Archive for the ‘Kenyan Democracy’ Category

Tom Joseph Mboya Remembered 5 July 2014 – Rest In Peace

Saturday 5th July 2014 marks 45 years to the day when one of Kenya’s leading political lights was assassinated on Government Road, Nairobi 5 July 1969. Tom Mboya’s impact on Kenya and the World is significant. Working with William X. Schienman (American Committee on Africa) they convinced US President JF Kennedy to sponsor an ‘airlift’ of Kenyan students and academics to the US. One of these students was Barack Obama Senior, father to Barack Obama, President of the United States.

The following thoughts were shared by Chris Kavila on the Tom Mboya Foundation Facebook page. They encapsulate the feelings of many Kenyans and those who love the country.

Shared on Tom Mboya Foundation Facebook

“TJ [Tom Mboya], 45 years ago on this day, you were murdered by cowards. Today Kenya is increasingly unstable, grappling with the evil twins you stood against and warned us about. TRIBALISM and CORRUPTION. Where would we be now had you lived? REST in PEACE.

“Had forgotten that on a day like this one at 1pm Saturday July 5th 1969 impunity won and the course of Kenya’s history changed and hurtled in the wrong direction.”


Notes and Useful links:

Tom Mboya Foundation –

Official Tom Mboya – Facebook –

Joseph B.Treaster wrote an obituary on William X. Schienman in the New York Times July 25 1999 entitled: ‘W.X.Schienman, 72, Broker and Friend of Kenyan Leader.’

William X Schienman died on May 24 1999 and his ashes were interred on Rusinga Island, Lake Victoria, South Nyanza, Kenya next to Tom Mboya’s grave.

Kenya Airforce Harbin Yunshuji Y-12 Military Plane Crash in El Wak Mandera County 12 May 2014

A Kenya Airforce Harbin Yunshuji Y-12-II (military transport plane of Chinese make) crashed landed on 12 May 2014 near El Wak military camp killing the pilot and injuring 11 (two police officers in serious condition).

On 10 April 2006 a similar aircraft a Harbin Yunshuji Y-12 crashed in Marsabit County killing 14 passengers including six Kenyan Members of Parliament, including Bonaya Adhi Godana MP for North Horr Constituency.

Eleven Harbin Yunshuji Y-12 military transport planes have been supplied to the Kenya Airforce.

Useful Sources:

1  Kenya Defence Forces ‏@kdfinfo 8h (accessed 12 May 2014)

“A Kenya Air Force transport aircraft has crash landed in Elwak today. First responders on ground working medical evacuation.”

2 Citizen News – Military Plane Crash in El Wak 12 May 2014

3 @MRashDido photo of plane crash

Mrash Dido‏@MrashDido 4h (accessed 12 May 2014)

@KTNKenya Military plane crash in Elwak, pilot died on the spot and 7 others injured

4 Note of interest – El Wak – African Aviation name similarity.  In 2 June 2012 a cargo plane crashed in Accra, Ghana West Africa near the El Wak Military Stadium. .

Kenya Independence Day 12 December 1963 – The Bear and the Duck

Kenya Independence Day 12 December 1963 – The Bear and the Duck  article by William Ang’awa

The Republic of Kenya celebrated 50 years of independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain on 12 December 2013.

In Clyde Sanger’s biography of British politician and diplomat Malcolm MacDonald  entitled ‘Malcolm MacDonald: Bringing an End to Empire’ you will find one of the best accounts of the night of 11 December 1963 as the minutes ticked on towards the birth of Kenya as a new independent nation. In the first chapter entitled ‘Out of Africa, Amiably December 1963’; enter on centre  stage two key characters who are given the nicknames, “the bear” and “the duck”  … the two men caught in the beam of light were like a bear and a duck walking along side each other.”  Jomo Kenyatta (who was to become Kenya’s first prime minister and eventually president) was the bear a description given by Lord Tom Delamere and,  Malcolm MacDonald (Governor General) who had a strong affinity with ducks (and birdlife), resembled a tufted duck with his Governor’s uniform and plumes – which according to Sanger he disliked wearing (page 4)

It had rained incessantly on the days before 11 December 1963, and the ground at the then ‘makeshift’ Uhuru Garden stadium next to the Langata Barracks and the Nairobi Game Park was muddy. Sanger writes that the car carrying Jomo Kenyatta and the Duke of Edinburgh got stuck and was half an hour late. Uganda’s then Prime Minister Milton Obote had to abandon his car in the stadium (and walked to the ceremonial dais).  

“… so the two men, the bear and the duck walked out together into the muddy arena. But what did some of mud matter on this day of days? ” Sanger describes how Malcolm MacDonald had been “… through much stickier times, much more difficult terrain than this”.   

“The Wisest Old Bird in Africa”

In Chapter 37 ‘Kenya: Preparing for Uhuru 1963- 64’ Sanger describes Malcolm and Audrey MacDonald’s arrival in Kenya on 4 January 1963 to replace Sir Patrick Renison who had described Jomo Kenyatta as “ … the leader of darkness and death.”  The chapter ends with the departure of Malcom and Audrey McDonald in December 1964 when Kenya became a republic and the post of governor general became defunct. Jomo Kenyatta poured praise about Malcolm MacDonald’s hard work ushering Kenya towards independence and hoped on his (MacDonald’s) return as Britain’s High Commissioner to Kenya that he will have plenty of time to “…indulge his hobby of bird –watching.”  MacDonald replied that he looked forward to watching, at fairly close range, “the wisest old bird in Africa.”

 Reference and Recommended Reading:

Sanger, C  (1995) “ Malcolm MacDonald: Bringing an End to Empire,” McGill –Queen’s University Press.

Aljazeera Kenya teen gang-rape case sparks protests. 31 October 2013

Mohammed Adow’s report of the #JusticeForLiz march in Nairobi 31 October 2013 –‘Kenya teen gang-rape case sparks protests.’ 31 October 2013.

This report includes an interview with Nebila Abdulmalik of FEMNET the initiator of the crowd community petition which has attracted over 1.3 million signatures and Njeri Rugene, the Nation Newspaper reporter who brought Liz’s situation to the world.

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