Kimani Ngunjiri: The abbrasive legislator that has hit headlines for years

Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri (in white t-shirt) causes a stir after launching "Washenzi movement in defiance to President Uhuru Kenyatta's remarks. [Photo: Harun Wathari, Standard]

Nakuru County has 11 Members of Parliament but Onesmus Kimani Ngunjiri is, arguably, the most vocal away from the floor of the National Assembly.

The fire spitting lawmaker is never shy from tackling thorny issues head-on both at the national or county government levels.

He always speaks his mind and he is no stranger to controversy -having been caught up in several chaotic incidents, some which have ended up in court.

Mr. Ngunjiri, popularly referred to as OKN to his supporters, recently caused a political storm when he publicly challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta to resign from Jubilee Party and join Raila Odinga’s ODM Party following disagreement in Jubilee Party over 2022 presidential succession.

Last Sunday, his remarks aimed at the former Jubilee Vice chairman David Murathe over remarks that he will stop Deputy President William Ruto from succeeding Uhuru in 2022 at the Supreme Court- went viral.

The lawmaker launched a scathing attack at Uhuru asking him to take responsibility for the succession debate as he was the originator of the same during their campaigns in the run up to the 2013 polls.

“When Uhuru and Ruto united to form the Jubilee Party during a rally in Nakuru, he (Uhuru) declared that he would leave the Presidency to Ruto after his two terms. This is a fire he started, and he should put it off himself,” said Ngunjiri.

This was followed Monday by a demonstration he held along Kenyatta Avenue in Nakuru town to further criticize the president’s ‘washenzi’ slur.

Ngunjiri took a walk of defiance in the streets of Nakuru Town clad in white T-Shirt emblazoned 'Mimi Ni Mshenzi', accompanied by his supporters.

Uhuru irked Kenyans and Central politicians who criticise him on ignoring them after they turned up in large numbers to vote for him.

But who is this man Kimani Ngunjiri?

On April 8, 2016, after he managed to capture the the parliamentary seat after two decades of false start, Ngunjiri found himself in trouble when he assaulted a traffic police woman.

The legislator was held at Nakuru Central Police Station when he trying to convince the police that he was assaulted by a policewoman.

He reported that the policewoman ought to have been arrested since she had physically assaulted him and directed obscenities at him. The traffic policewoman had lodged similar complaints, saying the MP was arrogant.

The case was settled out of court after he had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In June 11, 2016 Ngunjiri was summoned by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) over allegations of hate speech.

He was captured on video addressing rowdy youths who were attempting to storm a hotel in Nakuru where opposition leader Raila Odinga was holding a meeting with local professionals and party officials.

The MP allegedly told the young people to ensure that members of a certain community leave Nakuru Town and its environs “immediately”.

But his fellow legislator of Nakuru town east David Gikaria defended him saying the MP rescued Raila from rowdy youths who had vowed to eject him out of the meeting.

Ngunjiri began his political career after retired President Moi helped him solve land issue in Kiamunyi.

According to him, a white man had promised to sell him a piece of land. The deal, however, went sour after a rich and influential man got interested in the house and a deal was hatched to evict Ngunjiri.

Sensing defeat in the struggle for the piece of house, Ngunjiri jogged his mind and laid a strategy.

He waited for former President Daniel Moi’s motorcade as he drove from his Kabarak home to Nakuru State House, armed with his records on the purchase of the piece of land, Ngunjiri decided to do the unimaginable: he jumped in the middle of the road as Mtukufu Rais waved to the crowd.

He caught the presidential security guard unaware and by the time they tried to whisk him away Moi told them to ‘wachana na yeye’ in his usual heavy accented Kiswahili.

Moi ordered his security ‘boys’ to have Ngunjiri rode with him in one of his escort motorcade up to State House where he narrated his misery at the hands of a rich and influential man who wanted to swindle him a piece of land he had worked so hard to have.

He would later to be picked as the Nakuru Kanu Branch chairman where he made a name for himself - politically.

Although, Ngunjiri’s profile states that he attended Michinda Secondary school in Elburgon  and went to Bavuni Primary School, some constituents have petitioned the Ethic and Anti Corruption Commission to look into his academic documents claiming he may not have attained Secondary Education.

Ngunjiri has never been employed. He started as been a businessman after he completed secondary school.

He has worked as a manager in his father’s farm and also ventured in the charcoal business, matatu driver, selling scrap metal and farming. 

He has also been involved in sales business where he owns tractor and lorry businesses.