Controversies in Migori Governor Okoth Obado's Life Before Sharon Otieno's Death

  • Migori County Governor Zachary Okoth Obado, who is now embroiled in the intrigues surrounding the abduction and murder of an expectant university student, is not new to controversies.

    Obado grew up in Uriri Sub-county in Migori and attended the famous St Joseph's Rapogi before joining Kenyatta University where he trained as a teacher.

    After being employed by the Teachers' Service Commission, Obado taught at Taranganya Boys High School in Kuria. He was later transferred to his last station located in his home constituency where he exited the service at his alma mater to join the private business sector.

    He is married to Hellen Obado, together with whom they have three children.

    Obado's wife Hellen has since 2016 been pushing the governor's agenda in trying to better the lives of the people of Migori, more significantly by supporting women groups.

    In March 2016, Nation journalist Barrack Oduor, together with whom the slain university student was abducted, featured Governor Obado's wife having a candid one-on-one conversation on her Kuku ni Pesa initiative.

    Prior to joining politics, Obado served as the Kenya Sugar Board chairperson, a role that spawned his political network that played a key role in his strenuous journey to county top seat.

    In the 2013 General Election, Obado in a major fallout with the Orange Democratic Movement lost the party ticket but still trounced the ODM wave.

    He was elected on a People's Democratic Party (PDP) party ticket defeating the ODM party candidate by a small margin in the contest that protracted to the High Court which still confirmed his victory.

    During his term, he was rocked with accusations of flaws in procurement procedures in his administration coupled with the alleged embezzlement of public funds.

    In one of the most controversial deals, Obado was accused of procuring a bed worth Kshs1 Million using public resources but he refuted the claims as a narrative sponsored by his opponents.

    Obado became a person of interest in the Nyanza politics as he openly defied the region's kingpin and the ODM party to date.

    In the run-up to the 2017 general elections, Obado was in a heated battle to save efforts by ODM troops to dethrone him.

    Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho had led campaigns in the company of Kisumu's Anyang' Nyong'o and Senator James Orengo backing Obado's opponent Ochilo Ayacko.

    Goons alleged to have been hired by the governor disrupted the rally and incidents of bodyguards shooting at ODM leaders were reported.

    Obado once scorned his rivals in the area likening them to married women who after joining the husband's family snoop around and ruin relationships in the family.

    This was after rowdy bodaboda riders repainted a shade he had built for them and changed its colour from blue to orange.

    The riders also hanged the photo of ODM leader Raila Odinga alongside that of his lifetime rival Ochilo Ayacko.

    Recently, after the death of Migori Senator Ben Oluoch, Obado started drumming up support for an aspirant opposing the preferred ODM candidate.