I can never fight chang’aa brewing- Babu Owino on Mfahamu Kiongozi

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I can never fight chang’aa brewing- Babu Owino on Mfahamu Kiongozi

Embakasi East Member of Parliament (MP) Babu Owino needs little introduction.

From his days as a firebrand student leader at the University of Nairobi to recently being acquitted of misuse of firearm charges in the case involving DJ Evolve.

TV47’s Liz Mutuku had a sit down with the flamboyant and outspoken legislator, on Mfahamu Kiongozi wako show, in a bid to understand his journey to becoming a nationally recognised politician.

“My mother resolved to sell an illicit brew called ‘chang’aa’ after my father passed away,” he interestingly revealed during the interview.

Paul Ongili, his official name, has not always been financially privileged. He grew up in Nyalenda slums in Kisumu.

“Life was unbearable,” he said in hindsight. Babu lost his father when he was in standard three. Being the last born in a family of three, he was forced to grow up faster than his peers.

He helped his mother sell ‘chang’aa’, getting proceeds that took him through school.

I don’t agree with Gachagua

“When I see Gachagua, the Deputy President, talking about illicit brew I feel for the people who sell it. I am not in support of ending the production of chang’aa, I think it should just be regulated.”

Babu asserted his stance on the crackdown on illicit brew by the government.

“I can never fight chang’aa because it is what made me who I am.”

The legislator reflected on the many times he got arrested because of selling chang’aa since he was a primary school pupil.

Getting arrested and witnessing police beat up my mum

“I used to be arrested even when in primary school. There is a police who used to arrest me a lot and I even saw him beating my mum,” said Babu.

“He is now retired and he recently called me asking for a bursary for his child, I will give him the bursary,” he added.

He recalled a time when he was arrested a night before doing his Biology practical exams.

“The police wanted KSh 500 but I did not have that money. I tried to beg them to let me out but they would not. I started banging the police cell and that is when the OCS, a very nice guy, heard me.”

“Upon asking why I was being aggressive, I informed him that I was due for an exam. He ordered that I be dropped in school and I was. I did my exam in home clothes.”

Future plans

The two-term MP harbours ambitions to run for the office of Nairobi governor and later President.

He was however not clear on when he intended to vie for the gubernatorial seat.

“I have always been a leader all through my life. I was a student leader all through high school, form one to form four.”

“Then I did A levels, the British system, I became a student leader for two terms, then I joined the University of Nairobi and became a student leader for four terms.”

“I am now a two-term MP, then I’ll be a governor then President,” he added.

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