On this day in 1953, Jomo Kenyatta, leader of the Kenyan independence movement, is convicted and sentenced to 7 years jail by Kenya’s British rulers of leading the extremist Mau Mau in their violence against white settlers and the colonial government.
An advocate of nonviolence and conservatism, he pleaded innocent in the highly politicized trial.
One of modern Africa’s first nationalist leaders, Kenyatta was a great defender of Kenyan and African culture, and wrote eloquently on the plight of Kenyans under colonial rule. He played little part in the Mau Mau uprising of 1952 but was imprisoned for nine years along with other nationalist leaders. Upon his release in 1961, Kenyatta became president of the Kenya African National Union and led negotiations with the British for self-rule.
In 1963, Kenya won independence, and in 1964 Kenyatta was elected president.
He served in this post until his death in 1978.
OTHER EVENTS OF INTEREST ON THIS DAY
1898: Battle of Atbara River, Anglo-Egyptian forces crush 6,000 Sudanese.
1904: Great Britain and France establish their Entente Cordiale, a technical treaty settling long-standing disagreements over Morocco, Egypt, Africa, and the Pacific.
1912: Steamers collide on the Nile, drowning 200.
1924: South African State pass the Industrial Conciliation Act No 11: provides for job reservation, excluded blacks from membership of registered trade unions, prohibited registration of black trade unions.
1962: Accords of Evian (Algeria) accepted by referendum in France.
2004: Darfur conflict: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement is signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups.
2013: 163 people are killed and 50,000 are displaced after tribal violence erupts in Darfur, Sudan.
2019: Protests in Sudan against the government of Omar al-Bashir continue with seven killed and 2,500 arrested in Khartoum.