ODM Leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday, March 2 reminisced his period during detention at the Manyani Maximum Prison.
After the 1982 abortive coup, Raila was detained without trial at the maximum prison. He was accused of being among the plotters of the failed coup by President Daniel Moi’s regime.
During his visit of Taita Taveta County on Tuesday, Raila met a prison guard who helped him a great deal during his days at the facility.
A young John Mwavuda used to smuggle pieces of toilet and scrap paper to a famous inmate [Raila]. Papers which Raila would then write letters to his loved ones on.
Now the word “Mzee” has been added to Mwavuda’s name, owing to his advanced age.
Mzee John Mwavuda also doubled up as the official courier at Manyani Prison during the 80s.
Raila says he would deliberately write official letters, prompting the prison’s administration to send Mzee Mwavuda to Nairobi, to deliver the letters.
The former prime minister has not forgotten Mwavuda’s efforts back then, hailing him as a brave man who “risked his life selflessly by delivering messages that kept me going during those dark days.”
“Mzee John Mwavuda is a person I’ll be forever indebted to and I will support a project that is close to his heart that he has told me about to fruition.
“He has now lost most of his close family and let us all pray for strength and comfort for him. Hongera Shujaa Mzee John Mwavuda,” says Raila.
Raila is on a week-long tour of the Coast region, drumming support for the Building Bridges Initiative while trying to solidify a perceived stronghold political pundits say he is slowly losing grip on.