”What is in a name?”, so goes the popular phrase. While some incidents can simply be explained away as just mere coincidence and nothing more, some can’t be dismissed so casually, and bear all the hallmarks of either an inexplicable hand of fate, or a planned occurrence. One such case is that of the violent death of an MP who shared a name with one of today’s most controversial MPs, a death that led to not only a closely followed and spectacular investigation, but also another equally strange death of another famous politician just months later.
This is the story of Horace Ongili Owiti.
It all started in 1985, on May 27th. Assailants armed with machetes and clubs raided the MP’s Gem home in Siaya and stabbed the legislator to death, dragging his lifeless body into a plantation afterwards. Nothing was stolen, and so robbery as a motive was struck off, leaving the death to be considered an execution.
Events that followed afterwards would make the case even more dramatic.
Police zeroed in on former MP of the constituency Otieno Ambala as the key mastermind of the murder plot. However, the entire case was thrust into even more mystery when Mr. Ambala died in his cell soon afterwards, raising suspicion of a retaliation killing.
The shenanigans that followed later on in the court chambers just made the case even more dramatic.
Mr. Ambala’s co-accused were caught trying to sneak in to the dock with witchcraft in an effort to employ supernatural powers which they hoped would aid them in their case.
Horace’s present day namesake, on the other hand, has had a chaotic life as well.
Prior to joining national politics, his unorthodox politics at The University of Nairobi were well known. Not only did he monopolise the Student’s Leader’s position, but also intimidated rivals, and was once caught on camera physically assaulting a competitor.
Once an MP, he was arrested for insulting the head of state.
However, his most infamous of cases was when he was caught on camera shooting a helpless disk jockey at a city club in a near fatal encounter.