Angry elders hold Raila to
ransom over Mau evictions
By Peter Mutai
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has come under attack by Kipsigis
elders over the intended eviction of more than 15,000 people from
the Mau Forest.
The elders, who included seven MPs, councillors and professionals,
told Raila to his face they would rethink their support for him in
the next General Election.
Speaking at the Tea Research Foundation in Kericho on Friday, the
elders asked the PM not to allow himself to be misused by his
"We supported you in the General Election fully and even lost some
of our sons because of you and now you are being used by those who
denied you victory to harass us," said Mzee Bartany arap Milgo.
held to ransom
Milgo told the PM that previous Kanu and Narc regimes had
knowledge of the settlement and were responsible for issuance of
"We will mobilise our people not to support you in future
elections if you allow our people to be removed from their farms
in Mau. We are monitoring your moves and intentions," he added.
The respected Kipsigis elder warned the PM that the community
would stop calling him, "arap Mibei" if he executes the evictions.
Milgo, amid applause, declared there would be no need to regard
Raila as one of their sons if he ‘betrays’ them.
The name "arap Mibei" was given to the PM in the run up to last
year’s General Election to symbolise that he was one of them.
Raila sat in a pensive mood, sandwiched between Bureti MP Franklin
Bett and his Ainamoi counterpart Benjamin Langat, as the attacks
Councillor David Rotich from Sotik Town Council asked the
Government to involve local leaders in the planned conservation of
Mau, instead of issuing statements that are causing tension in the
Raila brushed aside the notion that he was being used by people in
the Government, saying theirs was a concerted effort to conserve
He said the Government will compensate those with genuine land
Meanwhile, Raila appealed for unity among Kenyans, saying it was
the only way the country would develop.
The PM spoke when he hosted a delegation from Central Kenya at his
Bondo home, in what the family said was a private function. The
delegation comprised Raila’s in-laws from Kiambu, where the wife
of his elder son, Fidel, comes from.
The function, the PM said, was a family affair to solidify the
marriage between Fidel and Veronica Ciru.
During the function, a traditional marriage ceremony was conducted,
in line with Luo and Kikuyu cultures. Raila described the ceremony
as a special way of blending cultures.