Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Man who gave false testimony against Kenyatta dies in crash

Mr Rawson Macharia who gave false testimony against Mr Kenyatta 

By OLIVER MUSEMBI

The man who gave false testimony against Mzee Jomo Kenyatta in order to get favours from the colonial Government has died.

A freak accident ended the life of Rawson Mbugua Macharia whose heydays were full of controversy.

At one time leading to his imprisonment for perjury over claims that he gave false evidence against Mr Kenyatta who would become Kenya’s first President.

When he was handed a six-month jail term in the early 1980’s, Macharia had sworn an affidavit claiming he was mislead by the colonial masters to give false evidence that would land Kenyatta in jail together with his comrades in the freedom struggle (The Kapenguria Six)

Carry briefcase

A manuscript of a book he was about to publish to clear the air about the famous trial was later confiscated by the Government and kept in the National Archives, according to a lawyer who represented a publishing house involved in the suit.

On Friday, a motor bike hit the old man as he crossed the Thika-Nairobi Highway near his residence in Juja area, killing him on the spot.

After the accident near High Point Restaurant, the boda boda (taxi) motorcyclist fled the scene and is still at large. Police led by the Juja station commander James Kilonzo have been hunting for the cyclist.

Macharia who was in his late 80’s lived at Gachororo village with one of his three sons, Samuel Marima Mbugua. Two of his sons and their mother Edith Mwihaki, are dead.

The old man who was known to be reserved and reclusive lived next to several rental apartments he had built.

He hailed from Muthurumbi village in Gatundu district where he will be buried on Thursday. The man was known to be ever in suits and a tie and always carried a briefcase wherever he went.

On the day he was knocked down by the motorbike, he had carried it heading to Nairobi. The man was also an avid reader of Daily Nation and Taifa Leo newspapers.

Mr Francis Munyua Waititu who often shared a cup of tea with the old man at his popular Senate Hotel café in Juja, said he had a high sense of neatness.

“He would quickly summon the waitress whenever a drop of tea fell on the table and took offence if she took long to wipe it,” he said.

Kapenguria saga

His friends say Macharia shied away from controversy and hardly engaged in arguments, political or otherwise.

“Some of us even attempted to entice him to remarry but he would hear nothing of it,” said Mr Waititu.

However this would seem to be a glaring contrast to his nature as exemplified in the various cases he engaged the Government in, dating back to the colonial times.

Advocate Mugo Mukunya said at one time in the 80’s, Macharia sued the Government seeking the manuscript on the Kapenguria saga from the defunct East African Publishing House.

However, he lost the case and the court ruled that the materials be in the custody of the State, said Mr Mukunya who represented the publishing house.

Earlier, Macharia was committed to jail for perjury when the court ruled that the affidavit he had sworn claiming he gave false testimony on Mr Kenyatta was itself perjury.

He said the colonial government had asked him to testify falsely in the Kapenguria case and had him later travel abroad with promises of better things.

Mr Kenyatta was jailed together with Achieng Oneko, Kungu Karumba, Bildad Kagia and Paul Ngei at Kapenguria over their links with the Mau Mau freedom fighters who the British considered a terrrorist group.

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