Connect with us

Politics & Policy

Dedan Kimathi Road in Lusaka….The Story Behind That Name



Dedan Kimathi Waciuri was hanged and buried in an unmarked grave at Kamiti Maximum Prison in Nairobi.

……In Zambia there is a road named after a Kenyan Mau Mau leader and freedom fighter This is his story.

Story by Zambian Observer

Rewards totalling £500 for the capture of Dedan Kīmathi, were distributed at a ceremony at Nyeri today, (5 November 1956) by the Special Commissioner for the Kikuyu, Embu and Meru, Mr. C.M. Johnston.

The reward in the form of Post Office savings books was divided between the nine members of the patrol, which captured Kimathi, six members receiving £25 each. Tribal policeman Ndirangū Mau, who shot and wounded Kīmathi received £150 and Njūgi Ngatia who was present and assisted Ndirangū throughout the operation, £75. Karūndo wa Mūgo the leader of the operation patrol, who took charge was presented with £50. The remaining £75 was donated for a bean feast for all tribal police and tribal police reservists in Northern Tetū Location

Speaking in [Ki]Swahili to 300 tribal policemen, who marched into position in front of the provincial office with their own fife drums and bungle band, the Special Commissioner said that since the day Dedan Kīmathi had ran away into the forest until the day he was captured, four years had elapsed and those years had been a great loss and trouble to the Kikuyu people.
“… Today we swear that we shall not allow the Mau Mau any form of action and will not let them come back into the country. We shall try again to regain the good name of Central Province through progress and civilisation,” Mr. Johnston added.


The story of what happened to those rewarded by the British is retold over and over in pubs, markets and schools in Nyeri.

The joy of the reward recipients was short-lived. Their neighbours and indeed many of the people they interacted with shunned them. Even small children insulted them publicly. Ndirangū Mau who was originally from Kamakwa in Nyeri, decided to invest his £150 to buy a minibus. He planned to use it as a public service vehicle to transport people for payment.

At night people would use stones to scratch the body of the bus with the words mūthirimo wa Kīmathi, Kīmathi’s shin, drawing reference to the part of the body that Kīmathi had apparently been shot. He would repaint it but people would scratch it afresh until its bodywork was a mass of writings all of which read, mūthirimo wa Kīmathi.

Nobody, except his family ever boarded that bus. A driver would take it to the bus park but it would remain empty all day. Touts at the bus park would shout to anyone trying to enter it, tonya ūrathwo, meaning, enter the bus and get shot. He tried to sell off the bus but nobody wanted to buy it and it aged and rusted from non-use. He invested in a truck. It met the same fate. He decided to use the remainder of the money to open a restaurant. Again, people began painting the famous words on the wall of his restaurant, mūthirimo wa Kīmathi. Nobody entered that restaurant, not even his fellow home guards.

Ndirangū in desperation at the stigmatisation changed his name so that strangers would not recognise him, to no avail. He was shunned and pointed out as a traitor for the rest of his life. After independence, Ndirangū was always on radio asking the government to help him. The rest of the team that had received £25 each invested jointly and bought a lorry.


The lorry met the same fate as Ndirangū’s bus with people quick to scratch mūthirimo wa Kīmathi into its body. They too could not find work and neither could they find a buyer for their lorry. Their children and grandchildren are ostracised till today. To date, when drunken people pass outside the homes of the people who were paid by the British colonialists for shooting Kīmathi, they always shout: “Mūtikire twambe tūhetūke gūkū kwa ngati,” keep quiet until we pass the home guards’ homes. The drunkards will walk past quietly and restart their drunken racket as soon as they pass the home guard’s home.

There were several newspaper reports about Ndirangū Mau the man who shot my husband. See this one for example.

But Ndirangū was no ordinary man. He was the man who on 21 October 1956 shot freedom fighter Dedan Kīmathi and his life changed forever. For close to 29 years, he had remained silent, living off his years under a cloud of resentment and shame that had also been transferred to his children.


Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Politics & Policy

OPINION | Kenya is poised to become the ‘Singapore of Africa’



Nairobi City at night
Of all the countries in sub-Saharan Africa to be optimistic about, the most promising is Kenya. Economic and political forces are converging to put the continent’s seventh-largest nation in a relatively favorable position.

Africa is the fastest-growing continent and is expected to account for one-quarter of the world’s population by 2050. That means more multinational corporations see a need to have a direct presence somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. Many such companies already realise they need a presence in Asia, with Singapore proving increasingly popular as the hub, especially as Hong Kong has been absorbed into communist China.

Where in Africa might such a comparable cluster of companies evolve? Unfortunately, some of Africa’s leading nations have experienced major troubles lately. Economic growth has slowed in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and the country has only begun to make much-needed reforms; Ethiopia, the second-most populous country, just went through a civil war; political problems and power shortages continue to plague South Africa. For the time being, those places are not in the running to be a dominant sub-Saharan economic hub, if only because ex-pats will be reluctant to move there.

In contrast, a locale with a reasonable level of English fluency and an attractive year-round climate will get a lot of attention — and that nicely describes Kenya. Kenya also had a growth rate of about 5.5% last year, despite negative shocks to the prices of imported food and energy. Since 2004, growth rates have been in the range of 4% to 5%.

Kenya also has some geographic advantages. It has an extensive coastline on the Indian Ocean, and research suggests that landlocked countries have worse economic performance. Countries with a coast also find it easier to stay in touch with the rest of the world, and Kenya has relatively easy access to China and India, large markets and sources of capital. In the current geopolitical climate, East Africa is attracting more interest from more sources than is most of West Africa.

In terms of scale, Kenya’s population of about 57 million cannot compete with Nigeria’s 222 million. But East Africa, with almost 500 million people, has a larger population than West Africa.

Tanzania, just to the south of Kenya, has a larger population than Kenya. But Kenya is much wealthier and has a superior infrastructure — and that includes the digital infrastructure, as internet access in Kenya is ranked among the most reliable in Africa.


To the extent the world focuses more on green energy, Kenya also has a positive story to tell. The country already has more than 80% renewable energy, and the climate is ideal for an ongoing expansion of solar power. Foreign companies looking to boost their green reputations might find Kenya an attractive destination. That said, expensive energy — due in part to taxes and poor regulation — has been a growth drawback.

There are other elements of the case against Kenya. It has had difficulty attracting foreign direct investment, even compared to other African nations. Corruption, regulatory barriers to entry, and political instability remain concerns and cannot be dismissed lightly.

That said, Kenyan governance has been stable as of late, and the 2022 election went relatively well. The government is proving more adept at preventing major terror attacks, often coming from groups in Somalia. As Kenya becomes wealthier, there is a good chance those problems will diminish further.

It is also possible that sub-Saharan Africa will not develop a single dominant corporate hub at all. The United Arab Emirates will continue to evolve into Africa’s financial center, Lagos will have the most startup activity, South Africa will remain the dominant business center in the South — and London, Beijing, and India will play more important roles in Africa’s economic future.

Still, African distances are great and its population is growing, two simple facts that argue for Kenyan growth no matter what. The idea of putting a manufacturing plant or service center near Nairobi or Mombasa makes sense even if it serves only East Africa. Kenya’s immediate neighbors to the west and south, Tanzania and Uganda, also have an English-language background, and Tanzania may become one of the world’s most populous countries.


Not only is Africa rising, but East Africa is too. And Kenya is likely to be the easiest and most predictable way to bet on it.

Story by Tyler Cowen – a Bloomberg columnist.


Continue Reading

Banking & Microfinance

Supreme Court of Kenya Dismisses Investors Bid Seeking Ksh 465 million from Billionaire Jimnah Mbaru’s Firm



Businessman Jimnah Mbaru

An investor’s bid to have Dyer & Blair Investment Bank, owned by Jimnah Mbaru, pay him Sh465 million has been rejected by the Supreme Court. John Kung’u Kiarie, a former KCB director, alleged that Mbaru’s firm conspired with the anti-fraud unit to freeze his money two decades ago and later under-declared his investment returns.

The Court of Appeal dismissed his application for a second appeal to the apex court, stating that the issues raised by the investor were limited to his personal interests. The judges noted that the matters raised were connected to his business relationship with the investment bank and the resulting dispute.

“Justices Daniel Musinga, Hellen Omondi, and Imaana Laibuta ruled that there were no issues of general public importance involved, nor were there any novel legal issues that needed determination by the Supreme Court,” as per the ruling.

According to the law, appeals at the Supreme Court typically involve matters of public importance or interest. In Mr. Kiarie’s case, he had invested Sh91 million with the brokerage firm in March 2003 to purchase a Treasury bond but received a paper worth Sh88 million instead.

Upon the advice of the investment bank, Mr. Kiarie sold the security for Sh91.6 million to invest in a new Treasury bond with a higher yield. However, before the plans could be realized, his banker, CfC Stanbic, received warrants allowing the Anti-Banking Fraud Unit to investigate his account.

As a result, his account was frozen, and Mr. Kiarie was charged with falsely obtaining Sh91.5 million before a magistrate court in Nairobi. Subsequently, he was acquitted due to lack of evidence, and an order was issued to lift the freeze on his money and the associated interest.


Mr. Kiarie claimed that Dyer & Blair later released Sh67.5 million as the principal amount, along with an additional Sh2.3 million in interest. Mr. Kiarie initially sued Dyer & Blair and CfC Stanbic in 2009, alleging collusion to deprive him of his Sh91.5 million investment.

In a ruling, High Court judge Eric Ogolla found in favor of Mr. Kiarie and directed the brokerage firm and the bank to pay him Sh310 million. However, in July 2017, the Court of Appeal overturned the decision. The appellate court ruled that the investment bank had not participated in the criminal case and therefore did not have the opportunity to cross-examine Mr. Kiarie’s general manager regarding the evidence provided.

The court nullified the damages assessment and the applied interest and instead directed that Mr. Kiarie be paid an amount equivalent to the returns he could have earned from the investment in treasury bonds for one year, minus the brokerage firm’s commission and annual fees.

Mr. Kiarie was unsatisfied and sought to escalate the matter to the Supreme Court. Mr. Mbaru opposed the application, stating that he had complied with the court’s judgment and that Mr. Kiarie had accepted the payment and interest provided.

Continue Reading

Politics & Policy

Kenya Demonstrations: What Does Kenya’s Odinga Want?



Former Kenyan Prime Minister - Raila Amollo Odinga
Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga addresses supporters where he called for mass action against high cost of living , Nairobi, March 9, 2023.

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has a playbook he turns to when he loses an election. He calls supporters onto the streets until he’s given a share of power.

By Antony Sguazzin

This week was no different but it’s unclear whether President William Ruto will yield.

The March 20 protests led to one death and the closing of shops and schools. By piggybacking his demand for the 2022 election loss to Ruto to be overturned with discontent over the cost of living, he ensured a turnout.

His election demand is unlikely to be met. The 78-year-old has run for president five times and lost five times. A Supreme Court that’s proved its independence before by nullifying an election result dismissed his petition.

Odinga’s backers including former justice minister and 2022 running mate, Martha Karua, insist they won and want an audit to try and prove


Now, Odinga says, protests will be held every Monday and Thursday until he gets his way.

There are precedents.

Violence after the disputed 2007 election forced then-President Mwai Kibaki to appoint Odinga as prime minister and in 2018 the threat of a
redux of that disruption saw President Uhuru Kenyatta extend to him an olive branch.

Odinga’s actions “show that there isn’t really respect for the election process,” said Zaynab Mohamed, an analyst at Oxford Economics Africa.
His tactics risk unraveling the progress Kenya has made, she added.

In 2018, the Supreme Court overturned Kenyatta’s victory and ordered a rerun and last year’s vote was less divided along ethnic lines than previously. That’s a far cry from the violence in the 2007 election that saw more than 1,500 killed and 300,000 made homeless and two decades of
repression under Daniel Arap Moi, whose cabinet Odinga once joined.

There’s little appetite to return to those days.

Continue Reading


Verified by MonsterInsights