Jomo Kenyatta

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Born around 1890 and orphaned at childhood Jomo Kenyatta, emerged to take up the mantle of the Kikuyu Central Association in 1927.

Kenyatta started off as a journalist, penning articles critical of the colonial government, and later heading to London to represent his countrymen’s grievances before the white man.

His long sojourn in Europe, lasting 15 years, would enhance his mystique. When Kenyatta finally returned in 1945, he became the principal of the Githunguri College. He also started mobilising people and agitating for the surrender of the land which had been stolen by the colonialists.

Shortly before the state of Emergence was declared in 1952, Kenyatta disowned Mau Mau and on August 24, 1952 was listed for elimination by extremists who favoured armed rebellion.

Ironically, when Chief Kung’u Waruhiu of Kiambu was gunned down by Mau Mau in broad daylight, signalling the start of violent protest against the colonial government, Kenyatta was wrongly suspected by the colonialists of being the force behind Mau Mau.

Shortly after Waruhiu’s funeral, Kenyatta was picked up at night on October 20, 1952 during Operation Jock Stock. He and others leaders, Kung’u Karumba, Achieng oneko, Kubai, Paul Ngei and Kaggia, were subjected to a kangaroo court. The magistrate and the witnesses were bought to ensure the six were convicted.

Kenyatta was sentenced to seven years and hard labour. He served the sentence in Lodwar. He emerged to lead the independence party, Kanu, and it was only a matter of time before he was elected Kenya’s president, when the country attained independence in 1963. Kenyatta died on 22nd August, 1978.