Veteran Kenyan Politician Martin Shikuku Dies at 79
Veteran Kenyan politician Martin Shikuku passed away at Texas Cancer Center in Hurlingham, Nairobi on Wednesday evening. He was 79 years old.
The former Butere MP and self-declared “People’s Watchman” had been hospitalized at the Cancer Center for several months being treated for prostate cancer.
Shikuku was a key champion in the struggle for independence and multi-party democracy in Kenya and was first elected MP for Butere constituency in 1963 when Kenya gained independence. He has previously served as MP in the Legislative Council (LEGCO) during the colonial rule. The late Shikuku also served as Assistant Minister under both Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi’s administrations.
He would ruffle feathers with both administrations, leading to him being sacked once by Kenyatta and later by Moi as Assistant Minister. He was also placed in detention during the Kenyatta administration and was released when Daniel arap Moi came to power.
In 1990, he along with other politicians including the late Jaramogi Odinga launched the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD) after a tough battle for the restoration multi-party politics in Kenya. The party would later split and Shikuku formed FORD-Asili with Kenneth Matiba and other politicians. The party however failed to oust President Moi’s KANU government from power in the 1992 general elections.
His death came on the 34th anniversary of founding President Jomo Kenyatta's death. It also came on the same day as the death of former veteran politician John Michuki's widow who also died earlier today (READ: John Michuki's Widow Passes Away in Nairobi).
He is said to have prepared for his death by preparing his own grave and buying a coffin long before his death.
RIP Shikuku .... true people's watchman.... You will be missed. This cancer has become a menace, our men, even as young as 40 are getting it. Hon. Nyongo, et al.
MOH, please spread your wings wider and faster..... educate and provide affordable screening.