Odinga recalls him, Matiba wrestling immigration police in Mombasa over Sheikh Balala

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ODM leader Raila Odinga has narrated how at one time in 1992, during the agitation for multi-party politics he and the late Kenneth Matiba stormed a plane carrying Muslim cleric Sheikh Khalid Balala, whose Kenyan citizenship had been revoked by the then Moi government over his criticism of and attempts to register a Muslim political party.

Speaking in Mvita at the celebrations of Eid Al-Adha, Raila told invited guests the country had come out of oppressive times, unlike today when a ‘toothless lion’ is at the helm.

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”When he went to Germany, the government revoked his citizenship. He was staying in Germany, stateless. When I heard, I went to Germany and told him to book a plane back home. He listened and made a booking to Mombasa then informed me,” the ODM leader said.

Upon getting information on the flight, Mr. Odinga says he looked for the late MP Kenneth Matiba, who was his colleague in FORD.


”It was a direct flight from Germany. So I came with Kenneth Matiba to receive him at the Moi Airport. When the plane landed and Balala embarked from the plane but police officers and immigration stopped him from leaving the plane. Matiba and I stormed the plane and tried to wrestle our way in to get Sheikh Balala,” he adds.

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The attempts were unsuccessful as the two firebrand legislators were overpowered by police and beaten blue-black and sent back to Nairobi. FORD, an outfit led by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga in agitating for multi-party in 1992 entered a political partnership with the Islamic Party of Kenya, which was outlawed by Moi.

”I was deported to Germany four times. I was stateless for two years after the government revoked my citizenship. I was ejected once at Moi Airport, twice at Nairobi’s JKIA and once when I tried to come in through Dar es Salaam airport,” Cleric Balala told a local publication two years ago.

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