The much needed signal from Kenneth Matiba, even in his death

By Golbert O Kenya

While agitating for multiparty democracy Kenneth Stanley Njindo Matiba was put in detention without trial.

In the coolers, the man suffered a nasty stroke which permanently altered his life, eventually rendering him vegetative.

All his businesses were also maliciously sabotaged by the unforgiving KANU regime.

Very few men can be willing to pay such a price for a cause they believe in, especially if they’re rich enough to silently enjoy their wealth, for rest of their lives, in comfort and tranquility.

Though the man was a Saul turned Paul after serving the rotten KANU regime for years, he later fell out with the system and ultimately paid a heavy price for a cause that was meant to benefit the masses.

It’s for this very reason that he deserves to be respected as one of the notable heroes of the second liberation.

Isn’t it quite paradoxical then that even those who served in the Cyrus Jirongo and William Ruto led Youth For KANU (YK’92) Movement; the most ruthless and rapacious youth wing of a ruling party ever formed in Africa, are now shedding the biggest drops of crocodile tears?

KANU, the party that the incorrigibly corrupt young people in the YK’92 served with zeal, violently cracked down on the multiparty democracy proponents.

That’s how the likes of Matiba, Raila Odinga, Charles Rubia and many others not only ended up in detention but acquired permanent physical injuries whilst they were locked up.
Matiba came out with a devastating stroke, Raila acquired a continually tearing eye, while Rubia lost his voice!

In their aggressive campaign to vanquish the newly formed opposition, the YK’92 zealots were given unlimited leeway to orchestrate the printing of excess 500 shilling notes, famously known as “Jirongo”, which they used to bribe voters in their vigorous campaign to entrench KANU in power.

The excess money (jirongos) in circulation almost brought the Kenyan economy to its knees as inflation shot through the roof! However, in spite of KANU’s massive voter bribery through its YK’92 zealots, Matiba beat Moi hands down.

This being Kenya, a loser (Moi) who was then incumbent president was declared the winner while the rest were declared losers! The YK’92 youths were handsomely rewarded with state jobs besides making millions from the campaign cash.

Today, some of them are very senior in gov’t and we have seen them shed crocodile tears at the Matiba residence, in spite of having been part of the system that oppressed the man through detention and defrauding him of his presidential victory in 1992.

They’ve also been part of the system which has ensured that those who were detained with Matiba, like Raila Odinga, never rose to power even after outright wins in the recent past Kenyan presidential races.

To paraphrase the words of South Africa’s Julius Malema, in his sterling speech during Winnie Mandela’s funeral; they are here, shedding crocodile tears! They are wailing louder than the bereaved!

We can see them dressed in immaculate black suits praising Matiba’s second liberation achievements, when we know too well that they fought tooth and nail to defeat the fallen hero’s second liberation efforts!

Some of them are in the funeral arrangement committee! We must know how to deal with them once and for all. Baba give us a signal. We are eagerly waiting…