By Prudence Minayo
Fredrick Fidelis Omulo Gumo served as the Member of Parliament for Westlands and as a minister. He caught his supporters and detractors by surprise after he announced his retirement in 2013 after being in active politics for 38 years. He has largely kept a low profile since then but is still remembered for his ‘Kaa Ngumu’ rallying call.
The former MP was born in 1945 as the first born son of Pius and Martina Gumo.
He studied diploma in Mechanical Engineering at the Kenya Polytechnic and went on to study a higher diploma in the same field at Metropolitan college in London.
Gumo is married to two wives, Mary and Emma Gumo, and has ten children. Among his well known children is Magero Gumo who was once arrested for skipping bail in a case where he was charged for causing death by dangerous driving
On 30th October 2021, the former minister reported that his sister-in-law and driver had been kidnapped outside his house as they were waiting for the gate to be opened. He arrived home and found the vehicle on the driveway with the engine still running and the doors wide open.
Detectives from Gigiri Police Station visited the scene and concluded it was not a robbery since no valuables were taken. Their mobile phones went off immediately after they were taken and it was reported that the sister-in-law’s phone had been traced to Muthaiga.
“If they were targeting me, why should they take them? I don’t know what they want, I am not sure,” he said.
On October 31st, it was reported that Jacinta Bwire (the sister-in-law) and her driver had been freed.
He was elected to parliament following a by-election after the death of his predecessor Amin Walji. He held this position from the mid 90s until 2013 when Timothy Wanyonyi Wetangula became MP for Westlands.
He also served as the Assistant Minister for Tourism and Wildlife between 2003 to 2007. In 2008, he was appointed Minister for Regional Development Authorities from 2008. The veteran politician was also elected mayor of Kitale Municipal Council and chairman of Nairobi City Commission between 1989 to 1992.
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In 2012, he was appointed to take over the ministerial duties at the Ministry of Local Government in an acting capacity. The office had fallen vacant after the then deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi resigned in order to focus his energy on his presidential bid.
In 2013, the veteran politician announced he was quitting active politics. He said he would not be going for any political positions in the coming elections as he wanted to spend time with his family and travel the world. He then added that he would support Raila Odinga’s presidential bid.
“I have decided to retire from politics peacefully. I know if I decided to run for any seat I can easily win. I am now 66 years old and I think I have done enough. I also need my own time so that I can travel around the world and my country and enjoy myself,” he said at the time.
In 2013, The Standard reported that the former legislator was embroiled in a paternity suit after a woman sued him for maintenance of her six-months old baby. The woman was seeking Ksh150,000 maintenance while Gumo said he had offered her ksh10,000 and secured her a job in Kisumu. He requested a DNA test, which both of them agreed to . He said the woman just wanted to enrich herself through him as she had three other children whose father’s must be paying maintenance.
Gumo Had Moi’s Car Stolen In 2008
In 2012, the then Local Government Minister was found in possession of a Range Rover belonging to former President Daniel arap Moi that had been stolen in 2008. The top of the range vehicle had been taken to CMC Industrial Area workshop for repairs when it went missing under mysterious circumstances.
In his defense, Mr Gumo claimed he had bought the vehicle from a Mombasa based businessman and had made attempts to return it to the seller but he failed to pay him back forcing him to repossess the car.
“I traded in my vehicle with a Mombasa businessman to get this car. However, I rarely use it because I never received all the documents,” said Mr Gumo.
The vehicle was impounded when it was taken to CMC for servicing as it matched the car that had gone missing four years earlier. The car bore registration number KBQ 455S but the records in the computers showed that it was received for service yesterday as KBJ 124D.
“CMC is announcing that it has impounded a motor vehicle whose details are believed to closely match those of a car that was believed to have gone missing in its workshop in 2008,” said CMC CEO Mr Lay.