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Woman who hit Jomo with shoe

By | July 20th 2011

By Nicholas Anyuor and Erick Lungai

Founding President Jomo Kenyatta shielded a woman who had hit him with a shoe in the full glare of his security during the requiem Mass for the slain Tom Mboya, the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission was told.

The Commission heard the woman removed her shoes and hit Kenyatta’s forehead at the Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi, on July 9, 1969.

Testifying at a public hearing in Kisumu on Monday, the late Mboya’s cousin Peter Odede Ouma narrated how events turned chaotic in Kenya after Mboya’s demise.

He said pandemonium broke out when Kenyatta arrived at the Holy Family Basilica. “The crowd became wild and confronted the president. One woman removed her shoes and hit the president on the forehead,” he said.

However, the daring woman escaped narrowly after the President himself shielded her when guards pulled their guns to shoot her.

Whisked away

“Following that fracas, Mboya’s family members were whisked away, leaving the body alone at the Cathedral throughout the night,” Odede said.

The death of Mboya, Odede said, led to bad blood between the Luo and Kikuyu communities, with Luos banning Kikuyus from Mboya’s home.

Odede asked the TJRC to ensure justice was done on Mboya’s murder.

“We want to know these people. They must admit that they did it before we reconcile and forgive,” he said.

TJRC was also told that Mboya narrowly escaped two assassination bids before bullets finally fired by a lone gunman killed him on July 5, 1969.

The first attempt was in 1967 when a lorry rammed into his convoy, damaging his Mercedes Benz. The driver of the lorry was never charged in a court of law.

The second time was when a security officer guarding his Lavington Green home fired at his car, but missed him. The guard was also never charged. “He was only dismissed and later on reinstated and redeployed,” Odede said.

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