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The man who 'rattled' Mugabe

You are passionate about human rights activism. When did you join rights activism and what inspired you?

 I started when I was in Class Seven. One day, l candidly told our Maths teacher that caning pupils brutally would not make them pass exams. He listened. Since then, l have never kept quiet when rights of human beings are violated.

 

Rights activism is a risky business in Kenya if threats, arrests and deaths (remember Oscar Kingara and Paul Oulu) are anything to go by. How do you ensure that you are always safe?

I do God’s work and therefore thrive by His grace. I’m transparent, disciplined and refuse to compromise principle for expedient gain. If l died in the struggle, a thousand others like me will carry on with the mission.

 

How many times have you been arrested and why?

Since 1996 when l was first arrested as a student leader at Kenya Polytechnic (now, Technical University) l have been incarcerated 19 times. Nineteen times under different administrations for asking questions about human rights issues.

Why do many rights activists who join politics/government lose the steam to continue fighting for the people as before?

Many often find out that once they are elected, unless they shed off activism and toe the party line, they will be isolated and rendered ineffective as   lone ranger.

Tell us the drama in which you were barred from entering Zambia in 2008… 

As Panafricanists, we’d arranged a major international conference in Zambia on the crisis in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe threatened Thambo Mbeki and Southern African Development Community that if the meeting was held he would never sign the Global Political agreement.

So, Zambia banned Njeri Kabeberi and l from entering Lusaka, and detained us for ten hours at the airport. We spoke to then Minister for Foreign Affairs, Moses Wetangula who intervened and we attended the conference.

The electorate in Bomachoge denied you chance to represent them in Parliament. What do you conclude from this? Kenyans elect those who share their values and vices of discrimination, corruption and sexism. As an intellectual, l know the society’s culture is mainstreamed by the ruling class or the elite.

That is where we go wrong. I have since quit elective politics. Kenyans need few revolutionaries like myself. We need a movement, which operates outside elections.

At one time the girl-child was in danger of being forgotten then all attention shifted to her. Today it is the boy-child in danger. Where did the civil society go wrong?

The crisis is deeper. The life of a poor African woman or man, girl or boy is worthless in the eyes of our unpatriotic ruling classes. The boy-child is not in danger any more than the girl-child. This is propaganda from insecure men who do not want to see more girls and women grow up in dignity.

Tell us about your family and educational background?

I am married to Joan Nasimiyu and we have two children, Raphael and Valerie. I studied Finance and Management at The Technical University till 1997. I am pursuing my Masters in Public Policy and Administration having studied Political Science and Sociology at University of Nairobi.

Tell us your employment history.

 Since 1998, l have worked for various programmes of civil society organisations after quitting the accounting career. My most satisfying work was working as CEO National Convention Executive Council because l influenced the movement for democratic change most.  I am now in full time governance, gender and management consultancy working for government and non-governmental institutions and agencies across Africa. I focus on touching the lives of the youth and women. I am also the Director of Future of Kenya Foundation.

How do you balance activism and family life?

 I live one of the most fulfilling lives. I am blessed because l do what l love.

Away from rights activism, how do you unwind?

I am a revolutionary who shares a lot of quality time with our circle of trusted friends.  l evangelise to connect many brothers and sisters to God.

What don’t people know about you?

Only a few friends know that l am born again and l am assembling a team that will raise men and women of God to deliver Kenya from corruption and ethnic bankruptcy.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I will possess wealth to invest in supporting Kenya’s civil society organisations and research organisations. If we fund our work, we will start to consolidate our liberation as a people and free Kenyans from their tribal demi-gods.

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