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Bonchari MP: Modest leader who lived up to his promises

By Erick Abuga | February 21st 2021

In 2019, when President Uhuru Kenyatta landed at the Kisii High School aboard a Kenya Air Force aircraft, an MP had arrived earlier in a cab to join locals in welcoming him.

But the president’s security detail would not let the taxi in and the MP had to alight and walk into the school compound. He did not even have a bodyguard.

It was the Bonchari MP John Oyioka (pictured). He was that unassuming and carried himself with no self-importance.

Stood out

Such was the simplicity of the humble MP who died last week aged 69. Averse to controversy and confrontational politics, Oyioka stood out among his colleagues. He was a leader who put ahead the interests of his people.

Oroo had carved a niche for himself, talking less and having his deeds speak louder. His speeches rarely lasted more than 10 minutes.

Within three years, and away from the tradition of doing two or three classrooms for each school, the MP opted to fund the construction of storey buildings in a number of schools in the constituency.

The funding of schools’ infrastructure had earned him a name in the region. At least every ward has a school that has received modern infrastructure.

His early training as a teacher could have been a major boost in his love of promoting education matters in the constituency.

He put up storey buildings in more than 10 schools to serve as tuition blocks or laboratories. The schools include Suneka, Nyakungu and Bogiakumu primary schools, and Isamwera and Kiabusura secondary schools.

Evans Mbaka, a member of the CDF committee, said the MP never undertook a project that was underfunded.

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In his eulogy, President Kenyatta recognised Oroo’s track record in promoting education. “It is a pity that death has robbed us of such a wonderful grassroots leader,” said Uhuru.

Kisii Governor James Ongwae also recognised Oroo’s unique role in the education sector.

The MP (below) will be buried on Friday at his Bomorenda home after a funeral service at Itierio Boys High School grounds.

Organising committee

The local organising committee chaired by Kisii County Chief Officer Geoffrey Mogire said it had agreed with Parliamentary Service Commission on burial arrangements.

The family will have fundraisers on Wednesday, at 680 Hotel in Nairobi and at the MP’s rural home.

Oroo died on the day former Cabinet Minister Simeon Nyachae was being buried.

The body was flown to Lee Funeral Home on Tuesday morning from Kisumu’s Aga Khan Hospital.

The one-term MP is survived by two widows and five children.

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