-called ODM and Cord rebels if they dare show up. The plot is to jeer and sneer so strongly and so prolonged that the targets will actually fear for their personal safety, even if the funeral has VIPs from the president and diplomatic corps in attendance. It is not known if President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto will attend. However, if Uhuru decides to attend, he is likely to be received well in total contrast of what would be expected of Ruto.
Already, Uhuru handlers are said to be working on a plan to have the state play a key role in the burial including availing military choppers to carry the body for public viewing in Nyanza from Nairobi. That Uhuru is well informed on the burial arrangements was signified when he visited his Runda home and was welcomed by Raila Odinga and members of the bereaved family, including the younger brother and Ruaraka legislator Tom Kajwang. The way Raila ushered in Uhuru was to show that they are all united in Kajwang death.
But behind the scenes are others who think differently. Already, battalions of rowdy youths are being recruited in both Nairobi and Kisumu to jeer  the targets and scare the thousands of mourners and security. Budgets are being worked on how much will be used to ferry the goons to the burial day slated on Friday November 28.  Our moles with both public and private universities revealed students are set to be ferried to the burial, a majority of them with roots in Luo Nyanza. Kajwang was a student leader at the University of Nairobi. They are under strict instructions to teach a lesson ODM rebels why they ventured into the murky world of politics. Not since Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero was hit with a well orchestrated biggest single blast of booing in Kenyan political history at 4.50pm on May 31 2014 at Uhuru Park during the Baba While You Were Away return from the USA, has a heckling as a strategy been so carefully prepared as for the Mapambano burial.
It is also suspected that some ODM politicians are planning to have the rebels heckled at Uhuru Park when Kajwang’s body will be viewed by members of the public. It is believed that those behind the heckling are the same people who have been posting inciting messages on social media pulpits. It is not, however, known if ODM has put in place to ensure the Uhuru Park ceremony is not marred by heckling.
Surprisingly, former Makadara MP Reuben Ndolo’s name, the man who was a key player in the bungled ODM polls chaos features prominently among those behind the latest plot. He has on his side Sonu chairman Babu Owino and faces of the much dreaded men in black.  MPs led by Mohammed Junnet of Suna East are also involved. It is said the MPs are the same who were involved in disrupting Uhuru rally in Migori recently.
Part of the heckling squad is even practicing rugby tackling moves in which they fell their opponents heavily to the ground without injuring them much. According to credible official and unofficial reports, the recent ejection of former ODM CEO Magerer Lang’at from Orange House will look like child’s play compared to what is being plotted to give Mapambano a fiery sendoff.
About a dozen of leaders are targeted for dramatic ejection from Kajwang’s burial ceremony and some will not even be allowed step at the venue as road blocks will be mounted, complete with manhandling and the loudest screaming, booing, jeering, whistling and blowing of vuvuzelas ever seen at a public function in Kenya.
“No one is safe, no level of VIP will escape the wrath of ODM in its own Luo Nyanza epicentre. In fact, trigger-happy GSU, APs and other armed security should not be posted to Homa Bay on that day. The rowdiness will look like real terror. It will take the gathering right to the edge. Anything could happen. A lot could go wrong. It will be a furious funeral. It will be almost as if Otieno Kajwang’ was the victim of an assassination not heart failure,” said a man privy to the goings-on.
The most high profile targets will be Dalmas Otieno, Ken Obura, Ababu Namwamba, Augustino Neto, Silverse Osele and other politicians seen to be liberals in ODM. A number of governors are also on the radar list. Also targeted for earsplitting fury and a bit of manhandling is Coast rebel leader Mung’aro, who was dewhipped as minority speaker by the opposition coalition in August.
The greatest raucous is reserved for the four Cord MPs who were  removed from parliamentary committees and given notice that they are staring by-elections in their face. How ODM plans to handle the rowdy drama that is bound to ensue has been at the centre of discussion. Many are of the opinion the party will come and declare the late to be given a peaceful sendoff. It should not be just as it happened at Kasarani when the Men in Black sabotaged the ODM national convention and the envisaged elections and at Orange House on the day boisterous MCAs, escorted and coached by Men in Black, ejected Magerer.
Fear is that a section plans to vent all its frustrations of the year at the Mapambano funeral. Kajwang’s last words included a prophecy that Raila would actually take State House in 2017. This is an emotive issue in Luo Nyanza just now, and the former prime minister’s base is in no mood to contemplate the end of his presidential dreams.
And aware of the planned chaos, a section of the funeral organising committee is contemplating not to introduce politicians apart from those involved in running the programme and county governor Cyprian Awiti.
They want it more of a private function where even those present will not be allowed to greet mourners apart from a chosen few. Senators Anyang Nyongo and James Orengo are to play a key role.
In short, they want it to be a senators function with governors, MPs and MCAs being sidelined. Senators plan to be the pallbearers with Uhuru being the mourner in chief if he opts to attend the burial. There are those in government pushing for Kajwang to be be given a state burial with his coffin donning in the national flag.

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