General Baimunge

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One of the most illustrious Mau Mau fighters, General Baimungi hailed from Meru, where he lived and fought to liberate his country from the British occupation. He had been drafted to fight for the British in Burma, where he learnt to make guns and driving, skills that served him well as a Mau Mau top brass.

When independence beckoned in December 1963, Baimunge and his comrades insisted the Mau Mau should be incorporated into the national army. They also demanded that loyalists be kicked out of government and the British military officers repatriated.

To forestall a building crisis, the founding President Jomo Kenyatta invited the disgruntled generals, led by Baimunge for a meeting on December 30, 1963, at State House Nakuru. Kenyatta told them to surrender their guns and give his government a chance to serve its people.

Baimunge and three other Mau Mau Generals, Mwariama, Ruku and Chui formed an army of 200 green-uniformed men, dusted their rifles and returned to northern slope of Mount Kenya to fight on.

As the Mau Mau historian, Maina wa Kinyatti, writes in A History of Struggle, a subsequent meeting in Kenyatta’s Gatundu home did not unlock the stalemate, even after Kenyatta offered each fighter of the princely sum of Sh600, land, a flag and a KANU card.

General Baimunge reacted angrily and during a subsequent meeting in Gatundu on March 31, 1964, he reportedly told Kenyatta: “We reject your offer because it amounts to a bribe. You know that we fought and died for the liberation of this land, and not for money and a few acres of land.”

After this meeting, Generals Baimunge, Chui and Ruku who had dedicated their youth to liberate their country were assassinated on January 26, 1965 by suspected government agents.

Those killings were a subject of a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission investigation in 2011.