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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Woman Kenya Wanted To Forget

The Late Pamela Mboya: The happiest day of her life? But many tragedies were to follow.

TJ’s brave woman passes on

Two days ago I was dumbfounded when I received news of the death of Pamela Mboya. Pamela is of course the widow of Tom Mboya. She died in a South Africa hospital while undergoing treatment.

What made me really sad is that she has carried with her to the grave secrets that would have helped put together conclusive evidence to charge the people who murdered her husband who continue to walk scot-free enjoying their lives greatly thanks to their ill-gotten wealth.

Even sadder was Pamela’s last ditch effort in early 2008 to get the information to Kofi Annan when he was here mediating peace after the post-election violence.

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So, is Mboya’s assassination related to the post election troubles?

You bet it is. You see in my view the culture of impunity and Muta-do? Started on July 5th 1969 (the day the two shots that ended Mboya's life rung out outside a chemist's shop on Moi Avenue). Very prominent persons in government killed Mboya and Kenyans knew that but what would they do against the mighty Kenyan government?

Barack H. Obama senior. His friends insist that his problems started after he testified at the Mboya trial.

You see after Mboya’s death, there were serious unprecedented chaos in Nairobi. So much so that during his funeral service at Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi, a visibly shaken President Kenyatta was unable to read his speech and it had to be read on his behalf by a member of the cabinet Mr Ayodo. Outside riot police battled with angry mobs. But the Kenyatta government finally overcame that crisis and that is how impunity was entrenched in Kenya. Because it was always asked; if we killed Mboya and nothing happened, what else can we not do? That question was definitely asked when JM Kariuki was murdered in 1975 and even in the Moi days when Robert Ouko was bumped off.

Today Kenyans know that despite what the US ambassador is trying to say (President Obama, please make that change quick. We can’t stand this guy!!!) Kenyans know in their knowing that the grand coalition government is the most corrupt government ever. It makes Moi and his cronies look like saints. But Kenyans Muta-do? But even before that, Mwai Kibaki rigged the presidential vote in his favour in a less than clinical way. However he is now the president. Muta-do?
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An interesting aside here is that Barack Obama Senior’s friends insist that his troubles started after he testified at the Mboya murder trial where a man called Nahashon Njenga said openly, why accuse me, what about the “Big man”? Implying that he had been sent on the hit by some “Big man”. Obama of course was airlifted to the US for studies by Mboya who sourced financing and made all the arrangements.

Indeed so was young Pamela before she got married to Tom. Pamela was on the same flight as Prof George Saitoti another beneficiary of the airlifts. She was the daughter of a close political associate of Mboya’s called Walter Odede. In the photo carried on this page taken on Pamela’s wedding day, she looks extremely happy (which bride wouldn’t, getting married to such a dashingly handsome man as Mboya whom many saw at the time as the most eligible bachelor in Kenya?) However little did she know that the years that were to follow were to be no bed of roses. Incidentally Mboya’s best man at the wedding, Charles Njonjo is a prime suspect in the assassination of Mboya along with Charles Rubia and Mbiyu Koinange (Jeff Koinange’s grand dad).

The image of Pamela that stands most prominently on my mind was from a clip taken of her arriving the Holy Family Basilica for the funeral service of her husband, dressed in the fashionable minis of the time. She broke down and collapsed right at the stairs of the church.

To her credit over the years she never re-married and saw it fit to keep the Mboya name as alive as possible. Tragedies in the family were plenty. Mboya’s brother was killed in a road accident a few years later and then her first born son Peter Mboya died in a mysterious motorcycle accident along Waiyaki way in the 90s.

Pamela was a really brave woman who went through a lot. I pray that it was NOT all in vain.

So long Pamela. And Thanks. We’ll take it from here.


Sam Okello said...


Thank you for such a forceful reminder of the incredible work done by TJ for our nation. It's indeed amazing that because of the airlifts credited to him, Barack Sr. flew across the vast Atlantic and found a way to bless this world with Barack Jr.

My condolences to Luke and all the other members of the Mboya family on the loss of this beloved figure in that family. Just as Chris has led the way in asking us to reflect on the life and times of Mrs. Mboya, I hope that her life of integrity will rub on us and leave us better people.

God bless the Mboya family!

joe the choma man said...

ah yes, the famous "big man" line from the suspected killer of TM
wish he had been a little more specific with details like name and position in Govt etc-minor details like that go a long way in identifying someone

well, fast forward a few years down the road(40 to be precise) to today and that "big man" has multiplied into at least 43 "big men" faceless enemies whose faces we see everyday on tv but strangely enough we can't recognise them as enemies. these have their grip around Kenya's throat-in that time we as a country have grown steadily poorer and we are among the top 10 most corrupt countries in the world

ahh, but what am i saying? i am wasting my breath because don't we all desire to be "big men"? leave the cheap mantras "yes we can" alone, forget about "hope" and high sounding funny ideals-"Chriso" i know you also want to be a "big man"-it is in all our DNA's and i don't mean banjuka

oh to be a big man in Kenya....

Phil said...

I am yet to buy that line that TJ did incredible work for Kenya.

Of course, I have not forgotten that the very constitution we have been trying to reform for the last 20 years - and that which has cost the lives of hundreds of Kenyans - was the handiwork of one Tom Mboya then working in cahoots with the powers that be. He did not know he would be victim himself!

On a side note Chris, it is a recorded fact that Tom Mboya's marriage to Pamela Odede was not because of courtship and love. I have it on record that the sly Mboya got married to Pamela and sent her to USA for studies so that her dad could introduce TJ to president Kenyatta. It is just too similar to what the Arturs were trying to do with Kibaki's daughter recently.

Incidentally, my sources also tell me that Pamela was actually TJ's third wife and that the first two were divorced / or rather ended up as failed marriages, because the in-laws were not 'adding any value' to the young TJ's political ambitions.


Joe said...

Phil says...

On a side note Chris, it is a recorded fact that Tom Mboya's marriage to Pamela Odede was not because of courtship and love. I have it on record that the sly Mboya got married to Pamela and sent her to USA for studies so that her dad could introduce TJ to president Kenyatta

Hmmm. Interesting. Can you share your sources Phil?

Anonymous said...

I have always given Phil, the benefit of the doubt, but today I have confirmed my worst fears.

Phil is a blind unthinking Raila worshiper. How sad!!!

That is what his comment above is all about. The man does not even think to send condolences to the Mboya family first at this difficult time. All he can think about is his god Raila being upstaged by a dead man.

You see Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and Tom Mboya were sworn political rivals. It is Jaramogi who stopped Mboya from being Kenya's first president by claiming support for Kenyatta and saying no Kenyatta no independence.

And as for the cock and bull story about Mboya wanting to meet Kenyatta, it is rather obvious that Kenyatta was NOT a factor in the run up to independence until Jaramogi resurrected his political career with a single statement in parliament (the Legco then) designed to make sure that the young man did not become president. Odinga preferred a Kikuyu to Mboya and so in a way he caused the mess that we are in today.

M-Pesa said...

Impunity, Impunity!

Twin brothers Raila and Kibaki are the major OBSTACLES of meaningful development in Kenya. Waende retirement! Someone like Kibaki has been in government for 45 years!! yet has only succeeded in lining his own pockets! He shall forever be remembered for being "arrogant," "indecisive" and "ignorant."

Raila on the other hand would like the media to stop asking "petty questions about corruption and famine" and instead DICTATES that they should ask about his overseas trips!

These oldies actaully think they own this country and govern it like a personal property! They lack vision, charisma and will. Obama succeeded in joing McCain and Bush together right on their hips in his campaigns. Come 2012 and Raila will be joined together with unpopular Kibaki. They day they are out of power would be good riddance to bad and old rubbish!

Lest we forget : Rest in Peace Pamela Mboya!

Non Kikuyu, Non Luo said...

Mboya’s best man at the wedding, Charles Njonjo is a prime suspect in the assassination of Mboya along with Charles Rubia and Mbiyu Koinange (Jeff Koinange’s grand dad).

Hmmm. Very interesting. All the more why we need a TRUTH, JUSTICE and RECONCILIATION commission to get everything out in the open, Justice administered, forgiveness if confessions are made and then REAL reconciliation.

Phil said...


Let Chris – the self confessed Mboya admirer - confirm or deny what I have posted here.

Meanwhile, enjoy these excerpts From TIME MAGAZINE Archives. It tells quite a different story from the all powerful politician Chris has been selling to us Kumekucha faithful.

Ready or Not
Monday, Mar. 07, 1960

At night, after dinner, he often goes to work alone in a hideaway upstairs office, where he can hear the sounds of the best dance band in Africa, arising from the first-floor exclusive Equator Club, which is open to white hunters, rich settler types, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Ruark, and Hollywood visitors—but not to Africans. Except on trips, Mboya has little time these days for the nightclubs and dancing he loves (he once shook the maracas in a dance band), or for the many girl friends, not all of them African, whom Tom has always attracted. His current flame is Pamela Odede, 21, slender, poised, and graceful daughter of Tom's former K.A.U. chief, Walter Odede (who after seven years is still being held without trial). They were secretly engaged long before she left last September for Western College in Oxford, Ohio, where she is a junior on a scholarship arranged by Tom.
Sensational in Swahili. By most who know him, Tom Mboya is respected but not loved, for the hard climb up the ladder has tempered his shy, modest personality with a clinically detached coldness and an occasional ruthlessness that angers enemies and saddens friends. He is courteous and correct, but a hard man to know. He lacks the warm, friendly charm of the African he admires most, Tanganyika's Nationalist Julius Nyerere (see box).,9171,894716-8,00.html


Social Note
Friday, Jan. 12, 1962

During his meteoric rise in Kenya's black nationalist movement, moon-faced Tom Mboya, 31, has taken two wives, both of them in the simple tribal custom that permits any marriage to be dissolved whenever the partners decide to separate. Neither union worked, but last week he announced that he would take another stab at matrimony. This time the marriage would take place on a more permanent basis—in the Roman Catholic Church, to which Mboya has belonged ever since his childhood days in Catholic mission schools.

Bride-to-be is Pamela Odede B.A. (as the wedding invitations call her), a recent scholarship graduate of Western College in Oxford, Ohio. Along with the willowy, ebony-skinned bride of 23, the young trade-union boss will acquire added political prestige, for Pamela is the daughter of Walter Odede, for years a prominent African nationalist and close associate of the revered Jomo Kenyatta.

In the local tradition, it is Mboya who must pay a dowry for Pamela's hand, and Father Odede decided that 16 cows was about the right price. "It would have been twelve if I had been kind, or 24 if I had been harsh," he declared, adding reflectively, "No woman is worth more than 24 cattle.",9171,828914,00.html?iid=chix-sphere

M-Pesa said...

Chris, this impunity thing has gone too far! It was in the news- allover- that early last saturday morning, a police inspector barely in his 30's shot dead a love rival near Sarit Centre.

This inspector whom the police have refused to name so far went and reported the matter to his pals at Buruburu police station instead of nearby Parklands.

He had shot Mr Ng'ang'a, 29 years old and son of former Gatundu MP, 5times, with 2 shots through the mouth. This victim was a PhD holder and lecturer of international law in UK.

The young inspector is still in custody and has pleaded "insanity!" He was drinking with his victim before the murder and the fight was over a young 25 years old lady.

Here's where impunity comes in, the young inspector knows the police will be on his side, and the maximum he will do in jail is maybe an year or less before 'files' disappear. Invstigations as has been, will be shoddy and incompetent.

This inspector, about 28 years old, is well known in Nairobi as he drinks heavily and brandishes his gun about menacingly to anyone who crosses his path. Questions are now being asked how he rose through the ranks so fast at such an age!

He is always accompanied by a posse, most of them local celebs and always uses a BMW or a Merc, of course borrowed from rich buddies who use his to intimidate opponents.

This same inspector who lives in Umoja area is married with 2 kids but has about 5 kids born out of wedlock. His initials are D.N.M and tomorrow I shall reveal more about him including where he's based!

Stay tuned! Impunity must end!

Chris said...

Firstly my heartfelt condolences go out to Luke and the rest of the Mboya family. Poleni sana.

Phil you have built a reputation as a sober level-headed and very informed writer and commentator here in Kumekucha. Many will not forget the work you did here during the post election troubles in Jan 2008.

However the comment here embarrasses you. You just need to study the history of Kenya and how we attained independence to know that the name Tom Mboya is impossible to ignore. Don't forget that the Kenyatta regime did it's best to delete that name from Kenyan history and failed. So good luck to you my friend.

It is true that Pamela was Mboya's wife number 2. The first marriage did not work out. But how relevant is that to the what the man did for mother Kenya?


Sam Okello said...

Phil, my friend, what's come over you? Where is your decency today? Can't you let us mourn this great lady with the dignity she deserves? None of us has claimed Thomas or Pamela were angels. None of us is or ever will be. All we are saying is that all things considered, Tom and Pam were a force for good in society.

God rest her soul!

Anonymous said...

God is punishing Kenyans for the innocent blood you shed becasue of stolen election.

May you all die and leave the land to the animals to roam free!

Kenya belongs to Elephants, Lions, Zebras, buffolos na kadharika.

You stole the land from the poor animals, animals have the right to live too.

Anonymous said...

Phil, please tell us more about this fellow mboya that chris and okello here are trying to sugar coat and flash down our unwilling throats..

kumne the dude was like all luo's, womaniser and sly with a big mouth. he had to organise scholarships for his girlfriends while other more deserving Kenyans perished. his many children born out of wedlock still languish in poverty.

chris, wacha upuzi, kama mtu ni male prostitute let phil say...

just like obama senior, mboya was a male all luo's..including molasses...rem passaris who molasses promised a MP position and defiled her???
read last year raw notes from chris

Anonymous said...


Stop umalaya worship here!
Your obsession with philandering men leaves little to be desired. It just expose your own lust.

Anonymous said...

TJ was a violent man, read more;
Tom Mboya was just another barefoot child in the untamed highlands of East Africa, where his people had only recently discovered the uses of the wheel. He was born to illiterate parents on the dried cow-dung floor of a grass-roofed hut on the sisal (hemp) estate of Sir William Northrup McMillan, who, a local yarn has it, won his 34,000 acres of Kenya highlands with a throw of the dice in Nairobi's Norfolk Hotel bar.
Tom Mboya has come a long way from his origins, but he remembers them and their rigid social order: at the bottom were the African workers, earning $3 a month in the sisal fields; then came the Indian shopkeeper, who sold them kerchiefs, trinkets and tobacco; on top were the few whites around.
"Do not set yourself against the white man," warned Tom Mboya's father, a sober, hard-working Jaluo tribesman who was the African headman at the farm's sisal-processing plant. "He is too powerful, and you cannot change him." But Tom Mboya recalls how riled he was at the sight of the stern estate manager, whom the Africans in fear called Bwana Kiboko—the boss who carries the hippo-skin whip.
Scrawling in the Sand. Making the princely local sum of $7 a month as headman, his father could afford the luxury of school for Tom at Kabaa mission, 25 miles away, where Roman Catholic priests were Irish and the fees were $14 a year. There, at nine, Tom scrawled his lessons in the sand under a shade tree, for classrooms were crowded and blackboards nonexistent. At his next school, St. Mary's, near Lake Victoria, the lessons for the first time were in English. He was no prodigious scholar, and no leader, but he liked singing, acting, and especially debating. His teachers noted another characteristic, a deep aversion to violence. No one recalls a single fist fight or angry argument; when the kids ribbed him about his soprano voice and his chubby figure, he laughed it away.

Anonymous said...


The man is dead. let him rest in peace! or go exhume him and make him your president.

Worshipping dead people is demonic!

Vikii said...

Condolences to Luke and his people.

That said, why do you guys spin for deceitful politicians (dead or alive) and expect us to swallow that crap? Will you guys give us a break because some of the things Phil says are true? I am not concerned about the nonsense of him having three wives or using Pamela as a political bait (so what, that's not our business) BUT it is wrong to try and rewrite history. Tom Mboya should take his own share of blame for what ails Kenya. You cannot deny that. You cannot change it.

Anyway, if this is about his wife, we should all join hands to celebrate the life she has lived so gracefully. She chose not to join the political class and that alone is commenndable. My God bless her in death. May he also bless her family.

Anonymous said...

Well said. It is very nice to see you talking objectively. I don't know what gets over you sometimes. Cut the irrational Luo hatred becoz your contributions are otherwise very intelligent. Dont ever forget that its only the political class that benefits from the animosity among different tribes.


Anonymous said...

Anon 1/28/09 3:33 AM, very true. Obama Sr. died a poor man despite going to Harvard and sleeping with as many women as cocks do to hens. He did not even build a house for his family. Wajaluo ni wajaluo. Don't joke with Luo men and women. Even AIDS does not suppress their sexual urges.
Good Obama was not brought up in Kenya, he would be another jaluo malaya and would have died poor in a mud hut.

Shaddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaddy said...

Phil, any updates on Nakumatt fire?

Hellen Okello

kalamari said...

Nice wedding picture.

Only men who have repeatedly dated women who are taller than themselves can understand Tom Mboya’s beaming face. For such a woman, a man must be excused for using all the tricks in the big black book; be they political slyness or otherwise. Again, only those who can handle taller women can understand.

May she rest in peace.

Phil said...

Chris, unfortunately, just like Mboya, you are displaying open very worrisome signs of not being a democrat who can accept that other people may have different opinions!

You have to accept that you are always over-rating the accomplishments of Tom Mboya.

According to your many posts and comments on Tom Mboya over the years, there is simply no other Kenyan who is a match to TJ's foresight or political acumen. You think that there is no other Kenyan with similar credentials when it comes to public services. These are all LIEs and you know it.

In his hurry to isolate Jaramogi (so as to endear himself as heir to Kenyatta) his blunders were his quick constitutional amendments that only ended up in creating an imperial presidency. Not to mention his actions at Lancaster where the original constitution was made!!!

Like the rest of us, TJ had serious weaknesses and shortcomings not just in public life but also in private. Its shame Chris because in so far as LUO culture is concerned - the word DIVORCE does not simply exist in the vocabulary. So let me ask you; what happened to the rest of his widows? These are the real women who - to quote Chris - Kenyans wanted to forget!

If Mboya played a role in Kenya's independence, there are thousands other Kenyans who also fought for independence and stood up against Kenyatta's oppression; like for instance a man known as Bildad Kaggia. At that time Mboya was supporting Kenyatta who was busy committing worse atrocities against fellow citizens than the white man who colonised this country. And you know what; he was using the very same constitution Mboya created when he was appointed constitutinal affairs minister in the early days. He simply watched as senior citizens and imagined political enemies were detained without trial just a few years into independence! What a shame....!

I will never be a choir boy Chris. I probably understand the history of this country than you may think I do. I do not want to claim that I am always right; but I will stand and strongly defend what I think is a blatant attempt to give selective credit to the fathers of this nation.

Anonymous said...


How many women have you ever slept with coz you always glorify men who cannot keep their snakes inside their crotches (trousers)?

joe the choma man said...

Phil said
"....I will never be a choir boy Chris..."
Bw. Phil i'm glad you clarified that although some people already had you pegged as one for the PM but its good to clarify these things you know

Meanwhile Chris,
i noticed how losely you are throwing around the phrase "mta-do" in your post-please preserve the dignity of this defiant stance by not over-using it too much-it sounds better in the mouth of a "big man" as compared to a small philanthropic man as yourself

Anonymous said...

Chris check your facts right. I see you rubbishing others for that. Peter Mboya had an accident at Kimende near Limuru in 2004 and not in the 90's.

That said, my condolences to the Mboya family

Anonymous said...

A little fact checking would be nice. Peter Mboya died in May 2004 and not in the 90's. Also, he wasn't wearing a helmet when he was hit...not saying that there's no conspiracy possible but report the facts without baying for the conspiracy angle.

Vikii said...

Venus, thanks for your little observation that I HATE Luos. What a smart way to get me to start LOVING them. Well, I'll tell you something; It takes much more than such cheap outbursts to change my opinion on anything. In other words, whatever your intentions are, you just failed.

Anonymous said...

Phil may have a point. if pam's accomplishment was marrying TJ, what about the other wives? Like what about Ngina's co-wives? were they lesser because mzee chose to be appearing in public with ngina.

Anonymous said...

Hating other people is nothing to be proud of, for it shows your own mediocrity. I am sure there are lots of people who dont bother to read your posts becoz they are loaded with irrational hatred. You cant come here and preach hatred against Luos and at the same time claim that Kiuks are hated. There are those of us who see through the deceit.Didnt Kales slaughter Kiuks in the post election violence? How come your hatred is only directed at Luos?
Dont bother to respond becoz we all know the answer:
For whatever reason, you feel inferior to Luos, you therefore want to finish them for whatever reason. You on the other hand believe that you are better than Kales that is why you you dont bother with them.And to think that a Luo has just become the president of the free world....damn!

Anonymous said...

The opposite of Love is not hate. It is indifference. The Luo haters here dont hate them, they admire them and they are now dying of envy. Only a luo is genetically wired to do some things, eg become president of USA. These haters are genetically wired to do things like being shot in Tanzania for robberies and being deported and shot dead in the US and Europe. The women particularly are shot dead almost every day abroad, mostly by white men. Not to mention the ones who are shot in ngong' forest every other day. What a shame!!!!!!!!Luos may be dying of AIDS as some of you say, but why are your girls marying them so much?

Anonymous said...

Luos bragg about everything! They like to show off, drive mercedes and yet live in slums, borrow loan to show off to girls and sleep with them, buy hifis but they live mud huts.
They are the most jealous people on earth. Look even here in Kumekucha, morons like UXrlnc goes paranoid becoz people talk about themselves. Luos like to be the best, they love to be worshpped by everybody.

Vikii said...

I get you, morons. Can we now move on?

Anonymous said...

@Chris:Get your facts right TJ's son died in a road accident way after 2000 on the nbi-limuru road.

Get ur facts wonder u r bitter and got sacked from the mainstream media you cant get simple facts right

Anonymous said...

I see you have not responded to Venus' statement. The truth must really hurt.The most unbelieavable thing is that Kiuk politicians have managed to convince their people that Luos are their enemies. Even when Kales slaughter them, they are still friends it is the Luos who are the enemies. I pray that they wake up and know that their leaders are raping them left right and centre.
Luos might be deluded but it is a different kind of delusion. Look at Phil here, one doesnt always agree with him, but there is no trace of bitterness or hatred in him.
For the rest of us Kenyans, this theatre of the absurd has to stop. This supposed Luo Kiuk hatred only exists in the gang of thugs who want to confuse the ordinary man for their own selfish reasons like Vikii, Kimi Raikonen,Kwale and the likes.

Ishara said...

Is any ADULT supervision available for those flaunting their inability to post simple opinions/comments on the 'internets' without letting all their latent insecurities hang out?

Some of us (most notably myself) loathe the infernal us-vs-them enthocentric garbage thrown about at every opportunity with scant regard for the truth.

Recall Pio Gama Pinto?

Yes, scabber about what's passing for brain matter and attempt to formulate an argument as to why his death at the hand of an assasin does not count (er, perhaps he wasn't really Kenyan?)or wasn't sufficiently committed to the cause of Kenyan self determination or that he was 'a loyalist' to the Kikuyu/Luo communities why don't you?

Hell, let's extrapolate further...perhaps he happened to have eggs and not his customary porridge for breakfast the morning of the fateful day!

What utter rubbish!

History tells us the f-ugly penchant of permanently doing away with those to whom we are diametrically politically or economically opposed is not new or unique to Kenya, Africa or indeed the world.

However, in NO WAY does this mean that we should allow a history of impunity to persistantly repeat itself within every generation touching every sphere of leaders from politicians to priests.

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." George Santayana 1863-1952

mzeiya said...


I like reading your thought provoking articles that get one thinking. However, I'm a bit tired of half ass accusations you guys keep leveling, more like rumor mongering.

In this Tom Mboya case, please stop telling us the obviuos, i.e. that senior gvt officials were involved, I mean DUH!! Nothing new there.

Why don't you just spill the beans and name the people and explain their motives, instead of guessing and rumor mongering

Thank You

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