Dr Patrick Amoth’s Powerful Father Who Sired Siaya Governor

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An image of Patrick Amoth
Ministry of Health Director-General Dr Patrick Amoth came to limelight when the government unveiled an elaborate team of experts, who were expected to save Kenyans from the coronavirus, which had by last week of March 2020 had infected 50 people and killed one. 

Apart from being the technical adviser to the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, Amoth is responsible for preventing and guarding against the introduction of infectious diseases into Kenya.

He is also serving as the Vice President of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board and representative of Kenya at the global health body. 

So, whenever Health CS Mutahi Kagwe was asked questions that touched on the medical profession during his daily press conferences, Dr Amoth would save the day. 

“My work will be to effect the decisions and policies of the World Health Assembly, advise the WHA and facilitate its smooth working,” he told this writer. 

Ministry of Health acting Director-General Dr. Patrick Amoth speaking to the media at Afya House.

The Standard

What many, however, don’t know is that Dr Amoth comes from a powerful bloodline line, which he shares with Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga.

They were born into the large family of the late Senior Chief Amoth Owira of Alego. 

History researcher and journalist described the late chief as a collaborator who zealously executed colonial policies. 

One of his notable achievements was that when Mau Mau detainees serving life sentences on Mageta Island in Lake Victoria escaped in 1956, he sent all the residents of his location to hunt them down. 

He threatened local Mau Mau sympathisers with arrest until those who were hiding the escapees gave them up. 

Senior Chief Amoth also suppressed a demonstration organised to protest the arrest of Harry Thuku in 1922. Though Thuku was originally from the central region, he had formed the East African Association, the first multi-ethnic political organization in East Africa which advocate against forced labour which was a major concern in Nyanza. 

He held the opinion that making the young men work for the betterment of their land was a good thing and insisted that doing work communally was right and that he supported the policy of communal labour.

On May 5, 1957, three representatives from Gem, Seme and Sakwa areas visited his home at Pap Segere to warn him against collaborating with the colonial government.

Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga Amoth (left) takes the oath of office when he was sworn-in by Justice Aggrey Muchelule at Siaya Stadium in 2013

Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga Amoth (left) takes the oath of office when he was sworn-in by Justice Aggrey Muchelule at Siaya Stadium in 2013

Daily Nation

During the meeting, the three men told Amoth that “the colonial government was already laid out like a dead body on the side of its grave ready for burial” and that for this reason, he should consider giving up his allegiance to the government and work with fellow Africans fighting for independence.

Under fire from these three men, Amoth asked them what proof they had that he was a collaborator, after which they reminded him of the manhunt for Mau Mau escapees and his stand on the Harry Thuku protests. He maintained that he did not support violent means of expression. 

The men told the senior chief that they would try and negotiate with the colonialists but if it failed, violence would be inevitable and it was then that they asked him to pray for them as they set out to secure their independence from the British nationals. 

Senior Chief Amoth Owira of Alego

Senior Chief Amoth Owira of Alego

File

At the height of agitation for independence, Amoth met with Chief Elijah Bonyo at Ukwala, where they resolved secretly to persuade Kenya’s first Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga to abandon his call for independence and work with the colonial government.

Chief Bonyo, however, went against the oath of secrecy they had taken and passed this information to Odinga.

Angered by the move, Chief Amoth reported Chief Bonyo to the Central Nyanza district commissioner and accused him of secretly communicating with Odinga. Bonyo was praised for valuing humanity irrespective of social status.

Chief Elijah Bonyo of Sakwa

Chief Elijah Bonyo of Sakwa

File

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