Historical feature By Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu CITY.

It was indeed an historical evening that many people would wish to forget as fast as it happened more than fifty years ago.

This was a day in 1965. The place was at the D.C.’s house in Homa-Bay town in what used to be the old greater South Nyanza district Commissioner for the area was Isaiyah Mathenge a stoutly built and tough and most efficient administrator from Nyeri town.Nyanza district.

The founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was on an official tour of the district in the company of several cabinet ministers, KANU MPs, members of the defunct Nyanza Regional Assembly, chiefs, civic leaders and party operatives.

This was the day when a drunken body guard of one of his ministers forced his way into the room where the President was a having a consultative meeting with the local leaders.

The incident occurred after the founding president had made an extensive tour of the vast region where he addressed a series of public meetings.. Mzee had arrived at the D.C’S house looking a bit tired and needed sometime to rest. But before this, he was entertained by the traditional Ramogi dancers from Kochi and Karachuonyo and crowned with the a school choir from the nearby Ogande Girls Secondary School.

The entertainment left the President in a jovial mood. He was now making hearty exchange of jokes with the ministers, MPS and other leaders as the meeting progressed well.

All of a sudden, there was a big commotion at the door. One man by the name Owino Aguyo, a former Mau Mau detainee who before the coming of independence in June I fst 1963 was one of the many active KANU youth wingers in Kisumu Town who were always hanging around the then KANU Vice President Jaramnogi Oginga Odinga. Although he had no formal police training, Owino became the security detail of the MinisterI for Information and broadcasting Richard Achieng’ Oneko and was issued with a service revolver or a pistol the time usually carried by policemen guarding VIPs.

This was immediately after the formation of the Republican cabinet In December 1964. Oneko was the KANU MP for Nakuru Town He had won the seat after the JuneE 1ST 1963 independence general election.

Owino menacingly tried to force his way into the D.C’s living room where the meeting was in progress. He was then the KANU MP for Nakuru Toiwn. engaged in rowdy argument at the door with one Joseph Ouma Nis a KANU youth who was also acting at times as Tom Mboya’s bodyguard after the latter had realized that he was drunk and had a loaded pistol. The two were engaged in wrestling match and Ouma Nisa knocked Owino to the ground. The commotion alerted the security policemen who were guarding the D.C”s compound and Owino was overpowered, disarmed and taken into police custody. He was later arraigned in court, found guilty of carrying an offensive weapon in a public place and sentenced toi 18 months imprisonment by a court in KISII Town.

President Kenyatta looked a shaken man after the commotion which took close to ten minutes as more policemen moved in to arrest the drunken man. He addressed Oneko down Oneko down and told him in Kiswahili “Tafadhali sana Bwana Oneko ussije tena kwangu na mutu huyu.”Ameleta Kinyoriro mbaya hapa.”

Cabinet Ministers present at the function included S.o.Ayodo {Wildlife and Tourism} Tom Mboya {Economic Planning and Development},Richard Achieng Oneko [Information and Broadcasting}.Dr Julius Gikonyo Kiano {Commerce and Industry},assistant kello- Ministers were Benjamin Maisori Itumboocial Services} Joseph Gordon Odero Jowi { labor} and Tom Okello-Odongo {Finance}

There were also back-bencher MPS in attendance included John Henry OKwanyo {Migori}. Clement Ngala Abok {Homa-Bay},Elijah Omolo AGAR {Karachuonyo}

Regional Assembly members present were George KING Omolo {Homa-Bay}, David Okiki Amayo{Karachuonyo}. Matthews Otieno Ogingo OgingoaNdhiwa} Harrison Odhiambo Opiyo Midiang’a{ Mbita};Herman Odhiambo-Omamba}{Migori},Samson Mwita Marwa {Kuria} And Silas Abong’o Oloo {Kasipul-Kabondo}

The then Nyanza P.C was Daniel Owino. Several Permanent Secretaries were also in attendance. They included Aloys Philip Achieng’ {Fisheries}, Joel Meshack Ojal Adem{Education, and Nathaniel Oluoch Adinda of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting} Aloiys Phillip Achieng’ of the Fisheries department.

Among the elders and civic leaders were Mzee Wilson Lando from Ndhiwa, SENIUOR chief Damianus Ajwang’ from Gembe, Senior Zepphania Malit fromKarachuonyo, EX-senior Chief Simeon Wasonga From Mfangano Island, Chief Zemekiah Wakiaga from Rusinga ,Chief SamueL Odoyo , Chief Mishael Anyango RayolA {Kabondo, MZEE Paul Mbo {Karachuonyo{Kanyada,Chief Julius Ouma {Kabuoch}.

The otherwise a very cordial and friendly meeting between President Kenyatta and the Luo elders almost came cropper, when Ex-Senior Chief Simeon Wasonga of Mfangano

[Nyathi Kwach} sought to know from the President what he termed as the widely rumored and disturbing information what he termed as the very sensitive and most disturbing rumor and speculation widely spreading in both Nairobi and some parts of Nyanza and countrywide that some members of his cabinet were not comfortable and happy with the sterling performance of Tom Mboya and were actually in the process of hatching the plot for his elimination.[Assassination}

President Kenyatta appeared to have been disturbed and perturbed by this particular question and and gave an assurance that Mboya was very safe and therefore there was no cause for alarm ,adding that his government would give each sand every Kenyan citizen the maximum security protection, Mboya included, therefore there will be no harm to anybody. Briefly, there were some murmuring among participants who at first thought Kenyatta in his usual style would rebuke the EX-senior Chief, but he did not and instead gave a very polite answer to the satisfaction of everyone present at the meeting and the meeting ended in a happy and pleasant note.


SOME PARTS of this article are included in a book being prepared and written by this writer about Tom Mboya

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *