After escaping corona virus by a whisker in his recent Coast trip where he rubbed shoulders with people who had come into contact with a corona positive case, Raila Odinga is gravely alarmed. So much so that he is now virtually incubating at his Karen home where only his immediate family members access him.
Weekly Citizen has information that the Raila family was in shock when Mombasa politicians Suleiman Shahbal who had hosted Raila in Mombasa decided to go into self quarantine days after a handshake and meeting with Raila.
In a statement, Shahbal shocked many when he revealed that he had held a meeting with Kilifi governor Amason Kingi at Moi International Airport Mombasa. By then Kilifi deputy governor Gideon Saburi whom Kingi had met, had tested positive for corona virus.
Saburi who has since been treated and has tested negative and is waiting to be charged in court had held meetings with officials at the county government including Kingi.
The county officials went into selfisolation including Kingi. Apart from restricting visitors to his residence, Raila is also said to have reduced the number of his security team including drivers. In fact, a section of his security team has been allowed to go home only remaining with a skeleton staff residing at his residence. They are currently zerograzed at the residence to stop them mixing with other Kenyans in the estates they reside. Relatives and visitors allowed are too minimal and when in discussion, they keep a safe distance. Apart from operating indoors, Raila keeps himself busy online. Two reasons are being given. First, it has to do with his advanced age and second, his poor health history. He was operated on the head some years back. According to doctors, majority of those who have died as a result of Covid-19 are aged above 70 years and also those who suffer from various ailments are the highly vulnerable.
Raila’s family also is concerned that Raila is ever touching his eyes every other minute. Touching eyes with contaminated hands leads to contracting Covid-19. In Kenya, about 2pc of the current population are said to be above 70 years. Majority of them are also said to be suffering from multiple ailments. However, some are said to be strong and healthy. Prominent Kenyans above 70 years include Raila who is 75 years. Others in the age bracket of over 70 years are retired resident Emilio Mwai Kibaki, 89, ailing former cabinet minister Simeon Nyachae, 88, Charles Njonjo,100, Paul Muite, 75, Oburu Odinga, 77. Siaya senator James Orengo was born in 1951 and is currently in that bracket. Due to Raila age factor and health history, Weekly Citizen has established that his doctors have recommended to the family to restrict his movements, avoid contacts with people and avoid unnecessary trips unless one that requires attention, that being if honouring an appointment with his medical doctors.
As a result, Raila has blocked MPs, senators and governors visiting his residence in Karen. Further, the former prime minister rarely leaves his Karen residence and for days has not been spotted at his Capitol Hill offices in Nairobi. Weekly Citizen has information that politicians who frequented Raila Karen home are literally chased away by his security team. In fact it is said that two Luo MPs from South Nyanza were rudely turned away when they tried to visit the ODM leader. “Forget what befell deputy president William Ruto when he flew to Kabarak to visit the ailing former late president Daniel Arap Moi. At least, Ruto was allowed to get into the house. For the two MPs, it was total embarrassment as they were told to go back and adhere to stay home regulations by the government,” our source revealed. It is not known why the two MPs decided to visit Raila at this critical Covid-19 crisis.
However, it is suspected that they wanted to endear themselves to Raila and his family by pretending to have joined and kept him busy from boredom during his indoors tribulations. Word has it that those who visit Raila take photos on selfies and post them on WhatsApp pages for political mileage come 2022. Before he went into caution mode, Shahbal met Raila in Mombasa and had dinner. However, his family was relieved when it established that Raila did not meet Saburi but Mombasa deputy governor William Kingi. It further emerged, Shahbal held talks with Raila earlier before he was spotted at Moi International Airport with Kingi. Saburi arrived in the country from a Germany trip and interacted with MPs during the burial of Msambweni MP Suleiman Dori at his rural Kwale home. Governor Salim Mvurya was the mourner in chief as he led hundreds of mourners in paying last respects to the MP. In fact Raila had to openly come up and deny meeting embattled deputy governor now likely to face impeachment from local MCAs. In a press statement, Raila claimed he made a low-key trip to Coast but dismissed reports he met Saburi as lies and malice.
The press statement reads: “During the Mombasa visit, Mr Odinga did not meet with any of the leaders of the Coastal counties or leaders of the Coastal counties or their deputies, except the deputy Governor of Mombasa County Dr William Kingi. He didn’t meet Deputy Governor of Kilifi County.” By then, talk was rife among politicians and Kenyans that Raila had interacted with Saburi and Kingi and had gone into self-isolation and fear was that he had contracted corona. It is on these grounds that the statement further stated: “Mr Odinga appeals to the public to treat reports indicating otherwise as lies and malice. He appeals to Kenyans to treat such reports as the work of people who have failed to comprehend the magnitude of the challenge the nation is facing and instead find pleasure in abusing social media platforms to spread misinformation to cause fear and panic, a trend the state must arrest urgently.” Raila call on state to arrest those causing fear and panic on social platforms revealed he was affected by the rumours.
Raila was on Friday March 20 at his Nyali residence in Mombasa and held talks with Dabasa ward byelection ODM candidates Dickson Karani and Mombasa deputy governor Kingi.Raila decision not to meet MPs and lock them out of his residence is after the national assembly submitted to the ministry of Health a list of MPs and parliamentary staff it wants to be tested of Covid-19. The said MPs and staff are said to have interacted with Rabai MP Kamoti Mwamkale who tested positive. The MP was with Saburi. The MPs who were to undergo tests are members of the house committees on justice and legal affairs and that of delegated legislation committee. MPs are not allowed to visit Raila after the clerk of the national assembly, Michael Sialai, exposed names of MPs’ to Health ministry for testing, and wants them quarantined for 14 days.
“We ask all the members, especially members of the justice and legal affairs committee and the delegated legislation committee, who interacted with Kamoti to go for self–isolation,” the clerk has said. Parliamentary reports indicate, the MP attended meetings of the two committees. The two committees with a combined membership of 38, held a joint sitting on March 17 in the presence of Kamote, who is a member of the justice and legal affairs team. Baringo North MP William Cheptumo chairs justice and legal affairs committee with Uasin Gishu woman rep Gladys Shollei in charge of delegated legislation committee. Those who attended Dori’s funeral were senators Mohammed Faki (Mombasa), MPs Issa Juma Boy, Ali Mbogo, Omar Mwinyi, Khatib Mwashetani, Benjamin Tayari and Kassim Tandaza, John Mbadi, and ODM SG Edwin Sifuna.