• Stephen Osieyo

ORWA OJODE: WHAT MANNER OF MAN




A face book friend recalls “One fine afternoon, Orwa Ojode walks out of his office storming in that military chest puffed out in fury to accost his own young wingers who had been camping nearby talking politics all day. "Why do you politic here all day? Don't you have something meaningful to do?”

The youth wingers who could be anything from 16 years of age to 80 years old hangers on the court tails of politicians to do all sorts of dirty jobs including assassinations (Nahashon Isaac Njenga Njoroge who felled Tom Mboya) are all youth wingers. Inside the lot are also double agents (Malcolm X First aider was actually a FBI agent who did not give first aid but helped snuff out life). I bet my life that there were state details attached to this lot around Joshua Orwa Ojode. I should know. I was in football and had security assigned to me to watch any multi party activity. Fortunately for me my life after football was purely Ugenya Kager lifestyle. I only discovered when I met him 20 years late in the cold of the Yorkshire winter when he revealed certain details about my life.

The youth wingers responded to Joshua Orwa Ojode that they don’t have jobs and cannot stay at home lest they relegate themselves to nyiek dhako (co- wife). To which Orwa Ojode responded, “Do you have papers? Bring them & your I.Ds to my office right away." And just like that Orwa Ojode conscripted them in various jobs in various government forces. He did not care that by enabling these jobless youth wingers he was disenfranchising his own voting bloc. It like these NGOs I worked with on the shores of Lake Victoria, You would train a young lady treasurer in the community but the next time you visit the project you are told the now high profile treasurer got married in Yimbo Usenge with the books of accounts and the cash till. So you have to start all over.

If you are well versed with US electoral process, to Orwa Ojode this was like President Jimmy Carter sacrificing the California 55 or so electoral votes by moving General Dynamics jobs to Southern states with a mere 8 electoral votes. To people like Orwa Ojode, they are concerned with future generation more than future elections. And true legend has it that it is his love and care for future generation that led to his tragic death.

Parallel Universe

It is not that Orwa Ojode had not had close encounters with violent death. No way. Orwa Ojode had survived a chopper crash with then Police Commissioner Hussein Ali, Rift Valley Provincial Commissioner, and Hassan Noor. On a personal level he himself could mix it. If he was a football player his best position would be stopper or the immobile no 9. A position that required force once a target servicing the general good has been identified and people are wasting time with jive talk. Like me it appears he believed that it is better to be ruled by a Lion than a thousand rats in matters where law of averages are retrogressive. And that is not the only thing that tied me to Orwa Ojode Sirikal,

Joshua Orwa Ojode like me was born in 1958, the year when greats like Michael Jackson was born in addition to several greats like Miss Universe. He was born in December like me except I was early on 12th while he came around on the 29th. We both started primary school in 1966 and sat for our Certificate of Primary School in November 1972. On January 22nd 1973 I crossed the Lake Victoria southwards for secondary education at Homa Bay High School. On the same 22nd January 1973 Joshua Orwa Ojode decides to also cross the Lake Victoria Northwards to attend Maranda Secondary School. I later lived on the West Coast of the USA and he decides to match me and live on the East Coast. When I lived in fashionable Buru Buru Phase 3 he also follows me in the same Phase 3 with red tiles, black wooden kraal gates, sparkling white walls and all our neighbours had children below 6 years of age because there were no kindergarten that rubbish collectors used to drive the trucks with utmost silence. We had arrived. Buru Buru was so mint new you could smell the whiff of wood and the fresh paint. It was so respected. Years later our rendezvous resumed and one time we narrowly missed each other in London by a day. From then on we were on parallel universe. So we never met at all which was just as well.

Orwa Ojode came from a ruler ship heritage. His cousin Mzee Otieno Ogindo was the first MP at Kenya Independence which was the opposite of me. And while I come from the brute force populous Kager Clan, Orwa Ojode was from the minor Ndhiwa Kwabwayi clan which compares unfavourably with Kabuoch clan and KaNyamwa (yes Gor Mahia people). Now you see why I find favor with a Kager man like me- brute force of Orwa Ojode.

And just like Kager he had met violence before when his brother was executed after the Kenya 1982 coup where he was offered everything to finger a certain civilian politician but the brother chose to die for a bigger community than finger the civilian. Thanks to his brother now Lakeside can stand tall. Again that is very like Quakers prelate Alphayo Odongo Mango of Kager choosing to be burnt alive as a martyr at Musanda. Yes Orwa Ojode was not new to violence and I am sure facing death in the sky, he did not sequel like a pig. He must have looked at death in the face (macho Kwa Macho) and said, “I know you. I have seen you before because you have been tracking me for weeks now”. Besides if he was in the Ministry for Internal Security, he must have had a shadow informer. Then how did he slip? I believe he did not slip.

Who killed Orwa Ojode?

Deep state is very similar and more so the African deep state. Whether by design or not, I am not sure. But let us pick on any African country like say Somalia or Zanzibar. Or better still let us move out of East Africa southwards. Let us take Zimbabwe of our favourite president Robert Mugabe.

I am taking you down to Zimbabwe to understand me very well how deep state works even with deceptively powerful and admirable presidency like President barrack Obama of USA. In 1979 after the Zimbabwe Independence, at the conclusion of the now notorious Lancaster Conference (it is no prettier than that shitty Limuru hall) a very popular Zanu PF general was travelling from Mozambique base to Harare. General Tongogora had favored a national Unity where minority tribesman but senior politician Joshua Nkomo would lead the country to Independence instead of the unfashionable but majority Shona fellow tribesman Robert Mugabe.


On the eve of travel plans, General Tongogora who was on same side as Mugabe but advocated for a general unity with a senior Nkomo as the president had strongly disagreed with Mugabe on the travel plans. Mugabe particularly wanted him to luxuriously fly to Harare but General Tongogora insisted on travelling by road. And as he was the General of the bigger force and was more popular with the army than his boss Mugabe, a frustrated Mugabe could not force him to do anything. It is not clear why Mugabe was strongly interested in the Generals comfortable air travel. It is also not clear why the army general wanted the time consuming and laborious road travel but in the company of his forces. Tongogora made his journey by the long and tortuous road in the company of his deputy a female military chief Lady Oppah Muchinguri- Kashiri. Lady Oppah was no not an ordinary military trained. She was also trained in commando and dare devil operation and was no less than Tongogora assistant. That is to say in ZANU PF military she was no 2. Most of all she was born in December 1958 like me, Michael Jackson and Orwa Ojode Sirikal. Two days later than me but still a December 1958 baby. It counts for something to be born in December 1958. So naturally I will never write anything that maligns her and I take exception to any social media slurs against her especially when Zimbabwean Diaspora call her a grand mother prostitute. We people born in December 1958 are not like that. We are very clean and above board in everything we do.


Then an “accident happens” and Tongogora the Nationalist dies but unscathed Oppah survives. Now Nkomo and all other nationalists were exposed and true Nkomo never survived. Despite years on of sticking questions as to how Tongogora died, Oppah insisted on the trailer accident story. Does this not remind you of Kenyan road accidents. Everybody knows it’s a lie but not a single president or Kenyan opposition wants to talk about them. Anyway Oppah rose and became very powerful in Zimbabwe. Legend has it that a military fearful lady arranged for timid “orudo-nyar ojuok” Grace Gucci to sleep her way to First Lady Grace Mugabe Gucci because she thought she was too naïve to be a threat. But what does Dholuo say about “ng’wen ka oluwo taya”.

Much later the Zimbabwe forces now guarding President Kabila of D R Congo decides to fly Kabila’s corpse to Harare for “treatment” after the assassination on the pretext that he was critical but still alive. This was to give Zimbabwe to sort resources extraction arrangements. Unfortunately the Minister for defence lets the cat out of the bag that Kabila is as dead as death can be. This upsets some people in Zimbabwe who were busy looting DRC. One more time this Defence minister has another Tongogora-like accident with Oppah Muchinguri- Kashiri in the vehicle with him. Oppah again survives unscathed. Very identical deaths.

Meanwhile without seeking the hot seat Oppah remains the powerful minister for Defence and was on the side that arranges for Mugabe very cordial ouster because Grace Gucci had touched the golden egg, Emmerson Mnangagwa, crocodile. The Luos believe it is an advantage to chodo won Kong’o. Nothing bad happens to you and even if it is a coup it will be a very friendly coup. And who did Oppah friendly military coup team choose to succeed Mugabe? A meek vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa fondly known as crocodile (not giraffe) who was so meek that Grace Mugabe insulted and undressed him 28 times in public rallies but he never flinched and never got angry. Does that remind you of Vice president President Moi (Giraffe) being slapped around like a baby by the goons around Jomo Kenyatta. Yet it is the same meek crocodile that Oppah Muchingiri military side chose to be president instead of herself to be the president. I am not sure whether it is with Oppah blessings

What I am saying is that the person who killed Orwa Ojode is not a new comer in Kenya assassination scene. This person has been around since independence. If not so the truth of Orwa Ojode assassination just like Tom Mboya and Chris Msando would have come out. Your task is to figure out a Oppah Muchingiri to assist you with investigations as to who killed good man Joshua Orwa Ojode.

How we remember Minister Orwa Ojode?

Orwa Ojode entered politics in 1994 as a member of parliament for Ndhiwa Constituency. He was elected in 1997 and appointed Assistant Minister for Education, Science and Technology.

In the 2008 Coalition government he suffered a small set back when it became impossible for his own party to name him as a full minister. This could be put to the crowded coalition arrangement that he was out of favour with party president who was very fond of him. In his tenure with the security docket he was very strict on matters security and legend has it that Ojode and his Minister Prof Saitoti were on the verge of an explosive disclosure that would have changed the security landscape in Kenya and probably exposed all you wanted to know about assassinations in Kenya.

In development he is remembered for the western governments’ policy that there is nothing as debilitating as unemployment in a population. That is why in his time as Ndhiwa Member of Parliament he had blind faith in jobs jobs jobs. And just when you think he is done with it he goes for more jobs.

What we see as force was his impatience to democratizing issues that are so clear cut. How he dealt with petroleum bill, the youth unemployment among many other staple Member of Parliament everyday tasks is what we remember Orwa Ojode with.

It is amazing how Luo nicknames make up the politicians bias in serving the people. Take James Aggrey Orengo with his nickname “nyatieng’. What is nyatieng’ really good for apart from you know making that noise as it beats the grinding stone into sharpening the grooves. After that forget about nyatieng’. It does not help you. You cannot even throw it at some body. And so is James Aggrey Orengo. When it came to beating up the living life out of Nyayo government, he was second to none. On the other hand there is Mathews Ogutu wuod lando. Here wuod lando is a like a Mr. Pleasuredent. Let me not say any more.

So is Joshua Orwa Sirikal. A government is known as a big employer and an enforcer and truly that is what Joshua Orwa Ojode was. I close my eyes and imagine big employer and enforcer Joshua Orwa Ojode Sirikal as governor of any of the Luo Nyanza counties as corona, floods and hippos show up to frog marching his people. Do not me wake up from such a wonderful dream because the outcome would be the complete opposite of what we are witnessing.




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