Kenya’s politics is replete with questionable deaths and it did not start yesterday. The Luo community has borne the biggest brunt when it comes to political assassinations. We all remember Tom Mboya, the man whose death almost tore the country apart.
And we must not forget Argwings Kodhek, Ambala, Robert Ouko, Odhimabo Mbai, Chris Msando among many others.
Ambrose Michael Ofafa was a young politician, sauve in manners and blessed with unrivalled gift of the garb.
He was a good friend of both Jaramogi and Kenyatta, going as far as hosting the latter for two days at his rural simba in Alego Kalkada.
Despite being friends with the two leading nationalists, he also leaned heavily towards the colonial masters and was even presented to Queen Elizabeth alongside other collaborators.
When Achieng Oneko resigned to concentrate on the fight for independence, Ofafa was immediately appointed to replace him as a member of Nairobi Municipal Council.
“In Exercise of the powers conferred upon him by section 5 of the municipalities Ordinance 1928 the governor has been pleased to nominate ,mr Ambrose Michael Ofafa to be a member of Nairobi Municipal council for the period ending the 30th June “,read a notice in the Kenya Gazette announcing his nomination.
This move, perhaps, put him on the crosshairs of Mau Mau Freedom Fighters who killed him on the 21st November 1953 in Kaloleni, Nairobi, as he walked home.
Many theories abound as to why Ofafa was killed but the British without hesitation, moved with speed to sow hatred between the Luo and the Kikuyu, even going as far as offering Luos guns to kill the Kikuyu in order to avenge the attack on the Ofafa.
Oginga Odinga equally moved with even speed on hearing the British plan, travelling to Nairobi and meeting Luos to urge them not to fight the Kikuyu. The British plan fell apart and this might explain the refusal by the colonial masters to embrace Oginga. Put in simple terms, the British started hating on Odinga, having seen how he had passionately countermanded their plans.
The fight against the Mau Mau was expensive and additional personnel driven by tribal vengeance would have come in handy.
It can also be argued that the weak response to Michael Ofafa’s killing opened the gates to further Luo killings, a trend which continues todate. A chance for deterrence had been missed, an opportunity to arm flew by and the community became exposed to incessant politically instigated killings. The Luo had dithered, thanks to Odinga and an opportunity to exact a cost on killers had been missed.
Many Luos leaders have died and the list continues to grow, age notwithstanding, baby Samantha Pendo being case in point.