Sacrifice Raila Odinga Made After Former President Mwai Kibaki's Life-Threatening Accident

  • Mwai Kibaki (right) with Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka when he returned from special treatment in London The Standard
  • Before the fallout, former President Mwai Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga were very close associates who put up a formidable campaign in 2002.

    One of the markings of the 2002 campaign is the accident that threatened to take the life of Kibaki as he was coming from a rally in the Eastern region.

    Kibaki’s doctor, Dan Gikonyo, recommended that the aspiring president is flown to the UK for treatment.

    Mwai Kibaki at Nairobi Hospital

    However, Mwai, who was on a stretcher, and his entourage were allocated seats at the back of the plane.

    His doctor explained that because they were not in power, the airport experience was frustrating and Raila argued that the presidential aspirant should not be put at the back of the plane.

    He then sacrificed to pay for Dr Gikonyo, Kibaki and himself to be moved to the first class cabin for more comfort.

    "I have a lot of respect for Raila. He came with about eight young men who carried the stretcher to the front seats on their knees," Gikonyo told journalists.

    Odinga went on to champion the remainder of the presidential campaign and on December 27, 2002, they won the election with a resounding 62 per cent of the votes.

    Also instrumental in the fateful incident is former Kitui Senator David Musila. He recalled that after the accident, emergency services regretted that they could not get to the scene within 30 minutes, so the former president had to be driven to Nairobi hospital.

    Musila was advised to talk to Kibaki continuously and assure him of how the team had done a lot of work and that he was soon to be president, in a bid to calm him.