ODM party leader Raila Odinga almost breached protocol procedures during the Africa Climate Summit at Nairobi’s KICC, deputy president Rigathi Gachagua has claimed.
Speaking during a funeral ceremony in Kericho County on September 8, Gachagua said that Raila Odinga attempted to sit alongside presidents at the summit, against set protocol procedures.
Gachagua clarified that Raila was welcome at the summit but according to the sitting arrangement, he was not supposed to sit alongside presidents.
“The other day he came to KICC, I welcomed him nicely, respectfully, you all saw it. He is our elder and honored our invitation,” said Gachagua.
“But instead of going to his assigned seat, he wanted to sit where other heads of state were seated, even though he is not an elected leader,” he added.
The deputy president explained that due to access restrictions, heads of state were confined at a central place at the KICC.
“In that area, even a cabinet secretary like Kipchumba Murkomen could not be allowed to access; it’s only heads of state. Now we were wondering who elected him,” Gachagua explained.
Gachagua insisted that Raila was among the invited dignitaries, adding that organizers had labeled a chair for him
Raila denied entry
Earlier before the summit started, ODM communication director Philip Etale had claimed Raila Odinga was denied accreditation for the summit.
“The Ministry of Environment had refused to give accreditation to him, but the African Union and the United Nations insisted that Baba (a term of respect for Raila Odinga) must attend this very important Summit,” Etale claimed.
When Raila arrived at the KICC, Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo released a statement giving details of access restrictions at the KICC.
“Access to Tsavo, Aberdares, and Lenana ballrooms will only be granted to the delegates accredited to enter the first ballroom, Tsavo,” part of the statement read.