OBITUARY

Ogur: MP who offered to be caned to prove loyalty to Jaramogi

Died aged 83 from kidney failure and diabetes complications.

In Summary

• As he was driving through Migori town one day soon after the rumour started, the MP was confronted by a mob. 

• Ogur got out of his car, threw his hands in the air and said he was ready to be whipped to prove his loyalty to Jaramogi. 

Former Nyatike MP Ochola Ogur.
Former Nyatike MP Ochola Ogur.
On a point of order, Mr Speaker, Sir. Nyatike was enjoying that privilege of hardship allowance until it was stopped in 1992 without any notice. It was as if we had become rich. We became poorer
Ogur

Immediately Ochola Ogur got re-elected to Parliament in 1992, word started spreading in Nyatike that ruling Kanu had approached him to defect. 

Ogur had been reelected for a second term on the Ford Kenya ticket, then headed by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, a fierce critic of then President Moi who headed Kanu.

As he was driving through Migori town one day soon after the rumour started, the MP was confronted by a mob. 

Ogur got out of his car, threw his hands in the air and said he was ready to be whipped to prove his loyalty to Jaramogi. 

In a scene reminiscent of the biblical incident where a crowd of pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus to be stoned, Ogur welcomed anyone who could prove he had betrayed Jaramogi to cane him. 

And just like no one could be found to stone the biblical woman, the crowd's hostility thawed, everyone burst out laughing and they let him go. 

A short time later in Wath Ong’er shopping centre, Ogur met another hostile crowd. He pulled the same move, going as far as offering to lie down on the dusty road to be whipped.

This disarmed the crowd, which went into a frenzy and started chanting its support.   

The rumour would years later prove to be founded when, in the run-up to the 1997 general election, Ogur defected to Kanu.

He lost soundly to newcomer Tom Onyango of NDP, then headed by Jaramogi's son Raila Odinga. Kanu then nominated the comical Ogur as a councillor to the Migori County Council.

In a scene reminiscent of the biblical incident where a crowd of pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus to be stoned, Ogur welcomed anyone who could prove he had betrayed Jaramogi to cane him. 

And just like no one could be found to stone the biblical woman, the crowd's hostility thawed, everyone burst out laughing and they let him go. 

He recaptured his parliamentary seat in 2002 on the Narc ticket after pledging loyalty to the Raila-led coalition. 

Ogur died on January 29 aged 83 at Nairobi Hospital from kidney failure and diabetes complications. His contemporaries remembered him as someone who loved to laugh and who used satire and sarcasm to disarm his adversaries. 

 

During question time at one of the sittings in October 2007, Ogur left his colleagues in stitches when he protested that his constituency had been denied the privilege of being a hardship area, hence denying it hardship allowance. 

"On a point of order, Mr Speaker, Sir. Nyatike was enjoying that privilege of hardship allowance until it was stopped in 1992 without any notice. It was as if we had become rich. We became poorer...They withdrew that privilege without telling us anything! Now, when this assistant minister came in, he did not know," he said.

"But he should have known what is affecting me in Nyatike. The area became poorer. Now, could the assistant minister reinstate the hardship allowance to Nyatike immediately, now that I have reminded him?" 

The responding assistant minister had to confirm that he would reinstate the allowance, not just for the area but also for Kuria, to the applause of members. 

Ogur has left behind three daughters and siblings. 

Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya