By John Oywa
Former Cabinet Minister William Odongo Omamo is dead.
Dr Omamo, one of Kenya’s most illustrious politicians died this morning after an illness. He was 82.
Dr Omamo is remembered for his bulky frame and un-matched sense of humour that won him many admirers.
A trained agriculturalist who learned his trade in India, Pakistan and the US, Dr Omamo was the first African to head Egerton Agricultural College that later become Egerton University.
Dr Omamo first won the Bondo Parliamentary seat in 1969 and was appointed Minister for Natural Resources. A long-standing political nemesis of the late opposition leader, Jaramogi Ogonga Odinga who also hailed from Bondo, Omamo lost the seat to Jaramogi’s aide, Hezekiah Ougo in 1974.
In a political career spanning almost four decades that saw him represent Bondo and Muhoroni constituencies, Omamo also served as Minister for Agriculture and Livestock development and Science and Technology.
His last pubic post was when retired President Daniel arap Moi appointed him to chair a commission looking into the management of local authorities.
Omamo leaves behind two widows, Joyce and Ann, and 16 children. One of his children, lawyer Rachel Omamo, once served as the Chairperson of Law Society of Kenya and is the immediate former Kenya’s ambassador to France.
Besides politics, Omamo was a large-scale farmer both at his Utonga home in Bondo and in Muhororni.