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Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga in hospital


June 29, 2010

(BBC)  Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga has been admitted to hospital for exhaustion, his spokesman says.

Mr Odinga, 65, went to hospital on Monday after a political rally and doctors have confined him to bed.

The BBC’s Peter Greste in Nairobi says Mr Odinga has been one of Kenya’s most energetic politicians.

In recent months, he has been campaigning particularly hard to win support for a new constitution, with no questions about his physical fitness.

So our correspondent says Tuesday’s statement from his press spokesman has come as something of a surprise.

Rather confusingly, the statement quotes doctors as saying he is fit enough to work as usual if he feels. But it then goes on to say they are not allowing that.

Until now, most of the questions about the health of Kenya’s political leaders have been directed at President Mwai Kibaki.

He disappeared from public view shortly after he was first elected in 2002, and rumours persisted that he had suffered a stroke.

His staff however, consistently denied he had suffered anything beyond minor health issues.

Mr Odinga has been prime minister since 2008 under a deal brokered to end months of violence after his supporters claimed he had been cheated of victory by allies of President Kibaki.

Their coalition government remains shaky but both men are campaigning in favour of the new constitution ahead of a referendum due in August.