By Prudence Minayo
The late Ken Osinde was the Chief of Staff at the office of the deputy president. He was described as an easy going and pragmatic diplomat who kept a low media profile but ensured that the Harambee Annex House ran efficiently. He was a key ally of the deputy president William Ruto.
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Mr. Osinde was born on 18th August 1962 in Kenya.
He is an alumni of the University of Nairobi where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics before pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA). During his time as an undergraduate, he loved the arts and was an actor. He even got a role in Kenya’s premier soap opera Tushauriane. He acted alongside Paul Onsongo, Dennis Kashero and the late Tony Msalame.
He was a lecturer at the University of Nairobi before joining the National Bank of Kenya. He rose through the ranks and became head of strategic planning. At the university, he taught Linguistics and African languages and pioneered research and published on Sheng and youth language. He then worked as the Chief Executive Officer of NBK and Director of College of Insurance. While at NBK, he was involved in a fraud linked to a deposit mobilisation program that paid commission to private agents for funds banked by government agencies.
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In 2010, he became Kenya’s Germany ambassador. He took part in the inauguration of the first direct flight from Mombasa to Berlin, Germany by Air Berlin. He was also accredited to Bulgaria and Romania and spoke English, Swahili and Kisii.
On 25th October 2016, he began working as chief of staff in the office of the deputy president.
In August, he put Interior CS Fred Matiang’i on the spot over the withdrawal of the deputy president’s security detail. He also released a statement saying that on numerous occasions some prominent politicians and leaders had said the DP will not be in the ballots come 2022. He said the CS had refused to act upon reported made to him on the implication of such remarks for the security, safety and well-being of the deputy president.
In February last year, he wrote to the Inspector General of police Hillary Mutyambai asking him to investigate all of Ruto’s staff. This included police officers who could have aided Rashid Echesa and his team access to Harambee Annex Office. This was in relation to the fake Sh39 billion arms tender saga.
On 26th November 2021, he caught the attention of people after he was prevented from addressing the Annual Devolution Conference on behalf of the deputy president. At the time, Hon. William Ruto had political engagements in Nyandarua county.
He was among suspects summoned by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation after it emerged that an Italian firm contracted to do two dams at Elgeyo Marakwet, wired sh47 million to an insurance company linked to him, Sanlam General Insurance. The dams were never built and the firm went bankrupt.
The chief of staff died on 10th December 2021 at a hospital in Nairobi.
“It is true we have lost him. Family will issue a comprehensive statement later today (Friday),” said one of DP Ruto’s aides.
The deputy president also announced that his office had lost a key official.
“Ambassador Ken Nyauncho Osinde was a good leader with robust management and problem solving skills. As our chief of staff, he was hardworking, diligent, broad thinker and master of human resources,” the DP said.
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