Raila reads mischief in State's handling of Shakahola cult

Azimio leader Raila Odinga

Azimio leader Raila Odinga speaks at the Anglican Church of Kenya in Gitui, Murang'a County, on May 12, 2023.

Photo credit: Courtesy

Opposition chief Raila Odinga has accused the government of “managing the Shakahola massacre in secrecy, in a manner also likely to suggest it has something fishy it wants to hide".

Mr Odinga, leader of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition, said this on Friday, adding that when he recently attempted to go to Shakahola, Kilifi County, to witness the exhumation of the bodies of cult leader Paul Mackenzie’s followers, “the security officers chased me out saying they did not want witnesses".

"There is something this government is hiding. An issue of such public interest needs openness,” he said at the Anglican Church of Kenya in Gitui, Murang'a County.

He attended the burial service for 82-year-old Mary Nyambura Cyrus, who was the mother of Ms Jane Waigwe, the wife of former Murang'a governor Mr Mwangi wa Iria.

Mr Odinga further said the government needs to be called out for the “habit of chest thumping and forcing things”.

Giving the example of the three per cent housing tax, he said, “If an employee has their own home, does not need one or can afford their own arrangements to own one, why would the government force this on them?"

He also slammed the Kenya Kwanza government's Finance Bill, 202 and further accused President William Ruto’s government of tribalism, where matters such as State jobs are concerned.

 "Personally I cannot promote tribalism. I believe in nationalism," he told the mourners.

The Azimio boss went on to dismiss the Kenya Kwanza government as an enemy of the hustler nation and democracy owing to a “crashing” taxation regime and the alleged buying off of opposition leaders.

 "He is not even consulting. He is coming up with taxes that are a crashing burden to the very lowly-placed on whose shoulders he campaigned on," he said.

Mr Odinga's Mt Kenya region pointman, Mr Kamau Mweha, stirred the mourners when he claimed the government intends to block opposition leaders from attending freedom fighter Mukami Kimathi's burial in Nyandarua County on Saturday.

Mr Mweha did not give evidence to back his claims.

"We will attend the burial," he said.