In a bid to gain political relevance, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has recruited a large army of heavily built bodyguards and put them on the NCG payroll in an attempt to project himself as a VVIP whenever he attends a public functions.
In the last two months, at two funerals, and in the presence of CORD leader Raila Odinga, Kidero has attempted to make a late grand entry ostensibly to ‘steal the show’. On both occasions, he only ended up making a fool of himself.
At the funeral of Otieno Kajwang in Mbita last December, Governor Kidero made an entry with his aggressive and abusive bodyguards, temporarily interrupting funeral proceedings and throwing protocol out of order, since his hangers-on who include Chief of Staff Mr. Wainaina, always insist on accompanying their boss to the seats reserved for VIPs.
When he rose to speak, Kidero was widely cheered by a group of strategically placed women who many suspect were hired and transported to the funeral because Kidero feared the worst as he and Kajwang did not see eye to eye politically.
Again last week, ugly scenes replayed at Fidel Odinga’s funeral in Bondo when Kidero made a very loud, crude and uncultured entry with his 12-fleet taxpayer SUVs accompanied by his exceedingly violent and aggressive bodyguards who physically engaged those of the CORD leaders who were guarding the VIP podium which was reserved for the guests of the Odinga family.
For about 20 minutes, a mourning CORD leader Raila Odinga and Mama Ida, watched in shock and bewilderment as Governor Kideroâ€™s shouting bodyguards, disrespectfully shoved and pushed elderly mourners aside before engaging in physical confrontation with Railaâ€™s bodyguards who blocked their path to the VIP seats near where the Odinga family was seated.
Fellow governors, senators and MPs who sat at the adjacent tent could be seen shaking their heads in disgust as Kideroâ€™s handlers disrupted a solemn funeral into a rowdy political supremacy contest.
The CORD leader was mourning and hosting thousands of mourners who included international guests such former Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and former Uganda first Lady Mrs. Miriam Obote. It was as if Kideroâ€™s deliberate intention was to disrupt the funeral with a poorly plotted grand entry.
Political observers in Nyanza see this as an affront to Luo cultural practices and a direct challenge to the authority of CORD leader Raila Odinga. It also did not escape keen observers that Kidero was not honoured at Fidelâ€™s funeral, unlike his counterparts Governor Isaac Ruto or Governor Ali Hassan Joho who not only addressed the gathering, but played key roles in the organization of the funeral itself, with CORD leader hosting these governors at his Karen home prior to the funeral.
In sharp contrast, Governor Kidero, who is deemed the senior-most ODM governor by virtue of his position as Nairobi CEO, did not play any significant role at the funeral and his name was completely omitted from the official program.
To rub it in, junior officials like MCAâ€™s and village elders were allowed to address the gathering in Bondo, while a heavily guarded Governor Kidero watched helplessly from the back of the VIP tent. One wonders who planned to harm Kidero in Bondo!
Kideroâ€™s unbecoming behaviour has concerned many people and he is now subject of complaints at the council of governors, with some of his colleagues questioning if Kidero enjoys any special status above other 46 governors in Kenya. The same complaints can be seen in CORD whatsapp groups and facebook threads where there are murmurs by those who have been manhandled by Kideroâ€™s bodyguards who answer directly to Wainaina who is Kidero Chief of Staff.
A contingent of mourners from Nairobi were heard lamenting that the Nairobi Governor should dare to pull such foolish stunts in front of the long suffering ratepayers of Nairobi County who have to endure poor services amidst allegations of grand corruption being perpetuated by the Kidero government.