Kipyator Nicholas Kiprono arap Biwott was a Kenyan businessman, politician and philanthropist.
In a way or the other, he defined the Kenyan political history by serving the first three governments. He has remained in politics till his death, being a leader of National Vision Party (NVP), which supports President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reelection.
Biwott served as a civil servant, Member of Parliament and government minister, during which time he held eight senior ministerial positions. Despite that, little is known about his life. Below are some things that were hidden from the public about ‘total man.’
1. He never owned a mobile phone
In his entire life, ‘total man’ never owned a mobile phone, totally. In case he wanted to make a call, he would buy a sim card, borrow a phone from his personal assistant William Chepkut or any other close associate, make the call and discard the sim card. Why he feared owning one, no one knows up to date, including his confidants. If you wanted to call him, you had to go through Chepkut.
2. He travelled in a maze
Biwott would use more than three vehicles to travel from Nairobi to his rural home in the Rift Valley. It was seen as a security measure to evade his enemies who could have trailed him with malicious aims.
3. He had another nickname, the ‘Bull of Auckland’
On November 15th 1995, James Orengo, while asking why GG Kariuki was being allowed to speak from the dispatch box, coined the nickname. His exact phrase was “…”The Bull of Auckland” or rather Hon Biwott…” It was a jab at Biwott for indecently exposing himself in Auckland five days before.
Less than a week before, then President Moi and a powerful delegation had left for Auckland, New Zealand. They would be attending the different sessions of the Commonwealth Heads of State Meeting (CHOGM).
On the morning the CHOGM started, Biwott either indecently exposed himself to or actually tried to rape a housekeeper who came in to clean his room. She ran out of the room and informed her manager, who called in the police. The police in turn called the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a small, important but oft-overlooked diplomatic spat followed.
4. He preferred cheap cars
He was a billionaire, but he never liked expensive cars commonly known as fuel guzzlers mostly used by top government officials and wealthy people. He was comfortable using cheap cars probably to disguise his movements.
5. He feared his own shadow
He lived on the run, in a move to confuse his enemies. No person could trace his whereabouts, unless he was attending a public function, in office or in parliament. Most of his personal life remained a mystery, up to date. This in most times confused the media who wrongly reported his death twice, in August 2016 and January 2014.
6. He died with a lot of secrets about Kenyan history
Having worked with the first three presidents of this country, Biwott carried with him a lot of secrets. He worked with Kenyatta government as a District Officer (DO), Moi government as a member of parliament and a minister and Kibaki government as an MP.
7. An enemy of the media
On 22 March 2002, Nicholas Biwott was awarded Ksh20 million. Kalamka Ltd, the publisher of “The People Daily” now owned by Mediamax, was sentenced to pay Biwott Ksh 10 million in compensatory damages and a similar sum in exemplary damages, following the publication of an article implicating Biwott in underhanded dealings involving the award of tenders for the construction of the Turkwell Gorge Hydro-Electric Power project.
Text Book Centre, one of the country’s leading bookshops, agreed to pay him the Sh7.5 million for selling the book The Rogue Ambassador by the former American ambassador to Kenya, Mr Smith Hempstone, which alleged that he (Biwott) killed Foreign Affairs minister Robert Ouko.
In a span of two years (2001 to 2002), Biwott had pocketed more than Ksh67 million from the media for defamation, libel and slander.
8. Richest Kenyan: According to the Constative portal, Biwott was ranked as the 14th wealthiest person in Kenya.