CS Owalo rebukes Kisumu protestors for disrupting Govt meeting
Thursday, March 16, 2023
By Robert Ojwang
Information, Communication and The Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Mr. Eliud Owalo has condemned disruption of a Communication Authority (CA) function presided over by the CA Director General Mr. Ezra Chiloba.
His sentiments came hours after supporters of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya staged protests along Kisumu streets and stormed into the event organized by the Authority on Wednesday.
However, Owalo who was to be the chief guest at the World Consumer Rights Day 2023 did not attend the function.
Reacting to the chaos that forced the meeting to close prematurely after guests and CA officers were whisked out of the venue, Owalo termed the incident as an act of cowardice and regrettable.
“It is regrettable that a group of youth, ostensibly doing a demo in Kisumu, this morning disrupted an official function of the Communication Authority presided over by the CA Director General, Mr. Ezra Chiloba,” he stated.
The demonstrators allegedly stormed the event seeking an audience with the minister whom they accuse of countering Azimio leader Raila Odinga in the Luo Nyanza region politics.
Upon realizing that Owalo was missing at the venue, they accessed the event’s main dais destroying and looting the valuables of various service providers before heading to the dining area where they consumed food that was preserved for the guests.
“Eye-witness accounts indicate that the bandits destroyed CA property at the venue and took off with items whose value is still unknown,” Owalo stated.
The aggressors also pelted Mr. Chiloba’s official vehicle in an attempt to vandalize it. However, Chiloba, other CA officials and guests escaped unhurt. “This is lowly banditry and hooliganism. It is hugely regrettable. There is no place for such base conduct in social order,” Owalo rebuked.
Consequently, CA in a statement issued to the newsroom castigated the incident stressing its commitment to protecting the rights of mobile telephony, internet, broadcasting and courier services consumers that fall under their mandate.
“It is unfortunate that this year’s World Consumer Rights Day event convened by the Communications Authority of Kenya and held at the CA Director General, Mr. Ezra Chilobawas disrupted following protests in and around the CBD,” reads a statement in part.
Patricia Muchiri, a CA official confirmed that the event kicked off with a round-table discussion in the morning session after the official opening ceremony by the Director General.
Present at the meeting were Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili representing Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, Safaricom PLC’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Stephen Kiptinness, Airtel Kenya’s Customer Experience Director, Goldermier Opiyo, and Wananchi Group (Kenya) Limited’s Customer Experience Director, Jane Kebenei among others.
Later, Chiloba attended the high-level African Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute (AFRALTI) Governing Council meeting that was also taking place in the same County.