24 YEARS AGO

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SABA SABA

Nairobi was rocked by violent demonstration on July 7, 1990. Opposition leaders seeking greater democracy called for a huge rally to heap pressure on the then President Daniel Arap Moi open up the political space for more competition.

There were disturbances on streets, in universities, even in churches albeit silently.

In response, the Kanu government ruthlessly crushed the pro-democracy crusaders. Moi in particular, called them “drug addicts”. Tens of people lost their lives, hundreds were injured, many more bundled into prison. Former cabinet ministers Charles Rubia and Kenneth Matiba, and Raila Odinga were detained without charges.

Demosntartors sought multi-partyism, the resignation of President Moi and his Kanu, introduction of presidential term limit, and a new Constitution. This publication, The Nairobi Law Monthly, was temporarily “banned” for its increasing criticism of the then government.

Moi would later grant some concessions, among them the establishment of a Review Committee to listen to complaints and make recommendations to the government.

ILLUSTRATION: ELIUD MUGU

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