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Muinde Muisio: ?African sergeant who was honoured posthumously

By Hudson Gumbihi | December 6th 2021
Commander inspecting King's African Rifles Parade in Samburu December 1960. [File, Standard]

On June 1, 1949, the East African Standard paid glowing tribute to Sergeant Muinde Muisio, who was speared to death by a Maasai moran at a village in Narok.

Muinde was part of a team comprising nine officers who were dispatched to hunt down three "hardcore" criminals hiding in manyattas. The security operation was led by Inspector Finchas Mukundi.

However, due to the terrain and poor road network, the officers proceeded on foot, abandoning their truck by the roadside.

When villagers spotted the advancing security team, morans, armed with simis and spears, emerged from their huts spoiling for a fight.

One of the morans charged at Muinde with a spear. The officer responded by firing three shots at the fleeing assailant before collapsing from the stab wound.

An improvised stretcher was made and Muinde ferried through the bushes to the truck about six miles away. He died at a hospital in Narok.

The following day, the suspected attacker was traced and arrested alongside his two accomplices. The three were picked from a local shop where they were hiding. The prime suspect in Muinde’s murder had a bullet wound on the shoulder.

The three had a past record of violent robberies, livestock theft and escape from lawful custody. Muinde had served for 24 years, rising to the rank of Sergeant in 1942. Described as a very efficient and popular officer, he was awarded, posthumously, the Colonial Police Medal for Gallantry.

In paying tribute to Muinde, the East African Standard wrote: “This is a story of courage, resource and devotion to duty, which would reflect credit of the highest order on any man of any race. It reflects credit on the whole Kenya Police Force. For them, it is a shining example, an inspiration and a cause for pride.

"Sergeant Muinde made an indelible contribution to the tradition of the force with which he served. By his death, he did more. His sacrifice in time of peace, as great as any made in time of war, and his courage called into being in the normal course of routine duty, is something of which his African fellow-men can well be proud too, as a race.”

This was a rare compliment to an African police officer during the colonial period when the Force was dominated by European and Asian officers. African cops were considered illiterate and ill-trained in combat skills.

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