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Assassination That Triggered Ministers to Take Oath Naked at Kenyatta's Home

President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta's close associates forced the Cabinet to swear a loyalty pledge in front of them while they were naked at his Gatundu homestead after former Economic Planning and Development Minister Tom Mboya was murdered in 1969 outside a pharmacist in Nairobi.

According to the late Njenga Karume's autobiography Beyond Expectations: From Charcoal to Gold, Arthur Wanyoike, Kenyatta's dependable bodyguard and Mbiyu Koinange recommended that officials and Mzee's close associates pledge their allegiance to the president.

The former government official Karume described how he and Kenyatta's ministers were tricked into traveling to Gatundu for a meeting with the president.

"When I got inside, I saw that there was a serious problem. Initially, Kenyatta was absent, "Karume recalled.

Njenga could see Kaniu Kinyanjui, an old acquaintance and others inside the completely dark room who were all brandishing machetes.

He was told to take off his clothing by Kinyanjui: "Muthoniwa ruta nguo (Remove your garments, my in-law).

"I realized right away that this was a verbal beating. I was incensed that I had been duped into the scenario in Kenyatta's home in such a way "As Njenga said.

He stripped, chewed the gross item he was given and swore allegiance to the president, just like the other ministers and government representatives before him.

The Opposition had accused Kenyatta of being responsible for Mboya's death through demonstrations and protests in the capital and the oath was meant to fortify Kenyatta's defense in the event of an assault against him.

Njenga, however, was of the opinion that the oath was superfluous because Kenyatta was equally surprised by the murder of Mboya and therefore couldn't have planned it.

According to him, Kenyatta was better off with the minister of economics still in office and the president had personally developed Mboya.

Despite Njenga's unhappiness with how the oathing was carried out, he never brought it up to Kenyatta's attention.

Mboya's murder is still a mystery since the person who ordered the attack was kept a secret even after the murderer was executed.

Nahashon Isaac Njenga Njoroge, the man found guilty of killing Mboya, committed suicide without ever clarifying what he had meant when he asked the judge, "Why don't you go after the big man?"

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Charcoal Kaniu Kinyanjui Karume Mzee Jomo Kenyatta Njenga


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