Mourners and key politicians attending the burial of nominated Kakamega MCA Godliver Omondi on Saturday in Matungu constituency were shocked after goons invaded the catering section and ate all the food.
The funeral was attended by prominent political figures, including ODM leader Raila Odinga, his deputy Wycliffe Oparanya, Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa, Roots Party leader George Wajackoyah, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna, and his Kakamega and Vihiga counterparts Boni Khalwale, Godfrey Osotsi, and several MPs.
The goons, mostly youth, reportedly first invaded the late MCA’s home in Kholera village, where they stole food. Subsequently, the catering unit was moved to Bulimbo Primary School, about a kilometre away, with tight security to prevent possible chaos due to anticipated local and national political tensions.
However, this did not prevent the goons from raiding the catering unit, stealing food, and taking cooking utensils.
Matungu and Kakamega politicians had positioned people in case violence broke out.
As political tensions escalated on stage, rival factions pelted stones at innocent mourners and leaders. It was at this point that some of the goons invaded the catering section, chased away the cook, consumed food, stole some, and ran away with utensils.
The late MCA’s personal assistant, Dennis Orange, took the microphone, seeking security intervention.
He urged police officers and county askaris to control the situation, stating, “It is so sad that we are mourning, and some youths have invaded the catering unit just behind the mourners’ tent, stealing food meant for mourners and guests. I am asking the police officer and kanjos to move with speed and contain the issue.”
He added: “I have been informed that the goons, who are young men, have gone wild and are eating the food, while others are running away with sufurias. The caterers are requesting urgent help to salvage the remaining food.”
When security personnel intervened, confrontations ensued, and angry mourners wielding rungus overpowered the goons, who fled with stolen sufuria and food.
The act was condemned by mourners, accusing politicians of using youths to cause chaos for political gain.
It was established that some of the goons were hired by politicians within Kakamega County and from outside to cause chaos and disrupt their competitors, but it remains unclear what prompted them to invade the catering unit.
After the burial, some cooking items, such as sufurias, were found at Shibale in Mumias West, approximately seven kilometres from Matungu.
It is said some goons, after consuming the food, abandoned the utensils at Shibale, where they were later collected by those contracted to offer hospitality services to the mourners and the bereaved family.
The leader of the Jeshi La Baba movement, John Wanguba, had warned youth under instructions to stop leaders from addressing the crowd that they would be dealt with accordingly if they tried to disrupt the function.
Despite several interruptions by a section of goons, Raila later addressed the mourners uninterrupted and condemned the incident, warning youths against being used by politicians.
“They do not want me to speak and say the truth because they fear the truth, but their attempts are like the noise of a frog that cannot prevent a cow from drinking water. I want to urge the youth to stop being misused,” said Raila.
He blamed the government for neglecting Kenyans, especially the youth, whom politicians are now using to cause mayhem.
“The cost of living has gone high because this government has neglected Kenyans. Youths in this area have no jobs because the government is not keen on reviving the sugar industry.
“We will not tire in championing the interest and welfare of our people who are suffering against the regime that has imposed punitive taxes on its people,” he said.