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Millie Odhiambo: On being childless, father’s death and her long distance relationship

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Did your father’s death push you to politics?

Yes. I like to say I am a chip off the old block. I definitely inherited the political bug from him, though I was probably the least likely member of the family to inherit this trait.

As a young girl, I was more like my mother- shy, less talkative, religious, spiritual and not keen on politics.

How was the relationship with your father?

I was fairly young when my dad died, but I still have vivid memories of him. He loved me a lot, especially because I resembled my grandma and he fondly called me Nya Gera (meaning ‘daughter of Gera,’ which is how my grandma was referred to).

I loved dancing so he would play Lingala. He took us to public functions where we got privileged treatment. He often took us out for outings and on drives. I remember my last birthday with him. He bought me and my sister Dottie red and yellow sunglasses. He died two days later.

Did life change after his death?

Yes it did. Our social network changed. We were no longer invited to some birthday parties. Most of his friends ‘disappeared.’ My mum had to struggle very hard to educate the eight of us. I grew up knowing we were somewhat different. My mum tried her best though to ensure we fit in

READ ALSO:   Millie Odhiambo- Best career advice I ever received was from Martha Karua

What do you miss most about him and are there qualities you share with him?

I missed having a father like other kids and wondered whether things would have been different.

Mama would say at times that, “You know your dad would have been an MP in Mbita and we would not be struggling so much.” He also loved fun and would organise ‘dances’ that were attended by parents. I am told my dad was so bold and frank.

People in south Nyanza, for instance, feared challenging Tom Mboya in favour of Jaramogi, but my father was one of the very few who could do that. I have also read some newspaper reports about him.

How were your first campaigns for political office?

My campaigns to office were very exciting, but also challenging. Even though I had a lot of support, the incumbent did not support me.

I lacked resources and faced violence and propaganda. I have written about my experience in a book titled Political Leadership Unpackaged: Lessons for Aspiring Women Leaders. I was surprised to learn that elected women had not shared their political experiences before.

I respect any woman who has vied against men and won.

Is there a particular incident that ‘toughened’ you?

I have learnt a lot over the years. Some of these lessons have lasting impacts that have toughened me. When my father died, I learnt about the change of guard.

READ ALSO:   MP Millie Odhiambo denies shouting down DP Ruto

When my father was alive, we would be driven to the stadium and get VIP treatment. Whenever there was a fracas, we got police protection, since we were considered children of a dignitary. After my father’s death, I attended an event a month later and as was the norm, made for the VIP section.

But things had changed and I was pushed to the public ‘sun’ gallery. I learnt very early that nothing, including positions, are permanent.

In 2016, you vehemently opposed the controversial Security Laws (Amendment) Bill and accused Moses Kuria of what could be interpreted as sexual assault…

Moses Kuria punched me and apologised the same day. Two MPs tried to undress me and a third was pulling my panty. I did not decide to undress, but simply ‘helped’ those trying to undress me.

I told them I am not ashamed of my nakedness hence they should not try to embarrass me using the same. I have worked for years on issues related to violence against women. All I did was take the ‘power of embarrassment’ from them by showing them their action had no impact on me.

You once said in an interview that you met your husband at a time you had decided to keep off relationships. What had happened?

READ ALSO:   Millie Odhiambo recounts her prolonged ‘troublesome’ menses as a young woman

I just wanted time out to myself before getting involved in a serious relationship.

How often do you see your husband?

Before, we saw each other like four times a year. Now we see each other more often.

A while back, you said in Parliament that some men have called you a prostitute for not having children. How do you cope with such negativity?

I felt sorry for the person who called me a prostitute for not having a child. That is a person mocking God because it’s God who chooses whom to bless. I hope he seeks forgiveness from God.

How often do you see your step-daughter?

My step-daughter is called Lebo. I have a very good relationship with her. We communicate often on phone.

She lives in Botswana with her father and mother, but we keep in touch and meet once in a while at family events in Zimbabwe, South Africa or when I travel to Botswana.

By Standard


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Courts

Four children fight claims they were disowned by late MP

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Four children of former Keiyo North MP William Murgor yesterday fought allegations that they had been disowned by their father before his death.

While testifying before the High Court in Eldoret, Ambrose Kiplagat Murgor, one of the four children said to have been born out of wedlock, told the court their father never disowned him or any of his three siblings.

While being cross-examined before Justice Hellen Omondi, Mr Kiplagat said he was a biological child of the late MP, adding that the contrary claims were only made to lock him and his siblings out of the MP’s vast estate.

“My late father never disowned me or my siblings,” Kiplagat told the court.

He said he was born in 1970 at Murgor’s Kaptagat farm before they moved in 1976 to Chesigot farm in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

The four – Kiplagat, Oscar Murgor, Sharon Murgor and Faith Murgor – who are children of the former MP’s fourth wife Anna Kimoi, have told the court they were brought up with the other children.

“We were raised together with the other siblings from the different houses. I was in school with my two brothers, Collins and Kenneth, in the same primary school, all along living as brothers,” he added.

READ ALSO:   Millie Odhiambo recounts her prolonged ‘troublesome’ menses as a young woman

He told the court that he did not know the reasons as to why he and his brother Oscar did not get a share of their father’s farms like rest of his siblings.

Kiplagat added that his elder sister Enid Cheptanui filed the case against her step-brother Francis Murgor, Chemutai Murgor and Keiyo North MP Dr James Murgor for excluding them in the distribution of the Sh1.4 billion family estate.

While testifying in the succession dispute, James denied knowing Kiplagat and his three siblings Oscar, Sheila and Faith Murgor.

While James claimed to have only been familiar with them for a few years, Kiplagat on the other hand told the court the MP was well known to him and that he had even campaigned for him.

“I campaigned for him in three elections, and he always introduced me as his brother. When my mother was sick, I was in contact with the MP, who even helped in paying the hospital bill,”

by Stanardmedia.co.ke


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Mukhisa Kituyi: Why I think I can be a good President

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He is considered one of Kenya’s finest brains and has held several high positions both locally and internationally.

Currently serving as the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Dr Mukhisa Kituyi’s decorated CV is impeccable.

In an interview with a local TV station on Wednesday, Kituyi spoke of his desire to occupy Kenya’s top seat, saying rising from adversity during his childhood days is a huge motivation.

“As I have gone to 119 countries around the world, I am constantly asking myself what they are doing better than us that makes them shine.

“I feel my body still has the energy…my head still has the intellectual capacity to make that contribution in a practical way…” he said.

Adding: “I have a sense of shared empathy with the vulnerable, not only a desire to give hope to the hopeless but a burning ambition that through enterprise Kenya, I can be part of the solutions to build Kenya for the next generation.”

Kituyi said once he leaves his position at the UN he will share his ideas with Kenyans and he strongly believes he will be the right person for the job.

READ ALSO:   Millie Odhiambo recounts her prolonged ‘troublesome’ menses as a young woman

“In the increasingly likely case that I will be offering candidature for President of this country after I leave my position with the UN, I think I will give the Kenyan population reason why I think I will be the right person for that job.

“I cannot do it while I am still winding down my international obligations but I think I am the face of a set of Kenyans who believe in purposeful Kenya,” he said.

Responding to those who claim he is not in touch with the realities on the ground due to extensive travel, Kituyi said he believes in constant learning and does not have all the answers but wants to be part of a team that will engage in structured positive conversations.

Mukhisa has also had stints in the political arena having been elected to the Kenyan Parliament for the first time in 1992 on a Ford-Kenya ticket and was re-elected in 1997 and 2002 as Kimilili MP.

He was also Kenya’s Minister of Trade and Industry from 2002 to 2007. During this period, Kituyi chaired the Council of Ministers of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the African Trade Ministers’ Council for two years.

He also served as chairman of the Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, and was the lead negotiator for Eastern and Southern African ministers during the European Union-ACP Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations.

READ ALSO:   Millie Odhiambo- Best career advice I ever received was from Martha Karua

He was convenor of the agriculture negotiations carried out at the World Trade Organization’s Sixth Ministerial Conference held in Hong Kong, China in 2005.

From 2008 to 2012, Kituyi was a member of a team of experts advising the presidents of the nations of the East African Community on how to establish more effective regional economic links.

From 2011 to 2012, he was a consultant for the African Union Commission, where he helped to develop the structure for a pan-African free trade area.

Immediately before becoming UNCTAD Secretary-General, Kituyi was Chief Executive of the Kenya Institute of Governance based in Nairobi.

by Standardmedia.co.ke


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Man’s burial inside his house baffles Kirinyaga residents

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Residents of Mucagara Village in Kirinyaga County were on Wednesday evening treated to a rare funeral after a man was buried inside his house.

They watched in astonishment as the coffin containing the remains of the 65-year-old retired coffee factory manager, Simon Muriithi Mwaniki, was lowered into the grave that had been dug in the living room.

Some whispered to each other during the dramatic send-off which left many in awe.

According to the man’s relative, prior to his death, he had expressed his wish to be buried in the house.

Emotions ran high as the funeral ceremony went on in the village in Gichugu Constituency.

“We had to act according to his wishes to avoid a curse and being haunted by his spirits,” said Mr James Njuki, the man’s eldest son.

Mwaniki was hurriedly buried in a brief ceremony conducted by an African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa priest, Jackson Muchiri.

Committed suicide

When Mwaniki committed suicide, no one mourned his death as he had asked family members not to do so when he was alive.

“Before he took his life he had told us that there should be no mourning when he dies. Therefore, we ensured that we never gathered at any time within the homestead to mourn him,” added Mr Njuki.

READ ALSO:   Sonko asks all unmarried women who have been impregnated by Kenyan politicians to call him

Mr Njuki recalled how on November 18 they found their father dangling from the roof of his house with a rope around his neck.

It was then that the matter was reported to the local police officers who drove to the scene and took the body to Kibugi Funeral Home.

His children suspected that their father took his life due to the depression he suffered after his wife, Juliana Muthoni, died.

“My father started drinking heavily after his wife died. He loved my mother so much and we think he was so much affected by her death and became depressed,” said Mr Njuki.

Rev Muchiri described the funeral as unique.

“For the 38 years that I have been conducting funerals, this is the first time to bury someone inside a house,” he said.

The residents said they were taken aback when they arrived at the homestead and saw the grave inside Mwaniki’s house.

“We were baffled. We have never witnessed such a funeral in this village. This is a funeral of its own kind which shocked all of us,” Mr Eliud Muriithi said.

by nation.africa


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