I deserve State privileges, says former PM Raila Odinga

Thursday August 1 2013

Former Prime minister Raila Odinga speaks during a news conference July 19, 2013 where Lawyer Mutula Kilonzo Jnr was nominated to run for the Makueni Senate seat on a Wiper ticket. Mr Odinga has said he deserves some State privileges by virtue of being a former PM July 31, 2013. FILE

Former Prime minister Raila Odinga speaks during a news conference July 19, 2013 where Lawyer Mutula Kilonzo Jnr was nominated to run for the Makueni Senate seat on a Wiper ticket. Mr Odinga has said he deserves some State privileges by virtue of being a former PM July 31, 2013. FILE 

By PETER OBUYA [email protected]

Raila Odinga has said he deserves some State privileges by virtue of being a former Prime Minister.

Mr Odinga dismissed claims by government spokesman Muthui Kariuki that he has mounted an illegal siren in one of his cars to manoeuvre his way through traffic.

But responding to the accusations, Mr Odinga said he is entitled to some of the privileges he enjoys and deserves to have vehicles and bodyguards seconded to him by the government for having been a Prime Minister and a co-principal to former President Kibaki in the grand coalition government.

"I am a former Prime Minister of this country and was a co-principal in the grand coalition government and so I am entitled to some of these privileges," he told journalists at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi Wednesday night after arriving from Texas, USA where he led 10 Cord Governors to meetings with potential US investors.

“He is forever mourning that the government is not giving him recognition, yet he has refused to return six government vehicles and has gone on and bought an illegal siren and is forever driving all over town using the wrong lanes,” the spokesman said.

The Cord leader said he will demand an explanation from government about the withdrawal of some of his security.

The government has also reportedly withdrawn security detail of some senators allied to Cord and Mr Odinga said he seek an explanation for the move.

"Like you know, I was away and just heard about these developments. I want to wait for an explanation from government before I can comment," he said.

Mr Odinga, who was barred from accessing the airports' VIP facilities, arrived through the International arrivals bay used for ordinary passengers to a rapturous welcome from hundreds of ODM supporters led by several Cord MPs.

MPs present included David Ochieng (Ugenya), Ken Obura (Kisumu Central), Jared Opiyo (Awendo), Ken Okoth (Kibra), Sylvance Osele (Kabondo Kasipul) and Junet Mohamed (Suna East).