Ababu Namwamba Biography
Ababu Namwamba was born on 23rd December 1975 in in Jinja, Uganda. He is a Kenyan lawyer and politician, who is the former member of parliament for Budalangi constituency (2007 – 2016). He is a Public Interest Attorney specializing in international human rights and constitutional law.
Ababu Namwamba Education
- He holds a Master of Laws Degree (LLM) in International Law from American University’s Washington College of Law;
- Holds a Honours Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Nairobi and
- He has a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Kenya School of Law.
- He later joined Kolanya Boys High School in Teso North,
- He was a student at Port Victoria Mixed Primary School.
Ababu Namwamba Early Career
Ababu Namwamba started off under the able tutelage of the late eminent constitutional lawyer, Dr. Oki Ooko Ombaka at the Public Law Institute (PLI). In 2002, he founded The Chambers of Justice, a Public Interest Trust he would lead as Chief Counsel until 2007, alongside his own law firm – Ababu Namwamba Attorneys-at-Law.
He shone in national limelight in 2004 when he won a landmark legal battle in which his client, a Kenyan-born Pakistani had been wrongfully accused of terrorism. It was the first case of its kind in Kenya. Ababu had already made a name in 2003 when he secured a historic ruling in a constitutional case that affirmed the right of children living with HIV/AIDS to attend public schools unfettered. He filed the case for Chambers of Justice and Nyumbani Children’s Home after two schools in Ngong’ and Karen barred Children from Nyumbani for their HIV status. This case won Ababu international acclaim, winning him the 2004 Global Justice Award which he received in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He would later also be inducted onto the roll of Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum in 2009. And as Counsel for Swiss national, Marianne Brynner, Ababu was again in the public eye in 2004/5 as he played a central role in the last probe into the mysterious death of former Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister, the late Dr. Robert Ouko.
In this period, he was active on the international lobbying circuit, strongly advocating for international human rights, fair trade practices and debt relief for Africa through platforms like the World Social Forum in such far flung corners of the globe as Mumbai, India and Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Ababu Namwamba was a regular columnist with the Sunday Nation during a sabbatical spell in Washington DC. He would later shift to the Sunday Standard, for who he continues to pen a weekly political analysis column.
In 2003, he initiated Ababu Namwamba Foundation (ANF), a private charity that supports the education of hundreds of young Kenyans across the country. Ababu calls ANF his “payback” to Kenya, having been a beneficiary of Jomo Kenyatta Foundation in high school.
Ababu Namwamba Political Career
While at the university of Nairobi Ababu Namwamba was elected as the party leader at the University of Nairobi. In 2002 he joined the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and worked as a volunteer for the NARC coalition’s successful 2002 election bid that saw Kibaki elected Kenya’s 3rd President. He remained active in LDP activities including in the Diaspora during his postgraduate studies In USA.
In 2006 he joined Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and vied for Budalangi parliamentary seat during the 2007 general elction on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ticket and he won.He was Parliamentary Secretary of the ODM from 2008 to 2013, and served as Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs from 2012 until the ODM lost office in the 2013 election.
During the 2013 general elction he regain his Budalangi parliamentary seat. For the 2013 elections, Ababu fashioned and superbly marshaled two national frontline political platoons, ODM-Reloaded and CORD-Effect which captured the political imagination countrywide, leading to him being baptized ‘General’, a brand he proudly bears todate.
In 2014 he took the influential position of ODM Secretary General. He held the position until July 2016 when he resigned citing internal sabotage and frustration that had made it impossible for him to effectively execute the mandate of his office.
Ababu Namwamba launched his own party, Labour Party of Kenya, and since September 2016 he has been the leader of the Labour Party. In March 2017 the Labour Party announced that it would support the presidential candidacy of Uhuru Kenyatta in the election of August 2017.
During the 2017 general election he vied for Budalangi parliamentary seat but was degeated by Raphael Wanjala who was vieing on a ODM party ticket he garned 12,339 votes against Namwamba’s 10,550 votes.
Ababu Namwamba Achievements
Ababu Namwamba has established a distinguished profile as a fine legislator, accomplished debater and fearless defender of truth, justice, and the public interest. His fidelity to the truth is anchored on Mahatma Gandhi’s teaching that “an error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self-sustained.” Ababu Namwamba holds the record of the highest number of successful Motions in the 10th Parliament.
He has transformed the fortunes of Budalang’i from a hitherto backwater flood-ravaged land to a respected thriving constituency, earning the adoration of his voters. His reign as Sports and Youth Affairs Minister will be remembered for the success in finally enacting the long desired Sports Act and rolling out of the National Youth Council. In December 2012, he was conferred the national honour of Elder of the Golden Heart (EGH) by President Mwai Kibaki. In 2009, he had been voted a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, joining an exclusive roll of honour of the world’s top young leaders. In 2003, Ababu won the Jubilee Global Award for Social Justice in recognition of his international human rights work.
In the circles of the legal profession, Ababu Namwamba is among pioneers in public interest litigation for the voiceless and defenseless. He grabbed national attention in 2004 when he won a landmark legal battle in which his client, a Kenyan-born Pakistani, was wrongfully accused of terrorist activities. It was the first case of its kind in Kenya. Ababu had already made a name in 2003 when he secured a historic ruling in a constitutional case that affirmed the right of children living with HIV/AIDS to attend public schools unfettered. He filed the case for The Chambers of Justice and Nyumbani Children’s Home after two schools in Ngong and Karen barred children from Nyumbani on account of their health status. As Counsel for Swiss national Marianne Bryner, Ababu was again in the public eye in 2004/5 as he played a central role in the last probe into the mysterious death of the late Dr. Robert Ouko. The Hubert Humphrey Fellow/Fulbright Alumni was a firebrand student leader at the University of Nairobi, where he also chaired the Kenya Law Students Society (KLSS). He has met and interacted with top world leaders, including former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan and US President Barack Obama.
Ababu Namwamba Inspiration
Ababu Namwamba says God and his family are the center of his universe, and draws great inspiration from his mother Agatha and his immediate close-knit family of wife Prisca and their four children. He is driven by “Conviction, honesty and a genuine love for the people I serve, whenever, wherever. You got to stand for something, or you will fall for anything!” he quips. Never one to shy away from a challenge, he draws inspiration from icons like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, and of course his political mentors, Jaramogi and Raila Odinga.
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In response to the question as to why he stands up to be counted against all odds, he quotes Abraham Lincoln: “To remain silent when you must speak makes cowards of men”. And why does he love to walk where none has dared tread? He draws his answer from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Do not go where the path leads, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”, and concludes with this line from George Bernard Shaw: “Some people see things that are, and ask why, but I dream of things that never were, and ask why not”! The reason for his tendency to spice politics with a touch of intellectual flavor? He responds with a gem from Galileo Galilee: “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use!”
Ababu Namwamba Family; Parents, Wife, Children.
His parents are Mama Agatha Maina Namwamba and the late Peter Namwamba Lwecheche, of the extensive Abamulembo clan. Ababu is married to Prisca and is a father of four: Nkosi, Lulu, Tanya-Helena and Ababu Junior ‘Che.
Ababu Namwamba Hobbies
Ababu Namwamba loves playing and watching soccer. When not scoring goals for Bunge FC, he watches his cherished Arsenal of the English Premier League (he professes to be a “Gunner for Life!”). He also enjoys gardening, nature exploration, reading and writing. He is widely travelled, and has visited virtually all parts of Kenya, as well as such diverse parts of the world as USA, India, Britain, Holland, Switzerland, Norway, France, Germany, Belgium and a clutch of African countries.
Ababu Namwamba Membership
- Chair of Public Accounts Committee (PAC)
- Chair of Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.
- Chair of landmark Parliamentary Select Committee on cost living
- He was a co-chair, together with Mandera Central’s Hon Abdikadir Mohamed, the historic Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitution Review (PSC) that midwifed the birth of Kenya’s new Constitution.
- He chairs Accountability Kenya, a registered non-profit umbrella body that champions accountability in the use of public resources.
- From 2013, he anchored the African Organization of Public Accounts Committees (AFROPAC), whose secretariat he helped bring to Nairobi in September 2013.
- He has been Secretary of Bunge Football club, of which he was lead striker holding the all time record of most goals scored.
Ababu Namwamba Contacts
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