State to blame for Matiba’s health condition NEVER MISS A STORY
6 months ago, 16 Apr 16:41
I have known Mr Kenneth Matiba for many years. At the beginning as a client in the mid-70s when I acted for him in a libel suit arising from the Kenya Football Federation elections and in later years both as a friend and a client. Following the infamous 1988 Mlolongo elections, I teamed up with Bill Deverell as his lawyer in an election petition filed against him. When he resigned from the Cabinet following rigging of the party elections, which were followed by the presidential and parliamentary elections of 1988, I drafted his resignation letter. SECOND LIBERATION When I was elected the Law Society of Kenya chairman in 1990, Ken and I worked closely with others in what came to be dubbed the “second” liberation. I accompanied him to Nyayo House to deliver the request for a permit from the then Nairobi Provincial Commissioner to hold the Saba Saba (July 7, 1990) rally at Kamukunji. He had accepted my legal advice that constitutional freedom of assembly was distinct from freedom of association, so that the restriction of the latter by reason of the provisions of Section 2A which made Kenya a one-party State, did not bar the freedom of assembly. When he was arrested and detained in the run up to Saba Saba, I visited him a number of times as his lawyer. I went to see him at Naivasha Maximum Prison, Shimo la Tewa Prison, Kilifi and several times at the then Nairobi Areas Police Headquarters opposite Nairobi Club. DETENTION The other person who visited him from time to time was Dr Jim Nesbitt who was Ken’s physician even before his detention. I remember as clearly as if it happened yesterday the conversation I had with Dr Nesbitt one morning in my office around October in 1990 after he had been to see Ken the previous evening. That morning, I found Dr Nesbitt waiting for me in my secretary’s office. Dr Nesbitt’s office was on the third floor of Electricity House while mine was on the sixth floor of the same building. Dr Nesbitt looked worried, concerned. He told me: “Paul, I never discuss my patients with my wife Mary, but last night, I couldn’t but discuss your client’s condition with my wife.” He then narrated to me Ken’s worrying condition. He told me before detention, Ken had mild hypertension which was under control because he exercised and took prescription drugs from time to time. DRUGS Dr Nesbitt told me that from the first time he had been allowed to see Ken in detention, end of July or early August 1990, he wanted to give him drugs for the hypertension, but that he had been prevented from doing so by security agents and the government doctor – a doctor Mwongera. Dr Nesbitt was on each occasion informed that the government was responsible for providing any necessary drugs to Ken. Dr Nesbitt told me how on several occasions he had tried to reason with the government doctor. He even offered to ...
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