'We know where Dedan Kimathi was buried, we dug his grave'

Mau Mau freedom fighter Brigadier John Kiboko pays tribute to the late Mukami Kimathi during her burial at Njabini, Nyandarua County. [Joseph Kipsang, Standard] 

Brigadier John Kiboko, a Mau Mau freedom fighter, has laid bare the occurrences that led to the execution of Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi at Kamiti Prison where he was detained.

Speaking while paying tribute to the late Mukami Kimathi, widow of Field Marshal Kimathi during her burial at Njabini, Nyandarua County, Kiboko revealed that Kimathi asked for Mukami to pay him a visit in Kamiti prison before his execution.

“He wanted to give his last will to her. When she went to Kamiti, Kimathi jumped up and said that he had made a decision to be the sacrifice,” recalled Kiboko, adding that Kimathi warned them against selling land on which blood was spilled.

“He would later be executed at night. We heard the loud siren and knew he was no more and in the morning, he was brought by four armed white men stripped naked and his hands and legs tied,” he told mourners.

Kiboko said the white man demanded that they bury Kimathi, but they refused.

“Stephen Mugo, who was among us in detention told the white prison officer to bury Kimathi himself. We refused to bury Kimathi and a fight broke out,” he said.

He narrated that as the war went on, another white man came and stopped the fight.

“The second white man brought a mattock and a spade and we were made to dig Kimathi's grave. If it was very deep it was four and a half feet,” Kiboko recalled.

He appealed to President Ruto to allow Mau Mau fighters who are still alive to go back to Kamiti and locate Kimathi’s grave site.

“I ask Mr President to allow Mau Mau fighters to go and locate the grave. We can't go there now without your permission, give us two months and we will remove Kimathi's remains where they are. I was one of those who buried him. I know of the guards we were with at Kamiti.

“Give us time to get Mzee. He has shackles on his legs and hands. In that situation, Mau Mau feels they are still tied. Those still alive are General Kiambati and Muraya wa Mbuthia," he said. "If we are given two months, Kimathi will not lie in that grave again," he added.

Mourning Mukami, Kiboko said he was saddened by her death and felt heartbroken.

President Ruto responded to the calls for exhuming Kimathi's body and giving a decent burial befitting a hero saying Kimathi was buried in shame and shackles like a criminal.

"Kimathi was not a criminal. He was a hero. The government will join hands with you in tracing his grave and remove his remains and give him the respect that he deserved.