The County Government of Nairobi has immortalised former Ford Asili party leader Kenneth Matiba by renaming Nairobi’s Accra Road after him.
This comes days after City MCAs passed a motion to rename the road after the veteran politician who passed away on April 18, 2018, at Karen Hospital at the age of 85.
The motion was moved by Nairobi Central Ward MCA Daniel Ngegi. Ngegi had raised concerns that not much had been done to honour the second liberation hero despite vital contributions to the nation.
Ngegi argued Accra Road played a significant role during the fight for multi-party democracy, as it was a place of refuge for Matiba during the Saba Saba demonstrations.
In Kenya, Saba Saba Day is remembered as the day when nation-wide protests took place. On 7 July 1990, Kenyans took to the streets to demand free elections. The politicians who had called for the protests, Matiba and Charles Rubia, were arrested days before the protest day.
The MCA further describing the former Kiharu MP as a modern-day freedom fighter who helped free the country from the yorks of the ruling party KANU and the then President Daniel Moi who was considered authoritarian by a section of Kenyans.
Matiba became a senior civil servant at age 31 before Kenya attained its independence in December 1963 before going on to be the first indigenous African Permanent Secretary for Education in May of that year.
He was mentored by Carey Francis, the headmaster of Alliance High School, who lobbied for his promotion to permanent secretary and in 1964, he was appointed Permanent Secretary for Commerce under Minister Mwai Kibaki.
Kibaki would go on to be the third President of Kenya in 2002 ending President Moi’s 24-year reign.