Raila to Ruto: Stop calling me ‘Mganga’, I am a Christian

Opposition Leader Raila Odinga has once again expressed displeasure over a constant ‘slur’ directed at him by Deputy President William Ruto whenever he refers to him as ‘mganga’ (a witch doctor).

The ODM leader reiterates that while he has no problem with the activities of the said physicians, as they help people with various sicknesses, he isn’t one of them. He maintains that his faith in God should never be in question given that his fidelity to the church is an open book.

“I am a Christian. There are those who refer to me as mtu ya vitendawili and Mganga and all sorts of things. But I want it to be known that I am truly a Christian person.” Raila said when he joined the faithful at the ordination and installation of the new Homabay Bishop Michael Otieno Odiwa.

Raila used the occasion to rally the church to support the BBI noting that their support is so important as it continues to play an integral role in promoting harmony and unity around the world.

“They (church) have stood for what is right. That is why we want the church by our side as a partner (in BBI) process. We really want to walk this journey with the church.” Raila said

The former prime minister further noted that he was aware that the church has raised a number of issues regarding the current BBI constitutional draft but disclosed that he alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta were ready to negotiate with the church if there are issues that it feels must be addressed before a referendum is called.

Raila, however, expressed surprise that the church might be having an issue with the BBI report when in fact three prominent members of the clergy were part of the task force formed to receive views from Kenyans on how to improve the country’s governance structure.

“When we did the handshake, we formed a task force and we appointed some of the prominent church leaders to be part of it. We are surprised when issues are raised by the church now.” He wondered.

Raila maintains that the BBI has a transformative agenda for the country and that it is only aimed at “changing our constitution to work better for our people. We want to improve our governance and devolution structure by having more resources down at the grassroots.”

“In 2010 there was a misunderstanding that the constitution was allowing gay marriages or its going to legalize abortion, I don’t see where that is being allowed in the constitution.” He told the congregation.

His sentiments resonated well with those of Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa who criticized politicians opposed to the BBI and handshake. Wamalwa maintains that the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga is the foundation of the prevailing peace.

He cited the case of South Africa where former Presidents De Clerk and Nelson Mandela shook hands in a handshake that restored peace leaving the country as a stable democracy.

“People forget history. In 2007/2008, when we had post-election chaos, the handshake of February 2008 between President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga is what restored peace into our country. Kenya made great strides economically because of the handshake of 2008.” He stressed

Wamalwa added that “those who oppose handshake between Raila and Uhuru have forgotten about our history.”


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