President Uhuru Kenyatta went on something like an adventure in Kisumu on Saturday, traversing the lakeside city without security outriders.
The President, his new ally Raila Odinga and other dignitaries had attended the burial of former Youth Development Fund chairman Bruce Odhiambo in Muhoroni.
As Mr Kenyatta left Mr Odhiambo’s Koru home, many thought he would head back to the Capital, Nairobi.
But on arrival at the Kisumu International Airport where the presidential jet had been waiting, he surprised many, including the security team, by getting into one of his official vehicles, a black Toyota V8 with a civilian number plate, and following that of Mr Odinga as it headed towards Kisumu town.
Also in the entourage was Kisumu Deputy Governor Mathews Owili and Cabinet Secretary Raphael Tuju.
Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga headed straight to the Kisumu port for a tour, Mr Odinga having launched the dredging and removal of hyacinth from Lake Victoria the day before.
From the port, the President and Mr Odinga headed to the private Yacht Club, where they reportedly had dinner together.
“The ODM leader, after the funeral in Muhoroni hosted the head of State to a dinner at a private club in Kisumu before escorting him to the airport,” said a source who was in the entourage.
Escorted by the small security team, the two then headed back to the airport, arriving moments past 8.30 pm.
This time round, the President did not go to the VIP lounge but had a brief chat with Mr Odinga and other government officials.
Flights leaving the airport were delayed to allow him to leave at 8.45pm.
Since the March 9, 2018 handshake between the President and Mr Odinga, they have attended several functions together.
On January 7, a light mood filled Mombasa when the ODM leader celebrated his birthday with President Kenyatta, another mark of their new friendship.
They celebrated at Mr Odinga’s Nyali home after launching the Mama Ngina waterfront project, which cost Sh460 million.
At the Port of Kisumu, the President pledged to ensure its improvement to a regional economic hub.
The head of State noted that his administration was keen on boosting lake transport.
“We want to open the lake to allow ship transport from Kisumu, Entebbe, Musoma and other East African Community states,” he said.
He noted that the revival of the port would go a long way in boosting trade with these countries.
“Port revival means revival of other industries. The port will help Kisumu and EAC countries,” he said. “Kenya Breweries, which we have revitalised here, will be able to sell its products in Kenya and other EAC states and empower Kenyans.”
Credit: Daily Nation