Dr. Willy Mutunga on Prof. Micere Mugo’s Lessons for the Upcoming Saba Saba rallies

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End Politics of Running with the Hare and Hunting with the Hounds.

Professor Micere Mugo died last Friday, June 30.

One accustomed to resistance, she bravely battled and inflicted wounds on what she called the “monster” (cancer) for sixteen years before heroically exiting that struggle to join our revolutionary ancestors.

Her revolutionary spirit lives and shines forever. May she shine in the light of her ancestral abode as she shone on earth with revolutionary light.

Micere was not just a brilliant scholar. She was a revolutionary intellectual.

She was the first woman to be the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Nairobi.

When I joined the University of Nairobi as a lecturer in 1974 the Department of Literature, where Ngugi wa Thiong’o and other revolutionaries worked, was the most radical in the University.

That radical and revolutionary virus invaded other departments and the University of Nairobi and its constituent Kenyatta College became the only sites of dissent in the country.

Micere underwent several arrests and tortures (one form of torture was to deny her to breastfeed with its accompanying pain) and she ultimately left the country.

She was rendered stateless while in Zimbabwe when her passport was not returned to her when it was handed in for renewal.

Zimbabwe and Ghana came to the rescue of this great Pan-Africanist and she was able to travel.

Micere’s revolutionary work continued in the US.

She was involved in many movements there besides having revolutionary solidarities with such fellow revolutionaries as Angela Davis.

She kept in touch and participated in struggles in Kenya.

We, her compatriots, have decided to come together in a WhatsAAP Group titled #CelebratingShujaaMicere.

Fundamentally, we want to appreciate and glorify her life, work, and welcome friends from other countries to participate in the project during the month of July.

Her funeral in Kenya will not take place until mid-August.

We have formed a working group to deal with these functions. We will also participate in the funeral of her lifelong Comrade Aidoo whose funeral is on this month.

Ordinarily, funerals are about families and sometimes the state gets involved as in the case of Aidoo.

Appreciation and memorializing of our comrades by a critical extended family that is national, regional, and global that becomes an extension of the nuclear family is a great practice.

Messages to the Ancestors

Wafula Buke and Otieno Aluoka started a great practice of sending messages to the ancestors through our departed comrades.

I craft the following messages for Comrade Micere to deliver to the ancestors, some crafted by the two comrades in 2004 when we attended the funeral service of Comrade Katana Mkangi:

          When you meet Me Kitilili wa Menza tell her the British never left our country;

          When you meet Nanjiru tell her we renamed the Great Court in the University of Nairobi after her;

          When you meet Wangari Mathaai let her know the struggle for an ecologically safe Kenya and the planet continues;

          When you meet Kimaathi tell him that we continue to die on our feet and never on our knees for our liberation;

          When you meet Jaramogi confirm to him that Kenya is Not Yet  Uhuru;

          When you meet JM please let him know that we now have 8,300 billionaires and 50 million beggars;

          When you meet Pio Gama Pinto tell him that his revolutionary  spirit lives and guides us; and

          In the welcome convening to your ancestral abode clench your fist and in unison with all the revolutionary ancestors shout:

          Aluta Continua! A Vitoria e C’erta/The Struggle Continues! Victory is Certain.


We celebrate the Saba Saba on Friday, July 7. Links and continuities of our struggles for the liberation of our country are worthy of celebration and reflection.

Kenneth Matiba and Charles Rubia chose July 7, 1990, as a day they were going to address the Kenyan public at Kamukunji grounds.

They had given a press conference announcing this public meeting.

In this press conference both Matiba and Rubia took the great political opportunity, then existing, to make a great political statement and demand: That the KANU-MOI Dictatorship was unacceptable and that Kenya needed a Multi-Party system immediately.

This was a show of great patriotic courage that the two suffered for.

They were immediately detained suffering serious health issues in their detention.

There followed the courage of the Mothers of Political Prisoners at Freedom Corner at Uhuru Park demanding the immediate release of their sons.

After their brutal attack by the police All Saints Cathedral allowed them to use the bunker there.

They stayed there until their sons were released. What we call the Second Liberation followed although Jaramogi Oginga Odinga remained our leader of the opposition under the oppressive times of that era.

Multi-Partyism was born, and struggles for the new Constitution ensued spearheaded by the National Convention Assembly, Ufungamano, and opposition political parties.

The 2010 Constitution was the result of these links and continuities. Saba Saba continues to be celebrated every year.

Our Message to the Nation on Saba Saba: End Politics of Running with the Hare and Hunting with the Hounds.

Let the people of Kenya know that our political leadership (in both the government and the opposition) and the ruling class in Kenya have neither the political will nor the commitment to transform this country.

Let the people of Kenya know that the ruling class will not implement the Constitution and will continue to religiously subvert it.

Let Kenyans know the ruling class will not challenge foreign interests that are part of the economic, social, political, and cultural problems Kenya faces.

Let Kenyans know that our ruling class is enslaved by foreign interests.

Let Kenyans know that our struggle now is about alternative leadership in all spheres of our society.

Those individuals who are courageously presenting themselves as the alternative leaders we require that at a minimum must repeat these messages and declare the political will and commitment to start the liberation of the country on these terms.

Let us ban the politics of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. Let us ban the politics of division.

Let us breathe life into the politics of issues and the material needs of the people.

Let our youth, women, and men, know that our hopes for the liberation of this country fall squarely on their patriotic shoulders and hands.

Willy Mutunga was Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court, 2011-2016.

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