Kisii Governor James Ongwae's Never-Photographed Mansions

Just like many county bosses and the Kenyan political class, Kisii governor James Ongwae has kept details of his three palatial homes a top secret.

Many leaders with such multi-million homes fear the criticism that comes with having such palaces as they fear being labeled as having enriched themselves after ascending to power.

According to a report by, Sunday Nation, Ongwae is a proud owner of three homes with one being highly secured in the neighbouring Nyamira County.

In Kitutu Chache Constituency, Ongwae has a mansion at his ancestral home in Rioma Village, a palace he has occupied since March 2017. He put up the home after demolishing the house he used to live in before getting into politics.

The daily reports that at a time the governor's re-election was ratified by the High Court in Kisii, he moved with speed to stop journalists from taking any pictures of the home. He had invited the media to his home but heavily reprimanded a reporter who tried to photograph the house.

"Who told you to take pictures here? This is a private home," the governor is quoted lashing out at the photojournalist. In a few of the photos that have leaked on the internet, a murram road heads to the home.

Ongwae has another home in Bobaru, Nyamira county at an area called Simbauti Farm, Kijauri. This one is well guarded and only a hawk can have its view as it is sandwiched between layers of live fences and trees.

To access the home, one has to go through many gates but at least the big house's green roof can be spotted from within the leafy buffer. At this farm, Ongwae has also heavily invested in a dairy farming project where he spends time admiring and tending to his cows.

The home and the dairy farm rest on a 15-acre piece of land that only lets in a select few who confirmed the details while insisting on anonymity.

According to Sunday Nation, the governor also owns another official home at Maili Mbili in Kisii.