The 25th of October 1969 went down in history as one of the worst days for the Luo Nyanza region.

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This was after presidential guards attached to then President Jomo Kenyatta opened fire on people killing several and maiming many.

The unfortunate incident happened when Kenyatta visited the lakeside city of Kisumu for the official opening of the Nyanza General Hospital (Russia).

He was, however, confronted by protesters allied to opposition leader and his former ally Vice President Jaramogi Oginga who heckled and pelted him and his delegation with stones.

The protesters chanted Dume! Dume!, which was the slogan of the Oginga's Kenya People's Union (KPU) which was then the opposing side.

Others accused him of masterminding the assassination of Tom Mboya who has been killed earlier the same year.

The police sprayed bullets on the crowd, leading to several deaths and many injuries, in what later came to be known as the Kisumu massacre.

Oginga who was present managed to avoid any harm in the melee after running for safety inside the facility.

The event resumed after calm was restored following close to 15 minutes of shootings and confusion.

When then Health Minister JD Otiende ushered the President in for his speech, he immediately started exchanging bitter words with Oginga, saying that he would have dealt with him if not for their friendship.

“Jaramogi, if you were not my friend, I would have crushed you like unga (flour mill). You are rich, while people of Nyanza are starving.” he was quoted by a Standard publication dated October 25, 2010.

The exchange heated, as Oginga who was the Vice President between 1963 and 1969 accused Kenyatta of trashing the promises he had made to the people when he rose to power. 

“People are crying because they are hungry. You have not given them what you promised at Independence,” retorted Oginga as is quoted.

Kenyatta soon after left for a cabinet meeting in the neighboring Kericho Town, and days later the police introduced a curfew on several parts of Nyanza.