By Prudence Minayo
Simba Arati is a Kenyan politician who has served as the Member of Parliament for Dagoretti North constituency and is currently the Kisii county governor. The politician is known for being vocal especially on matters to touch on his party leader Raila Odinga. On a number of occasions, he has locked horns with a couple of politicians due to his bold statements.
On 1st February 2021, his remarks sparked a fight pitting him against South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro during the funeral of Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi’s father Mzee Abel Gongera. He told off the deputy president William Ruto for perpetuating the dynasty narrative.
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“Kitu ya pili…na mnisikiize vizuri…hatuwezisema kwamba Kuna mambo ya dynasty na kuna kabila mbili ambazo zimeongoza yetu. Moi aliongoza kwa miaka 24, wakikuyu wameongoza kwa miaka 35. Tena mtuambie kwamba tugeuke tupatie mkale kwa miaka kumi?…….” he said during the funeral.
This sparked outrage among mourners and a fight ensued.
The vocal politician, however, had very humble beginnings. He began hawking vegetables before pursuing higher education and even deciding to join politics.
Simba Arati was born on 28th September 1981 in Gucha, Kisii county.
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He attended Secondary at Suneka High School where he also sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).
In 2000, he joined the Kenya Polytechnic and graduated with a Diploma in Tourism Management in 2003.
While at the polytechnic, he engaged in Students politics despite his brother urging him to concentrate in education and not politics. He vied for the position of secretary General of the Kenya Polytechnic Students Union but lost though he claims he lost because of rigging.
In 2004, he joined Guangzhou University where he undertook a course in Business Management.
He got a Master’s in International Relations from Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology.
As a young boy, Simba was naughty to the extent that his parents had to move him from their rural home in Kisii to Bura, Tana River to live with his aunt and go to school.
“I was so naughty..my parents feared that I would drop out of school because I was beyond their control, they took me out to live with an aunt,” he said.
Later, he was expelled from Nyamache Secondary School and was forced to complete his studies in Suneka High School.
After completing high school, he moved to Nairobi and had to hawk vegetables in order to survive. He then sponsored himself to Kenya Polytechnic where he pursued a Diploma in Tourism Management.
“There is not a single market within Nairobi and its environs that I have never sold vegetables. Whether Marikiti, Kawangware, Wangige, Gikomba, etc, I visited them all,” he was quoted by The Star.
From 2004 to 2004, he worked as a managing director at Alpa Safaris Limited.
In 2007, he vied for the councilor position but lost. He was then nominated as councilor to the Nairobi City Council.
In 2010, he vied for the position of Nairobi mayor but lost.
In 2013, he vied for the parliamentary seat of Dagoretti constituency and won under the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). He successfully defended his seat in the 2017 general elections.
He successfully ran for the Kisii gubernatorial seat in the August 9 general elections.
The Dagoretti Member of Parliament is married to a Chinese woman and together, they have three kids.
At some point, Arati wanted to replace the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga as ODM (Orange Democratic Movement) as the party leader. He rubbished the claims that he was a mole planted on behalf of the Jubilee party. According to an article by The Star on 15th April 2016, he said his interest was to free the party leader from the rigor of running the party to focus on the presidential bid.
At one point, he was engaged in a fight with Bahati Member of Parliament Kimani Ngunjiri and the latter ended up biting his hand. This was during the debate on the controversial security bill Jubilee MPs were trying to pass the draconian anti-terror security bill that could enable the president to appoint the inspector general of the police of his choice and detain his political critics.
“We were discussing the security laws (Amendment) bill, and a scuffle ensued. He held me by my necktie, but I responded with a left uppercut.
He opened his mouth just as I unleashed another blow, and my fist went right through into his mouth. That is when he bit my hand,” he said in an interview. He further added that all that was behind them.
In the latest scuffle with Osoro, the MP said he had no regrets on the remarks he made stating that it was common knowledge that only two tribes have ascended to the presidency and time was ripe for another tribe to take the mantle. He told the Standard:
“It is in public domain that we need to have presidency held by another community. President Kenyatta had talked about it. There was no evil in me reminding his deputy that he should shelve his ambitions for the sake of unity and cohesion,” he added
The MP contacts