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Five times Babu Owino has been on the news for wrong reasons

Few will be surprised to learn that the abrasive Embakasi East Member of Parliament, Paul Ongili, aka Babu Owino is a guest of State, again.

The controversial first time MP was dramatically arrested on Friday at Parliament buildings by plainclothes police officers and driven to Parklands Police Station.

He would later somehow access his official Facebook page while in custody stating; “Been arrested. Held at Parklands (Police station) Charges are two. Harbouring intention to overthrow government. Assault. It shall be well.”

But this isn’t the first time Owino is courting controversy, first as a student leader then as a parliamentarian. Here are some of the incidents that stand out:

1. Uhuru’s paternity remarks – In September 2017, the youthful legislator was charged in court with two counts of subversion and offensive conduct. The same court also preferred chances of inciting violence against him. These charges were in relation to an apparent offensive remark he mad about President Uhuru Kenyatta’s paternity during a Nasa rally.

2. Fight with Jaguar in parliament – Then in October 2017, Owino and his fellow first time parliamentarian, Charles Njagua aka Jaguar (Starehe constituency) came close to exchanging blows at the media center in Parliament. The two youthful MPs exchanged not so pleasant words during the altercation as Parliament staff struggled to restrain them. It is believed a furious Jaguar took issue with Owino’s ‘insults’ directed at President Kenyatta.

3. The ‘Mugabe of UON’ – Even before he joined elective politics, Babu Owino was well known to the general public, given his long tenure as the chairman of the Students Organization of Nairobi University (Sonu). Owino held the position for a record six years, during which a section of his opponents at the institution nicknamed him the ‘Mugabe of UON’.


UON students demand Babu Owino’s release

4. Election petition – Owino, who says his ambition is to be Nairobi governor, is currently fighting a court petition challenging his election as Embakasi East MP. During some of the court hearings, he has been accused by witnesses of ‘declaring himself the winner’. He has also been accused of assaulting a voter and unleashing violence against his opponents during the campaign period.

5. Assaulting a parking attendant – The lawmaker’s latest troubles stem from a video clip which shows someone resembling him and his aides roughing up a parking attendant. The clip was reportedly obtained from CCTV footage at Fotris Plaza in Nairobi. It shows a group of men alighting from a car and beating up the helpless attendant. The incident angered online users some of whom lashed at the lawmaker, convinced that he is the culprit. This incident came barely two weeks after Owino gave an exclusive interview with Nairobi News, in which he said he had changed his ways for the better.