13 December 2018

Kenya: Kisumu Upbeat as Odinga Hosts Kenyatta in First Visit Since Handshake

Photo: Tony Omondi/Daily Nation
Raila Odinga receives President Kenyatta at the Kisumu International Airport on December 13, 2018.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga arrived in Kisumu on Wednesday evening ahead of President Uhuru Kenyatta's highly anticipated visit today, ten months after their historic handshake that ended months of political turmoil.

Mr Odinga arrived at the Kisumu International Airport with Siaya Senator James Orengo where they were received by local leaders, including Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o and national government officials.

The African Union special envoy's motorcade then proceeded to the Kisumu Yatch Club where they held a brief meeting with a section of Nyanza legislators ahead of Thursday's events.


President Kenyatta will be in Kisumu today to launch universal health coverage pilot programme at Mamboleo showground and is expected to use the opportunity as a launching pad for peace initiatives following their peace deal with Mr Odinga.

Mr Odinga said Mr Kenyatta is set to launch the national reconciliation tours in Kisumu during his visit.

The ODM leader said the meeting will be a major gathering akin to the 1961 convention in the Kisumu town that brought together various heads of state and leaders in East and Central Africa.

"Our visit to Kisumu will bring together a large congregation similar to the gathering in Kisumu in 1961 that was convened by the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga which gave birth to the Pan African Movement of Freedom for East and Central Africa," said Mr Odinga.


The President's first stop on Thursday morning will be in Ahero where he is expected to commission the Ahero interchange road project and thereafter travel by road to Kisumu. There will be several stopovers.

The head of state is also expected to inspect Kakamega-Kisumu Road works at Mamboleo junction and later hold a luncheon with local leaders after the launch of the healthcare programme.

On Friday, President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga will be in Bondo, Siaya County where they will be conferred honorary doctorates at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology for their contribution to peace following their March 9 truce.

Mr Odinga is expected to host Mr Kenyatta at his Opoda home in Bondo after the event.

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