Homa Bay Town Lawmaker Opondo Kaluma is a fighter- both in the literal and figurative sense.
While defending his seat in the run-up to the 2017 elections, he literally engaged his fiercest rival, one Washington Ogaga in a Judo match, on a podium during a public rally. No one can tell who beat who since the two were quickly separated before either could lay proper punches on the other
Now if he is not exercising his armature Tae Kwondo skills on political nemeses, he is taking up the role of the lackadaisical Maendeleo ya Wanaume Chairman Nderitu Njoka
His latest Bill is as controversial as others he has tabled before the House. The furore it has generated is expected. It is dubbed the Succession Law (Amendment) Bill meant to lock out ‘Slay Queens’ from reaping where they did not sow.
“This is a very small proposed amendment… with far-reaching and material consequences,” he said in his submission before Parliament last week, championing the Bill
At face value, Kaluma would seem to be fighting for the rights and freedoms of men. His Bill wants widowers to inherit property from their late wives, too, without proving that they depended on the deceased.
But it’s this particular bit that seeks to block slay-queens and women who are hiding with you from your family – from succeeding their lovers- that has caused fracas since it is deemed to be stemming from personal experiences
The Bill proposes that only legal spouses of a deceased would take over their property and not, again to quote Kaluma non-verbatim, “anyone who has lunch with you… and takes pictures”, ostensibly as proof of marriage.
But that is not the first time Kaluma has ‘fought’ for men. In 2015, MPs rejected his proposed amendment to the Children’s Act that sought to lock estranged spouses out of child support. Had his Bill become law, women would have lost the right to demand child-upkeep from deadbeat dads.
The Bill proposed to give parents of children born out of wedlock equal custody rights to the child and the same responsibilities.
At the time, Kaluma was battling a custody and child-support case involving his former wife, Mary Akinyi Ojera. While shooting down the Bill, some MPs read mischief in Kaluma’s intentions.
“We are not in the House to create laws to fix our domestic problems,” Aden Duale, then-Majority Leader, said.
Another of his Bills that was dead at arrival was his proposal to have some 40 counties secede from Kenya in the wake of the disputed 2017 presidential election.
In 2018, the Nairobian published an article detiling how Kaluma’s former wife claims in her court papers that the politician infected her with Kaswende.
Martha Ojera, who was Kaluma’s wife for five years, claimed in a sworn affidavit filed at Nairobi children court and received on April 11, 2015, that the MP infected her with sexually transmitted diseases when they lived together and that they sought treatment together.
Ojera and Kaluma have two children from whom she sought support which accrued to Sh900,000 since 2016. Kaluma in his replying affidavit didn’t counter the Kaswende claims but insisted he is broke and filed his payslip in the court to prove he can only cater for the child’s education and health.
The payslip indicated that the MP nicknamed ‘Akuku Danger’ in Homa Bay, earns a gross salary of Sh899,025 whose deductions leave him with peanuts.
Ojera, who was abandoned by Kaluma 10 years ago, also accuses the lawyer of being a wife batterer who can’t be arrested by the police despite an active warrant of arrest issued against him.
After leaving Ojera, Kaluma married a brand new wife, Meresia Adundo, a magistrate.