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Why Raila Skipped Gen Ogolla’s Burial In Siaya

Raila being the defacto leader of the Luo, was expected to headline the funeral which was also attended by President William Ruto.

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Raila Odinga’s absence at the burial ceremony of CDF General Francis Ogolla at his home did not only catch everyone by surprise but also sparked a wave of speculations.

Raila, who comes from Nyanza region, just like Ogolla, was a relative as revealed by Siaya Senator Oburu Oginga during the burial. Raila’s mother hailed from Alego, same as Ogolla, making the General his ‘uncle’.

Raila being the defacto leader of the Luo, was expected to headline the funeral which was also attended by President William Ruto.

Mr. Odinga was however seen attending a football match between local teams in Nairobi. His brother Oburu Odinga who represented him in the ceremony said the former prime minister was disposed to attend.

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However, sources speaking to Kenya Insights allude to a strategic scheme by Odinga to avert a possible fallout and generally to preserve his image as a candidate for the up coming African Union election.

Odinga is also keen not to fracture his newly formed relationship with Ruto, “Raila is keen not to antagonise Ruto due to his bid for the AU seat. He didn’t want to be forced into pushing the theory of an assassination of Gen. Ogolla in front of Ruto.” The source said.

From the inception of the crash, majority of Azimio leaders have subtly advanced their view that there was a foul play in the fatal accident.

We learn from our insider source that Raila’s absence was an internal agreement in Azimio. “They knew that if Raila attends, then the organizers will give him a chance to address mourners, hence blocking the other Azimio luminaries. So, the agreement was that Kalonzo or Martha Karua was to be chosen to speak on behalf of Azimio. This is the reason why Kalonzo broke the protocol to invite Martha, and he was forced to come and recognize the presence of Wajackoyah and Mwangi wa Iria after the duo complained that Kalonzo ignored them.”

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Also as part of their strategy, Dr. Oburu and Alego Usonga MP Sam Atandi tried so hard to push the assassination theory, and even it is said they have tried to push the family to demand an investigation, and the family has refused to play along.

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Oburu in his speech said the Luo community has in the past lost high-ranking leaders under unclear circumstances hence need to probe for the truth.

“Even though it was an accident; in this region we’ve had many such accidents and we’ve also had assassinations of leaders from this region. So when such things happen we are a bit suspicious not because of anything, but we want to know the truth,” Oburu said.

Oburu differed sharply with Joel Rabuku Omondi, the general’s son who had ruled out foul play in his father’s death, “I want to ask our Uncle, the General’s son, young man, don’t be impatient with us allow investigators to do their work! It’s not because of anything it is because once bitten twice shy. We asking for no stones to be left unturned and let us know the truth on who killed General Ogolla.” Oburu said.

Family rules out foul play

The general’s family differed. Joel was very close to the father and is said to know a lot of things about the father and that he went with the father to some of the most sensitive places and meetings hence he took charge of the funeral on behalf of the family.

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Speaking during the funeral service at Senator Obama Primary school in Ng’iya area Siaya County yesterday, Joel said that his father had disclosed to him how he enjoyed a cordial relationship with President William Ruto, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale.

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Joel said that his death was a big blow to the three with whom he had great plans to turn around the security situation in the country.

“He would tell me, I have had a very good meeting with the boss. And not with the President alone but also with the Deputy President as well. He really enjoyed his company and formed very serious rela- tionship of securing the country. And the cabinet secretary (Duale), these people become like brothers,” Joel said.

The Ogolla’s family during the burial.

He said that the President was equally devastated by the untimely death of General Ogolla calling on the pub- lic to stop speculating about what could have caused the death of his father. “Even yesterday (Saturday) people were still speculating, ooh President appointed him because of this. I want to clear the air about the conversations I had with my fa- ther about his time with the President. He didn’t divulge any national security issues but generally, I feel it is important to clear the air.

“The President didn’t have to appoint him first of all. And nitially, he saw his competencies and decided that this was the man for the job. Very quickly they started becoming friends and they formed a serious chemistry,” he said.

The refusal of the family to advance the assassination narrative didn’t ogre go well with most regional leaders. Hence Oburu’s call that the death of Gen. Ogola was beyond the family. It is was made to appear as more of a tribe issue, hence the luonization of Ogolla’s death and Raila eyeing the continental position could not risk to be the headline of that theory.

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Raila, however, attended the memorial service at Ulinzi Sports Complex on Saturday.

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Another unnamed politician cited by a local daily said the Bomas controversy and the ‘mood on the ground’ could have led to Raila skipping the event because he would not be in a position to talk about some of the issues that his supporters could have wanted him to address.

“The way the people applauded Senator Oburu and Governor Orengo signals what they wanted to hear and Raila may have avoided going that route due to his working relationship with the Kenya Kwanza regime,” noted the politician.

Analysts also view the move by Raila to issue a separate press release away from his Azimio co-principals could be a pointer that he did not want to issue a hard-hitting statement to the government that is backing his African Union Commission chairmanship bid.

While Raila in his statement urged the government to expedite the probe into the cause of the accident that claimed Ogolla’s life, his co-principals Martha Karua, Kalonzo Musyoka, Mwangi Wa Iria, Eugene Wamalwa and George Wajackhoya raised concerns on the accident they want the Ruto-led administration to respond to.

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Raila raised concerns about the state of helicopters and other equipment being used by the security officers.

“Many near-death encounters have occurred with the security aircraft. We may never know what exactly brought down the helicopter in which the general died.

“It is our prayer that this tragedy may mark the beginning of a serious relook into our security equipment, especially aircrafts with a view to undertaking a complete overhaul and modernization of the equipment. That was the General’s vision,” he said.


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