The funeral service of slain businessman Edward Barasa in Chebukwabi, Kimilili Sub County was forced cut short after a commotion ensued between supporters of Jubilee and Ford Kenya after the arrival of Ford Kenya gubernatorial candidate Wycliffe Wangamati at the venue.
Trouble ensued after some of the supporters who were accompanying Wangamati were barred from entering the podium due to the little space set aside for the candidate and a few of his allies on claims that they would disrupt the widow’s ongoing speech.
However, things did not go well as the few who were barred did not take it lightly as they wanted to escort him to where he was scheduled to sit causing a commotion. Chrisco church pastor Ademba had to cut short the funeral mass as they proceeded to bury the late Edward.
Efforts by the area MP Suleiman Kasuti Murunga to calm the crowd down did not bear fruits as both Jubilee and Ford Kenya supporters continued to trade insults with each other as residents watched in disbelief.
Later Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka and Water CS Eugene Wamalwa managed to address residents at the school and condemned the disruption of the funeral and called for a speedy investigation into the murder of Edward.
Governor Lusaka, who is the gubernatorial Jubilee candidate, said the disruption was planned, adding that they specifically came when the widow was eulogising her husband and had many things to disclose regarding his death. He said it had been linked to a local politician who had previously threatened her husband.
He called upon the security agents to ensure a thorough probe is carried out on the incident and those found culpable stern action be taken against them.
The governor further said his competitors have panicked after opinion polls rated him to be on top and have devised means of countering that in ways that are not acceptable.
Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa also condemned the incident saying it is inhuman to interrupt a funeral service while the widow was talking, saying she had a lot to tell mourners but unfortunately it did not happen.
He said with the government machinery he is optimistic that they will carry out their thorough investigation into the matter to ensure those who were involved in the murder face the full force of the law.
However, Wycliffe Wangamati refuted the allegations that his group started the commotion at the funeral saying they only came to mourn but were barred from entering and they had to force their way in.
He said after the commotion they decided to leave but were attacked as they left by youths who were armed with clubs and machetes saying they injured a few of his supporters and vandalized a car belonging to former Kimilili parliamentary aspirant Mathews Makanda.
“We have recorded a statement at the Kimilili police station and we have the evidence of what happened and the police must carry out their investigation to arrest those who attacked us at the funeral,” he said.