Inside Politics

Ruth Odinga, Sam Atandi storm out of funeral in Bondo after being denied chance to address mourners

Sunday, March 24th, 2024 10:22 | By
Ruth Odinga
Ruth Odinga. PHOTO/Ruth Odinga/Facebook

Drama flared at a funeral in Bondo village when ACK Bishop Prof David Kodia denied politicians a chance to address mourners.

He turned away Kisumu Woman Rep Ruth Odinga and Alego Usonga MP Sam Atandi from giving political speeches.

While presiding over the final burial rites ceremony of the late Prof Washington Asembo Olima, Kodia claimed that the church's provincial synod, chaired by Arch-Bishop Jackson Ole Sapit, had banned politicians from politicking in funerals of ACK members.

"We will not allow politicians to speak in funerals graced by ACK church. If they want to do so, let them organize their political rallies. But in funerals we have to give the deceased family, respect to give their departed soul, a decent send-off," declared Kodia.

Atandi and Ruth walked away in protest, terming the decisions irrational and harsh to the political elites.

"Why is the Bishop denying us a chance to mourn our friend while time is still there, and we are also family friends? It's wrong," claimed Ruth.

Atandi also protested saying that they would lodge official complaints with the church leadership saying leaders must be accorded the opportunity to condole with the bereaved.

"The religious Marxism held by the church that political leaders should not speak in funerals is outrageous and not realistic. It won't work," the irked MP said and walked out of the home, with the youth in tow.

Kodia maintained they would not change the religious stand.

Funerals and political platforms

He claimed that previously, they had witnessed politicians turn funerals into political platforms to rile at each other.

"This time round, we will remain firm, whether it's the governor or MPs or senators or MCAs. We won't give them a chance in any such forum officiated by the ACK church," Kodia said.

The politicians, however, vowed, too, to devise new measures to contain the church's edict, without disclosing what next lay in store against the new ACK move opting to keep the cards to their chest.

This is not the first time, ACK church is making such a decree. In the past, Ole Sapit has made such announcements but were often ignored in other areas, with the political elites given a chance to address mourners at will.

Whether this time round it will succeed or not remains to be seen, but Kodia declared that they will have to abide by the church's synod resolution.

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