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Kogelo community demands apology from MP over chief’s assault

The Kogelo community in Siaya today demanded an apology from Alego–Usonga legislator for alleged involvement in the assault of a local chief, as elders from South East Alego location called on the Orange Democratic Movement to discipline him for misconduct.

            Speaking at Pap Nyadiel chief’s camp during a meeting that brought together elders and South East Alego location ODM officials, the residents said unless action was taken to bring to book those who stormed area chief, Ogutu Ojala’s home and assaulted him while trying to force him into the boot of a car, the constituency was bound to witness violence as the country inches closer to the 2022 general elections.

            Led by the Kogelo community chairman, Vitalis Awandu Ondewe and the South East Alego location chairman, Apina Makawuor, the elders said that the legislator will not be allowed to set foot in Kogelo if he fails to apologize for assaulting one of its members.

            “Chief Ogutu Ojala is a son of Kogelo and if Atandi does not apologize to Jo Kogelo, he should not step into our area and should even forget our votes,” said Ondewe.

            Ondewe, a former councillor in the defunct Siaya county council said the legislator had been meting out violence on anyone he suspects to be his opponent while boasting of being close to the cabinet secretary for interior, Fred Matiang’i.

            “We respect Matiang’i as a good cabinet secretary and his name must not be used to harass and intimidate us,” said Ondewe.

            Ondewe who said he was speaking on behalf of the elders from Alego-Usonga, said the ordinary folk in the constituency were now living in fear following the Wednesday evening incident where a group of goons in the company of the MP allegedly stormed chief Ojala’s home and beat him senseless.

            South East Alego ODM chairman Apina Makawuor said the Alego-Usonga branch of the party will soon meet to discuss the legislator’s behaviour.

            “I have been in contact with the branch chairman, John Orwenjo Umidha who has agreed to call an urgent meeting to discuss the conduct of the MP. This is not the first time we have heard of such complaints,” said Apina.

            The elders, who included Okoth Oluoko, Paul Omedo and youth leader, Yinda Akech called on the government to restore public confidence in the security machinery by bringing to book those who assaulted the chief.

            “If we really have a government, then it must bring to book all the perpetrators who have been positively identified by the chief,” said Mzee Omedo.

            The elders further called on the ODM national leadership to step in and reign on the legislator who was elected on the party’s ticket.

            “A member of parliament should be a role model, not a person mesmerized by the traps of power who uses a slight opportunity to beat and maim those who elected him,” said Mzee Okoth Oluoko.

            The Wednesday evening incident has received condemnation from national and county government leadership, with Siaya governor, Cornel Rasanga and county commissioner, Michael Ole Tialal terming it criminal and uncalled for.

            Tialal who is the chairman of the county security committee said everybody who was involved will be brought to book, no matter the position in the society.

            Alego-Usonga MP, Samuel Atandi who has since recorded a statement over the matter at the Siaya police station however denied his involvement and blamed his political opponents for dragging his name into the matter.

by Philip Onyango

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