Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o says President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition chief Raila Odinga may have played a greater role in organising the DR Congo’s opposition in the December 2018 presidential election that was eventually won by Mr Felix Tshisekedi.
Without elaborating, the governor said the two leaders mobilised African and global support for the Congolese opposition that saw it defeat the ruling party candidate.
“I must thank President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga who had faith in us and went ahead to embrace both the presidential candidate Tshisekedi and his party, the Union of Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS),” Prof Nyongo said on Wednesday.
He was speaking at St Austin’s Catholic Church, Nairobi, during the requiem mass for Mr Gilbert Mundela who, until his death last Friday, was a special adviser to the Congolese leader.
Mr Mundela, 66, suffered a heart attack during a meeting and was taken to Nairobi Hospital where he died of cardiac arrest.
Until his death, he was President Tshisekedi’s adviser in charge of private affairs and was in the city on a mission.
A HELPING HAND
He left Nairobi for Kinshasa on December 22, returned on December 26, and passed away a day later.
Mr Tshisekedi was sworn in as President on January 24 last year at a historic event in which President Kenyatta was the only African Head of State in attendance. Mr Odinga also attended.
Others at the mass were Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiang’i (Interior) and Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs).
Dr Matiang’i delivered President Kenyatta’s condolences to the family, relatives and friends of Mr Mundela.
Prof Nyong’o told the congregation that he first met Mr Mundela in May 2018 through a mutual friend, Mr Ochoro Otunnu, in the company of Mr Francois Mwamba.
“Otunnu insisted that what was in the offing in the DRC in terms of presidential and General Election was too important to be left in the hands of Congolese people alone,” he said, adding that both Mr Mundela and Mr Mwamba were involved in the struggle in support of Mr Tshisekedi.
“Otunnu and I had no alternative but to mobilise African support for our friend to win the elections. It seemed a tall order but, listening carefully to Mr Mundela and Mr Mwamba, I was instantly sold to the idea.”
Both Dr Matiang’i and Dr Juma eulogised Mr Mundela as a pan-Africanist who was a strong bridge in the relationship between the two countries.
“Mr Mundela truly believed in Africa and the best way for his family to honour his legacy is to ensure that his pan-Africanist spirit leaves on and that the Africa nation becomes truly one. We shall make useless borders that were not of our own making,” he said.