Koigi wa Wamwere

Koigi wa Wamwere

Koigi wa Wamwere (born 1949) is a Kenyan politician, journalist and writer. Born in Bahati, Nakuru District, Koigi became famous for opposing both the Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi regimes, both of which sent him to detention.

Political career

Wamwere studied at Cornell University in the United States in the early 70's and while there he got interested in politics . In mid 70's he was detained by Kenyatta. In December 1978, after Kenyatta had died, the new president Moi released Wamwere together with Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Martin Shikuku . He was elected to the parliament in 1979 by winning the Nakuru North Constituency representing KANU, the only legal party then . He teamed up with other radical and socialist politicians who were derogatively named the Seven Bearded Sisters by Charles Njonjo . Others were Abuya Abuya, James Orengo, Chelagat Mutai, Chibule wa Tsuma, Mwashengu wa Mwachofi and Lawrence Sifuna .

Wamwere was one of the several opposition figures detained by president Moi after the 1982 Kenyan coup attempt, though he maintains position of not being involved with the coup He was in exile in Norway throughout most of the 1980s. In the 1990s, he escaped the hangman's noose twice, after having been charged with treason and later with robbery with violence. He was only released after international condemnation and protests by activists led by Koigi's own mother. He is the author of A Woman Reborn, Justice on Trial, and I Refuse to Die, amongst other books. At the 1997 general elections he stood for presidency and parliamentary seat for the KENDA party, but got only 0.16% of the presidential votes and failed to win a parliamentary seat .

At the 2002 parliamentary elections he was part of the victorious NARC coalition and he won the Subukia parliamantary seat and served as an Assistant Minister for Information in the Mwai Kibaki administration. He lost the seat at the 2007 elections, now representing a little known Chama Cha Mwanachi party. He continue to write, mainly op-ed articles in the Kenyan press. He owns Sauti Ya Mwananchi, a radio station in Nakuru .



  • I Refuse to Die: My Journey for Freedom, Seven Stories Press (2003), ISBN 158322615X
  • Negative Ethnicity: From Bias to Genocide, Open Media (2003), ISBN 1583225765

Further reading

  • Keith B. Richburg, Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa, Harvest/HBJ (reprint 1998), ISBN 0156005832 - pp. 187-9

External links

  • http://www.artemisia.no/koigi/

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