Monday, May 26, 2008


Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga has "promised" to have the infamous "Wagalla massacre" investigated pretty soon.

It is alleged Kenyan security forces rounded up and killed hundreds of victims of the Degodia clansmen during the 1984 Wagalla Massacre.

"We will look into the Wagalla massacre so that we can forge ahead," Raila told a mammoth crowd at Wajir stadium on Sunday.
Raila, who was in Wajir for the homecoming party of the Northern Kenya minister, Mr Elmi Mohammed, said it was time justice was done to the families who lost their loved ones in the 1984 incident.

It is over 20 years since the alleged massacre took place, but perpetrators are yet to be brought to book. Local leaders have protested at the manner the Government is treating the matter.

Raila also said the journey towards a new Constitution begins next month and would be concluded by April.

He said the Grand Coalition Government promised to deliver the new law in a year as outlined in the National Accord and Reconciliation Act.

Raila kept insisting that Northern Kenya will be develop in line with his campaign promises.

Much of Odinga speech focused more on the development of the region.

He told the gathering that the new ministry headed by Mr Elmi was created to transform the lives of the communities in the area.

The PM said there are many untapped resources in the region, which if exploited, will change the face of the entire region.The PM said that this will be done through the new ministry, which, he added, has been moved to serve under his office.

Raila asked residents to back the Government if the region was to develop. "Don’t feel short-changed by the coalition. Out of it we were able to fulfil part of the ODM manifesto to create a special ministry for this part of Kenya," the PM said in reference to the new Ministry of Development for Northern Kenya and other Arid Areas.

There have been murmurs of discontent from Mandera East, Mandera West and Wajir West constituents who felt short-changed in the Cabinet and Civil Service appointments.

Agriculture minister Mr William Ruto, who accompanied the PM, said ODM was in the coalition for the sake of peace and development.

"The purpose of this coalition is to give opportunity to development, particularly this forgotten region," he said.

Elmi said the new ministry would help the region "catch up" with the rest of the country in development.

However, Dujis MP and Assistant minister for Livestock, Mr Adan Dualle, cautioned against turning the new ministry into a political gimmick, saying the ODM promise to introduce insurance cover for livestock must be fulfilled.

Raila says, he would lobby for funds to achieve the promises ODM made to the province during last year’s General Election campaigns.

"We want to ensure the Garissa-Wajir-Mandera road is tarmacked during the grand coalition marriage and develop a modern sewerage system," he said. "We are also looking for a solution to the Wagalla massacre," Raila added.

Raila, However did not mention the intensity of looming drought in the region.

Mandera West and Energy Assistant minister, Mr Mohamed Maalim Mohamed
Mr Adan Keynan (Wajir West)
Mr Mohammed Qaras (Mandera East)
Shakeel Shabir (Kisumu Town)
Francis Chachu,
Nominated MP Sophia Abdinoor
Assistant minister for Education, Mr Asman Kamama, attended the function.