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The British feared he would resurrect – Why Dedan Kimathi’s grave was a guarded secret

By Babu Tendu | October 26th 2019

62 years after Dedan Kimathi, one of Kenya’s most famous freedom fighters was buried, his exact burial location has been found.

Questions have been raised on why it took so long to find the grave of a man who was a pillar in Kenya’s independence struggle and why it was hidden.

Samuel Toroitich, a prison warder who served at the Kamiti Maximum Prison between 1952 and 1957, in an exclusive interview with a local paper in 2004 had an interesting explanation.

According to Toroitich, after Kimathi was executed on February 18, 1957, the British did not believe that he was actually dead.

He further added that alongside other guards, he was ordered to man the unmarked gravesite for three months in case the freedom fighter resurrected.

 “Colonialists could not believe that the former freedom fighter was actually dead and we were ordered to man the graveside for three months as they feared that he might come back to life,” he said.

After his capture, Kimathi was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition which was against regulation 8A (1) of the Emergency Regulation in 1952.

He was sentenced to death for the first count and seven years of imprisonment with hard labor for the second count.

Evelyn Wanjugu Kimathi, the CEO of an organization by his name, said that they await Chief Justice David Maraga to allow for the excavation and exhumation of the Kimathi’s remains for a decent burial.

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