Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o and Muhoroni MP Onyango K’Oyoo have apologised to opposition leader Raila Odinga following Monday’s incident where he was heckled in Ombeyi.
The two, who were out of the country at the time, termed the heckling and disruption of Mr Odinga's speech by some youth as barbaric.
Mr Odinga, together with Cabinet secretaries James Macharia (Transport), Peter Munya (Trade and Industry) and John Munyes (Petroleum and Mining) had visited the proposed site for a special economic zone when the incident happened.
They said that an industrial park will be built on a 500-acre piece of land in Kisumu.
But this did not go down well with some of the youth who jeered Mr Odinga, saying that they did not want the industrial park.
They accused the Kisumu County government of “grabbing” their land without consulting them.
The youth were beaten and the placards they were waving torn even as Mr Odinga prevailed upon the crowd to stop manhandling them.
And in a tough statement sent to newsrooms, Governor Nyong’o lashed at the locals for rejecting development but maintained that the Ombei incident was pre-arranged.
“It is regrettable that a small band of engineered naysayers who have deliberately decided to resist development in the county as a whole purely for political mileage decided to embarrass our guests,” said Prof Nyong’o.
The governor could not receive Mr Odinga and the three CSs due to a pre-arranged trip too Denmark where he said he was going to negotiate for the second phase of a Kenya-Danish partnership on circular economy programmes that will now involve counties.
He insisted that the people of Muhoroni Sub-County and Kisumu at large are committed to development.
“We shall not be deterred from continuing with changing Kisumu’s economy for the better to please a few visionless people,” said Governor Nyong’o.
Mr K’Oyoo, who returned to the country on Monday from Botswana, condemned the incident, saying it was wrong for the youth to embarrass Mr Odinga bearing in mind his age and stature.
He wondered why ODM party officials from Kisumu failed to act when the incident happened.
Prof Ayiecho Olweny, who is the Kisumu County ODM Chairman and other officials from the county as well as some ward Representatives were present at the event.
“This is regrettable and should not have happened especially for our party leader. We condemn this in the strongest words possible,” said Mr K’Oyoo.