Rift widens after Ababu misses Otuoma son’s funeral

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A file photo of Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba and Funyula’s Paul Otuoma. /MONICAH MWANGI

Ababu Namwamba did not attend a burial at Funyula MP Paul Otuoma’s home on Saturday though it is a few kilometres from his home.

Malcolm Otuoma, who was the MP’s first son, died at Nairobi Hospital on November 11 while receiving treatment in suspicious circumstances.

The first-year student of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology had developed breathing complications.

Budalang’i MP Ababu’s conspicuous absence at the funeral forced Busia Senator Amos Wako to usher in the political class.

The MP was to play this role by virtue of he and Otuoma hailing from the same community.

It is not clear why Ababu did not attend the funeral but his friendship with Otuoma has been hanging in the balance since money is suspected to have been exchanged to join jubilee alliance and undermine democracy.

During ODM party officials campaigns, Otuoma was against Ababu’s candidature for the position of secretary general.

Their rift widened following their resignation from their ODM posts. Otuoma was vice chairman.

It had been expected that the two would jointly form an alliance to unite Luhyas but Otuoma did not back Ababu in the relaunch of his Labour Party of Kenya.

He decided to remain in ODM, whose leader is Raila Odinga.

Before the Funyula legislator announced his reunion with Raila, speculation was rife that he and Ababu had been ‘bought’ by Jubilee.

It was claimed that Ababu was given Sh300 million to share with party members who were willing to leave, but that he pocketed everything, annoying Otuoma.

Otuoma termed this claim baseless while Ababu denied being a Jubilee mole and told DP William Ruto that he would never join the ruling coalition.

The MP also dismissed reports that he ditched ODM after realising he would not be considered for the Busia governor position.

Among those who attended the burial were Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Busia’s Sospeter Ojaamong and Siaya Senator James Orengo.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition chief Raila Odinga were also expected.

Uhuru did not attend due to poor weather conditions according to State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu.

Uhuru condoled with Otuoma in a phone call.

During the funeral, the heavens heavily opened as mourners sought shelter during the funeral service of Master Malcolm Otuoma Junior son of Funyula MP Paul Otuoma in Funyula.

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