NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga has said he is well, just moments after being discharged from Mombasa Hospital where he was treated for stomach pains.
“I am as fit as a fiddle. I have been discharged to go to Nairobi to continue with my campaigns,” he is quoted by Nation as saying. “I had stomach pains, which have since disappeared after getting treatment,” Mr Odinga said during a press briefing after being discharged.”
Raila’s latest hospitalization has raised questions about his health and waning strength over the past years, with some arguing that, at 72 years, age could be catching up with him. In March, the opposition leader was rushed to Karen Hospital after suffering what was said was food poisoning.
Even his supporters agree that seems to have lost a bit of his rallying skills. He is no longer the fire firebrand speaker who would galvanise crowds with his growling oratory skills spiced with riddles and proverbs. These days he stutters in his speeches, often delivered with less zeal.
Taken ill at the airport
Mr Odinga had arrived at Moi International Airport, Mombasa, in two helicopters accompanied by co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula, when he suddenly fell ill. He had addressed a series of rallies in Kilifi County.
Those who saw him at the airport said he looked well and even greeted and waved at passengers. However, after a few minutes, airport staff were seen rushing into the lobby and they dashed out carrying water. Then three vehicles — black, silver and white — came in and picked him up, sources said.
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Nurses at Mombasa Hospital who spoke to the Nation said Mr Odinga was taken straight to the emergency wing. Mr Odinga’s spokesman Dennis Onyango said the former Prime Minister was taken off the plane on his way to Nairobi after Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho realised he was unwell.
He said initial reports indicated Mr Odinga could have suffered food poisoning “but tests are yet to be done”. “Governor Joho provided doctors … they will carry out the tests before (Mr Odinga) possibly being flown to Nairobi,” Mr Onyango said.
Later, Mr Odinga’s aide Salim Lone said the opposition leader was feeling much better and the doctor “just wants to observe him for the next one hour”.
Speaking at the hospital, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir said: “Baba (Mr Odinga) is stable. I received a call and came to see him but he was okay. He asked for his wife to be informed and we called her.”
Reports indicated that, while at the airport, Mr Odinga’s colleagues, who included Siaya Senator James Orengo, prevailed upon him to cancel the trip although he felt that there was no need.
His handlers insisted that the doctor felt there was no cause for alarm. Mr Odinga also held a series of meetings in Kwale County on Sunday. (additional reporting from Nation.co.ke)