Very few young people know of him but when you ask anybody above 40 years from Rangwe constituency who he is, they will tell you he was a brilliant individual he is.
In this era and age where a University certificate is slowly losing value, it is difficult to find a graduate who can be described as ‘Impossibly Intelligent’. The internet has possibly made academic research a very easy process. Examination results today, are by no means true reflection of students capability. The number of A’s in the last year’s KCSE has been a subject of debate in the field of academia of late.
Along the University corridors and lecture halls, prof Muga earned great respect from his peers. Nearly all the university Dons recognised his name. The ones who have shared ideas with him would even lack any good adjective to describe him.
He is Prof Ouma Muga, born and raised in a remote village-Kochia- in Homa Bay district, he went through what any other boy of his age would experience while growing up.
His brilliance caught the public attention when he sat for Kenya African Secondary School Examination (KASE) at St. Mary’s Yala. He emerged the top student nation-wide.
He proceeded to sit for the Cambridge Overseas School Certificate in 1957 in the same school and once again topped the whole country.
He joined Makerere University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography. Afterwards, he did his Master of Science degree(MSC) in Australia and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in fluvial geomorphology in a record time-frame.
Prof Ouma became a lecturer at Makerere in 1966. There, he held a post of Secretary General and then Chairman of the University Academic Staff Association of Makerere University
Professor has done a lot of research, of interest is the one he did on Ozone layer which earned him worlwide recognition. He was in fact, among the elite group of researchers who contributed in the revolution that took place in Australia 1964.
He has written a book on Luo History and two others on Evolution of Environment Resource Base in East Africa and English Encyclopedic Dictionary of Dholuo language.
He became Vice Chancellor at Moi University and founded the School of Environment Studies at the same institution.
He later ventured into national politics and was elected MP for Rangwe in 1989 on KANU ticket. He was appointed Assistant Minister for Environment. He recaptured the same seat in 1992 on FORD Kenya ticket after the introduction of multi-party democracy.
Due to his nature of being outspoken, he disagreed with Raila Odinga who was had a huge influence in Nyanza. This led to his failure to win the parliamentary seat of Rangwe in 1997.
To start with, Prof is a complete man wearing many hats. He has two sons and a daughter whom he took to School and are highly placed in different fields starting with Peter Muga aka Maembe Olo now married to an Australian in Tanzania. Another one is a lecturer at Strathmore University and lastly his daughter is a high ranking UN senior staff. They have abandoned the father completely.
The Prof was sacked by Moi as the Assistant Minister of Environment because he joined FORD KENYA in push for multiparty Democracy we enjoy today. He helped NARC Government to establish Ministry of State and Special Program to develop policies and he established NDMU & NDOC that handles Disaster in the country today.
Australia is purely on the Leeward side of BLUE ALPS MOUNTAINS and that means it was purely desert.UN selected a team of 7 world elites scientists in 1964 and from Africa ,Muga was chosen to help Australia in reforming the dry country. Today Australia is the world Leading Rice Exporter.
He is the one who introduced the terminology “GLOBAL WARMING” when he explained the long term effect of Depletion of the Ozone Layer as a result of greenhouse gas emissions due to 1st world rapid industrialisation.Through him UNISDR and UNEP have a working Frameworks eg Kyoto Protocol,COP/MOP,HFA1 & now Sendai Framework for DRR.
Lastly ,through his own Africa Renaissance For Environmental Studies he made it possible to draft our first ever National Disaster Management Policy recently ratified by the cabinet.
From Makerere University he was brought back to Kenya in 1971 and jailed for conspiracy to overthrow the Kenyatta government. Out of jail, he won the Rangwe seat in 1988 and was appointed Assistant Minister.
But he was later to be sacked for “boasting” of having written a speech for Moi which he delivered at the Ozone layer conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1989. He switched to the opposition Ford-Kenya but has not won back the seat.
Being the kind of a man he is, nothing stopped him from speaking his mind. In 2006 at a funeral in Kochia West that was attended by a majority of Luo Leaders, he publicly claimed that Raila Odinga wasn’t going to clinch the Presidency seat. This would later spark a wave of public uproar and the former chairman of Luo Council of Elders immediately responded to him terming him a ‘mad man’. History later vindicated him ofcoz election was rigged but the bottom line is that Raila and ODM brigade were shortchanged.
Until his death, not even his county government would employ him. Kenya turned its back on such a genius and no one was willing to put such brains int good use. As usual now that he is dead we will celebrate him although we failed to help him when he needed our support most.