Jakoyo Midiwo had warned Raila to keep off funerals over Covid-19 fears


Prior to his death, former Gem MP Washington Jakoyo Midiwo warned Opposition Chief Raila Odinga and his elder brother Oburu Oginga against attending funerals so as not to expose themselves to Covid-19, it has emerged.

Mr Midiwo is said to have called Dr Oginga, who is also the Odinga family spokesperson, asking him and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Odinga not to attend the burial of Mr Midiwo’s uncle, Mr Peter Odima, who was buried last Saturday, and that of his elder sister Julia Adhiambo Owino, who is to be interred this Saturday.

Mr Midiwo’s grandmother, his uncle and his sister are said to have died of Covid-19. Mr Midiwo is related to the Odingas.

Heeding the warning, the two leaders kept off the funerals.

Mr Odima’s burial was closely guarded, with the only politician attending the ceremony being Siaya Deputy Governor James Okumbe and former Police Spokesman Charles Owino.


Speaking to the Nation, Dr Oginga, who is also a member of the East Africa Legislative Assembly, said Mr Midiwo was concerned about the recklessness by mourners in funerals that exposed them to the deadly virus.

“He called me and told me that Covid-19 was really killing our people, and it is in such funeral ceremonies that we might get exposed because we would draw crowds,” said Dr Oginga.

He said Mr Midiwo asked the two brothers to attend funerals only after the virus had been contained, but they should ensure their relatives are given a decent send-off.

It is not clear whether they will be attending the funerals of Ms Adhiambo and Mr Midiwo.

“I cannot make the decision alone, we will sit and decide whether we will attend the burial or just plan for a decent burial of the two. It is sad that the people of Nyanza are not afraid of the virus, once they see you and are excited, they fall on you and insist on greeting you, oblivious of the danger it poses,” said Dr Oginga.

The former PM is a survivor of Covid-19, and so are some of his close family members.

I took herbs and steamed when I had Covid-19: Raila


Dr Oginga said he had lost a son and outspoken leader who never minced his words either on the floor of the House or in public.

“Jakoyo was my son who I stayed with during his early years and initiated him into politics when nobody believed he could clinch the Gem parliamentary seat,” he said.

Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga, who received news of the politician’s death while in the United States, termed it an untimely demise of the former MP.

"The nation will surely miss his astute, brave and unrivalled debating skills. Siaya County will dearly miss his counsel. Gem Constituency will forever remember your leadership and developments record, " said the governor.

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o also eulogised Mr Midiwo as an accomplished politician and leader who had a very human touch in public affairs, and was always careful to point out the other side of the story in every conversation.

“[He was] never afraid to be controversial if he believed he was right many people misunderstood his sincerity in what he believed to be true as stubbornness. No, Otada, as he was known, was a very down-to-earth person,” said Prof Nyong’o.

Mourning the departed politician, Deputy President William Ruto described him as a vocal and dedicated figure who spoke his mind.

“He was outspoken, courageous and a tireless leader whose exceptional service to the people of Gem will be missed,” he said.     BY DAILY NATION  

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