Thursday 16 May 2024


Peter Mbiyu Koinange Born 1902/3  but his passport showed 1907.

1927 joined Hampton Institute Virginia.

1934 Took a B.A at Ohio Wesleyan University. Whilst in his second year he produced a pamphlet on the Agrarian problem in Kenya.

1935 took an M.A at Columbia.

1936, undertook postgraduate studies at St John's College Cambridge.

1937/1938, studied for London University Teachers Diploma, but failed.

1939, returned to Kenya and founded the Kenya Teachers's Training College at Githunguri.

He immediately organised meetings to collect money for the KTTC.

October 1939, he visited Kisumu in the company of Jesse Kariuki to look for students in Nyanza. Many couldn't join because of the fees and distance. But there were some who joined. I have forgotten the names, but l'll add when l remember.

That same year Harry Thuku warned him to stop mixing education with politics.

1940, married Lois Njeri of Weithaga.

I943, travelled extensively throughout Kenya Colony seeking signatures to a petition to the Colonial Secretary asking for nomination to the LegCo.

1944, told an African audience at Muthurwa  that they should work for themselves and not for Europeans.

1944, November he canvassed for support among KAU members in the hope of being elected the Union's president.

1945, he was engaged in a number of secret meetings, and also organised a collection for Kenyatta's fare to Kenya from England.

1946, September he recieved Kenyatta in Mombasa and accommodated him at Githunguri.

Throughout 1947, he accompanied Kenyatta to many political meetings.

1948, he left Kenya for England where he lived  with Semakula Mulumba in a house initially occupied by Dinah Stock.

Dinah was Kenyatta's lover in London.

He tried visiting America from London but he was denied a visa.

1948, November he visted Paris for a month on the pretext of consulting Dr. Bunche regarding the refusal of his visa application to America.  Whilst there he applied to the UN for the recognition of KAU.

1948 Dec 26, he returned to Kenya and immediately contacted Kenyatta and James Beauttah.

1949, he started advocating for the wearing of traditional African garments.

Towards the end of the year, he was accused  of embezzling the money raised for the construction of the teachers' college. However, it was believed that Mbugua, the man in charge of collecting money, was the real culprit.

After the owner of the land threatened to evict him if he did not start the construction of the KTTC, he started the construction of the college in May using African artisans. However he was only able to pay 75% of the workers' dues.

In July 1949, he was in India as a guest of the Government. On his return, he was a signatory  to a petition to King George denouncing the Elector Union Kenya plan

1950 January, he reassumed full charge of the  KTTC from Kenyatta. CID believed this was after Kenyatta had his full share of the spoils.

That same year he summoned age group leaders and told them £25,000 was needed  to complete the building.

1950 March he was invited to visit Nigeria by Nnamdi Azikiwe but was declared a prohibited  immigrant.

At this time there were allegations of him and Kenyatta administering secret oaths.

1951 left for London where he took up the  case of Meru eviction and travelled to Paris to represent KAU at UNO. He was later joined by Ramogi Achieng Oneko.

1952, Achieng returned to Kenya but Mbiyu remained in London. While in London he encountered financial difficulties and large  sums of money were collected in Kiambu for his upkeep.

In June 1952, he took expensive lodgings in London and went broke. In August he wrote to Kenya asking for funds. By September he was in arrears with his rent.

In July in 1953, he was again in financial difficulties. That same month his wife applied to the  District Commissioner Kiambu for maintenance support for Mbiyu was unable to support her.

Meawhile Mbiyu tried to share accommodation  with Henry Mworia who had fled to London, but the two fell out.

By this time, the colonial government in Kenya  was negotiating with the British  government  to have Mbiyu extradited  to Kenya on allegations of having links with Mau Mau. The  plan was later dropped. Mbiyu remained in exile until 1962 when he returned to Kenya.

In 1959, he took charge of Bureau of African Affairs Accra and also became Kwame Nkrumah's advisor following the death of George Padmore.

In 1962, with independence approaching he moved closer to Dar to lead the PAFMECA. The following year he entered Kenya and was in Kenya's first cabinet.


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