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Heckling at Fidel funeral baffles ODM chiefs

12 January 2015, 17:40 William Korir

Nairobi - The fact that ODM supporters heckled and made trouble at the funeral of Fidel Odinga, party leader Raila Odinga's son has baffled party leaders.

ODM supporters heckled speakers at the funeral in Bondo Saturday, something that ticked off Raila himself, who felt that it was a level of disrespect taken too far.

Defence CS Raychelle Omamo was heckled by mourners after she stood to present a message by President Uhuru Kenyatta and other leaders were just spared, including nominated MP Johnstone Sakaja, a friend to the late Fidel.

ODM leaders were clearly upset, led by Siaya Senator James Orengo and ODM chairman John Mbadi, as they tried frantically to calm the crowd down.

Raila was in the end forced to step up and speak to the crowd, with some unsavoury words coming out of his mouth. 

" You are heckling a daughter of ours here (Omamo) and I do no agree with it. Also, the president was with me and my family and he supported us to a high extent, even with government machinery. You need to show more respect," he said to the crowd of the heckling.

Other leaders also asked questions of the crowd behaviour, not least the combative Orengo.

" Please let us calm down. Do not embarrass us in such a manner," he said.

According to political analysts, the crowd trouble is reminiscent of the change that is taking place in the party, especially with recent decisions that have taken place, especially regarding political matters.

" It is about the change in the party. There is massive change in thinking. For long Raila was untouchable and unbeatable. Now there are different things happening in and around the party, Michael Njenga, a political analyst says.

" The party elections that failed to take place and then the farce that took place afterwards has exposed the party and its failings," he added.

Donald Koech, another political analyst also feels that there has been a huge undercurrent at ODM for a while now.

" There has been a strong undercurrent at ODM for a while now. Things have been bubbling under and such behaviour at a funeral of the party leader's son exposes just that," he feels.

" Look, there is change on the way and with the issues that have overshadowed the Homa Bay by elections, you can see that this will not end," he adds. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta was also heckled in the Nyanza region last year and political intolerance has taken a new shape in recent times but former ODM Secretary General Prof Anyang Nyong'o says that it will end.

" People are allowed to show their emotions. That will change with time. It has been a trying period for everyone".

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