• Stephen Osieyo

JM KARIUKI: WHAT MANNER OF MAN

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

Genesis 37:19

Here comes the dreamer, let us slay him and see what becomes of his dreams

______




The revolution is never televised (Gil Scott-Heron)

The alternative to the goings-on in the world and the US in particular where white youths have decided to take matters in their hands is the alternative history I would love to retell.

In the aftermath of the global Black Lives Matter civil unrest, white youths all over the world decided to distance themselves from dark past history associated with their ancestors. They decided not to stand aside and be shit-canned with the dark history of slave trade, slavery and colonial past must come to an end. In London the white youths were in the fore front of pushing down statues that reminded them of the worst in their ancestors. They shamed their own ancestors who were glorified for inflicting historical injustices to Africa and people of black descent.

In the streets of North America and practically the rest of Anglophone western Europe, the youths replaced or joined black youths to tell their own story that Black Lives Matter is a cry they also want to exorcise and distance themselves from the dark evil past. They did not fear being televised and carried out their task unmasked dutifully in broad daylight

The young protesting white youths did not stop after the tv cameras stopped televising their activities. In retreat to their own household US white urban youths and their parents decided that racism must be put first ahead of Corona epidemic as the agenda for the impending 2020 US elections pitting a conservative candidate versus career advocate for righting wrongs all over the world. They decided that as much as the epidemic is killing hundreds of thousands, racism and colonialism has killed hundreds of millions and is still killing many more all over the world.


In the just concluded US presidential elections the elderly and youths without the glare of tv cameras, without queuing on voting lines, turned to their ballot papers and voted to distance themselves from the past colonial gulag. True to the words of Gil Scott-Heron, the American great artist, a real revolution is not televised. When the conservative world woke up the revolution had been successful conducted without television cameras and only waiting to be collected on post office mails.

Can African youths ever stand to distance themselves from the injustices caused by their fellow kinsmen, clansmen or tribes men. Yes, they are ready to sing Black Lives movement, Diversity and Equal Opportunity in the Diaspora, but is that what they post on social media in pseudo accounts.

Is there any hope that Africans can make the move made by white youths when confronting the racism issue of their dark past? More specifically can Kenya address this monster. More relevant to this blog are Nam-lolwe people in inter-tribal mixed marriages ever approach this issue on a frank basis that despite their personal interest in their own matrimonial relationships bigger issues rages outside that requires them to distance themselves from the past before saying, “I do”.

Bluntly put can Kikuyus and Luos in a mixed marriage face up to the injustices done to the Lakeside people and acknowledge that there were injustices done to Luos by a domineering Kiambu Mafia. Or is it easier to apologise for being Luos rather than the spouse frankly accept that there were injustices done to the people of the Lake “but I am not a part of it”.

Luo men acquiesce in marital relationship is unnecessary and uncalled for because if Kikuyus were so much into their customs they would not marry out of their tribe in the first place.

If Luo youth can shout Black Lives Matter all day, they should shout Luo Lives matter before they enter into such vows. Do they? I am not sure why Luos in mixed marriages apologise for being Luos but I think Agikuyu do detest this historical injustice even if it is the privacy of their Lives and I have a proof that, this is a history Mount Kenya people do not want to be reminded of and they just wish could go away.

1969

Immediately after the 1969 flare ups there a mass harassment and violence unleashed on Luos by youths who had taken oaths in Gatundu Kanu Private trips. My brother’s Kikuyu girlfriend on learning of the oncoming panga (machete) raids in the area around Nairobi Muthangari near the new Kianda College decided to lock my brother in the house and walked off with the keys. My brother was spared the violence. Some would cynically argue that she was merely saving her bank account otherwise she would have informed him in time to so that other brethren like Adam, Arumba would have escaped the violence.

1990s

In Early 1990 my boss was attending the funeral of my late brother. After spending the evening before the burial driving around the dilapidated public investments and centres of Ndere Ginnery, Nzoia Centres, Siranga, the Ukwala former District headquarters and all the famous centres, the boss Mr Gathaiya was left shaken. When he arrived at the funeral he said to me in a very pensive drawl, “I have been driving around this side of Siaya District since I passed the famous Yala township which should be a University town by now. Truly Kenyatta regime mercilessly devastated a populated part of Kenya and for what?”

That was an authentic human statement delivered by a Kikuyu in a painful and sombre voice almost trembling in anger. Witnessing such devastation, he laid bare his true stand on the matters Kikuyu-Luo relationship. He let down his unguarded feelings be known because this is a past he does not want to t be part of.

2007- Naivasha

Kikuyu-Luo relationships thawed during the 25 years of Moi misrule up to Kibaki-Tosha deception. The violence later picked up right where it was left off with 2007 elections. In the bloody retaliatory attack on Naivasha lakeside migrant workers, legend has it that a Kikuyu learnt of the impending attacks and tipped off his colleague and best friend to make a run. He saved his friend and colleague in a story very similar to Hotel Rwanda stories. This young Kikuyu fought his part in distancing himself from the past ugly history.

2008- London

After the above 2007 elections 3 young women of Agikuyu descent decided to step out of this tragic masquerade. Legend has it that in some church in Essex, 3 young Kikuyu ladies were attending a church service in the aftermath of the tribal violence that was still simmering in the western part of Kenya. The pastor to this church was a Luo man sucking up to Kikuyu offerings and disposable income, in a very common but reversed unholy marriage of convenience.

During the service and right at the pulpit this Luo pastor condemns Luos and bars any Luo from joining his Diaspora church, using all vitriol against fellow Luos to please the majority Kikuyu congregation, so he thought. However, he did not plan for what followed next. He did not know that some of the modern Agikuyu do not want to bear the blame of a history that they did not commit and profited nothing for.

The next speaker, a Kikuyu speaker stood up and recounted his life of growing up in Kisumu and reiterated that he has nothing untoward to say about a people just for political expediency. He added that he is not alone in that experience and will not resort to such blanket stereotype hatred on a people who have not fought any known wars since the beginning of time. But that was not the end.

As the congregation was breaking up the 3 young Kikuyu ladies approached this pastor who was shaking hands of some hesitant and unwilling flock who were still shocked at what he had said. The 3 young ladies took the pastor to task asking him to go back to the pulpit and “uncondemn Luos” because the 3 of them had children born of Luo fathers and therefore had been routinely collectively condemned at the pulpit.

My point is that what is happening with white American youths has been happening before in Kenya. It is only that such a revolution is internal and is never televised. Such one revolution is the one dreamt of by one Josiah Mwangi Kariuki.

ASSASSINATION OF A LUO DREAM: JM KARIUKI

To the younger generation: this man was killed because even though he was filthy rich in a young Kenya, he spoke for the poor and raised issues concerning the poor.

Why was JM Kariuki bothered about the poor?

If it's not for his conviction, it's because he was a maumau detainee and must have seen his colleagues still caught in poverty when the collaborators were wallowing in sloth. Nyeri people did not have it so good after independence even though they were the ones who faced the full force of the maumau violence

JM Wealth.

He was filthy rich and he did not deny it. Instead he used it to assist the needy. Not exactly in the same way as Pablo the South American drug baron. He did it by way of advocacy and speaking for the poor. And advocacy is more powerful than just dishing handouts because advocacy is a hands up. It empowers one to walk out of poverty for good. Dishing handouts is arithmetic but advocacy is algebraic in the yields. That is why advocacy is most feared by oppressors.

How did JM get that wealth in a such a young nation? He was himself very young. He must have earned that money while working as President Kenyatta’s personal assistant. Okay. Personally I believe Robin Hoods are an act of God. So no problem there for me.

Socialist?

No No he was never a socialist. If anything he was capitalist Tom Mboya's button man in nailing Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. He would even go on errands diplomatically to undercut socialist Jaramogi like in the well-publicised mission to poison Kwame Nkrumah’s mind against socialist Jaramogi. I don’t think they had time for socialists or people like Lumumba, Obote. In fact, Tom Mboya preached a new brand called African socialism (And I like it)

JM loved gambling and horse racing. Not the type of habits associated with socialist. Well maybe a Champaign socialist. Didn't Russian Brezhnev have a collection of Mercedes Benz. So it’s possible to love all these and be a socialist as well

When exactly did he become an Enemy of the state? Everything points to after the death of Tom Mboya and the ensuing Kisumu massacre. He started making intensive country wide tours touching development projects. I remember he brought Shs 25,000 to Ukwala Secondary school in 1970 and that was barely six months after Tom Mboya Assassination and barely four months after Kisumu massacre. That was the first time I saw a Citroen car. Maybe he developed a taste for the Tom Mboya lifestyle and it did not go unnoticed elsewhere. And he was doing this yet Jaramogi was still in detention and the former sitting MP of the area Odero Sar was also in detention.

Somehow he knew he was very safe in the Lakeside. He came with clean hands and nothing could harm him. At the Harambee function for Ukwala secondary school there was only one police land rover, yet Ukwala was the district headquarters with full fleet of District headquarters just one mile away.

Previously he had been too good like the housemaid who outshines the wife of the house with every government project he touched. Like at the National Youth Service. (don’t get ideas that he carried NYS money). He made NYS as more competent with a profile as huge as the paramilitary General Service Unit. In fact, it was not easy telling which one was more prospective as national conscription service. The irony is the NYS as a National conscription service was a baby of Uganda President Apollo Milton Obote who had been frog marched by Tom Mboya. And now here is a Tom Mboya protégé running the playbook page by page. Obote who had now resettled in UG and was at the helm of Uganda was re-introducing it as the Common Man’s Charter in Uganda. A story for another day

Why did he die.?

The popular explanation is that he was too popular, preached against the government. Which is true. In fact, during the celebrations of '10 great years of independence' JM was very scathing in his criticism of the word "great". He put in personally paid supplements in the dailies criticizing the Ten great years of Independence as a hogwash. And true he was so popular he never campaigned for his re-election. He would take that period and go for holidays overseas. In Kenyatta years there was only one retuning officer based in Nairobi. These nonsense of fixing elections came after Kenyatta’s death. When JM died you know what happened. The rioting shook the nation. Still the why he died is not quite there

Enhanced Why

The unfollowed links in the why JM was killed are the issues that stick in my mind like a sore thumb

I have been chasing one of these secrets that are kept away. That JM died because of a young woman in a senior politician’s house hold. What I have learnt off the record is that it's true that indeed he was involved with a daughter of high society but he was the good guy. The bad guy was the charming military related guy who violated the princess, that in the accident occasioned by that relationship she “lost her motherhood”. JM was not the good guy here and could not have been even faulted, let alone be killed. The guy that was loathed was the military connected guy with his silky smooth coastal fine facial features (Jaber jaula)

LUO SPOT OF BOTHER.

As usual hanging out with a Luo was not a wise thing around this time. Smart people distanced themselves from Luos until things cooled down. In fact, even some Luos distanced themselves from being Luos. It was very hot being a LUO until Raila showed up. It was not easy really. Even Computer programmes allocating hoses in Buru Buru, Ayany, Umoja, etc. used to skip names with O. So you never got picked for a house allocation no matter how qualified you were. But when Kenyatta slipped in the door mat twice in one week after his routine muratina binge a Luo expert was dragged from his house past midnight hours and shoved into a laboratory to test the fabric to find out whether somebody had spiked the carpet. When an expert was needed, it was OK to be a LUO. In a way it explains why when a Luo marries a Kikuyu everything Luo is discarded including the names. The scars of being a Luo are deeply engraved.

1. JM was a close friend of TJ Mboya so much he carried missions against Jaramogi on behalf of Tom Mboya. That is how close they were. As a Kikuyu he must have known the identity of Mboya enemies. Tom Mboya killers did not evaporate. Just last week a posting of mine disappeared at the instigation of a very unlikely source. Mboya killers must have been watching JM closely.

It's not like to say Jaramogi Odinga did not have Kikuyu loyalists. In fact, he had loyalists right in Kiambu. Dr Waiyaki or the Waiyaki's specifically are close friends of Jaramogi family. Kiambu in general is an Odinga friendly zone. Not just Raila. The whole family as a whole. Remember when Jaramogi quit in 1966 some Kiambu ministers also quit. Recall Jaramogi and Njonjo solidarity at the judicial enquiry hearing.

JM closeness to Luos could have made some guys unhappy, that JM is also taking another chunk of sympathisers to the lake side. Remember Nyeri people did not have a bone of malice towards Luos by then. They were both losers. Your enemy’s enemy is your friend.

2. Tom Mboya funeral.

J M Kariuki was the only Kikuyu in Nyanza soil during Mboya burial (exclude government rep Mwai Kibaki). And not only did he ride in the eye of the storm to get there, he actually went and embraced the storm. Just to mourn his friend? I reject that completely. He must have been on a mission to the family that could not be delivered in the glare of intelligence or entrusted with anybody. And it is not like the Mboya family did not know he was there. Remember Alphonce Okuku returned the compliments during JM burial. And widow Pamela Mboya was always seen in the company of JM’ widows.

Could that mission on the burial be related to his being ostracised leading to his death 5 years later? Why would attendance to the funeral matter. JM was accorded such a family welcome not accorded even other Luo dignitaries. The honour was extended even to his vehicle a pure metal as it entered the compound. This in the glare of a multitude of poorly disguised state intelligence. To the state (read Kiambu mafia), here was revolution taking place without tv cameras.

3. Murder scene

Murder experts say you can never be clean in this business. Luos believe “dhano rembe kech”.

In Amin’s Kakwa tribe the punishment for sleeping with a leader’s wife is that you are hanged by the skin and the pain you exert drives the infidelity spirit away from you. Among the coastal tribes, you bring a goat to the husband of the woman. It is slaughtered and you both eat.

Among the Luo just the thought is so revolting it is never a crime. It is like homosexuality in Nigeria. Nigerians didn’t want to pass a law for what they have refused to accept that it exists). Nigerians it was not even a crime because they don't know 'it'.

Amongst the Kikuyu as per my resident tutor. The punishment was you are put in a beehive and thrown off a cliff. It later metamorphosed onto cutting the genitals and stuffing into one’s mouth. None of these happened to JM so definitely it was not a woman Issue. Or was it?

Then there is the small matter of the torture. After Killing him they diligently removed six lower teeth. Not six and half. Nor five but exactly six. Why? To purportedly make him look like a Luo. For your information Luos used to remove six lower teeth as an initiation. Around this time, it was rapidly dying down even Mboya did not remove his teeth. However, JM’s killers must have done this when he was dead because they were able to count the six or at least they removed some as a punishment just to exert pain. Must have been when the maasai morans heard him screaming.

4. Then the plot thickens.

The easiest way to know when a man is a Luo is to pull down their trousers. Everybody knows that. Somehow these guys instead of nullifying JM’s circumcision by feeding the hyenas with just the genitals, they let his genitals intact. Surely that is handing the world fully loaded evidence that this is not a Luo! Are Kiambu mafia that stupid? Why would they leave evidence that he is not a Luo intact and go to great lengths of even extracting six lower teeth and in the struggle cutting his lips. Unless his genitals did not stand in the way of the Luoness they were trying to prove.

Stupidly still they just underscored the error by announcing to the city mortuary guys that “this is a Luo gangster picked up somewhere”. Now anybody would be interested to see how a Luo looks. Besides at the morgue the bodies are laid naked on the marble before given a toe tag. He had no identification card or personal effect to identify him as a Luo. The fact that you have gone an extra mile to announce that he is a Luo means that they were still so angry about the Luo trait that they just had to put their boot in.

As supplementary evidence his name inscribed watch was found in a Luo precinct in Makongeni, Nairobi. In a toilet in Makongeni. Still trying to prove that the Luo gangster even went to the toilet or showers in makongeni before being killed? And they are making more mistakes. Luo gangsters could not afford such a watch. Luo gangsters by then were petty. Fights between Jericho's Kompaniaro and 'A Thousand Street' of Ololo over who had the coolest bell bottom. That is all.

Everything they were doing was to remove the non- Luo in JM and affirm the Luo in him. If any part of him had suggested that he was a Jew, they would have disfigured it.

I will ignore the fact that one of his wives identified him with “secret mark in his private part”, whatever that mark was that is personal and this is a family posting. I think I know why that mark that cannot be disclosed though.

My Conclusion is that whoever killed JM just had a hatred towards something Luo, not Luos but something Luos. A rage that even Kenyatta did not have. A blind anger about a trait of being a Luo that he could not just contain. It was almost like a murder executing by a woman on account of betrayal or jealousy. It was not just eliminating JM who has becoming embarrassing like a boil. It wholesomely the idea and the thought that JM represented. It was not like coup plotters Omondi and company who were jailed for 10 years or opposition leaders who were detained. This was something more personal.

This was something much more personal like betrayal, like a traitor, blasphemy but it had a Luo theme or trait.

What is the Luo trait that comes to mind when shoved in your face can be so revolting? Whatever it is JM Kariuki had it exhibited it and flaunted it.

My conclusion

It is the revolution JM had exhibited, that “I do not want to be part of this dark history of injustices done to all Kenyans including Luos. So like John F Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Abraham Lincoln or the white youths involved in Black Lives Matter civil campaign, Josiah Mwangi Kariuki had exhibited his willingness to distance himself from Lakeside historical injustices. And some one knew that this revolution must not be televised. The dreamer must be slain.

__________________________________________

Anecdote

I was in College with a friend of mine Vianney from Rwanda. I nicknamed him Vital O after a Burundian team that once came to Kenya and let loose their striker by name Okoko to bite the ass of a Gor chairman who had killed the careers of Gor starlets including the extremely talented Nahashon Oluoch Lule. Gor were our rivals but I still hurt at what this chairman did to Gor stars.

Anyway "Vital O" was from a tribe in Rwanda who are always told “You nilotes swim back to river Nile where you came from” Even as Banyamulenge in Congo the pariah status is the same for these nilotes. So Vianney was in Kenya as a refugee under commonwealth scholarship. He befriended a daughter of soil. And they hit off very well and Naomi liked him. My generation we did not kiss and tell but one day Vianney came with and Kiss and tell story. That Naomi had told him “No wonder you are great friends with this Mjadhe!”

Naomi must have freaked to explain when pushed to explain, because she gave a very good answer. You know how Kikuyu ladies can avoid a confrontation She said “You know these Mjadhes, we call them wazungu waliobaki because they have the characters of foreigners with strange unusual customs in Kenya. They practice things that foreigners like you and whites practice. So that is why you are friends”. And she did not say anymore. No matter how many times Vianney asked she kept just laughing at him without telling him. But hey still went out as normal for months. Then one day Naomi told him “Go ask your Luo partner in crime”

So when Vianney came to explain to me. I made Vianney repeat the tone several times but still I could not get it. Then one day I went back and asked Vianney the circumstance. He told me. Then he added it was after the first date. Boy did I laugh!

Vianney joined me in laughter. You know how you can laugh with somebody without realising what you are laughing at. Especially when you don’t understand the language. Then after a while awhile I told him. “What Naomi meant is that you are my friend because Rwandese like Luos and all these foreigners don’t circumcise!”

____________________________________________

180 views

Recent Posts

See All

BAABAAAA!

lake-victoria-sunset.jpg