October 20, 2018

Governor: Veteran lawyer John Khaminwa saved Matiba’s life

A governor has recounted details of how the late Kenneth Matiba was once saved from a planned bomb attack.

While giving a tribute at the Ihura Stadium, Murang’a County on Thursday (26/4/17), Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi stated that it was veteran lawyer John Khaminwa who saved Matiba’s life.

“I’d have liked Dr John Khaminwa to speak today if he had been here because he saved Matiba’s life. There was a day Matiba was to be blown up in Nairobi and it is Khaminwa, a lawyer then, who knew the details and foiled the attempts,” Murungi relayed, regretting that the time allotted to him was not sufficient to retell the story.

The incident was confirmed by Edith Matiba, Matiba’s wife, in a 2013 interview with the Daily Nation.

“There was another attempt on his life when somebody was told to plant a bomb under his car but the person refused,” she recounted.

Edith maintained Matiba was a close friend of former President Daniel arap Moi and the fall out that led to his illegal detention remains a question in her mind.

“That particular day, there were some buses that had been given to Kenya and Moi was going to commission them outside the GPO and Ken was supposed to be there. So while they were waiting for Ken, the letter came and Moi was told that Ken had resigned.

“He was detained later. Why would Moi turn so hard on so close a personal friend?” Edith posed.

During the 2013 interview, Edith outlined how she and her family were harassed by police on a night when they raided his Limuru home.

“About 10 men came into the room. They asked: ‘Where is Mr Matiba?’ I told them he had gone to Mombasa. So they looked under the bed, and everywhere.

“The man crossed the room and pulled the drawer, knife in hand. His accomplice was standing next to me and he had a small axe. He hit me here (her skull). The blood shot out,” her narration relayed in part.

Human Rights Organisation Amnesty International Kenya has stressed that the State should pay Sh1.5 billion awarded to Matiba in damages to his widow Edith for his illegal detention.

Supreme Court judge Isaac Lenaola awarded the amount last year for his unfair treatment by the Moi regime.

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