Long Live Josiah Mwangi Kariuki Brutally Murdered on March 2, 1975

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Like many Kenyans, I pay great homage to Josiah Mwangi Kariuki brutally murdered on March 2, 1975, by the Kenya government. I was just a baby at that time in a boarding secondary school, Chianda High School in Rarieda so I had no idea what was going on.

Later on in 1981 when I joined the University of Nairobi as a student Josiah Mwangi Kariuki changed my whole life. Every March 2 was a JM’s rally by Nairobi University Students to demonstrate democracy and justice in the country. We always just took the whole city of Nairobi. It became part of my life and we loved and championed that fight for our country.

The cops and the GSU would come with guns and tear gas cans. We had stones and that was all but we were very good in self-defense. One of my co-student activists told me not to stand in the highway after you threw stones in our demos and fights with GSU and police because you will be dead.

He told me, you toss it (the stone) full speed and at the police car and try to hit the siren on top. Then run back and dive behind the trees. The cops would be too scared to look for you. That was a battle time for democracy and human rights in Kenya.

And in the city, our friends and families who work in those big offices would see us running all over the place chased by police and they would come downstairs and open doors for us to go up to the offices. That is how I survived one time.

There is a brilliant history of Nairobi University Student leaders who were forced out of Kenya or marginalized because they stood up for democracy and organized those JM demos and actions every March 2 of the year. Odindo Opiata is one outstanding student leader who stood by the principles of JM and paid the price.

So it is good to see the JM family moving on with their lives. The whole country loves you. That is our message as a country to that family.

I know of great human rights activists and friends who have worked very closely with the JM family at every level. Just great.

Rosemary Kariuki, the daughter to the late socialist politician Josiah Mwangi popularly referred as J.M, is currently heads the Business and Hustler opportunities docket, in Governor Johnson Sakaja’s cabinet.

Rosemary, who is following in the steps of his father who was assassinated in March 1975, has been actively participating in politics with her recent stab being the ODM as the director for membership and recruitment.

Rosemary is a mum of two.

On her appointment as the County Executive Committee (CEC) member for Business and hustler opportunities, Rosemary said she is well prepared to serve in the docket,

“It is a privilege to serve the people and I will take this opportunity to give services to Nairobi residents as it is expected of me,” she stated.

School and personal life

Rosemary is a mother to two daughters and is married to city businessman and politician John Waithaka Machua, although she is commonly known with her family name due to its political background.

She studied secondary school at the Highlands school which was later renamed Moi Girls High school.

Rosemary indicated that she was accepted to Kenyatta University for higher studies, but she was unable to enroll because of demonstrations that happened at universities during his father’s memorial.

Her family then took her to the University of the District of Columbia in Washington DC, United States, where she studied for a Bachelor of Arts in political science.

Aside from politics, Rosemary also serves in the church, children’s ministry.

Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

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