Some cold cases (unsolved murders) have a way of almost resolving themselves with the benefit of hindsight. Hindsight is like a bird’s eye view. By looking at the whole picture or getting a bird’s eye view of the situation one is able to put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together much more easily.
JM Kariuki was the only Kikuyu politician to set foot on Rusinga Island for Tom Mboya's funeral. Later he was to be brutually murdered after terrible torture. It is believed that he was tortured at the then notorious Kingsway House by security agents. What information were they seeking from him?
For a long time now, I have carefully studied all the evidence linked to the Mboya murder. The JM and Ouko case were a little too obvious and to date these are virtually solved cases, the only problem is that the perpetrators have not been brought to book.
The recent Standard newspapers raid, the Ouko murder, the brutal JM killing and the Mboya assassination all have one thing in common. All were matters of internal security or security of the state and were handled as such. When you understand this simple fact all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fall very neatly into place.
I have just been studying details of all four cases once again and they all bear uncanny resemblance. Before we go into that it may be a good idea to define national security (state security, internal security, they all mean the same thing).
Here is what the online encyclopedia Wikipedia has to say;
National security refers to the public policy of maintaining the integrity and survival of the nation-state through the use of economic, military and political power and the exercise of diplomacy, in times of peace and war.
Measures taken to ensure national security include:
• using diplomacy to rally allies and isolate threats
• maintaining effective armed forces
• using intelligence services to detect and defeat or avoid threats and espionage, and to protect classified information
I want you to take careful note of the third point mentioned. “To defeat and avoid threats.” “To protect classified information.” All three assassinated Kenyans were seen as threats. Threats to the presidency and therefore threats to national security (more on that later).
Ouko was murdered after a controversial trip to the United States where it is rumoured that he had easier access to the then US President George Bush Senior than did President Moi. That was a threat to National security.
JM Kariuki was never the same person after the death of his close friend Tom Mboya. In fact it is on record that JM was the only Kikuyu politician at that time who set foot on Rusinga Island for Mboya’s burial. JM started talking about not wanting a Kenya where there were 10 millioniares and 10 million beggars. It is believed that he was referring to the persons close to the then Ptresident Kenyatta who were using their position to amass colossal amounts of wealth through corruption. JM had been Kenyatta’s private secretary and must have witnessed first hand the way the president was accumulating land for himself like there was no tomorrow. It is said that JM could even turn up at harambee meetings being presided over by the president and donate more money than the president. Remember the threat to the internal security of King Saul in Biblical times when the women sung that shepherd boy David was killing tens of thousands but King Saul was killing only thousands? And to think it was only a song.
The implication here was that JM was trying to prove in public that he was better than the president. The guys he was dealing with had already felled a Mugumo tree called Tom Mboya and had no qualms doing the same with JM and this time, they tortured him first. Even cutting out his private parts. Thanks to a reader of this blog, we now know that the same building where Mboya’s murder was planned and finalized is the same building where JM was taken in and tortured for hours on end.
What information were the security guys looking for by tortusing JM? A good guess is that they wanted to know what foreign support he had.
As we have said before in this blog, Tom Mboya had been in line for the presidency when Jomo Kenyatta was out of the picture and still in detenrion. Mboya’s greatest undoing and the reason why he was viewed as such a huge threat to internal security was the fact that he was very friendly with the Americans. In fact he had direct access to American Presidents like John F. Kennedy and President Johnson, who took over after Kennedy was assassinated. For some unexplained reason, Mboya never really hit it off with Richard "Watergate" Nixon, and must have turned in his grave when the Watergate scandal broke and brought down Nixon’s presidency. The Americans had just organized "something" in Zaire where charismatic Patrice Lumumba had brutally been removed from the picture and replaced by their darling, Mobuto Sese Seko. The Americans could easily organize the same in Kenya. After all they did not like the dominance of the British (who were very close to the Kenyatta government.)
Were the British consulted on this one? It is very likely that they were. Mboya as I have said was a Mugumo tree and the government may have wanted reassurances that incase of any serious backlash, they could count on the support of the British. Here it is interesting to note that during Mboya’s funeral President Kenyatta was visibly so shaken (there was rioting going on outside, that was ho popular Mboya was) that he was unable to read the eulogy. It was done for him by a cabinet minister and MP from Nyanza, Mr Ayodo.
Now the big revelation here is the Standard raid. Here we have the advantage that a cabinet minister admitted in public that it was a matter of national security. Going by what has happened in the past, chances are very high that whatever it is the Standard newspapers were about to publish touched on (you guessed it) the Presidency. Now your guess is as good as mine as to what the big issue was about exactly. Anglo-leasing? The Arturs? Who knows.
You will have noticed that internal security seems to mean the same thing as presidential security. In young states in Africa, it does. If you doubt it, look at what happened in Somalia. Everybody cheered when strongman Siad Barre was overthrown, but look what followed - chaos. To date order has not been restored and there has been no peace.
Part of the problem is that there is too much power vested on the presidency meaning that a threat to the presidency is a threat to the security of the state.
I would like to thank one of my readers who has been making comments here, who forced me to think more deeply and thus put everything together in this way.
I still believe that the best way to heal all this wounds is to have a truth and reconciliation commission and have these issues and accompanying evidence tabled. This is another reason why a new constitution with proper separation of powers is so important.
This has been very exhausting for me but I feel a lot more enlightened today.
I hope to continue with this depressing topic of state security and espionage in a later post soon.
Other Related Stories To Tom Mboya's Assassination in Kumekucha
Kingsway House: Building In Nairobi That Holds Dark Secrets
Tom Mboya: American Friends Were Expecting Assassination Attempt
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