Former Kisumu Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga has slammed former US President Barack Obama’s half-sister Auma over her “handout” remarks that she made during a live television interview on Thursday.
Ms Odinga, while referring to Dr Auma’s statement which has also elicited sharp reactions on social media hours before Mr Obama jets in, said she was not justified to “insinuate that Kenyans or Luos are known for handouts.”
During an interview on Citizen Television where she explained the purpose for the Sauti Kuu Sports, Resource and Vocational Training Centre which is to be opened on Monday, Ms Auma criticized the practice of receiving “handouts”, urging Kenyans to be part of the change needed in the country.
“People are impatient. This issue of ‘gonya gonya’ (handout) should stop guys! Stop! Come on guys!” Ms Auma said.
She went on: “I want to ask Kenyans, [since] the time that Obama [was] president up until now, what have you done? What have you done to make a difference in your life, in your country and in your community? Because you cannot sit and wait for Obama. Ask yourself what is your legacy?”
“If we do something ….imagine how far we will get. Imagine how far we would have gotten already. We cannot say now that Obama has come today or tomorrow, things will change. If you are not doing anything, it won’t change,” Ms Auma said.
But speaking to Sunday Nation on the phone, Ms Odinga said Ms Auma’s statement borders on “insult to the Luo community.”
“It was wrong for Auma to talk of handouts. Have they offered job opportunities before linking people to handouts? Ms Odinga said.
Ms Odinga went on: “Where were they when election was rigged as our people were fighting for democracy?”
She faulted the events programme and criticized plans to lock out key leaders from the Sauti Kuu launch.
“It is wrong for Obama to come and fail to meet local leaders and members of the public,” she said