In the summer of 1969, Kenya lost in a tragic and violent way one of the most fervent and young political minds in the country, a symbol of  intertribalism and democratic ideas.

Tom Mboya was standing outside Chhanni’s Pharmacy chatting to the shop’s owner Mohini Chhanni. She would later say that she heard what she thought was a tyre burst. Then Mboya fell into her arms, bleeding.

The statue by the self-taught artist Oshoto Ondula stands close to the spot on Moi Avenue where Mboya was assassinated on 5 July 1969 / Image source

He was shot and killed by Nahashon Njoroge, an ethnic Kikuyu man who was later suspected of being the perpetrator of a politically motivated murder.

Precisely for this reason, and for the lack of close investigations by Kenyatta, the death of Mboya upset the nation and exacerbated the tensions between the Kikuyu in power and the Luo. Kenya had lost its innocence, nothing would have been the same as before.

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