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Fresh details emerge on Dedan Kimathi execution - 3 months ago, 19 Feb 05:42

Kamau Ngotho

As Kenyans marked the 62nd anniversary of the execution of liberation hero Dedan Kimathi Monday, fresh information has emerged about the push and pull on how to kill him after a colonial court had sentenced him to hang.

The information is contained in the papers of the colonial Nyeri district information officer Alistair Matheson who died in September 2002.

He is buried at the family home in Nairobi just past Karen shopping centre.

BACKLASH

An extract from Matheson’s rich collection indicates that as soon as the verdict to die was pronounced, jubilant white settlers poured into the streets demanding that Kimathi be hanged in public, “as lesson and deterrent to the rest of the natives who’d wish to challenge the empire.”

In the mind of the settler, public execution would also be proof — and humiliation — to the Mau Mau that their leader had indeed been captured and “hanged by the ...
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