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Mau Mau's General Gachienja succumbs to illness aged 107

Monday November 12 2018
General Gachienja

The late Jonah M’Ituruchiu M’Itunga, commonly known as General Gachienja, at his home in Buuri Sub-county, Meru, early in 2018. PHOTO | COURTESY

By DAVID MUCHUI

One of few remaining top Mau Mau generals died on Saturday at the age of 107.

Jonah M’Ituruchiu M’Itunga, commonly known as General Gachienja, served as the assistant to Field Marshal Baimungi Marete, who took over from Dedan Kimathi.

ILLNESS

General Gachienja died at Isiolo General Hospital.

The father of seven was born in Kithirune, Imenti Central, but had been living in his farm at Ntumburi in Buuri Sub-county, Meru, where he was allocated land after independence in 1963.

The late general’s daughter, Lucy Kinya, said he had been sick since April.

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“We rushed our father to hospital on Saturday but he passed on at around 11am as he was being treated. He had had difficulties eating since he was discharged [that month]. Doctors had not diagnosed him by the time he died," she said.

She added, “We urge the government to support the family with burial plans so that we can give the general a befitting send-off. He did a lot for this country."

HUMBLE, BRAVE

Mau Mau War Veterans Association chairman Marete Kibuuru, however, said they do not expect any support from the government with the burial.

He eulogised General Gachienja as a humble and brave man who survived despite the scars of the struggle for independence.

General Gachienja fought alongside Generals including Ruku, Ndege, Kagia, Kula-Twende, Mukarange and Mengo, from Abothuguchi in Imenti Central.

He was among fighters who laid down arms at Kinoru Stadium on December 27, 1963, led by Field Marshal Baimungi.

After independence, he ventured into livestock keeping and farming.

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