The late veteran politician Harry Thuku was the pioneer of modern Africa nationalism and besides initiating process for realisation of Kenya’s independence he betrayed the course in the last hour.
He started Kenya’s liberation journey in 1921 with formation of Young Kikuyu Association and East African Association the following year but a mistake he made during the State of Emergency blotched his legacy.
In 1920s he was deported to remote Kismayu, Somalia by the British regime becoming one of the first Kenyans to suffer for this country. He was set free in 1931 but two decades later he turned against indigenous fighters.
British declared State of Emergency on October 20, 1952 commencing ruthless war on Mau Mau fighters but two months later on December 12 Thuku was given airtime on then colonial mouthpiece Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) radio to state his views on African resistance to colonialism. He criticised Mau Mau.
Thuku stated; “Today we, the Kikuyu, stand ashamed and looked upon as hopeless people in the eyes of other races and before the government. Why? Because of the crimes perpetrated by Mau Mau and because the Kikuyu have made themselves Mau Mau”.
In 1954 he was in the frontline alongside some Kikuyu elders urging locals to denounce Mau Mau fighters. After independence the government ignored him. He retired to successful life in business in his Kabete village, Kiambu County.
The road where KBC is located was named after him after independence. He died in June 1970 aged 75 years.