News / Africa

Kenya To Investigate Controversy over Odinga’s Airport Convoy

Kenyan former PM Raila Odinga, who lost the presidential election, speaks to the media in Nairobi, March 9, 2013.
Kenyan former PM Raila Odinga, who lost the presidential election, speaks to the media in Nairobi, March 9, 2013.
Peter Clottey
Kenya’s Airport Authority has launched an investigation into complaints that former Prime Minister Raila Odinga was humiliated after officers allegedly prevented him from using the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport’s VIP lounge.

“There is an investigation because when we got the report, we thought it actually happened, but then the airport [said] he was not barred from accessing the VIP lounge,” said Ezekiel Mutua, Kenya’s communications director. “So you just kind of check whether indeed an officer who was not informed or acted in an individual capacity might have disrespected the former prime minister. “That is a matter of disciplinary procedures,” Mutua added.

Mutua says the Airport Authority has denied the reports. He said the former prime minister is still entitled to VIP status.

“Therefore I wouldn’t expect that he would be humiliated to a point of being barred from using the VIP lounge. The official report we had from the airport authority is that of an issue of his convoy not allowed to drive to the airside [tarmac] which is a restricted area,” said Mutua.

But, legislators from Odinga’s opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), party have condemned the incident and demanded an apology from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government.

“The officers at the airport claimed they were acting on orders from above through a circular written by Francis Kimemia. We demand to know, who authorized Kimemia to do the said circular...,” the legislators said in a statement. “This is unacceptable... We want to know if the same treatment applies to retired President Kibaki and his wife. There should be no application of double standards.”
         
Mutua says it would be unfortunate to politicize the controversy.

“It would be wrong to politicize the matter. The cabinet secretary in charge of foreign affairs did clarify that the former prime minister has access to the VIP lounge at the airport and in all local airports in the country,” said Mutua. “What the issue was, was that probably the clarification that he can no longer be driven to the airside the way he used to be when he was the prime minister.”

But supporters of Odinga say the former prime minister has often been disrespected and subjected to humiliation after he lost the last presidential election.              

They accused the government of withdrawing his security detail without informing him. The government denies the accusation.

“There is an attempt by some politicians to make political capital out of this and I don’t think that it is useful, to make it look like some people in the government are out to embarrass the prime minister,” said Mutua.
Clottey interview with Ezekiel Mutua, Kenya's communications director
Clottey interview with Ezekiel Mutua, Kenya's communications directori
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countriesi
X
December 16, 2014 2:14 PM
Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.
Video

Video Indonesian Province to Expand Sharia Law

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population and a legal system based on Dutch civil law and Indonesian government regulations. But in a 2001 compromise with separatists, Aceh province in Sumatra island’s north was allowed to implement Sharia law. Since then, religious justice has become increasingly strict. VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh.
Video

Video Some Russian Businesses Thrive in Poor Economy

Capital flight, the fall in oil prices and Western sanctions are pushing Russia's staggering economy into recession. But not companies are suffering. The ruble’s drop in value has benefited exporters as well as businesses targeting increasingly frugal customers. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

All About America

AppleAndroid