Eugene Wamalwa relives painful ejection from Maragoli festival

Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa says being kicked out of the festival shocked him.

Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa (right) is received by Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo (left) and Vihiga County Assembly Speaker Hasna Mudeizi at Sosa Cottages on June 28, 2018 during official opening of the county's two-day investment forum. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IN SUMMARY

  • Mr Wamalwa says he had gone to inform public they had been granted a charter for a local varsity.
  • During the annual event, Mr Wamalwa was forced to leave barely five minutes after he had just arrived at the festival.

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Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has recalled a humiliating incident that forced him to leave the venue of the Maragoli Cultural Festival in Mbale last year.

"At the time, I was astonished that people stated shouting “Nasa Wamalwa”. I wondered what wrong I had committed," said Mr Wamalwa while opening the Vihiga County Investment Conference.

"I have always attended the annual event. And last year, I had brought you the good news of the Sh1.7 billion water project and awarding of a university charter to Kaimosi Friends University College," said Mr Wamalwa while recalling the painful memories.

KICKED OUT

During the annual event held on December 26, Mr Wamalwa was forced to leave barely five minutes after he had just arrived at the festival that was being marked for the 38th time.

Amani National Congress Party (ANC) leader, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, was at the time addressing hundreds of residents among them trade unionist Francis Atwoli.

Efforts by Mr Mudavadi and Mr Atwoli to calm down the mob were futile as the chanting grew louder.

"I am happy you have accorded me a warm welcome today unlike last year when I was thrown out of an event," said Mr Wamalwa.

MUDAVADI COMMENT

When he was kicked out of the cultural festival last year, Mr Mudavadi had told the gathering the minister had not been invited.

Mr Wamalwa's bodyguards were forced to fire in the air to protect him.

At the time, Mr Mudavadi said: “It is unfortunate Eugene came to an occasion uninvited with sole purpose of disrupting it."

Nonetheless, the ANC leader and Mr Atwoli condemned the police for shooting in the air even as the crowd bayed for Mr Wamalwa’s blood.

“Why shoot at a crowd that has created a pathway for your exit. This is a display of impunity in Jubilee leadership,” said Mr Mudavadi.

But on Thursday, Mr Wamalwa was accorded a warm welcome from his host Governor Wilber Ottichilo where he opened the investment conference and even held a private meeting with ward representatives, majority of them from Mr Mudavadi’s ANC party.

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