JM Kariuki, Kenya Remembers You
Today is March 2nd. On a day like today in 1975, the then popular MP for Nyandarua North, called Josiah Mwangi Kariuki or JM Kariuki was murdered. The man was killed in such a gruesome way that I suggest if you are eating while reading this, you should finish eating before reading the next paragraph. Or stop eating to read on.
JM Kariuki, one of the first whistleblowers in Kenya. He paid for it with his life on a day like this one in March 1975.
There were signs of torture, like cigarette burns but what is more, the MPs private parts had been cut off and stuffed into his mouth. The body was then soaked in acid to prevent it ever being recognized again. Still the body was found because wild animals cannot eat a body doused in acid. And then one of his wives was able to identify the badly disfigured and burnt body from a mark or scar of sorts on his inner thigh (where the acid did not reach, obviously it was mainly concentrated on his face).
Despite strong leads developed by a parliamentary select committee (led by the late Elijah Mwangale) that investigated his grisly murder, those responsible for this most heinous crime have never been brought to book to date.
But what I want to bring to your attention today my dear friends is a particular aspect of this popular legislator’s life that most writers have ignored when analyzing this assassination. JM was extremely wealthy. So where and how did he make his money?
A few clues. JM was President Jomo Kenyatta’s very first press secretary. There is no doubt that he experienced first hand the colossal land-grabbing and corruption right when it started at the heart of Kenyatta’s very first administration. It is also quite possible that he shared in some of "the loot" that came in those early days.
The human conscience is a strange thing and for some people it haunts them into confessing what they did and into also “selling out” their partners in crime.
JM Kariuki grew to become an extremely vociferous voice against land grabbing and the rapid creation of millionaires within the Kenyatta kitchen cabinet at the expense of the masses. Hence his popular quote of "I don’t want to see a Kenya of 10 millionaires and 10 million beggars.” Insiders in Kenyatta’s government must have been puzzled how somebody who had benefited from the system had so suddenly turned against it.
Indeed JM will go down as one of the first real voices of opposition to corruption in the Kenyatta regime. It seems that many times whistle blowers are usually bad guys turned good who actually once participated in the evil they feel so compelled to expose.
Fast forward to 2008. Constable Kirinya participated in the execution of numerous Kenyans until his conscience gave in and he decided to run for his life and spill the beans. (His story was first told here in Kumekucha.) Because of his brave action, we are able to understand much more clearer how the police were involved in mass murder of the very citizens they took an oath to protect. Amongst the guilty who were gunned down and murdered, you can be sure that hundreds of innocent, mostly povery stricken Kenyans lost their lives in the process.
My whole point is that it is looking like the prayers of many ordinary Kenyans are being answered and what we are now witnessing is the conscience of some individuals giving in and spilling the beans of what is exactly happening. In some cases we are seeing former allies falling out and selling out each other. The best example here is what seems to be happening between Agriculture minister William Ruto and his former mentor Cyrus Jirongo. Information reaching this blogger indicates Jirongo got wind of an evil plot by Ruto to heap all the blame on Jirongo for the maize scandal and thus divert attention completely away from himself. And yet it is believed that Jirongo and Ruto acted together in the maize scandal. So what Jirongo did was spill the beans on the meetings that took place between Ruto and Martha Karua. This was simply a warning salvo to Ruto that he should not even think about selling out Jirongo. Well it seems to have worked like magic. because Ruto is so quiet now and the whole matter has dissapeared from the news.
Just carefully watch what happens in Kenya next. I can guarantee that people will fall out and others will be betrayed and the result will be that some parties will start to “sing like a bird” (to quote the famous Mafia expression). Songs of freedom because they will reveal the truth which will set Kenya free from the stranglehold of the political class.