Former powerful minister Nicholas Biwott dies aged 77

Kipyator Nicholas Kiprono arap Biwott (born 1940) was a Kenyan businessman, politician and philanthropist. Biwott served as a civil servant, Member of Parliament and government minister, during which time he held eight senior ministerial positions, worked alongside Kenya’s first three presidents – Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki – and with many significant public figures in post independence Kenya, including Bruce McKenzie besides Tom Mboya. At the height of his career, he was accused of killing Robert Ouko and was arrested at some point and later released. Shortly thereafter, the police commissioner Mr.Phillip Kilonzo was assasinated through alcohol poisoning.

The 77-year-old Former Cabinet Minister Nicholas Biwott aka “Total man” died at a Nairobi hospital on Tuesday, July 11 after a long illness, his personal assistant confirms. He was a very powerful Minister in Moi’s Government who Carried a number of assassination including the death of Robert Ouko.

The cause of death is yet to be communicated.

According to family sources his body has been taken to the Lee Funeral Home.

Biwott served as a Member of Parliament for Keiyo-Marakwet and later the Keiyo South Constituency for 28 years and he held several ministerial and government posts in the KANU government with Kenya’s first three presidents, Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki.

Mr. Nicholas Biwott will be remembered for One of Kenya’s most high-profile murders – of Foreign Minister Robert Ouko – which was carried out in one of then President Daniel arap Moi’s official residences, MPs were told.

Three previous inquiries into the 1990 killing ended prematurely and was presented to parliament five years after it was written to prejudice the case.

It called for further investigations into top officials, including one of Mr Moi’s closest allies, Nicholas Biwott. Mr Biwott  denied responsibility. Several key witnesses have since died in mysterious circumstances and the report called for their deaths to be investigated.

Mr Ouko was well respected internationally but fell out with Mr Biwott and other key officials.

Rush of reports

The authorities initially said he had gone missing, before saying his body had been found by an animal herder near his home shortly after he returned from a trip to the US.

But the report by the parliamentary select committee said Mr Ouko was bundled into a government car and driven to State House lodge in Nakuru, where he was killed by Mr. Biwott.

The culture of impunity is slowly being assaulted Gor Sunguh Said at the time.

It said his bodyguards had earlier been withdrawn and that the delay in announcing that the body had been found was to allow time for the body to be transported to Mr Ouko’s home and then burnt.

“The perceived foreign support of Dr Ouko to ascend to the presidency to weed out corruption and human rights abuses was perceived by the leadership as a threat to the presidency and that this could be linked to his death,” said the report, according to the East African Standard newspaper.

Mr Moi did not make a comment on the report. Some of those involved in previous investigations complained of official interference in their work.

The press in Nairobi said several parliamentary reports into previous alleged injustices had finally been made public.
He says the reason for the sudden rush was not clear.
Mr. Gor Sunguh, who chaired the committee told the press at the time, he was confident that the report would be adopted by parliament, meaning the call for investigations would be acted upon.

On December 10, 1991, A former district official in President Daniel arap Moi’s Government was formally charged with the murder of Foreign Minister Robert Ouko. The man charged, Jonah Anguka, commissioner for the west-central district of Nakuru until just before his arrest on Nov. 26, had been arrested along with Nicholas Biwott and Hezekiah Oyuki, two Cabinet-level officials close to Mr. Moi. Kenyan television reported then that the two had been set free. Later the police commissioner Phillip Kilonzo was killed through poisoning in his bar in ukambani.

Until his death Mr. Biwott was the leader of the National Vision Party.

As stated above, Mr. Biwotti was a close friend and confidante of former president Daniel Arap Moi who he always referred to as his “father and a mentor”

We at The Kenyapoa send condolences to family and friends of Biwott. May his soul rest in peace.

More updates follow.





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