Why Orengo Snapped and Insulted the President to His Face

  • From left: President Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga, Ida Odinga and Siaya Senator James Orengo Twitter
  • Siaya Senator, James Orengo, lost his temper during a funeral and unleashed a string of insults directed at former President Daniel Arap Moi.

    Back in 1993, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga had decided to end hostilities between himself and Moi, in order to foster national cohesion and development.

    His first gesture of goodwill was to attend the Madaraka Day celebrations presided by Moi, having boycotted all other previous national festivals.

    Image of the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga

    Raila Odinga's father spread his olive branch even further, by inviting Moi to his home in Bondo, where he was given a warm welcome, despite some of Jaramogi's followers claiming that he had sold them out.

    Jaramogi was of the opinion that the role of the opposition was not simply to engage in endless confrontation with the government, but to rather work with the state to implement sound policies when the time was right.

    However, as soon as Jaramogi passed away in January 1994, Moi showed his true colours and dangled development projects as ransom, meant to force leaders in the western region to join KANU.

    "He publicly told West Mugirango MP, Henry Obwocha that there would be no development in his constituency until he left Ford-Kenya and joined KANU," a section of Raila's autobiography: Flames of Freedom disclosed.

    Senator Orengo was disgusted by Moi's pretence during Jaramogi's funeral, and he let him know it when he was asked to address the hundreds of thousands that had gathered to bid farewell to the fallen leader.

    "Woe unto you hypocrites who tortured and detained this great man, and now you come here in false praise of his greatness. Hypocrites will forever be the swine of human civilization," Orengo blurted out in full voice.

    President Moi was visibly angered and made his exit only to stop over in Kericho, later on, to announce that his government would not work in the Western region.

    "I will not accept to be abused and, therefore, I will not cooperate with them!" an irate Moi remarked.

    Former President Daniel Arap Moi