THE LION OF KAWANGWARE

Simba Arati: Fighting up the political ladder

He is among the die-hard and frontline ODM foot soldiers.

In Summary

• In November 2019, Arati’s supporters roughed up Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa during Kibra by-election campaigns.

• The goons attacked Barasa, who was calmly speaking to Arati after he arrived at DC Grounds polling station,

Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati
UPSET: Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati
Image: JACK OWUOR

You do not mess with a lion, South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro should know.  

A few weeks ago he charged at Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati but was floored within seconds.

Simba is Kiswahili for lion. 

The two MPs exchanged blows during the burial of the father of Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi.

This was after Arati asked Deputy President William Ruto to avoid the company of leaders he referred to as corrupt, shady and who defraud other Kenyans.

Osoro charged at Arati on the podium but was floored in a matter of seconds. 

This was not the first instance that Arati was involved in a fight.

Sometime in December 2014, Arati was hospitalised after he engaged in a fight with Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri. He said Ngunjiri bit his finger as they fought in the chambers over the controversial security laws.

In November 2019, Arati’s supporters roughed up Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa during Kibra by-election campaigns. The goons attacked Barasa, who was calmly speaking to Arati after he arrived at DC Grounds polling station, snatched his signature cap off his head and slapped him, others roughed him up.

Arati was accused by Jubilee leaders of unleashing violence against them in the guise of fighting voter bribery.

Later, Arati said he had protected Barasa. They reconciled days later.

Arati was also accused of inciting the violence in Kawangware in 2017, claims he denied saying he was in hospital at the time.

Violence is not my other name. I am a peace lover. But you can't see someone lashing at you with a panga and sit down because you are a peace lover. You either run away or defend yourself

On February 3, 2021, the NCIC listed Arati as one whose words or conduct may undermine peace and harmony “pursuant of NCIC Act 2008 Section 26 (2, b)”.

He is among the die-hard and frontline ODM foot soldiers.

Is violence his other name? He denies it.

“Violence is not my other name. I am a peace lover. But you can't see someone lashing at you with a panga and sit down because you are a peace lover. You either run away or defend yourself,” he says.

He was nominated to Nairobi City Council in 2003 at the age of 22, and was elected councillor on the ODM ticket in 2007. Here, he was chairperson, General Purpose Committee.

He became the city's youngest MP when he was elected to represent Dagoretti North in 2013, a position he defended in the 2017 general election.

Arati attended Suneka High School (1996-99) and later joined Kenya Polytechnic University College for a Diploma in Tourism Management (2001-03).

He also studied Business Management at Guangzhou University, where he met his Chinese wife. 

Arati was also associated with Aipa Safaris Limited between 2004 and 2007.

In Parliament, he has served as a member of the Committee on Delegated Legislation and Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives and well as Committee on Implementation.

He is a Seventh-day Adventist, a vegetarian and a teetotaller.

Arati is eyeing a gubernatorial seat in 2022 but unsure of where to run — Kisii or Nairobi.