Elders from the Kalenjin community have apologised to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga for the incident in which his chopper was stoned by a group of rowdy youth in Kebenes, Soy, Uasin Gishu County.
According to the Kalenjin elder Paul Tanui arap Tumbo, they would have organised a prayer and cleansing ceremony at the scene of the incident were it not for the community’s observation of 40 days of the mourning period of Mzee Jackson Kibor.
"As per our tradition, the family of Kibor is still mourning and we cannot do anything at the moment until after the 40 days," Tanui said.
The elders condemned the incident and said they do not condone such incidents. They appealed to Kenyans to maintain peace and unity, especially during the electioneering period.
The elders offered their apology to Raila, terming them as their fellow elder.
"We apologize to Odinga and hope he will accept what we have said because he is also an elder like us," the elders said.
The spokesperson of the Kalenjin Council of Elders in Uasin Gishu Edwin Chepsiror said Raila is a respected leader of the country who did not deserve to be attacked.
Chespsiror said that, according to the Kalenjin tradition, such incidents are considered abominations.
"In Kalenjin tradition what happened was an abomination. We had come here to mourn and no one should be attacked and hurt during a burial," Chepsiror said.
Another elder named Davind Singo’ie urged the government to investigate the matter and ensure the perpetrators face the law.
"We just urge the government to investigate the incident properly and ensure those involved are brought to book," Singo’ie said.
The Kalenjin elders also said Raila and every other leader were free to campaign in their region and cautioned the youth against being incited to violence.
They also appealed to political aspirants to maintain peace and avoid misusing the youth to incite violence during the electioneering period.