CS Kuria Remembers Hiding in Raila's Home After Police Beating

Kuria and Jaramogi
Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria (Left) sharing a greeting with Siaya Senator Oburu Odinga (Right) during launch of Industrial Park on Thursday, September 21, 2023.
Moses Kuria

Trade Cabinet Secretary on Thursday recounted how a group of police officers descended on him, compelling a gathering of prominent individuals, featuring politicians and celebrities, including himself, to hide in a cactus plantation at former opposition leader Jaramogi Oginga Odinga's home.

While launching an Industrial Park in Siaya County on Thursday, September 21, Kuria recounted that former President Daniel Arap Moi had slapped a curfew on the opposition politician's home, ordering that no event or ceremony should be held at the residence beyond 6pm. 

However, together with community leaders, Jaramogi's family defiantly organised a disco matanga, against the former regime's wishes and orders.

"We returned to Kang'oo Ka'Jaramogi one year later to celebrate his life, but former President Daniel arap Moi's administration did not want us to mark the anniversary.

An undated image of former Vice-President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga (left) and his son Raila Odinga (right)
The Elephant

"Former President Moi had assured us that there was not going to be any live music, something that we did not agree with," the Cabinet Secretary narrated.

According to Kuria, Jaramogi was one of the most instrumental persons in his life, having saved him from possible expulsion while he was studying at the University of Nairobi (UoN).

Kuria ignored the local administration's warning and stayed put to enjoy the night music in honour of Jaramogi whom he referred to as a mentor and a father.  

"When I remember the journey that Governor James Orengo, Senator Oburu Odinga and I had some 29 years ago, in 1994, I'm glad that we are here.

"On January 20, 1994, we were here to bury Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, the man who instructed former Homa Bay Senator Gerald Otieno Kajwang to represent me in court, to which, I got an injunction that stopped me from being expelled from University of Nairobi," Kuria stated.

Kuria recounted how a contingent of police officers raided the home as the celebrants gathered to listen to a local musician who had barely started performing.

"So, as it was getting dark, other dignitaries including former Nigerian President Ole Segun Obasanjo were present as well as a former military ruler.

"The music started at around 6:30pm. No sooner had the musician Okach Biggy started playing music than the police intervened, and threw teargas at us," Kuria narrated.

What followed was a beating of the people who had started dancing at the compound. The police officers also chased after Kuria and Oburu, Raila's elder brother.

"The police then descended on us, and forced Oburu and I to hide inside a nearby cactus plantation inside the compound of Kang'oo Ka'Jaramogi.

"We were later whisked to safety, and taken to Opoda farm where former Prime Minister Raila Odinga prepared for us chicken. That is the best chicken I have tasted in this part of the world," Kuria narrated.

Kuria assured Raila and Nyanza leaders of his commitment to ensure that the region is developed, and not left behind in any way.

"Today, I am here as a Minister, Orengo is a Governor and Oburu is a Senator," Kuria stated. 

Moses Kuria in Siaya
Siaya Senator Oburu Odinga (Left), Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria (Centre) and Siaya Governor James Orengo (Right) during launch of Industrial Park on Thursday, September 21, 2023.
Moses Kuria