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Odindo Opiata

A Life of Service

Mr. Opiata was a dedicated human rights defender who was among the pioneers of democracy and human rights in Kenya. Despite enduring political persecution and imprisonment including torture in the infamous Nyayo house for his unwavering beliefs, his spirit remained unbroken. His dedication led to the founding of Economic and Social Rights Centre-Hakijamii in 2004, a platform through which he consolidated and amplified the voices of the voiceless and championed the course of the oppressed. In 2010, as a result of his advocacy together with other human rights defenders, a new Constitution was adopted in Kenya which guarantees access to justice and social rights, including “the right to accessible and adequate housing.”

 Opiata was a champion for marginalized and vulnerable communities facing imminent evictions. His advocacy ensured that their rights were not only recognized but also protected. As a member of the National Slum Upgrading Policy Task Force and contributor to the Technical Advisory Panel for UN-Habitat’s Advisory Group on Forced Evictions, he played a crucial role in shaping policies that aimed to address the pressing issues. Furthermore, Mr. Opiata’s legislative contributions, notably his involvement in the formulation of the Evictions and Resettlement Procedures Bill was a testament to his enduring commitment. The Bill was eventually passed into law, solidifying his legacy as a key architect of positive change.  His life remains an inspirational testament to the transformative power of dedicated service in the face of adversity.


Beyond Advocacy: A Man of Many Facets

Opiata was not just a human rights defender but also a mentor, teacher, and mediator, guiding countless individuals and communities on their journey towards empowerment. He possessed an intellect that inspired awe, and his deep voice and infectious laughter brought joy to those around him. Even in his moments of lightheartedness, his dedication to human rights shone through, as he transformed into a captivating comedian, using humor to bridge divides and foster understanding.

Remembering a Champion

Odindo Opiata was a symbol of hope, a beacon of courage, and a testament to the power of unwavering commitment. His legacy lives on in the communities he empowered, the laws he influenced, and the lives he touched. He will be remembered as a voice for the voiceless, an ardent defender of justice, and a loving brother, father, mentor, and friend to many.

In Memoriam: Odindo Opiata, A Tireless Champion for the Marginalized

The late Odindo Opiata (LUO) was a human rights giant whose tireless efforts on behalf of marginalized communities left an indelible mark on Kenya and beyond. He dedicated his life to empowering marginalized communities and securing their economic, social, and cultural rights.