24 April 2018

Kenya: Allow Olomide Concert in Kakamega, Urges Governor Oparanya

Photo: Koffi Olomide/Facebook
Koffi Olomide.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya says he is hopeful Congolese music star Koffi Olomide will perform at the devolution meet, despite his pending visa problem.

On Monday, Mr Oparanya said the promoters were making efforts to salvage Mr Olomide's planned concert in Kakamega County during the Devolution Conference.

The musician was deported from Kenya in July 2016 following an ugly incident at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), in which he was accused of assaulting one of his female dancers.


In an interview with the vernacular Mulembe FM radio station Monday, Mr Oparanya said: "The promoters are handling the issue of Mr Olomide's visa to enable him travel to Kenya. I hope he (Kofi) will make it to Kakamega in time to perform at the Devolution Conference."

Earlier, there had been confusion over who between the Kakamega County government and the promoters had invited the musician.

Mr Oparanya, who first broke news of Mr Olomide's planned visit, had asked Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa to intervene and have the tour cleared.

Mr Oparanya asked Mr Wamalwa to raise the issue with his Internal Security counterpart, Dr Fred Matiang'i, to have the musician allowed into the country to perform at Kakamega's Bukhungu Stadium.


"Our people love Koffi Olomide's music and it will be very exciting if he will be allowed to come and perform at Bukhungu to entertain guests attending the devolution conference," he said.

Mr Wamalwa, who was being briefed on the progress of preparations for the conference, promised to follow up the matter and ensure that Mr Olomide is cleared to travel to Kenya.

But Mr Mwenda Njoka, the spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said the organisers of the trip were required to appeal for a lifting of the ban on the musician.


"Please, talk to the organisers and the Koffi team and ask them if they got the ban lifted. The onus is on Koffi Olomide to apply for the lifting of the ban and not the government," said Mr Njoka.

A Nairobi-based promoter, Mr Jules Nsana, who had been linked with the planned tour by Mr Olomide, declined to discuss the issue, referring us to the county government.

But Kakamega County head of communication, Mr Dickson Rayori, insisted the musician's trip was being organised by his promoters.


"The county government will not spend any money to bring Koffi to Kakamega. In fact, the county will earn revenue from gate collections and the hiring of the stadium for the live performance by Koffi," said Mr Rayori.

The issue of who would pay for the travel and accommodation expenses for the musician, has dominated social media after the county government announced that Mr Olomide would be arriving in the country to perform during the devolution conference.


Mr Rayori dismissed as speculation reports indicating that the county government had allocated Sh20 million to pay the musician and foot his expenses in Kakamega.

Mr Olomide was arrested and deported with three of his band members aboard a Kenya Airways flight to Kinshasa as he attempted to clear himself over allegations of the assault of his band member. He spent the night at the JKIA Police Station.

As the saga unfolded, the musician's lawyer, Prof George Wajackoyah, claimed at the time that his client was treated "like an animal" by Kenyan police.

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