Chaos at Uhuru Kenyatta meeting with leaders in Migori
Chaos marred President Uhuru Kenyatta’s public meeting in Migori Town on Monday.
A group of youths, who were strategically standing in front of the dais, began chanting ODM slogans soon after Migori Governor Okoth Obado moved to the microphone to address the gathering to welcome political leaders present.
Commotion then ensued as the youths threw plastic chairs across the field that was teeming with people.
Shoes were also hurled towards the dais.
Alarmed presidential security guards immediately threw a cordon around the tent where President Kenyatta and other dignitaries were. The President remained calm.
A section of the crowd, especially women and children, then took to their heels as armed police officers cocked their guns. No shots were fired.
However, scores of people sustained minor injuries after they were trampled upon at the main exit gate as they rushed to get out of the Migori Primary School grounds, the venue of the meeting.
NOT ALLOWED TO SPEAK
President Kenyatta pleaded for the leaders present to be allowed to speak, to no avail.
“Can we give them one minute each to speak before I continue?” asked the Head of State. But the crowd roared back in the negative, as they continued chanting ODM slogans.
The leaders present included Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma, Senators Charles Keter (Kericho), Joy Gwendo (nominated) and Wilfred Machage (Migori).
Also present were MPs John Kobado (Uriri), Shadrack Manga (Kuria East), Mathias Robi (Kuria West), Edick Anyanga (Nyatike), Joseph Ndiege (Suna West),Gedion Konchella (Kilgoris) and Jimmy Agwenyi (Kitutu Chache North).
Mr Angwenyi then walked out of the stadium in protest and headed straight to his car saying; “These guys cannot embarrass the President like this as I watch.”
“This is a big shame I cannot withstand,” he charged.
Earlier, efforts by Mr Anyanga and Dr Machage to calm the crowd fell on deaf ears.
STARTED HIS ADDRESS
As the boos and jeers continued, President Kenyatta walked to the microphone to start his address.
But part of the crowd continued chanting ODM slogans, forcing the Head of State to call for order.
“We have listened, can you now keep quiet so that we proceed,” he said.
He later addressed the crowd, although muted jeers and boos could still be heard from a section of the crowd.
The President was in Migori to launch an anti-malaria campaign, which was attended by dignitaries from the Global Fund and various embassies in the country.
Earlier, he had a fruitful meeting with farmers at Sony Guest House, Awendo, where he gave out a cheque for Sh447 million to help in offsetting famers’ cane delivery arrears.
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The more than 30,000 cane farmers contracted by the Awendo-based miller are owed Sh540 million dating back to January this year.
Mr Kenyatta directed that the miller pay the remaining balance of Sh93 million.
“You should place farmers’ pay on top of your priorities…we will not be bailing you out all the time and yet you are in business,” he went on amidst cheers from the excited growers.
He explained that his administration was committed to improving the welfare of cane farmers in the Nyanza and western regions.
President Kenyatta said Chemelil and Muhoroni Sugar factories had been given a total of Sh1.1 billion to pay farmers’ arrears but cautioned the management of the millers against diverting the cash to other priorities.
“Make sure the cash is only paid to farmers. We will closely monitor the progress of the payments in the coming weeks,” he added.
The president said political competition did not mean enmity.
“I am a leader of everybody in Kenya and my Government will serve all of you fairly and equally. I have a master plan to improve infrastructure in the country including roads and electricity,” said President Kenyatta.
But strangely, the Head of State and Mr Obado addressed successful roadside meetings in Awendo and Uriri towns where crowds blocked their convoy of more than 100 vehicles.
President Kenyatta said he was ready to work with all leaders irrespective of political divide or tribal affiliation to fast-track socio-economic development in the country.
He, however, emphasised respect among political leaders, pointing out that this was a two-way street.
“I will not insult any leader, but I also deserve respect in return … as leaders we must put (the) interest of Kenyans above our parochial thinking and differences,” he said.
HIGH MALARIA PREVALENCE
The President also created Suna West district.
He said the government had deemed it fit to launch the malaria project in Migori because of its high prevalence rate in the region.
He said the last General Election was a contest that had both a winner and loser.
“We have this motion from our minds that with every election we must be enemies,” he said
“Democracy means that everyone must be given a chance to say what they have in mind and later we hold hands and go forward.
“This is why we are saying we want a nation where Kenyans will be able to walk together and unite to build the country,” he added.
He said the anti-malaria project would be replicated in other counties.
“If we fight this deadly disease and conquer it, we shall have a healthy and productive nation,” said the President.