My assignment here today is described as a story of “Tom Mboya as a politician in Pre-Independence and Post-Independence Kenya” particularly with regard to the active participation of Tom Mboya and myself during our active politics when the Kenyans were demanding for the following:
- The right to govern ourselves as Kenyans
- The termination of racial discrimination in all form perpetuated by the then ruling Mkoloni/Mwingereza – who referred our motherland as Kenya Crown Colony and Protectorate and discriminated mwafrika in many ways such as:
- Residential areas in Nairobi
- Europeans’ most privileged restaurants,
- Provision of Education,
- Health facilities and;
- In other sectors such as in employment, salaries and positions of employment.
Now let me get on to my assignment of our time in politics with Mboya especially from 1956 to the time he was assassinated by a gangster at the then known as the Government road in broad day light.
I first came across Tom in 1956 during our meetings at the office of the Civil Servants union in Kariokor/Starehe – near Tom’s Residence. This time I was an A. E. O. in Kiambu and acting Secretary for Civil Servants, Kiambu Branch. Before my Kiambu posting, I was teaching at the then Government African School and Teacher Training College Embu/Kangaru as a Vice–Principal I met Tom and Mr. Muchura in their meetings.
I was in Kiambu during the state of emergency because of the Mau Mau Rebellion against the Mkoloni’s rule. The Kikuyu Embu Meru were the most affected by the Restriction Rules, which were mostly in Central Province and Nairobi “Sometimes referred to as the city in the sun”. These were mostly the Mau Mau and members of Kikuyu, Embu and Meru who were living in Central Province and parts of Nairobi ‘Native’ Estates.
In 1956 the Mkoloni relaxed the governing system in Kenya and created 8 Constituents for Africans (i. e. the natives as we were termed). The African 8 constituencies were filled through a franchised election Constitution in 1957. these 8 African Member of Legislative Councils (MLCs) of 1957 demanded that the Africans who were the majority inhabitants in Kenya should be given more seats in the Leg Co, this was done in 1958.
Myself and 5 other Africans succeeded in 1958 Elections and became 14 MLCs. The distribution of the seats was as follows:
We worked in unity, as MLCs within our group of African Elected Members Organisation (AEMO) with Oginga as the Chairman and Tom the Secretary. We started rather well as AEMO, but somewhere down the line there was difference in opinions by individual MLCs, which interfered with the unity.
KANU] Based on KAU were formed.
KANU During the two times we attended the constitutional Conference in Lancaster House in London
Despite the minor disunity, God was with us and we were successful to a certain point and worked progressively on our Lancaster gains.
During all these time Tom was one strong man in all the struggles we had such as and played a major role until Kenya got its independence in 1963.
- The revocation of state of emergency,
- The release of Jomo Kenyatta and his fellow detainees,
- The removal of KEM’s restrictions for example the end of villagisation in Central Province and Nairobi, the movement permits for the KEM’s and the removal of racial discrimination in all forms,
- The end of colonial rules and time for Mwafrika to be free to govern his country.
NB: Tom’s special arrangement for successful support to the demands of the Africans demands.
He was particularly in making arrangements for the racial discriminations.
We visited Lokitaung where the 5 freedom fighters (Jomo Kenyatta, Ngei, Ochieng Oneko, Kungu Karumba)
In arranging for the African students to outside friendly, sypathizing with us (Africans) countries e. g. USA, India, save of European countries.
Tom did his best!
He deserves more recognition than he has been accorded,
We should have a stature of Tom in the City of Nairobi,
We should know and live up to the aims and objectives of our National Fighters/founders (the Mau Mau freedom fighters and detainees).
Time does not allow me to tell you the role Tom played in his commanding for support from friendly European, Asian and African countries such as Tanzania through Mwalimu Nyerere, Uganda through Obote, Gold Coast through Kwame Nkrumah and Nigeria.
People like the late Mulumbi and Pinto should also not be forgotten and also our Kenyan lawyers such as Fitz de Souza and Kodhek – that is people who supported Kenyans during the fight for Uhuru should be recognized regardless of race or colour.
We Kenyans must remember the valuable advice of our freedom fighters:
We wanted self rule and to govern ourselves
We should do this in LOVE, PEACE and UNITY
Assassinations is not what we fought for
Tribalism is not in accordance with PEACE and UNITY
Uhuru na Kazi and not the present factions and filling each other
God is in command if we follow and practice our prayerful National Anthem
Ee Mungu nguvu yetu
Ilete baraka kwetu
Haki iwe ngao na mlizi
Natukae na Undugu, amani na uhuru
Raha tupate na usitawi
NB: Tom’s valuable part was in connection with the planning of the National Flag whose colours represented KADU and KANU party colours and Wananchi’s shield and spears for defence. Also the part he played in London with Mulumbi and some friendly British Lawyers and MPs.
There is a book written by titled “Tom Mboya the man Kenya wanted to forget”. It should be now at this stage be “Tom Mboya the Kenyans want to remember”.