PROFILE

Millie Odhiambo: Heckler or misunderstood?

The CRADLE, a children's foundation, is one of her dreams come true

In Summary

• Millie first thought about becoming an MP at the age of 13.

• The graduate of University of Nairobi School of Law has worked as a lawyer and women and children rights' activist.

Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo
PROFILE: Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo
Image: FILE

Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo can be a combatant legislator.  That's perhaps what she is well-known for. But she is also a compassionate woman.

At the launch of the BBI report on October 26, Millie, aka Amilo Geza Geza Mrembo wa Suba, was caught on camera shouting down Deputy President William Ruto when he poked holes into the document.

Asked by KTN News why she behaved that way, Millie said she was only “answering his [the DP's] questions because he was asking us questions about what should be done.”

 

It is, however, not the first instance in which she was caught heckling.

In a stormy parliamentary session on December 20, 2016, Odhiambo referred to President Uhuru Kenyatta as “fisi, mwizi and mshenzi (a hyena, a thief and a fool”.

“I Millie Odhiambo has said we don’t care about him and we don’t respect him. This is not a police state… he will not intimidate us. He should start packing and head to Gatundu (Uhuru’s family home),” she said.

The chaos in Parliament was triggered by a proposal by the Jubilee side to amend election laws ahead of the 2017 General Election.

Uhuru did not let the remarks slide. He waited for his moment. 

“To the left is the National Assembly representing our democracy and ability of some idiots there to continue insulting me but that’s their freedom,” Uhuru said when he presided over the lighting of the KICC to usher in the Christmas season.

In 2017, Millie said she had no regrets for insulting the President.

On Tuesday, Uhuru and Millie cosied up, hugging and holding each other after a BBI press conference in Naivasha.

In August 2019, she was caught in a spat on social media with Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. The row was triggered by comments Sonko made on the matrimonial life of the late Kibra MP Ken Okoth.

It is from the spat that many learnt of the fact she had no children of her own. She, however, says she has never felt any less of a woman because of the condition.

God made me in a very wonderful way. I feel complete with or without a child,” Millie said in an interview last year.

A video of her teaching a crowd a song on how to say NO to sexual abuse made the rounds this year. That’s her compassionate side.

Millie first thought about becoming Mbita MP at age 13, according to Mzalendo website. The graduate of the University of Nairobi School of Law has worked as a lawyer and women and children rights' activist.

The CRADLE, a children's foundation, is one of her dreams come true.

Her political career started when she served as a delegate at the Bomas of Kenya, during the constitutional drafting process.

She was nominated by ODM to Parliament in 2008, a platform she used to clinch the Mbita MP seat in the 2013 election.

Millie has received the YWCA Democracy Award and the Eve woman of the year for human rights and gender.

She has also sponsored the Assisted Reproduction Technology Bill to help childless women.

Below, her education and career history.

Education

2000-2001 New York University, USA Master of Laws (LL.M) in Public Service Law

1998 - Legal Prevention and Judicial Control of Corruption at IDLI, Rome, Italy

1997 - 1998 Post Graduate Diploma, Advanced International Course on Human Rights & Humanitarian Law at Raoul Wallenberg Institute, Sweden.

1997 Democracy and Governance at Les Aspin Center, Washington, D.C. & Marquette University Wisconsin, USA

1991 Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Legal Studies at Kenya School of Law

1986-1990 Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at the University of Nairobi

1985-1986 ‘A’ Level Certificate at Limuru Girls High School

1981-1984 ‘O’ Level Certificate St. Francis Girls Secondary School

Career

2017- Suba North MP

2013 — Mbita MP

2008- Nominated MP

2007 Member, Kenya Task Force on the Implementation of the Sexual Offences Act

2000-2008  Founder,  CRADLE Children Foundation

2002-12 Legal Advice Center, Kituo Cha Sheria Member of AGM

2002-10 Child Welfare Society of Kenya, Adoption Committee Committee Member

2001 Global Public Service Law Program, New York University Fellow

1999-2000 L’Etwal International Programs Manager, East and Southern Africa Women and Children’s Right

1999-2000 Coalition on Violence Against Women-Kenya

1998-99 ICJ (K) Programme Officer, Gender and Access to Justice Program

1996-98 FIDA (K) Legal Counsel, Litigation

1993-96 State Law Office (AG’s Chambers) State Counsel, Civil Litigation