The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Ida Snubs Launch of Women Lobby for Raila's Campaigns

PRIME Minister Raila Odinga's wife Ida snubbed about 500 women waiting for her to launch Wamama Na Raila lobby group at Eldoret Municipal Hall.

Ida had toured several parts of Uasin Gishu with Higher Education minister Margaret Kamar on Wednesday campaigning for Raila. The women said Ida was supposed to launch Wamama the lobby but failed to turn up.

A section of women accused Kamar of "hijacking" Ida. They said Kamar has been been campaigning for Raila adding that she has been telling the residents to vote for the president of their choice.

"The reason why Ida snubbed this group was because Kamar realised that we will tell her that she has not been campaigning for Raila, said Millicent Awuor, who is the secretary of Wamama Na Raila in Uasin Gishu.

Awuor said the roadshow conducted by Ida was not in the plan and wondered who changed the programme. "There a low turnout for the roadshow because there were no vans to accompany the premier's wife," said Awuor.

Judith Atieno, secretary of Raila Campaign team in Uasin Gishu, however defended Kamar . She said the minister was not to blame for Ida's failure to grace the launch of Raila lobby.

Reaching for a comment, Kamar's chief campaigner Philip Ng'elechei said the women wanted to extort money from Ida. He said Ida was not scheduled to launch or address any group at the town hall in Eldoret.

"These women came to Kamar's office demanding about Sh1 million for the preparations of Ida's itinerary and we told them everything has been catered for," Ng'elechei said. He added that the same women have been looking for Ida in Bondo and Nairobi unsuccessfully.

"We received a communication from Ida's team that the women have been looking for her saying they come from Bondo and they did not find her in Nairobi. They came to Eldoret saying they want to launch a lobby group."Philip said.

Philip even said Ida was about to cancel her tour if she was coming to meet the women without her prior knowledge. Ida visited areas of Langas, Kipkaren, Huruma,Kimumu and officially opened a hospital at Ilila area before leaving for Nairobi.

Several women arrived at the town hall and started singing songs praising Kamar and Raila had to wait until 7pm to leave after realizing that Ida had taken a flight to Nairobi. Media was also not spared as they waited her for the better part of the day only to pack their equipments and leave.

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