In 90 days to come, the people of Kibra will go to the ballot to elect someone who will continue with Ken Okoth’s rich legacy in education sector, management of CDF funds, become a level headed and sober debater in the National Assembly to lead them in the remaining years before the next general election. This will come after the seat for Kibra member of Parliament, previously held by the late Ken Okoth, is declared vacant by the speaker of National Assembly.
The possible replacement are the usual faces in Kibra aspirants’ list sandwiched with new entrants, majorly outsiders. So far names like Eliud Owalo, Edwin Sifuna, Rosemary Odinga and Imran Okoth are already being mentioned in low tones within the corridors of Kibra. If not for her health, Ms Rosemary Odinga would be the perfect and qualified replacer of the late Ken. Little can be said about Eliud Owalo and Edwin Sifuna except that they are being opportunists. The people of Kibra are said to have unresolved issues with Eliud Owalo; one, he has always been accused of mismanaging Raila Odinga’s 2013 campaigns where campaign funds were allegedly misappropriated and agents not paid todate. And two, his attacks on the person of Raila Odinga after losing the ODM Party certificate in the 2017 party primaries. For Edwin Sifuna, he is seen as an outsider; not a registered voter of Kibra and does not understand issues affecting Kibra people
Going by ODM Party’s culture, there is a general tendency of the movement to settle for immediate family members in the event of death to inherit their political seat. We have seen Dr Joyce Laboso replacing her late sister Lorna Laboso, backing Mutula Kilonzo Junior of Wiper to replace the late dad, Moses Kajwang’ replacing his brother Otieno Kajwang’, Senator Juma Boy Junior replacing his father Juma Boy in Kwale, and the list is long. Only in few circumstances where the immediate family members could not produce a viable candidate, has the Orange Movement resorted to backing strong candidates. That’s what happened in the case of Ndhiwa MP the late Joshua Orwa Ojode where lawyer Agostinho Neto was picked and backed up twice, and Senator Ochilo Ayacko handpicked and supported to replace the late Ben Oluoch Okelo in Migori.
Imran Okoth, the younger brother of Ken Okoth, came to the limelight after the death of his brother. He undoubtedly stands a chance to be the next Kibra Member of Parliament. His candidature will probably cut across ODM party, tribal lines, to the many lives that were touched by his brother. But amidst all these, there are some hard questions he will have to answer. Going by his testimonies of his late brother, he appeared to be the most trusted one of all his siblings. He seemingly knew so much about his late brother, the projects and the entire manifesto. That could be why he was entrusted to be the Kibra constituency fund manager.
By all standards Imran is the best pick. However, it’s disturbing why he rejected the only son of his late brother thus subjecting his family to ridicule and great shame, why he never informed his mother of the cremation plans of the body of Ken Okoth early Saturday morning at Kariakor, why he allowed his late brother to put cremation as part of his will at a time he was not conscious yet Imran was cock sure that their mother, Mama Angelina Ajwang’, would be against it as she had always wanted his sons to be buried in her home in the event of death.
It is said that Imran is the one who switched off oxygen for the late Ken Okoth in ICU. That he is the one who chased Anne (Anita) Thumbi from Lee Funeral home, Starehe school and at the family meeting. That with the help of Monica, Okoth’s widow, he chased his brother’s only child, Jayden Okoth claiming he is not Okoth’s son. He further instructed the family lawyers to bargain for DNA test even when everybody could see Okoth Junior is a photocopy of his father. Even Okoth’s mother opposed it.
On Saturday morning Evans Oluoch, Ken’s nephew, who was speaking on behalf of Ken’s mother apologized and publicly admitted that Jayden Okoth is their son.
“As a family we knew about Ken’s son and anybody in the family who will say otherwise will be telling a big lie. The family knew very well about Ken’s son even Monica knew about this child so taking DNA samples was just a waste of time since Ken was in full support of his child,” Oluoch said.
Many are asking what stopped Imran Okoth from being the voice of reason in the family.
Even with the revelation by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko about the dating life of Ken Okoth with his Sonko Rescue Team Nurse, Anne(Anita) Thumbi, Imran Okoth still went ahead to cause drama.
According to Governor Sonko, the late Ken Okoth and Ms Anne (Anita) Thumbi Muthoni met in 2013 during a medical camp hosted by the Sonko Rescue team in Kibra.
“In 2013 Ken Okoth invited Sonko Rescue team to hold a medical camp for his constituents in Kibra. There were beautiful nurses and he fell in love with one of our nurses called Anita. And they began going out together. I can attest to that,” Sonko said at the requeim mass of the late Ken Okoth at Moi girls, Kibra.
Adding that he nominated Ms Thumbi in the county assembly on behalf of the late Ken,
“In 2017 Ken told me to nominate his second wife Ann Thumbi to the Nairobi County Assembly. And since I have much respect for Ken Okoth who is lying before us here today, I nominated Ann Thumbi,” Sonko revealed.
“We are cognizant of the fact that Ken had a son with one of the nominated Nairobi MCA by the name Ann Thumbi alias Anita. The two love birds did not hide the fact that they shared a son…In spite of denials from some members of the family, it’s clear that Ken recognised that and he was there for his son from the pictures and some other documents…My humble appeal is that even as we prepare to bury Ken, let’s not forget his son. He too needs and has a right to participate in the send-off of his beloved dad. As such, it’s our duty to protect the right of the child,” He concluded (quotes courtesy of the standard)
The same Imran Okoth is said to have confused everyone in the family including his mother, Mama Angelina. He further advised her and other family members to deny that Jayden Okoth was not the late Okoth’s son.
”Ken’s mum was confused and was pressurised to say things that were not true and she is very sorry for what happened. She really loves her grandson and we really support her coming out to say that Ken had a son,” Oluoch, Ken’s nephew, would later reveal publicly in an interview by a local television.
254News has learnt that if Imran Okoth was independent and cooperative enough, Mama Angelina Ajwang’ (Okoth’s mother), Anita Thumbi(Okoth’s other ‘wife’) and Jayden Okoth(Okoth’s son) would not have been kept in the dark over cremation process which is said to have taken place in the dawn of Saturday at Kariakor, Nairobi.
“This is to let you know that Hon. Okoth’s remains have been cremated this morning in accordance with his wishes and in the presence of his family. I thank all of you for the support and patience in the course of this journey. May he Rest in peace,” were the family lawyer Edwin Sifuna’s message to the media.
According to Okoth’s mother, through family spokesman Evans Oluoch, the entire family were never involved.
“We only woke up to news that Ken has been cremated. Ken’s mum was fully opposed to his cremation and wanted the body to be buried next to her house,” Evans Oluoch, Okoth’s nephew, revealed in an interview.
There were reports that Anne(Anita) Thumbi, Ken’s other wife threatened to go to court again for being kept out of the cremation together with the son. In confirmation of this her lawyer Elkanah Mogaka is quoted to have said,
“I can confirm to you that Jayden was not included in the cremation ceremony and as it stands the family is in disobedience of the court order and we will take action on the same on Monday. We must respond,”