This is why I missed Raila’s ‘swearing in’- Ida Odinga speaks

Ida Odinga [Photo: Courtesy]

National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga's wife, Ida, has explained why she missed her husband's ’swearing-in' ceremony.

Raila was sworn in as the 'people's president' at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on Tuesday.

Ida said she was held up by a family emergency at the eleventh hour involving her daughter, but declined to reveal her identity or condition.

She said she was aware many people questioned her absence at the Uhuru Park fete, where she was expected to stand by her husband in a symbolic gesture.

"I was not physically present at Uhuru Park but I was with them in spirit," she told The Standard yesterday morning.

She said despite her absence, she stood firmly with her husband and millions of NASA supporters.

Nothing amiss

Ida said there was nothing amiss about her absence from the event, pointing out that Pauline Musyoka and Tessie Mudavadi, the spouses of NASA co-principals, were also absent.

Pauline recently returned from Germany, where she has been receiving medical treatment.

NASA co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang'ula also skipped the ceremony, sparking speculation they may have ditched the Opposition outfit.

Ida added her absence shouldn't raise eyebrows because as a mother, she had to ensure that all was well with her family.

"I think the whole exercise was done in an expeditious manner, with tension here and there. They had my moral support," she said.

She also declined to reveal the whereabouts of her sick daughter, only saying that she was responding well to treatment.

Ida said she didn't like the way NASA leaders were treated by law enforcement agencies ahead of the 'swearing-in.'

She underscored the importance of democracy, noting that over the years, her husband's political philosophies had adopted normative frameworks to entrench the rights of citizens.

She said this included their right to participate in governance, democratic processes and decision-making structures at all levels to undo electoral injustices or "electoral autocracy."

She did not dwell much on politics around the oath or the current political dispensation, only asking Kenyans to pray for quick recovery for her daughter.