Raila in DRC for another meeting with Tshisekedi

Saturday May 18 2019

Raila Odinga

ODM party leader Raila Odinga. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

PAUL WAFULA
By PAUL WAFULA
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Opposition leader Raila Odinga quietly flew out to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on an official visit.

The comes at a time when Kenya has stepped up surveillance on a fake gold cartel and trading in the mineral that fraudsters claim comes from illegal mines in DRC.

GOLD SCANDAL

Mr Odinga, who has met DRC President Felix Tshisekedi several times in recent months, said yesterday his current visit to the Central African nation was to discuss infrastructure projects.

“I held talks in Kinshasa with President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo on the construction of the Kinshasa- Brazzaville bridge that is part of the Tripoli-Cape Town Trans-Africa Highway. We also discussed the Inga Dam, whose completion is critical for Africa,” Mr Odinga said on his Twitter handle after the talks.

Mr Odinga usually posts his itinerary and at times shares pictures while at the airport whenever he leaves the country on official functions.

This time he chose to make the update only after he had finished his talks in the DRC, a day after his name had been sensationally dragged into the gold scandal by someone who is suspected to be Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula in a leaked audio.

Mr Wetang’ula has been listed as a person of interest in the gold scandal that has seen Kenya become a playground for fake and illicit gold from the DRC and that has some top Dubai leaders as the latest victims. DRC is a major sources of gold.

CHIEF GUESTS

Mr Odinga’s spokesman, Denis Onyango, confirmed to the Sunday Nation that the opposition chief was in DRC.

“Mzee is out of the country, he is in DRC, we may issue a statement later in the day on the visit,” he said without expounding.

It is understood that President Kenyatta had in one of his visits to the DRC promised his counterpart, Mr Tshisekedi, that he would help him close the taps of illegal gold consignments. President Kenyatta was the only foreign Head of State present at the swearing-in ceremony of the DRC’s new president in January this year.

Shortly after he was sworn in, Mr Tshisekedi was in Nairobi where he met both President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga.

President Tshisekedi is expected to be one of the chief guests at the commissioning ceremony of the Kisumu port in August.

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni is also expected to attend the function that will be presided over by President Kenyatta.