William Odongo Omamo

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William Odongo Omamo (27 March 1928 – 27 April 2010) was a Kenyan politician. He was a minister for Agriculture, Minister for Environment and Natural Resources[1] and a former member of parliament for the Bondo Constituency and Muhoroni Constituency.[2] Omamo had two wives, Joyce Acholla and Anne Audia, and 16 children. One of the most prominent is Raychelle Omamo, a former Law Society of Kenya chairperson and former ambassador to France who was selected as Cabinet Secretary of defense in April 2013.[3]

Omamo was also a large-scale farmer in Bondo and Muhoroni. He farmed many different crops, but he was most noted for operating the largest privately owned sugar plantation in Kenya. After Kenya gained independence he became the first African principal of Egerton College, which has since become a university in Kenya. (Egerton University)

Early life[edit]

Omamo was born on 27 March 1928, in Bondo in a family of eight children, two boys and six girls. His father married eight other women and had scores of children. He went to Maranda Sector School, five kilometres from his home, in 1936. He once talked about his first day in school: "I was half naked, with only a goat skin strip to cover the private parts and buttocks."[3]

By the time Omamo finished secondary school at Maseno College, He'd found a passion for agriculture. He then received a scholarship to study in India in 1951. He graduated from the Punjab Agricultural College in 1955 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture.[3] He also earned a Doctorate, and studied at Oregon State University.

Political career[edit]

Omamo's career in politics began in 1969 and he successfully vied for the Bondo seat. It was previously Jaramogi Oginga Odinga’s, but after falling out with the Administration in place he was detained just before the elections. 'Kaliech's' political career spanned almost four decades and saw him represent the Bondo and Muhoroni constituencies in Kenya. Omamo also served as Minister for; Agriculture and Livestock development and Science and Technology.[4] Omamo and Odinga partook in a political rivalry that would last for years. They vied for the support of the people of Bondo, and to a lesser extent Muhoroni.[4] Omamo's last public post came when former President Moi appointed him to chair a commission in the late 1980's[4]

Death and legacy[edit]

After falling ill in the mid 2000s, Omamo died from a long standing illness at the age of 82 on 27 April 2010.[5] His funeral was attended by family and friends, which included Raila Odinga, and Current VP Kalonzo Musyoka, and then President Mwai Kibaki. He was buried at his estate in Utonga Bay at Nyambarimba house, just outside Bondo.

Omamo is remembered as being one of Kenya's most illustrious politicians and for his bulky frame and unmatched sense of humour that won him many admirers. His rib-tickling humour brought forth a lovable shade to his stance as one of the forefront politicians of 1980s Kenya.[2] He left behind two wives, 16 children and countless grandchildren, a number of which are professionals in law and medicine.

References[edit]

  1. ^ ""The Constitution of Kenya: Appointment of a Minister". Kenya Gazette. 13 August 1982. p. 940. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2010/04/ex-kenyan-mp-odongo-omamo-is-dead/
  3. ^ a b c "William Odongo Omamo – Man with elephantine humour | Kenya Yearbook". kenyayearbook.co.ke. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c "Former minister Omamo dies". Standard Digital News. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "Former Kenya MP Omamo dies". Daily Nation. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2017.