Pio Gama Pinto

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Pio Gama Pinto is one of Kenya’s most revered heroes – a freedom fighter, committed socialist, and patriotic journalist.  Born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1927, he studied in Goa, India.

He returned to Kenya in 1950 and was drawn to the struggle for independence. Working for the East African Indian National Congress, he developed ties with the leaders of the Kenya African Union (KAU) and the trade unions. When Chege Kibachia, Makhan Singh and Fred Kubai were arrested and the East African Trade Union of East Africa banned, Pinto joined hands with workers and helped to continue the movement’s work for independence.

When the Emergency was declared in 1952, he helped to set up a Mau Mau War Council city headquarters in Mathare and acquired a cache of arms for 1,500 city youths who had joined the freedom fighters in the Nyandarua forest. Using his contacts with the Government of India he channelled financial support from India to the Mau Mau.

Pio got married in January, 1954 and just five months later he was detained, spending the next four years in Takwa Detention Camp on Manda Island, and later placed under restriction in Kabarnet. He was not allowed to meet his dying father. He was released in July 1959 and immediately set about contacting the widows and orphans of the Mau Mau fighters and organising assistance for them.

Pio Gama Pinto was assassinated on 24 February, 1965 outside his home in Westlands, an act blamed on Kisulu Mutua, but who was exonerated in 2000.