Today a legend has rested!
Former Yatta MP Gideon Mutiso goes down in history as the first Kenyan politician to declare that “This Country cannot be ruled by one tribe” during the 1971 failed coup attempt.
Being a close friend of Tom Mboya he protested his assassination among other political martyrs like Pio Gama Pinto, the detention of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, scrapping of Multi-Party clause and the introduction of Kikuyu oath “Muuma” in military.
He was part of the 15 conspirators who held goat eating sessions in Ukambani (Ndolo’s Makueni home), Dar es Salaam and Kampala-Makerere University ( Prof. Ouma Muga’s house) to plot how to overthrow Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s regime.
However their plans were thwarted by military intelligence officers after Mwalimu Julius Nyerere from whom they sought ammunition support from and Major General Mulinge a close ally who Ndolo tried to recruit into the plot betrayed them. This was the first and only well choreographed attempted coup d’etat that had a backing of many Kenyan military officers.
Mutiso was the chairman of the Revolutionary Council, the political arm of the coup plotters.
They were to capture Mzee Kenyatta while flagging off a Safari Rally at KICC on 8th April 1971, prosecute him for political assassinations, ethnic cleansing (for commissioning Gatundu public oathing) and nepotism in a Military Tribunal. Chief Justice Kitili Mwendwa would thereafter swear in Major General Ndolo, the first African Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), as President.
Mutiso a fire spitting legislator in parliament was tasked to write the proclamation letter that Ndolo would to read after overthrowing government. This earned him a 10 year imprisonment at Naivasha Maximum Prison after he was charged with sedition.
The plotters included Gideon Mutiso, CJ Kitili Mwendwa, Major Gn Ndolo, Prof. Ouma Muga, Daniel Owino, Juvenalis Aoko, Joshua Ooko, Cpt Collins Omondi, Silvanus Oduor, Eliud Langat,Kipkrui arap Langat, Eric Kimtai Chepkuony, Elijah Mukaya Sabwe, Jafetha Oyangi Mbaja and Ahmed Abdi Aden.
Elected in 1963 on an APP ticket, Gideon Mutiso was the first MP for Yatta and was re-elected in 1969 on a KANU ticket before he was sentenced to nine and a half years in Naivasha Maximum Prison in 1971.
Upon the end of his Prison term and release he was re-elected as MP and appointed Asst. Minister. He became the longest serving MP for Yatta from 1983 to 1997 when he lost his seat, quit public life and retired to farming. His Son Charles Kilonzo later served as MP for Yatta for two terms.
He died today aged 91years old while undergoing cancer treatment at a Nairobi Hospital according to the family.
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26th April 2023