The only woman said to have been bestowed the highest rank of Field Marshal during the Mau Mau freedom struggle, Muthoni Kirima, has died.
Breaking the news on his Facebook account, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga said that the Mau Mau hero, aged 92 years old, died on her way to the hospital in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
'I cannot fathom or believe that at 3.01 am I am still up because, like they say in my community, a Mugumo tree has fallen. I regret to announce to the world that we have lost one of our most prominent Mau Mau heroes. Field Marshal Muthoni Kirima has passed on. The Field Marshall was rushed to Radiant Hospital in Pangani but was pronounced dead on arrival,' wrote Kahiga.
While mourning her demise, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said in a tweet: 'I have woken up to the sad news of the passing on of Field Marshal Muthoni Kirima, the gallant freedom fighter who fought side by side with Field Marshall Dedan Kimathi Wachiuri in the Mount Kenya and Aberdare Forest to drive colonialists from our land. We recall with pride and sheer admiration her exploits in leading the land and freedom army after the capture of freedom hero Dedan Kimathi, whom she served as personal assistant, after he was betrayed by collaborators.'
'We remain indebted to these heroes and heroines for their sacrifice to liberate our land. May God rest her in eternal peace,' said the DP.
Muthoni's last major public appearance was during the opening of the Muthoni Kirima Bus Terminus in Nyeri town on August 7 by President William Ruto. The ultra-modern bus terminus was named after her as an acknowledgment of her contribution to the liberation struggle.
Born in 1930, Muthoni is said to have followed her husband, General Mutungi Gichuhi, into the Nyandarua forest to join Mau Mau freedom fighters as a spy. It is said that Dedan Kimathi named her the weaver bird due to her brilliant strategies to beat the British soldiers during the struggle.
Source: Kenya News Agency