Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali on Saturday, January 25 admitted that reports of his 'abduction' on Saturday, January 18 ahead of an aborted rally were false.
Speaking at an event organized by allies of Deputy President William Ruto at Nabongo Grounds in Mumias, Washiali admitted to going into hiding after spotting as many as 15 police officers camped outside his home just before midnight on Friday, January 17.
He cited that political pressure, as well as fear of confrontation with the police, forced him to ditch the plan to convene a rally that had been banned after coinciding with the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) forum scheduled for Kakamega's Bukhungu Stadium.
Washiali further criticized Central Organization of Trade Unions Secretary General Francis Atwoli who mocked him for avoiding a face-off with authorities.
“I can vividly remember that at such a time in 2009, a group of leaders were demanding that Kidero (former Nairobi Governor) must go.
"We were cornered by ant-riot police and clobbered. I was beaten to a pulp and my arm was broken. Now Atwoli (Francis Cotu SG) who instigated the cancellation of our meeting calls me a coward for avoiding a similar confrontation with police. Is there anyone who is ready to confront bullets?” Washiali posed.
The planned meeting had aborted after police denied the organizers permits to hold the event.
Among its chief planners were former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, Washiali and Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa.
The meeting in Mumias on Saturday, January 25 saw leaders tear into the government over what they termed as neglect of farmers in the Western Kenya region.
Concerns on the revival of collapsed miller, Mumias Sugar, dominated discussions with leaders calling for quick action to uplift sugarcane farmers.
Webuye West MP Dan Wanyama accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of ignoring the Western region in his development agenda.
"Uhuru has directed Treasury to give Ksh3 billion for coffee, Ksh2 billion for tea and Ksh3 billion to milk farmers in Central and Ksh3 billion for the Port of Kisumu. When it came to Western, he said he was waiting for a report," Wanyama told the crowd.
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