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    African Writers’ Corner

    Mzalendo Kariuki thirty years later

    Onyango Oloo

    2009-03-05, Issue 422

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    they flung your carcass to
    the hyenas of
    not knowing that a
    maasai mchungaji
    known as musaita ole tunda
    would retrieve your remains
    and expose moi's brazen canard
    about your mythical excursion to zambia
    they bombed the otc buses in late february
    to provide a
    red herring
    for the execution
    they were planning, the sadistic festival they were plotting
    not knowing that your blood was already crying out for justice
    ndugu jm, even you know that what was killed
    in march nineteen seventy five was not your populism from nyandarua
    but the paralyzing fear of the red eyed devil known as mzee jomo kenyatta

    dear jm thank you for your bloody sacrifice
    for your death allowed our generation
    to come up into political consciousness
    we say ahsante to ben gethi, we say shukran to mark twist,
    we say heko to benard hinga and pongezi to mbiyu koinange and his cohort mzee
    for capturing you and for torturing you to death
    not many of our people remember
    that you were detained as a mau mau stalwart
    how many of us have heard
    the rare sound of your patriotic voice
    defending your mau mau comrades

    your death
    signalled the beginning of the death of the kanu dictatorship
    your death allowed the young seedlings of kenya's freedom forests
    to sprout all over kenya
    from wundanyi where ndugu mwandawiro was
    cutting his teeth on patriotism and pan africanism
    to bondo where adongo ogony
    was beginning his apprenticeship in anti-imperialism
    to mumias where kadima's older brother

    was making sure the osundwas
    were well represented among the ranks

    of the unbwogable wazalendo from mumias
    ndugu jm here you are
    thirty years later
    living through your children and your family
    still very much alive in our memories,
    in our dreams, in our thoughts, in our hopes
    while your callous killer kenyatta is stiff and motionless
    useless in that
    overpriced mausoleum which should be smashed open
    and his old thieving landgrabbing remains furiously ejected and rejected
    by our people's unforgiving and relentless wrath
    a wrath which is still seething and simmering under the surface
    a wrath that they will one day wake up to see
    consuming the entire kenyan countryside
    as an unstoppable itungati revolutionary fire, burning bright
    burning to cinders all these homungati, all these wagongaji
    all these wasaliti, all these wauaji
    all these wanyanganyi all these majambazi
    mzalendo kariuki, all over kenya our mothers, our sisters,our aunties
    our fathers, our brothers, our uncles are still naming their kids jm
    but nobody remembers the homungati remnant called hinga
    and nobody remembers the hired hitman called mark twist
    and the only living thing
    that can inherit patrick shaw's dastardly name
    is a vicious canine trained in kiganjo
    barking and leaping on a leash for utumishi kwa wote
    kenya is now a nation of thirty multi-billionaires
    and thirty million kenya mafukara hohe hahe

    machochole na walala hoi
    so we remember your admonitions
    oh so ever ruefully
    today in two thousand and five
    we have more than one thousand nine hundred and seventy five kariukis
    waiting to march against the inheritors of kenyatta and moi
    today in two thousand and five

    we have more than one thousand nine hundred and seventy five women
    who are militant, who are defiant, who are determined to strike a blow for kenya's freedom
    in your memory
    today in two thousand and five

    we have more than one thousand nine hundred and seventy five vijana
    who are forever chanting the anthem of do klan revolution
    singing in unison, vijana kwa vijana ni sisi kwa sisi
    long live mzalendo kariuki long live!
    mzalendo kariuki the young wazalendo called sinpare
    are keeping your spirit alive with their song mabepari
    hamba kahle mzalendo kariuki viva!

    * Onyango Oloo is a Kenyan political activist and former political prisoner. This poem originally appeared on Oloo's blog.
    * Please send comments to [email protected] or comment online at

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