- Little is known of a magical fly-whisk wielded by the late Senator Otieno Kajwang’
- It is alleged that he inherited it from Raila Odinga’s father the late Oginga Odinga
- In the Luo tradition, the totem is not carried by any ordinary person
The death of Homa Bay Senator Otieno Kajwang’ on November 18, 2014 created a political vacuum in Nyanza.
Known for his humour and as a fierce debater, little is known of his magical fly-whisk that he waved at political rallies.
It is said he inherited it from the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga’s family, Raila’s father, long before the Senator ventured into politics.
In 1992, he represented Jaramogi in a court case against former President Daniel arap Moi, and it is believed that is when he cut his political niche.
In the Luo tradition, the totem is not carried by any ordinary person because it symbolises power.
Suba Member of Parliament John Mbadi said Kajwang’ had high regard for the item. “It was the only black fly-whisk he would carry around in all political rallies, and with it, he used to fire up the crowd. Even his close allies did not know where he kept it,” he said.
Kajwang’ reportedly at one time was forced to drive from his Mbita residence to Kericho to look for the fly whisk after it went missing just when he had attended a function in the area.
However, it was later found below a seat in his vehicle after a long search. Having reportedly acquired the fly-whisk from Luo Nyanza’s political doyen, elders say Kajwang’’’ was destined for bigger things - the ultimate being to succeed Raila as the region’s political supremo.
In the entire Nyanza region, Kajwang’ was perceived to be Raila’s closest confidante and most consistent loyalist, given that the region’s other influential and experienced politicians like senators James Orengo (Siaya) and Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu),
Raila relied on Kajwang’s boldness, charm and charisma to shoot down his opponents.
Unknown to many, Kajwang’ loved to worship in “Legio Maria” although he was a Seventh Day Adventist. “Like Jaramogi, Kajwang’ also worshiped in Legio Maria and that is why, other than being a symbol of political power, both of them carried fly-whisks,” says Midiwo.
Ojwang died over alleged heart attack was first elected as Mbita Constituency legislator in 1997 where he served for uninterrupted three terms before switching to the Senate in 2013.