Governor Evans Kidero received a harsh reception from his core constituency at the function to welcome Raila Odinga from his three-month tour of the US.
After several pleas from CORD leaders to have the crowd calm down and give the Nairobi governor a few seconds of silence to placate his constituents, Dr Kidero managed to sneak in two incomplete sentences in a crowd that was to say the least, harsh towards him.
No words from the diplomat Kalonzo Musyoka or the battle-hardened Moses Wetang’ula could sway the will of the people. After his chance in the limelight passed, all the smiling Kidero could say was: “Mimi nataka kusema karibu Nairobi. Karibu hapa.”
After which he was left standing next to other contrastingly engaging leaders. His open opposition to what is thought to be the party stance and in particular his perceived objection to Raila has left the Nairobi governor between a rock and a hard place.
The constant boos and chant downs he received pointed to an open hostility to his term from a section of residents that one year ago put him in office. Such is the unforgiving nature of Kenyan politics dominated by patronage and allegiances.
He could only watch from the sidelines as others such as Mombasa’s Hassan Joho, Kakamega’s Bonny Khalwale and Budalang’i’s Ababu Namwamba were cheered on by the party faithful.
Had the rally been better organised with a more mature and orderly list of speakers, his embarrassment would most probably have been magnified.
Responding to the hostile reception at Uhuru Park, Kidero complained that he was being condemned because he accommodates the Government of the day.
“I am working with Uhuru Kenyatta because it is mandated in law and the constitution that I do so,” said Kidero.
He told his detractors that not working with the government when it sits in Nairobi will be like not working with the United Nations when UNEP has its headquarters in the city.
– The Standard