, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 15 – Kenneth Matiba, an icon of Kenya’s second liberation of the 1990s is dead.
Matiba, who was in his mid-eighties died Sunday evening at a city hospital where he has been undergoing treatment.
He has been ailing for several years since he suffered a stroke while in detention during the struggle for multi-partyism.
Late last year, the High Court enhanced compensation to be paid to the multi-party hero to Sh945 million.
The State had earlier been ordered to pay Matiba Sh504 million.
Matiba was arrested with others, including Charles Rubia, and detained for agitating for the return of multi-party democracy during former President Daniel arap Moi’s regime.
While in detention, Matiba suffered a stroke but remained in custody without medical care.
The court ruled that his medical condition, triggered by the events in detention leading to his stroke, “greatly affected the business acumen, attention, focus, energy, guidance and leadership he was giving his companies that without him at the helm, they deteriorated and some eventually collapsed.”
Matiba said an audit of the estate revealed that he lost more than Sh2 billion in commercial real estate and a further Sh2 billion in privately held shares.
Since assuming office in 2013, President Uhuru Kenyatta has visited with the liberation hero several times and at least twice while he’s been admitted to hospital.
He visited with him at his South Coast home on assuming office in 2013 and later in 2015, hosted him in State House, Nairobi while he was confined to a wheelchair.
Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria from whose county Matiba hailed, was among the first to extend his condolences to the bereaved family while also celebrating the late liberation hero’s legacy.
“As we enjoy the fruits of our democratic space, we shall never forget his input,” he stated.