Red carpet rolled back as President Uhuru cancels Western Kenya trip
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday skipped an event whose preparations to accord him a grand reception had been completed. The President was expected share a podium with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga during the burial of Funyula MP Paul Otuoma’s son, Malcon, in Western Kenya. Raila too, did not attend. Security had been enhanced both at the Kisumu International Airport and at Dr Otuoma’s home in Funyula, Busia where the President was expected to make a brief stop-over. Manoah Esipisu, the State House spokesperson was yesterday quoted in a section of the media confirming that the President would attend the burial. He would later emerge to confirm the last-minute cancellation. “Security team have advised that the President cannot fly because of the weather,” he said. Western Region Coordinator Mwogo Chimwaga said they were aware of the President’s visit and were waiting for confirmation of his schedule. READ MORE Corruption will plunge Kenya into economic crisis, Raila warns President Uhuru Kenyatta outlines Kenya’s climate change agenda Governor Mutua vows Maendeleo Chap Chap will deliver Uhuru votes A Kenya Air Force helicopter landed at the Kisumu Airport shortly before 10am, signaling that a VIP was in the vicinity.
Senior State officials including Kisumu County Commissioner Maalim Mohammed and Nyanza Regional Police boss were at the Airport from as early as 9 m. Sources said the President was to land in Kisumu before proceeding to Western. Officers drawn from the Elite Recce squad, General Service Unit, the Quick Response Unit and those attached to the airport milled around the facility and restricted movement. Attempts by The Standard Group journalists to access the airside to wait for the President were thwarted by the security officials. A motorcade of security vehicles including one of the presidential cars made its way to the apron after a Kenya Air Force helicopter landed at the airport. At around 3pm the President had not come.