Friday, May 9, 2014
By ANGELA OKETCH
Muhoroni Member of Parliament James Onyango K'Oyoo wept in public Thursday as he denied involvement in the death of former Foreign Affairs minister Robert Ouko.
“My hands are clean, they do not contain any blood of the former Foreign Affairs minister. The evidence I gave Dr Ouko’s Commission of Inquiry is still alive and anyone who wants to know who murdered my friend can investigate from the evidence,” he said.
He said his fate of getting a job then depended on Dr Ouko.
“He was the one to determine whether I could get my job. The next thing I heard was that he went missing. How could I then participate in his death?” asked Mr K'Oyoo.
The MP said there were rumours that funds he used in his campaign during last year's general election were compensation he got for participating in the plot to kill Dr Ouko.
“I have never been compromised by anyone for having participated in killing anyone. My stand remains the same as it was during the investigations, I did not kill Dr Ouko,” he said.
Mr K'Oyoo challenged anyone who has information that he killed the former minister to come out and give evidence in court.
The MP was speaking during the official opening of the Dr Ouko Memorial Library in Koru, Kisumu County.
He said after Hezekiah Oyugi, who was then Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President in charge of Internal Security and Provincial Administration, passed away, he was called to retract the testimony he gave during the investigation of Dr Ouko’s death to clear someone’s name but he refused.
“There is no single day I’ll ever give a wrong statement about the death of my mentor, what I know is that he was killed and from the evidence I gave, the people involve can be brought to book and jailed,” he said.
He urged the Jubilee government to help Dr Ouko's family bring the killers to book because the previous government had promised that they would not leave any stone unturned until they revealed the killers but no one has been arrested.
Mr Maurice Ominde, a brother of the late minister, said it is never too late to unravel and bring to justice the people who killed Dr Ouko.
“We are condemning those who executed and covered up the death of our own, we are still waiting for the killers to be brought to book,” he said.
He said that the killers will never go scot-free.
“We will never forgive them unless they come to us and repent. Even though time has gone, tears will never stop rolling down our cheeks, I feel so bad that I lost a brother and a friend,” he said.
Mr Ken Ouko, the first born of Dr Ouko described his father as an avid reader and an articulate communicator who had strong principles when it comes to education.
“I lost a true father, a friend and a genius who would never compromise education with anything,” he said.
Mr Ouko said his father always told them to “make your books be your best friend."
“In 2011, we came up with this noble idea of how we could keep the legacy of our father by putting up a memorial library in his name,” he said.
He went on: “If anyone wants to know that my father was a bright man, he never received any formal secondary education but through his private studies, he managed to pass extremely in his examination.”
Dr Ouko’s widow Christabel said her late husband's passion for education from opened doors to many opportunities for him. He established and promoted the culture of reading that was emulated by his community.
“With the opening of the library, we are sure that our hero is happy wherever he is and that we have brought back the passion that shall be with the community forever,” she said.
The Principal Secretary in Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts Patrick Omutia said Dr Ouko would always be remembered and the passion he had for education would go on.
He said the library will provide Kisumu residents with information on farming.
The Sh44 million library stands on a two hectares piece of land donated by Dr Ouko’s family.
Dr Ouko was murdered in February 1990 and his charred remains found at Got Alila, a few kilometres from his home.