BACKGROUND TO SABA SABA - The story of an on-going iconic struggle

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 12/12/2020  
The time was ripe for protest and revolution. Kenyans had had enough. When Moi took over from Jomo Kenyatta in 1978, in true nyayo fashion he perfected the art of state torture and repression. That was the only way he could cement his dictatorial rule. The resistance had taken the…
The political plurality that was envisaged in the Lancaster house constitution that we inherited in 1963 was dismembered by Jomo Kenyatta and his henchmen. By 1965, the Kenya African National Union (KANU) was a monolithic – the party, the government, and the avenue for political association. The formation of Kenya…

Saba Saba 1990 and The Lawyers by Pheroze Nowrojee S.C.

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 12/12/2020  
Two key factors, as they grew, year by year, defeated Moi. First: the lawyers constantly held up the Alternative to Moi. Second: the lawyers suffered in the repression just as the people did. It made the people believe in the lawyers. It led to belief in the lawyers’ programme. The…

SABA SABA - Fate or Destiny?!? by Njeri Kabeberi

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 12/12/2020  
Coincidence-Fate or Destiny?!? They say a coincidence is a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection; that fate is the development of events outside a person's control, regarded as predetermined by a supernatural power and destiny is what's meant to be, what's written in the stars, your…
I had just left detention without trial a year before - a 6 footer weighing 70 kgs, but still as determined as ever to fight for a New Kenya, free from the suffocating stranglehold of KANU’s one party rule. After detention by that party, one was supposed to become a…

‘Mbili Mbili Kama Kawaida’ by John Khaminwa

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 12/12/2020  
Last week I had the pleasant surprise of meeting Zarina Patel and her husband at my legal chambers in Nairobi after many years. Zarina Patel is a Kenyan Asian lady a graduate of Harvard, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I remembered that my wife Joyce and myself had…

Saba Saba and My Political Awakening by Ndungi Gĩthuku

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 12/12/2020  
On 7 July 1990, Kenyans took to the streets to demand free elections. The politicians who had called for the protests, Kenneth Matiba and Charles Rubia, were arrested before the protest day. Other organizers such as Njeru Kathangu, George Anyona, Raila Odinga, etc were beaten up and detained. Saba Saba…

The Saba Saba Experience by Antony Adoyo

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 12/12/2020  
In the past years of 2017, 2018 and 2019 the Social Justice Centres Working Group (SJCWG), while tapping into the rich history of Saba Saba, held successful peaceful demonstrations into Kamkunji grounds to demand an end to extrajudicial executions and the prosecution of all killer cops in the informal settlements…
Background The story of Kenya is the story of a National identity forged out of the Colonial experience. A story of oxymorons. The story of an entity forged out of hitherto disparate polities and yoked together, learning to exist as one, proud of the history of resisting the Colonial enterprise,…
Those of us who have walked this earth a little longer than most, frequently like to compare notes on their favourite decade. Was it the fifties, the sixties, the nineties or even the new millennium? For my part, without hesitation, I declare that the swinging sixties was the greatest decade…
7 July 1990, the first Saba Saba, was a bloody day. The call for multi-partyism had triggered a fury bottled up for many years by Kenyans, especially the youth. Kenyans born in the 60’s and 70’s had only witnessed Kenyatta and Moi’s oppression and not the direct rule of the…
There is no doubt that in the journey of life, one finds a course that determines his or her path into adulthood. Such a path is influenced by different experiences, intuitions, combined with personal aspirations. These can be defined at various stages of one’s life, as it happened to me.…

Reflections on the 2020 Saba Saba by Suhayl Omar

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 12/12/2020  
30 years later we are still fighting the same oppression that plagued the Moi regime. From the disdain of human rights that flows through all the arms of government to suppression of dissent and abuse of constitutionalism in Kenya. Ironically, on the thirtieth anniversary of the Saba Saba (pro-democracy) movement,…
Saba Saba solemnizes liberty and freedom. It is the triumph of the resolute resistance against tyranny, oppression and dehumanization of the people of Kenya. It marks the dismantling and shredding of personalized, iron-fisted rule. Saba Saba remains a critical step in ushering the roadmap to dismembering the pervasive post-colonial state…

My Day on Saba Saba 2020 by George Kegoro

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 12/12/2020  
I was asked to spare myself from joining colleagues that would come out into the procession to mark the 30th anniversary of saba saba and instead remain on standby to serve as legal counsel if the services of a lawyer were to be needed on the day. The plan was…

The Saba Saba Process By Zein Abubakar

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 12/12/2020  
One of the most difficult matters to deal with in a society that has been traumatized by past oppression and injustices is memory. The remembering and retelling of the complicated past is painful and can raise more questions than answers. Different actors that lived and survived the troubled past may…

Chelagat Mutai – A life in struggle

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 12/12/2020  
On this, and every Saba Saba Day, we honour the memory of a truly heroic Kenyan who, though she never participated in any Saba Saba event, left this world on this sacred day in the year 2013; having given her young life to fighting for the goals that we are…

Eye Witness Accounts 2020

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 12/12/2020  
#SABASABA #MARCHFOROURLIVES UPDATE by DEFENDERS COALITION Today, 7 July 2020, 63 human rights defenders (HRD) were arrested while participating in the peaceful #SabaSabaMarchForOurLives which was to converge in Kamukunji Grounds. The 63 were detained in Muthaiga, Kayole, Kilimani and Central Police Stations. Eight from Muthaiga Police station have been released…

Other related articles

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 12/12/2020  
Citizens Demands Ripples of Hope Saba Saba At 30: The Gains We Have Lost Saba Saba At 30: The Struggle For Progressive Alternative Political Leadership In Kenya Continues The Spirit Of Saba Saba Lives On In Devolution We lived to tell the Nyayo Story When We Lose Our Fear A…

Poetry

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 12/12/2020  
By Monaja Ilikuwa nineteen ninety, baada ya Ouko kukangwa Kiasi kidogo kabla machafuko kuanza, Serikali ya Nyayo ilisababisha vituko majanga, Kudhulumu raiya ikitarajia wao kunyamaza, Ni ukweli gava ya Kenyatta ilidhulumu wajaka, But still Jaramogi alishikanisha watu wa Nyanza, Na wa Central na wengine pia wa kupambana Dhidi ya utawala…

Videos

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 20/12/2020  
What Is Saba Saba? (Short video): Voices of Njeru Kathangu, Koigi wa Wamwere and footage of the brutal beating of Rev. Timothy Njoya https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVYZi0-AZjE Saba Saba ya Kale: Wakongwe wa saba saba wazungumza https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wooawjlkf_8

Public Demonstrations Gallery of Pictures

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 21/12/2020  
L to R - Gitobu Imanyara, James Orengi, Raila Odinga

L to R - Gitobu Imanyara, James Orengi, Raila Odinga

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Martin Shikuku, and Masinde Muliro

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Martin Shikuku, and Masinde Muliro

Karibu Matiba

Karibu Matiba

L ro R Kenneth Matiba, Paul Muite and Raila Odinga

L ro R Kenneth Matiba, Paul Muite and Raila Odinga

Martin Shikuku addresses the crowd at Kamukunji with James Orengo during the first Saba Saba rally in July 7, 1990. [File, S

Martin Shikuku addresses the crowd at Kamukunji with James Orengo during the first Saba Saba rally in July 7, 1990. [File, S

Mothers of Political Prisoners call for release of Koigi and others

Mothers of Political Prisoners call for release of Koigi and others

Oloo Oringo, Shem Ochuodo, Charity Ngilu, Davinder Lamba, unknown, James Orengo, Kivutha Kibwana, Peter Anyan’g Nyong'o

Oloo Oringo, Shem Ochuodo, Charity Ngilu, Davinder Lamba, unknown, James Orengo, Kivutha Kibwana, Peter Anyan’g Nyong'o

Police prepare to break down the RPP Cultural Week on day one at Ufungamano House, 19 July 1996.

Police prepare to break down the RPP Cultural Week on day one at Ufungamano House, 19 July 1996.

Saba Saba riots in 1990. [Photo File,Standard]

Saba Saba riots in 1990. [Photo File,Standard]

The march to Kamiti prison. On this day we walked from CBD to the gates of Kamiti to demand the release of Apiny Adhiambo

The march to Kamiti prison. On this day we walked from CBD to the gates of Kamiti to demand the release of Apiny Adhiambo

This is the day we went to Kamukunji on the pick-up van. We jumped into the Pajero after the van was shot

This is the day we went to Kamukunji on the pick-up van. We jumped into the Pajero after the van was shot

Tirop Kitur gives a speech at the first Karimi Nduthu memorial 1996 at this home in Molo

Tirop Kitur gives a speech at the first Karimi Nduthu memorial 1996 at this home in Molo

Wangari Maathai leads women in calling for the release of political prisoners

Wangari Maathai leads women in calling for the release of political prisoners

Youth demonstrate during Saba Saba in Nairobi July 1990. [Courtesy]

Youth demonstrate during Saba Saba in Nairobi July 1990. [Courtesy]

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Heroes Gallery

Volume 17, Issue 3 | Published 21/12/2020  
Alamin Mazrui

Alamin Mazrui

Bedan Mbugua

Bedan Mbugua

Bishop Alexander Muge

Bishop Alexander Muge

Charles Rubia

Charles Rubia

Chelagat Mutai

Chelagat Mutai

Edward Oyugi

Edward Oyugi

Fr John Kaiser

Fr John Kaiser

George Anyona

George Anyona

Gibson Kamau Kuria

Gibson Kamau Kuria

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga

Katama Mkangi

Katama Mkangi

Kenneth Matiba

Kenneth Matiba

Koigi Wamwere

Koigi Wamwere

Koigi and Sifuna

Koigi and Sifuna

Martha Karua

Martha Karua

Martin Shikuku

Martin Shikuku

Masinde Muliro

Masinde Muliro

Micere Mugo

Micere Mugo

Mirugi Kariuki

Mirugi Kariuki

Mr. Gitobu Imanyara

Mr. Gitobu Imanyara

Mukaru Nganga

Mukaru Nganga

Mwachofi

Mwachofi

Mwandawiro Mghanga

Mwandawiro Mghanga

Ngotho Kariuki

Ngotho Kariuki

Ngugi wa Thiong'o

Ngugi wa Thiong'o

Njeru Kathangu

Njeru Kathangu

Oloo Aringo, Wangari, James Orengo

Oloo Aringo, Wangari, James Orengo

Onyango Oloo

Onyango Oloo

Paul Muite arrested

Paul Muite arrested

Peter Kariethi

Peter Kariethi

Pheroze Nowrojee

Pheroze Nowrojee

Philip Gachoka

Philip Gachoka

Pius Nyamora

Pius Nyamora

Prof Abdilatif Abdalla

Prof Abdilatif Abdalla

Robert Ouko

Robert Ouko

Rumba Kinuthia

Rumba Kinuthia

Salim Lone

Salim Lone

Shadrack Gutto

Shadrack Gutto

Titus Adungosi

Titus Adungosi

Willy Mutunga

Willy Mutunga

Yusuf Hassan

Yusuf Hassan

CAPTIONS Bedan Mbugua - Journalist and Magazine Editor Mr Mbugua lost his job as Editor in Chief of Beyond magazine, which in 1988 had highlighted massive election rigging. He was arrested again in 1994 while while at People Daily for highlighting interference in a court case. Bishop Alexander…