HEADLINERS' PROFILE

Oscar Sudi: A loose tongue or misunderstood?

Sudi was born in 1980 to squatters near Moi University area where they lived in a grass-thatched house

In Summary

• Away from his controversies in national politics, Sudi is known as a down to earth leader, who frequently hosts all kinds of visitors at his Eldoret home.

•  He is also philanthropic, often using his personal resources to help families and individuals.

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi when he addressed a public meeting in Eldoret on September 11, 2020.
Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi when he addressed a public meeting in Eldoret on September 11, 2020.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi has been one of Deputy President William Ruto’s ardent defenders, but his recent remarks have caused a national uproar.

With his frequent media briefings at his Eldoret home, Sudi has in recent days made comments that had the DP, whom he defends, seek for restraint.

Sudi, who is serving his second term as MP, is among those often mentioned to have never contributed to parliamentary debates. However,  outside Parliament, where he should be doing the talking, he has been literally shooting from his mouth in a manner that shocks friends and foe.

 

He does not fear or shy away from speaking his mind, even towards the President. He insists he is not a respecter of status because he believes all human beings are equal before God.

As a result, the MP attracts friends and makes enemies in equal measure but never shies away from speaking about his humble background, from where he rose from a matatu tout to an "influential" politician and millionaire, owning one of the most expensive and plush homes in Eldoret.

“I am just Oscar Sudi and the rest, including my status in society, does not matter. What matters is that we are all human beings, equal before God and hence we must respect and love each other,” the MP says.

His humble background endeared him to locals, even before he was elected.

Away from his controversies in national politics, Sudi is known as a down to earth leader, who frequently hosts all kinds of visitors at his Eldoret home.

He is also philanthropic, often using his personal resources to help families and individuals.

Sudi was born in 1980 to squatters near Moi University area where they lived in a grass-thatched house at the home of former opposition politician  Mzee Kibor arap Talai.

 

His mother ran a tiny grocery where the MP made friends with matatu operators and began touting along the Moi University-Eldoret town route.

He saved enough to buy an old second-hand matatu and later invested in a commercial pool game at Kesses market near Moi University. He later became a vehicle dealer buying cars from Mombasa and selling them in the Rift Valley.

Sudi later befriended Mombasa businessman David Lagat, who later introduced him to some leaders among them former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo and Ruto, who was then Eldoret North MP.

With such friendship Sudi developed an interest in politics and in 2003, he started his political activities in the then Eldoret South constituency. He campaigned for former MP for the area David Koros.

He later also campaigned for former MP Peris Simam, who succeeded Koros and when Kapseret was hived off Eldoret South, Sudi saw an opportunity to plunge into elective politics in the 2013 General Election.

He won on Ruto's URP ticket.

He is facing a court case over alleged forgery of his academic papers which he presented when he first vied for the MP seat.

Sudi says he only fears God who has enabled him to rise from what he often terms as a nobody to a man of his own making

“God made is equal before him and we should remain so,” Sudi adds.

He is credited with playing a great role in ending banditry in the Kerio Valley where he camped for a month with some local leaders urging communities to live in peace.

“One thing we have said will never happen again is for people to fight because of politics. Kenyans are facing the same problems regardless of our tribes and there is thus no need to fight,” he says.

He prides himself in being what he terms as a ‘real hustler’ hence his belief in Ruto, whom he says has also risen from the grass to the top and deserves to be President in 2022.

“If Ruto and I can rise through hard work and God’s grace it means all Kenyans can also rise because we are all equal before the Almighty,” he says, almost starting a sermon.