What you need to know:
- The celebrated Mau Mau freedom fighter was captured and hanged by the colonial government in 1957
- Even some of his relatives failed in their attempts to convince him to come down from the monument
A middle aged man Monday chained himself to the late freedom fighter Dedan Kimathi’s statue along Kimathi Street, Nairobi.
For more than five hours, curious onlookers thronged the area to catch a glimpse of the man who identified himself as Dedan Kimathi Waciuri.
Clad in a cap bearing the colours of the Kenyan flag and a handkerchief with the same colours, the man claimed he was the grandson of the freedom fighter and had no ill intentions.
The celebrated Mau Mau freedom fighter was captured and hanged by the colonial government in 1957, at the height of Kenya’s quest to be freed from the colonial rule.
His grave, said to be the Kamiti Prison has never been identified and family members have been pleading with the government to help them locate his remains for a befitting burial at his home.
“I have come here in honour of my late grandfather. I have the right to be next to his statute as it reminds me of him and his relentless struggle for the freedom we enjoy,” Mr Waciuri told the media.
He declined to climb down despite pleas by some members of the public, the police and officers from Nairobi Fire Services who arrived with equipment to help him descend from the monument.
Even some of his relatives failed in their attempts to convince him to come down from the monument that is about three metres high.
Mr Waciuri who appeared disturbed and kept on wiping his eyes and picking his nose with the handkerchief said he could only listen to his grandmother, Ms Mukami Kimathi.
He found pleasure in responding to questions from journalists than other members of the public whom he ignored for the duration he remained at the scene.
Mr Waciuri said it was unfortunate that descendants of freedom fighters like his grandfather were suffering whereas those who knew little about securing the country from the colonial yoke were the ones enjoying life.
He said that he was living in abject poverty with no land yet Kenyans were proud of his grandfather’s role in fighting off the colonial administration.
The dreaded General Service Unity (GSU) security personnel were called in after it emerged that he was not willing to descend before seeing his grandmother, who was said to be on her way to the venue.