I want to do a section on Kenyan chiefs, many of whom collaborated with the colonial government and whose children and grandchildren have ascended to positions of incredible power and wealth in Kenya.
These chiefs drew their power from association with the colonialists. They included:
– Koinange wa Mbiyu.
– Karuri wa Gakure.
– Njiiri wa Karanja.
– Angaine M’Itiria.
– Musa Nyandusi.
– Kinyanjui wa Gathirimu.
– Muhoho wa Gathecha.
– Michuki wa Kagwi.
– Josiah Njonjo.
– Amoth Owira of Alego.
– Mwendwa Kitavi.
It should be known that the British colonialists reached a point that they knew they had to leave Kenya since they couldn’t handle the Mau Mau suppression and the world was moving towards accepting an independent Africa. However, the colonialists devised an evil scheme that is still ingrained in our country upto this day. Under this scheme, the colonial state came up with a plan that saw the first crop of chiefly “big men” being empowered financially to take their children to schools and eventually have those children go to England for further studies and eventually providing a ready-made socio-economic and political class to whom independence and state power could be entrusted in the post-colonial era. This explains why their children and grandchildren still hold majority of almost all important positions in government or in the private sector supported by state machinery.
This also explains why children and grandchildren of these homeguards are always given preferential treatment when it comes to government appointments.
Wewe na masomo yako you are always asking why you can never get a job in government…yet you’re qualified..now you know.
Its important to note that as long as Uhuru is President of Kenya, there are some government positions that ata uwe umesoma hadi kiwango gani..you will never get that job. Those jobs are reserved for homeguards and their generations. This explains why when Uhuru makes appointments, always check closely it’s to people from prominent families.
His father Jomo did the same thing.
— Senior Chief Mwendwa Kitavi of Kitui produced Kenya’s first African Chief Justice, Kitili, and three Cabinet Ministers in the Kenyatta and Moi governments — Eliud Ngala, his brother Kyale and Kitili’s widow, Nyiva.
— The late Minister John Michuki was born in 1932 to the 45th wife of Chief Michuki wa Kagwi who had 47 wives.
Michuki’s early life was similar to that of many post-colonial African elite. When he died in 2012, he left a Sh10bn estate.
— Senior Chief Musa Nyandusi, father to Simeon Nyachae (former PC, Head of civil service, Minister for Finance, Agric), once hid Jomo Kenyatta from the colonialists. He is said to be the first person to own a car in Kisii, was husband to 15 wives and sired over 100 children.
— It was Senior Chief Njiiri wa Karanja (of Kigumo) son, Kariuki Karanja wa Njiiri, who vacated the Kigumo legislative seat in 1962 to allow Kenyatta to make it to parliament & participate in the 2nd Lancaster House Conference.
Apparently, the decades of grumbling about this “debt” owed by Kenyatta seems to have borne fruit as the Uhuru government recently allocated Sh340mn for the upgrade of Kangari market in Kigumo constituency.
— Chief Muhoho wa Gatheca (b. 1872) was father to Mama Ngina & George Muhoho, a former priest and the Pope’s private secretary, who became Education, then Tourism, then Technology minister in the Moi govt and now a power behind the Uhuru throne.
Another son, Paul Gathecha got entangled in the NYS corruption scandal but upto this day, we only hear of Waiguru and PS Omollo and the Ngiricis as the main culprits. This one from the royal family was let go with a slap on the hand. He’s also the father to former Kiambu women rep Anna Nyokabi.
— Senior Chief Waruhiu wa Kung’u served the colonialists for 30 years and believed that their authority was God-given and to disobey them was tantamount to disobeying God.
He was shot in the mouth by an assassin in October 1952, precipitating a state of emergency 2 weeks later.
Chief Waruhiu had five wives and amongst his children were:
1. Sam Waruhiu: Early student at Mangu and later on Chairman of Old Mutual and Barclays.
2. George Waruhiu of Waruhiu and Co. Advocates.
— Senior Chief Magugu wa Waweru was chief of Komothai Location in 1935. Known to be lacklustre, he was father to Arthur Magugu who went on to become a finance minister in the Moi government.
— Senior Chief Amoth Owira of Alego was father to Cornel Rasanga, governor of Siaya County and Dr. Patrick Amoth, Ag. Director Gen for Health, and Vice President WHO Executive Board.
Chief Amoth has been described as a leading collaborator.
There is the story of General Baimungi Marete who was murdered by the Kenyatta government in 1965 after pointing out that promises made to the MauMau were not being delivered.
His family lives in abject poverty to this day.
If you look closely, those who fought in the forest as genuine MauMau are still fighting poverty today. It took me some effort to even internalise all this. The one thing that’s missing are the lines that connect the dots. In there lies the story of how Kenyatta ended up being the choice candidate for PM then President… that puzzle requires a white board like you see in FBI movies…
Our 8-4-4 syllabus may as well have been written by the Brits because the ordinary citizen on the street is still riding on their primary/high school knowledge on the history of Kenya, which is all bullshit!
Scratch below the surface and you see the game which is more complex than is innocuous-seeming stuff…its from here that you’ll understand why the Kenyatta family is sending roses to London in the midst of a pandemic ati it’s been in solidarity with their customers while our miraa farmers can’t be allowed to send miraa to their Somali or Yemeni customers as a show of solidarity as well….Therein lies our problems as a nation. While we are mired in the confusion and intricacies of party politics, the succession plan that Britain engineered before independence is working exactly as envisaged. They are still calling the shots via their middlemen, the 2nd & 3rd generation homeguards.
Here are some additional comments by readers…
I think the descendants of the colonial clergymen are in this category of the privileged few. Reverend Musa Gitau the first colonial African ordained Presbyterian clergy…
…had his daughters well educated even when in those days girls education was still a frowned upon subject.
Edith Wanjiru (wife of the late Mr. Kenneth Matiba) and her sister Joan Gitau were alumnae of Alliance Girls and went on to be pioneer African Headteachers at the Moi Girls (Nrb) and Alliance Girls High schools respectively.
Canon Jeremiah Awori (father of Moody Awori et.al) was a pioneer African colonial clergyman with the Anglican Church. Very many Aworis have been at the helm of the corporate world, Moody in politics and remember the other brother in Ug.
Hannington Awori has been on the boards of all British companies, in most of them as chairman, his bro Uncle Moody former VP too. The former CS environment and current ambassador to France Judi Wakhungu is their scion.
The PS Foreign Affairs Dr. Kamau Macharia is son of the renowned PCEA past moderator the Rt. Rev. Jesse Kamau just to name but a few.
The clergy were part of white privilege if not wholly part of the colonial establishment. These are good examples you give. There was cannon Hesbon Nyong’o of Maseno too.
He was the patriarch of a great scholarly family that includes Profs Anyang Nyong’o and Aggrey Nyong’o the Nairobi Hospital surgeon and the banker Susan Mudhune.
Most important is the role of British MI6 in keeping it all together.
By MUMBI wa MBIU