Professors carry the casket bearing the remains of the late Professor William Ochieng during his burial Urima village in Siaya county on January 10, 2014. Politicians clashed at the funeral of historian William R Ochieng’ over claims that President Uhuru Kenyatta was returning the country to the Kanu-era days. PHOTO | FILE NATION MEDIA GROUP
Saturday, January 11, 2014
By Nelcon Odhiambo
Politicians clashed at the funeral of historian William R Ochieng’ over claims that President Uhuru Kenyatta was returning the country to the Kanu-era days.
Prof Ochieng, 70, who died of pneumonia in Kisumu two weeks ago, was laid to rest at this Yimbo home in Bondo district.
The war of words started when Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyongo said that while the Constitution was meant to check the President’s powers, the Jubilee government was exploiting a few loopholes to take the country back to the Nyayo era.
The ODM secretary-general also said that the country requires a third liberation.
“A third liberation movement will begin to deal with the authoritarian rule that is associated with the current administration,” Prof Nyongo told the mourners.
However, TNA Secretary General Onyango Oloo, who read the President’s condolence message, dismissed Prof Nyongo’s comments, saying that the 2010 Constitution did not abet dictatorship.
Mr Oloo said that the Constitution was the brainchild of the ODM whose party leader Raila Odinga rallied the country for its adoption.
“It is a pity that today the same opposition (Cord) is the one that is against the current Constitution yet the party leader was on the forefront supporting it and calling for its implementation,” said Mr Oloo.
Mr Oloo further said that the opposition had the opportunity to rectify any errors that they are currently opposed to instead of complaining at every turn.
“The opposition had the opportunity to check these errors,” he said, “Why do they always complain that they need to change the Constitution only when they lose in an election?” he posed.
Mr Onyango also defended the President against accusations of bias in recent government appointments.
“Kenyans should remain calm since the Jubilee government has only appointed 30 per cent, 70 percent will be allocated to the youths and women,” he said.