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Meet Muindi Mbingu, The Man That Was Arrested, Detained For Addressing A Governor In Kikamba

 

He has a road named after him in Nairobi and an optional school and statue in Machakos County where the bronze statue was revealed by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 2016 Mashujaa Day.

The road in Nairobi was already named Stewart, however is currently Muindi Mbingu Street after the previous Kenya Power and Colonial Police representative who turned into the substance of the Akamba flexibility battle after they were removed from their territories and sentenced to the Native Reserves in 1937. Mbingu was 40.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko lives around Mua Hills where the Machakos District Commissioner pursued the destocking policy in which the colonialists forcefully confiscated Kamba cattle.

 

This state of affairs picked Mbingu. He left the police and mobilised locals who elected him chair of the committee constituted to fight against colonial oppression including the seizing of over 2,000 heads of cattle.

In 1938, when Sir Robert Brooke Propham was the Governor of Kenya, Mbingu led a massive demonstration with protestors from Ngelani and Koma rock areas trekking 60 kilometres to Nairobi.

They camped at Kariokor (then called Carrier Corps) for a month demanding to see Sir Propham whom Mbingu saluted in jest whenever he passed by.

By the way, Sir Propham, a military officer, was appointed Governor to help fight the Italians who were waging a war in Ethiopia where they were defeated in the Battle of Adowa.

 

But his undoing was speaking to the Governor in Kikamba: “Twenda kwikala ta maau mau maitu, tuithye ngombe to Maau mau maitu, nundu nthi ino ni ya maau mau maitu. (We want to live like our grandfathers, keep cattle like our grandfathers, for the land we live on is our grandfathers).

The reference to Maa umau (our grandfathers) got the colonialists assuming he was part of the Mau Mau for which he was detained in Lamu Island for seven years.

When he was released, the colonial government made him one of the informers mostly in tracking down Mau Mau who mostly spoke kikuyu.

It was this collaboration that led to his brutal murder at the height of the State of Emergency in 1953, when Sir Propham also died.

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