|Raila Odinga: Image Courtesy|
Nairobi Kenya: The Jubilee government launched a bare-knuckled attack on former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Thursday, sensationally claiming he had orchestrated the heckling of its leaders at a public forum in Kisii.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday skipped the mass funeral service at Gusii Stadium for students killed in a road accident, where Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i was heckled and forced to cut short the President’s condolence message.
On Thursday, government spokesman Muthui Kariuki explained that the President skipped the event because of pressing national issues, but added the telling rider that his absence saved him the embarrassment.
In a scathing attack, Kariuki claimed the “retired Prime Minister” had refused to surrender six government vehicles that had been allocated to him when he served in the coalition government.
“He’s forever moaning that the government is not giving him recognition yet he has refused to return six government vehicles, has gone on and bought an illegal siren and is forever driving all over town using the wrong lanes,” charged the official.
Kariuki’s hard-hitting statement will be seen to reflect the position of the Jubilee administration, raising the stakes in the long-running conflict with the CORDleader.
But Kariuki’s position as a mouthpiece of government remains ambiguous considering that his name did not appear on Kenyatta’s recently unveiled Presidential Strategic Communications Unit.
The President named Manoah Esipisu as the State House spokesman replacing PPS director Isaiya Kabira, who has been appointed Kenya’s Ambassador to Australia.
Kenyatta also named five directors of the Unit but never made reference to the office of government spokesman. The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has twice summoned Raila’s aide, Mr Eliud Owalo, to record a statement over an alleged plot to “destabilise” President Kenyatta’s regime.