The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Nandi Elders Suspended for Opposing Raila Visit

Some elders allied to Eldoret North MP were yesterday suspended for opposing plans to make Prime Minister Raila Odinga a Nandi elder. The clan of the legendary Nandi leader, the late Orkoiyot Koitalel arap Samoei said they have suspended three of their members for opposing the tour. The move may have been intended to forestall a similar move last month when opposition to the PM's visit led him to cancel the tour of the area.

Some elders claimed that one of the presidential aspirants is opposed to the plan by the elders to make Raila an elder of the community. They declared that they will give the PM a warm reception when he visits the area tomorrow. Those suspended include an ODM councilor, David Sulo of Kapsisywa ward and a top athletics manager Barnabas Korir and Rev James Basi. The elders supporting Raila's visit said they had concluded an elaborate plan to make Raila an elder of the community and bless him ahead of the 2012 polls.

Spokesman of the Nandi Talai elders Moses Saina who was accompanied by Pastor Stephen Kipchoge Chomu said the clan have had a long time relationship with the Luo community dating back to early 1900. The elders claimed that while they understood the fears of some presidential aspirants on the implication of the PM's visit, their doors were open to all who recognize the role of the Talai clan in resisting the British rule.

The statement issued by the elders in support of Raila's tour was signed by among others the Talai council chairman John Burgei, council patron Silvester Tanui arap Chemwor, Elder Christopher Koiyogi Moses Saina and Pst. Chomu and Talai University students leaders Joshua Choge and Edwin Ng'eny. The elders claimed that they had concrete information that those suspended were being used by outsiders and interested politicians to ensure that the tour failed. Raia is scheduled to lay a foundation stone for a girl's school in the area and make linkages with the Talai clan which is key in determining the socio-political issues in the community.

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