Attack on DP Ruto’s convoy in Busia County stirs up old memories

Deputy President William Ruto at a political rally in Busia

Several decades later, DP Ruto drove into the eye of the decades-old Okondo-Muge storm! Rowdy youths defied police and blocked his motorcade and vandalized vehicles

By The Weekly Vision Online

Before the advent of multi-party democracy in 1992, the church played the role of unofficial opposition in Kenya. Church leaders would often cross swords with President Daniel Moi.

The bishop had a successful tour and would drive away hours later secure that he had beaten Mr Okondo at his own game! Until disaster struck along the Webuye-Bungoma highway confirming Okondo’s tragic prediction! A speeding trailer lost control and crashed into Muge’s car killing him on the spot.

That 1989 tragic incident kicked up a huge public outcry forcing Okondo to quit as labour minister. He earned the tag of “loose tongue” but claimed he came from a family of “seers.” He kept bragging that he only “predicted” Muge’s death.

A number of vehicles were damaged

Several decades later, DP Ruto drove into the eye of the decades-old Okondo-Muge storm! Rowdy youths defied police and blocked his motorcade and vandalized vehicles. Like Muge, Ruto is a Nandi and if the Busia jinx had played out many would have wondered at the baffling irony!

The late Peter Okondo

Ruto has since blamed his rivals for giving youth alcohol and handouts to foment chaos as interior cabinet secretary Fred Mataingi vowed to bring culprits to book. The chaos has been blamed on some top Busia county leaders who held night meetings and dished out alcohol and cash to youth.

Some of the youth claim they were assured of “police protection” as Ruto is now considered an outsider in the jubilee government. But keen watchers while condemning the fracas roundly admit that the region is still the preserve of opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Busia is a melting pot that has seen a heavy mix of cultures where traditions and customs have intermingled. Intermarriages and fishing business ties have created strong ties.

President Moi was a close associate of then Bunyala MP Peter Okondo who had controversially warned government critics not to step in Busia, warning clerics of “death” if they ignored his advice and visited. Mr Okondo dared the outspoken “dare-devil” ACK Bishop Alexander Muge who was in the habit of attacking Moi’s one-party autocratic excesses.

 Bishop Muge assured Okondo that he would visit Busia and see what would happen. The combative bishop, a former GSU officer visited Busia and dared Mr Okondo to do his worst! He even visited groups of KANU youth-wingers wondering loudly whether they were part of Mr Okondo’s goons sent to “kill” him.

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