Okoth Obado is the current governor of Migori county. The governor’s tenure has been marred with allegations of corruption and the unfortunate murder of his alleged lover. He is one of the few governors who has been a State guest more than once.
He is the first governor in the country to be charged with a capital offense. Political observers described him as a formidable mobilizer who has his way with the masses and even as the cloud of murder charges hangs on his head, some residents still believe in him and even staged protests on his behalf when the case first appeared on the limelight.
Obado was born in 1957 in Migori county where he also grew up.
He attended St. Joseph’s Rapogi Secondary School in Uriri before proceeding to Kenyatta University for a Bachelor’s degree in education. He then got a Master’s in Strategic Management from Kenyatta University.
The governor started his career in the education sector at a local high school. He taught sciences in Rapogi High School before moving on to bigger things.
In 2010, he served as the chairman of Kenya Sugar board.
In 2013, he vied for the Migori gubernatorial seat through the People’s Democratic Party. During his first term, he was accused of corruption but shrugged off the allegations. In 2017, he was re-elected on an Orange Democratic Movement party ticket.
He made headlines when a student of Rongo University, Sharon Otieno, was discovered dead . The late Sharon was pregnant at the time of her death, had been tortured and raped before being brutally murdered. All fingers pointed to the Migori county governor Zachary Okoth Obado. Three years down the line, the case is yet to be resolved as it keeps on being postponed. The family of the late Sharon Otieno is yet to get justice over the murder of their daughter. This case is perhaps one of the things that has cast a dark shadow on the leadership of governor Okoth Obado. His name has been synonymous with the death of the slain University student for the past three years.
Recently, his lawyer wrote a letter requesting that the case be postponed once again. According to his lawyer, the governor is unable to travel due to the Covid-19 wave. The Director of Public Prosecution Haji said his office will strongly oppose another adjournment.
“This issue of Obado seeking adjournment has been one of the tactics by most of the defense counselors who see the value in delaying justice and hearings, as DPP we are going to stamp our authority and argue very passionately against it,” he said.
The hearing was set to begin in March last year but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Affair with wifesister
Obado’s second name can as well be ‘Mr. Controversy’. The governor had a secret affair with his half sister’s wife. It is alleged that Obado impregnated Rhoda Odie Nyakwaka but the pregnancy was terminated. According to the Nairobian, the governor went ahead to gift his side lover a house in Nyasare estate within Migori town.
In August 2020, he was arrested over graft charges over the loss of Ksh73.4 million. He was released on 31st August on a cash 8.7 million bail or Ksh20 million bond. Addressing the press after his release, he accused the media of tarnishing his name without a right of response.
The governor, some members of his family and other co-accused denied that between 29th October 2014, and 18th October 2016, they jointly conspired to commit an economic crime which was the unlawful acquisition of public funds amounting to Ksh73.4 million.