NAIROBI – Ida Odinga, wife to Former Prime Minister in Kenya Raila Odinga, celebrated her 70th birthday party in a lavish occasion attended by the who-is-who in the Kenya political circles.
Known as the woman who has stood through thick and thin with her husband, Odinga, who faced political detention and torture in the 90s including seven months of house arrest, Ida is praised in political circles and among women in leadership as the pillar of her family.
Raila Odinga and Ida Odinga (the couple) are blessed with four children – two boys and two girls – Fidel, Rosemary, Raila Jnr, and Winnie; sadly, they lost their firstborn son in January 2015.
Breaking COVID-19 Rules During Birthday
However, Ida’s birthday celebrations attracted a lot of criticism from Kenyans since they were held contrary to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Ministry of Health (MoH) guidelines against the spread of COVID-19 in the world.
Guests arrived in numbers and were photographed not keeping social distance, sitting closely together on seats and standing up, and also not wearing the protective face masks that Kenyans were asked to wear.
Some of those in attendance included Raila Odinga, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Homa Bay Women Rep Gladys Wanga, Wajir Women Rep Fatuma Gedi, Former Nyeri Women Rep Priscillah Nyokabi, Siaya Senator James Orengo, Raila’s brother Oburu Odinga, Former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth and Political Broker David Murathe.
It was unfortunate that elected leaders like Gov Waiguru who are expected to set an example for the public in keeping with the government guidelines against the spread of the virus are flouting the same rules.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, who was the first Chairperson of the Senate ad-hoc Committee on COVID-19, was found drinking in a bar past the curfew hours centrally to the government directives. After his arrest and court appearance, Sen Sakaja resigned from the chairmanship of the committee.
Sen Sakaja was replaced by Nominated Senator Sylvia Kasanga in the leadership of the committee.
Messages to celebrate Ida Odinga at 70
Raila Odinga: “Happy Birthday to my wife Ida, a witty and charming source of guidance, inspiration, and strength to our family. From the first time I saw you, my life changed immeasurably. We are grateful for your dynamic, adventurous spirit. May the Lord continue to bless your illustrious life!”
Anne Waiguru: “Joined Rt. Hon Raila Odinga, family and other leaders in celebrating Mama Ida’s birthday. You are strong, wise, graceful, and selfless. Not many know or understand the critical role you play in this nation. God grant you many fruitful years ahead, full of laughter and love.”
Gladys Wanga: “Wishing the mother of the Earth (Min Piny) all the very best as she celebrates her 70th birthday. You have mentored us and held our hands. May God bless you and keep you as you serve humanity!”
Fatuma Gedi: “Joined Rt. Hon Raila Odinga and family members in celebrating Mama Ida’s gracious 70th birthday. Her commitment and devotion over the years have not gone unnoticed. We celebrate the achievements of valour, mentor, selfless and industrious woman.”
As Ida Odinga celebrated her 70th birthday, her husband, Raila Odinga, who was born on 7th January 1945, is 75 years old.
STORY By Anne Kanina – Macharia