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Meet Former Nyanza Politician Who Introduced Chips Business In Kenya, He Died In A Cell

His name is Aggrey Otieno Ambala. He was a beneficiary of the Tom Mboya student airlift program that saw him study bachelor in economics from Howard University ,USA. He completed his studies and came back home with not only degrees in economics, but also a business idea that would change the appetite of many Kenyans.

He came with a machine that could chop potatoes into small strips called chips. Kenyans had never had of such a thing before. Ambala went on and opened a chips outlet near where the Ambassadeur Bus stop is. Some people wondered how someone would eat ‘mutilated’ potatoes. When they tasted the crispy pieces with salt and tomato or chilli sauce, their taste buds changed.

The sudden demand for chips attracted long queues, especially during weekends and that is how the chips business grew and was introduced in Kenya. Ambala made his money and moved on after selling the business to new owners who renamed it ‘Munyiri’s Chips’. Ambala moved next door to a place now known as Tusker Stage.

When whites were selling their land in Karen and going away, Ambala bought acres and acres in Karen. He did not stop there, he also bought shares in several blue-chip companies. He also invested in real estate in Nairobi. In Kisumu he was involved in petroleum and hardware business. He ran the petrol station near Afya Centre in Nairobi and ‘Ka-Ambala’ petrol station in Kisumu.

Like most wealthy Kenyans, when he realised he had enough business assets, he ventured into politics. He was elected MP for Gem, Siaya County in 1979 then Moi appointed him assistant minister for culture. However, he lost to his opponent Horace Owiti Ongili in the 1983 election. Ongili was later killed in a bizarre incident and Ambala was deeply implicated. As he awaited his court appearance, Ambala died in his cell at Kodiaga Prison in Kisumu.

He left behind an empire worth billions. Just like his friend Njenga Karume, his estate is a subject of a fierce inheritance legal dispute. His polygamous family has been battling the case in court since Ambala died in 1985.


Content created and supplied by: TheTGMedia (via Opera News )

Aggrey Otieno Ambala Ambala Karen Kenyans Tom Mboya


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