Mau Mau fighter Brigadier John Kiboko dies in Nairobi

Mau Mau Brigadier John Kiboko

Mau Mau Brigadier John Kiboko during the funeral of Mukami Kimathi at Njabini Village, Nyandarua, in May.

Photo credit: Waikwa Maina | Nation Media Group

Mau Mau fighter Brigadier John Kiboko has died while receiving treatment at Nairobi Hospital.

"My father died a few minutes after 11am on Friday. We are saddened by his death but thank God for the days he gave us with him. He was a true hero and a fighter, he fought in the forest and remained the same fighter at the hospital bed until his death," his son Mutugi Kiboko told the Nation.

The Mau Mau hero died before his wish to lead a team of fighters to retrieve the remains of freedom fighter Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi from Kamiti Maximum Prison could be fulfilled.

During the burial of Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi's widow, Mukami Kimathi in May, Brigadier Kiboko pleaded with President William Ruto to allow him and other fighters access to the prison to retrieve Kimathi's body for a decent burial alongside his wife Mukami.

"I know where Kimathi was buried in Kamiti. All we are asking you, Mr President, is that you allow us access to Kamiti prison for two months so that we can retrieve Kimathi's body for a proper burial next to his wife. This was Mrs Mukami's dying wish," said the Mau Mau fighter, a request President Ruto agreed to.

But the late Kiboko developed health problems after the funeral and remained in hospital in Nairobi until Friday morning, when he died.

According to his son Mutugi, his father left a hospital bill of Sh8 million and died in his hospital bed.

In his condolence message, Nyandarua Governor Kiarie Badilisha said the county and national governments were working to fulfil the brigadier's and other Maumau's wishes.

"Brigadier Kiboko was a true son of the soil, a fighter, a leader and a patriot. He had a good memory of the freedom fighters and what happened in the forest, he was a mobile archive of the Maumau and Agikuyu communities. I am deeply saddened by his death, I visited him at the hospital, he was very jovial, full of wisdom and as always he had a patriotic story to tell, singing and reciting the freedom fighter songs," the governor said.

He said the national government was at an advanced stage of updating the Mau Mau Resource Centre at the Kinyahwe Colonial Building.

In his condolence message, Archbishop Josam Kariuki, the chairman of the Nyandarua Interfaith Council, appealed to the county and national governments to take good care of the few remaining freedom heroes.

"Most of them are living miserable lives, suffering in old age despite their sacrifices. They deserve better, it's time they were recognised and treated like the heroes they are," said Archbishop Josam Kariuki.