Mau Mau War Veteran Recalls Meeting Jeff Koinange’s Father in Detention Camp

Gitu wa Kahengeri, a Mau Mau veteran, on May 31, recounted meeting Jeff Koinange’s father in the Manda Island prison camp in Lamu.

Jeff Koinange hosted Kahengeri on Citizen TV’s JKL program on Wednesday evening. He said the anchor’s family members were imprisoned during the war for independence.

“I met your father and many others, Njoroge Koinange, Fredrick, John Mbiyu.

“The whole family was there. We were there together. Karuga was also there,” Kahengeri recalled after Koinange jogged his memory.

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Kahengeri is the Secretary-General of the Mau Mau War Veterans Association, which he helped establish and register.

Compesation of the Mau Mau veterans

The group sought reparations from the British government, alleging the harsh treatment they endured throughout the independence war.

All verified Mau Mau members received Ksh340,000 in compensation, and the British government apologized for the cruel treatment. Also, The United Kingdom erected a memorial in Uhuru Park to remember those who died in the war for independence.

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“In detention, we were denied medicine and food. It was torture in the camps as we were always beaten,” explained Kahengeri.

The 99-year-old stated that he was jailed in Lodwar for two years before being transported to Manda, where he was held for four years.

Jeff Koinange never enjoyed a father-son union

Fred Mbiyu Koinange, Jeff Koinange’s father, was imprisoned for supposedly belonging to the Mau Mau.

Jeff Koinange has previously stated in interviews and in his memoirs Through My African Eyes that his father died two months after he was born. Although the two had no father-son bond, his mother stepped in and fostered them.

“I was born on January 7, and my dad passed away on March 7, 1966. I was two months old. He left my mum, who was 28 years old, with four children. My elder sister was four and a half years old, my other sister two and a half, my brother one and a half, and I was two months old,” Jeff stated in an interview in May 2023.

Jeff Koinange’s uncle, late minister Mbiyu Koinange, was a brother-in-law of founding president Jomo Kenyatta.

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Meanwhile, during the funeral of field marshal and Dedan Kimathi’s wife Mukami Kimathi on May 13, Mau Mau veterans urged President William Ruto to assist in the search for the remains of the late Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi Waciuri’s remains.

Brigadier Kiboco, a Mau Mau veteran, requested that Ruto grant the veterans two months to hunt for Kimathi’s remains within Kamiti Maximum Prison, where Kimathi is thought to be interred.