Meet Bill ‘Uhuru’s close friend’ Arocho
Bill Arocho is the burly chap who graduated into a constant fixture at President Uhuru Kenyatta’s political events during his first term.
Dressed in civilian attire at these functions, the 43-year old’s influence among the Head of State’s inner circle cannot be wished away.
If he is not whispering something into the President’s year, he will be seen hugging and chatting with the Commander in Chief, his aides and other senior politicians.
Other times, he can be spotted controlling the crowds or appearing to direct the presidential motorcade.
But who exactly is he, and what’s his relationship with President Kenyatta?
“The president is my long time friend, we met way back in 2004 at the KANU (Kenya Africa National Union) delegates conference,” he told Nairobi News.
“We have been in touch since, as he moved on to become the minister for local government, Deputy Prime Minister and later on President.”
“We became closer when he had the cases at the Hague. He enrolled me for crowd control training and thereafter I started accompanying him to the prayer meetings across the country,” said Arocho, whose twin brother Fred Arocho is a famed radio presenter.
“Up until now, I am part of the people who manage the crowd when the President has an event. I am not armed. I am not allowed to have a gun near him. But we talk, even during the rally and after. He calls to find out how my assignment was and what Kenyans say that he cannot listen.”
And how does he describe his personal relationship with the President?
“He is a good man that keeps his word. He promised me ‘something’ when we were campaigning ahead of the 2013 general elections. When he was elected, I didn’t hear from him for a while. I got angry and thought he had forgotten about me. One morning, I learnt that he had appointed me Director Athi Water Services Board.”
The man from Kisumu adds: “Kenyans are tribalists. But I never vote for my tribesmen. I’d rather vote for a friend who can pick me from a crowd. I also know what my friend is capable of and the fact that he listens and respects me is good enough.”
The father of three also recalls some occasions the President listened to him.
“One day in 2015, Harambee Stars were stranded at Wilson Airport ahead of an international game against Cape Verde. I called the President and advised him to act. I informed him the team could not afford to miss the game in Praia because as a result Kenya could be banned from competing in the World Cup qualification matches. He listened, and helped the team instantly. The players remember that incident to date.”
Arocho also shed light on the President’s recent trip to Kisumu.
“I was part of the advance party on the contingent. The mood was electric and we were all excited. There were thousands of people who came to greet the President but we did not have any problems controlling them because they were all doing it out of happiness and excitement. The President was happy to the extent he joked that he will seek permission from the First Lady to get another wife in Kisumu.”
A lover of football, Arocho is the eldest in a family of three, and married with three children. He is born and bred in Nairobi and attended Ainsworth street primary school and Jamuhuri high school. He proceeded to the Kenya Polytechnic (now known as the Technical University of Kenya) where he studied business management.
He counts Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and Gatundu South legislator Moses Kuria, whom he once saved from a mob at a political rally, as some of his close friends.
Arocho, who was in 2018 honoured with the Head of State Commendation (HSC) and has the voice of President Kenyatta’s swearing in as his mobile phone call back tune, asserted that his immediate task is to ensure the Building Bridges Initiative report passes “with flying colours.”