The Kenya Forum | In Profile: Siaya Governor James Orengo - The Kenya Forum

March 12, 2023


James Aggrey Bob Orengo is the incumbent Governor of Siaya County having been elected on 9th August 2022 to succeed Cornel Rasanga

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In Profile: Siaya Governor James Orengo

In Profile: Siaya Governor James Orengo

Siaya Goveror James Orengo (Photo courtesy

Rieko Mwenyewe gives his personal view of Siaya County Governor James Orengo…

James Aggrey Bob Orengo is a Kenyan lawyer, a well-known Human Rights Activist, and a politician who is the current the Governor of Siaya County. He is also one of the few Kenyan lawyers who have attained the professional grade of Senior Counsel in the legal field, a title that he earned under former President Mwai Kibaki.

The Governor of Siaya

James Aggrey Bob Orengo is the incumbent Governor of Siaya County having been elected on 9th August 2022 to succeed Cornel Rasanga, the past Governor.

Past Positions in Kenya Government

James Aggrey Orengo is the immediate former Minority Leader of the Senate of Kenya from 15th March 2018 – 9th August 2022, preceded by Moses Wetangula and succeeded by Stewart Madzayo. Orengo was the Senator of Siaya County from 28th March 2013 – 25th August 2022.

Minister Orengo was appointed as Minister for Lands 2008–2013 by President Mwai Kibaki during the Joint PNU and ODM government, formed by ‘Eminent Persons’ led by Kofi Annan, General Secretary of the United Nations. This was after the failed and contentious general election of 2007, which resulted in Post-Election Violence and nearly split Kenya into two countries.

Earlier Positions

James Orengo succeeded Stephen Ondiek who was once a Member of the Parliament of Ugenya from 26th January 1993 – 2003. He was also elected as a Member of Parliament from 1980 – 1983 he was preceded by Matthews Joseph Ogutu.

Personal Detail

James Aggrey Bob Orengo was born in 1951 to Appolo Stephano Olunga Orengo. His main political parties have been ODM and SDP. In the 2002 general elections, James Orengo was a Presidential Candidate for SDP Party and gained a dismal 23,061 votes all over Kenya.

Previous Political Activities

James Orengo was elected an MP for the Ugenya Constituency as a KANU Candidate in a By-Election in 1980, making him the youngest MP in Kenya at the time aged 29. He was elected as a Member of Parliament for Ugenya Constituency in 1992 and served up to 1997, and again in 1997; thereafter he served until 2002. In 2002, he vied for the Presidency as an SDP Candidate and lost.

In 2005, he joined the Orange Democratic Movement Party, teaming up with Raila Odinga after a significant stand-off between the two, following fallout from 2002. In 2007, he vied for the position of Ugenya MP, which he won, enabling him to serve in that capacity until 2013. He was appointed as a Minister of Lands from 2008 to 2013. He was also elected and has served in the Senate of Kenya since 2013 as Senator for Siaya County. In 2022 he vied for the governor of Siaya County and won.

Early Life

James Aggrey Bob Orengo was born in 1951 in Kasipul Kabondo in Homabay County, Kenya Colony to Apolo Stefano Olunga Orengo, a Senior Police Chief and Josefina Atieno Olunga Orengo. In 1954, he started attending Ambira Primary School, where he finished his primary education in 1964. He joined the Alliance High School in January 1965 and finished form six education in 1966. In 1971, he joined the University of Nairobi to study law. He became the University President in 1973. In 1974, he graduated from the University of Nairobi with a Second-Class Honors, Lower division in Bachelor of Laws LLB. He later enrolled at the prestigious Kenya School of Law, and subsequently passed his bar examination after several attempts and thus admitted into the Kenya Legal Counsel. James’ Alma Mater is the University of Nairobi.

Activities as the Governor of Siaya County

When Orengo mentioned that he wanted to contest as the Governor of Siaya, nobody took him seriously but James Orengo also known as Nyatieng’, went ahead and won the general elections as the Governor. In a small stint of time James Orengo has proved to be a serious Governor and has shown that he will make Siaya County successful. He has introduced positive actions on food subsidy by offering tractors for farmers, farm inputs, and general systems of making sure that affordable food is put on the table in a short period.

Future Prediction

It is my humble prediction that James Aggrey Bob Orengo will be a successful Governor of Siaya and will retain his position in the 2027 general elections.


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