ODM MPs demand apology from Uhuru for failing to recognize Jaramogi
Three Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leaders have given President Uhuru Kenyatta 48 hours to apologize for not recognizing former Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and Cord leader Raila Odinga as national heroes during Mashujaa Day.
The duo termed the omission a deliberate attempt to humiliate the leaders who they claimed played a major role in the first and second liberation of Kenya.
Addressing a press conference in Kisumu, Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, Nyando MP Fred Outa and politician Richard Ogendo said the Nyanza region was not taking the matter kindly and that they demand an unequivocal apology from the Head of State.
Mr Wandayi accused the president and his Jubilee administration of taking their hatred for Nyanza and the Luo community to worrying levels.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta cannot be preaching national unity and cohesion on one hand while on the other hand he is displaying open disdain towards our leaders,” said the Ugunja MP.
He added: “When you disrespect Jaramogi and Raila, we shall also disrespect you in equal measure, if not more.”
During the Mashujaa Day fete celebrated on Thursday, President Kenyatta fell short of recognizing Jaramogi, Mr Odinga and former Cabinet Minister Tom Mboya.
While the three were missing from the list of Kenya’s heroes read out by Mr Kenyatta, the late Achieng Oneko was recognized as one of the leaders who gave resources and worked beyond Kenyan borders to fight for Kenya’s liberation.
Also recognized from the region as post 2002 heroes were Siaya Senator James Orengo and Chairman of the Commission on Administrative of Justice Otiende Amollo.
However, the legislators took issue with the omission on Jaramogi and Mr Odinga, whose contribution in the liberation movement of Kenya, they say, is known in Kenya and beyond the borders.
“The freedom millions of Kenya are enjoying came as a result of personal sacrifice from people like Jaramogi, who now the Jubilee regime find not worth recognizing,” said Mr Wandayi.
Mr Outa said the opposition will not have any engagement with the Jubilee government until the president apologizes to the Luo community.
“Even if President Kenyatta has a vendetta with the Odinga family, he should stop personalizing national holidays. His office requires him to recognize all heroes in equal measure,” said Mr Outa, adding that the president has crossed the red line.