Ida Odinga, the wife of Opposition chief Raila Odinga has opened up about her travails during Kenya’s fight for a multi-party system of governance.
According to Ida, one of her lowest moments in life was when the former Prime Minister was arrested and charged with treason.
Speaking to Story Yangu, Ida disclosed that she was on a tour of Germany with her students from Kenya High when Raila was arrested in 1982.
“When Raila was taken into detention and charged with treason, it was the lowest moment of my life. In fact I never knew I would be alive again.”
“My life had to change since the head of the family was gone. I had three children, Fidel (9), Rosemary (5) and Junior. His arrest came right before Rosemary’s birthday,” said Ida.
She further talked about how junior forgot his father saying, “They kept asking, where is daddy, when is daddy coming home? You’d ask Junior ‘do you remember daddy?’ and he would have no idea what daddy looked like.”
Following Raila’s detention, Ida, who continued with her job as a teacher at Kenya High school, said the government would use security officers to harass her.
“It was not an easy life since the government then was very vicious. Many are the times that they would come to our home and want to inspect the house. They would turn everything upside down and later leave me putting things back in order.
“I became allergic to policemen and the system because every time they came close to my family, it spelled trouble,” said Ida.
“Several times, I would be picked up for reasons that were completely unknown to me. Sometimes I would be locked up and released the next morning,” an emotional Ida continued.
“When you go through such tribulations, your character and perception of people and the government changes. I changed and became the Ida you’re probably seeing today.”
Ida also opened up about losing her firstborn son Fidel Odinga in January 2015.
“It is still painful to us,” she said.
“It’s something that time does not heal. I remember and think of him every day. It is a terrible thing to lose a child. Mothers who have lost children will tell you the pain never goes away.”