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.