On May 3, 2015, the widow of Mau Mau leader, Dedan Kimathi, was attacked by a mob when she went to Athi River to claim a piece of land that she was bequeathed by retired President Mwai Kibaki.
Not surprisingly, Mau Mau’s top ranking female combatant, Field Marshal Muthoni wa Kirima, has refused to trim her long, knotted hair as a mark of disaffection with the successive governments in Kenya.
“Some fighters are alive, but live in squalor. They are handicapped, blind, sick, beggars and squatters because nobody shared with them what we fought for. They sacrificed to unchain Kenya, but they were left poorer,” laments the old warrior.
She faults the families of collaborators and home guards who benefi ted more and continue to suppress them. “Up to date, the country is in the hands of collaborators. They are only concerned about their wealth and not the interest of the masses. Everything they own today is because we fought for it. It’s sad that many of us are either dead or live in deplorable states. I prefer to keep quiet and watch things as they unfold,” says Muthoni.
Field Marshal Muthoni adds: “The country is messed up. It is as if we don’t know God. Our educated people are of no help. It would be better if we had a less educated, but wise person leading this great country. We didn’t go to school, but we were selfless and patriotic,” says Muthoni.
For three years, Muthoni has not attended Mashujaa Day celebrations.
In 1998, President Daniel arap Moi awarded her a medal for distinguished service, and in 2014, President Uhuru Kenyatta awarded her the Head of State Commendation.
She however commends the Moi regime for at least trying to better their lives and have their story told in schools.
She claims that some leaders with vested interests frustrated those efforts. She accuses the founding President Jomo Kenyatta of turning his back on them and not pushing for their interests