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Pio Gama Pinto

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Pio Gama Pinto was born in Kenya on March 31, 1927. He was assassinated in Nairobi on February 24, 1965. In his short life, he became a symbol of anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggles in Kenya and India. He was actively involved in Goa's struggle against Portuguese colonialism and in Mau Mau during Kenya's war of independence. For this, he was detained by the British colonial authorities in Kenya from 1954-59. His contribution to the struggle for liberation for working people spanned two continents - Africa and Asia. And it covered two phases of imperialism - colonialism in Kenya and Goa and neo-colonialism in Kenya after independence. His enemies saw no way of stopping the intense, lifelong struggle waged by Pinto - except through an assassin's bullets. But his contribution, his ideas, and his ideals are remembered and upheld even today by people active in liberation struggles. This book does not aim or claim to be a comprehensive record on Pio Gama Pinto, just the beginning of the long journey necessary to record the history of Kenya from an anti-imperialist perspective. It introduces readers to voices of many people who have written about Pinto to build up as clear a picture of Pinto as possible. In that spirit, it seeks to make history available to those whose story it is - people of Kenya, Africa and progressive people around the world.

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Published 19 October 2018
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EAN13 9789966189042
Language English
Document size 82 MB

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Pio Gama Pinto was born in Kenya on March 31, 1927. He was assassinated in Nairobi on February 24, 1965. In his short life, he became a symbol of anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggles in Kenya and India. He was actively involved in Goa's struggle against Portuguese colonialism and in Mau Mau during Kenya's war of independence. For this, he was detained by the British colonial authorities in Kenya from 1954-59. His contribution to the struggle for liberation for working people spanned two continents - Africa and Asia. And it covered two phases of imperialism - colonialism in Kenya and Goa and neo-colonialism in Kenya after independence. His enemies saw no way of stopping the intense, lifelong struggle waged by Pinto - except through an assassin's bullets. But his contribution, his ideas, and his ideals are remembered and upheld even today by people active in liberation struggles.
“It had become increasingly obvious that “constitutional”, “non-violent” methods of ghting for one's rights were absolutely futile in dealing with the settler-colonial administration. Organised violence was the only answer” - Pinto (1963).
“Kenya's Uhuru must not be transformed into freedom to exploit, or freedom to be hungry and live in ignorance. Uhuru must be Uhuru for the masses - Uhuru from exploitation, from ignorance, disease and poverty” - Pinto (1963)
“Pinto was assassinated by the regime on 24 February 1965 and Kenya has yet to replace him” - Donald Barnett (1972).
“Pio Pinto fell on the battleeld in our common war against neo-colonialism. Along with the immortal Patrice Lumumba … he has joined the ranks of our martyrs whose blood must be avenged. In such honourable company, his death will recruit new armies of Pintos to continue the ght in which he died [in] the effort to create a united socialist Africa” - John K. Tettegah. (1966)
“Pio Gama Pinto was one of the most progressive politicians Kenya has ever produced. He committed his life to the pursuit of freedom locally and internationally by building networks in East Africa, Asia, Southern Africa and the United States. Pinto was detained during the Mau Mau struggle for independence and used his life in prison to inspire fellow detainees and keep the spirit of the liberation alive. He was assassinated around the same time as Malcom X by forces opposed to freedom and liberty. This book provides information on Pio Game Pinto from different sources: his personal writings, original material as well as published and archival sources. It is of immense historical and political signicance.” -Prof. Kimani Njogu, Nairobi
PIO GAMA PINTO PIO GAMA PINTO Kenya’s Unsung Martyr 1927 - 1965
Edited by Shiraz Durrani
Edited by Shiraz Durrani
Pio Gama Pinto, Kenya’s Unsung Martyr
1927 - 1965
Edited by Shiraz Durrani
Nairobi
Pio Gama Pinto, Kenya’s Unsung Martyr
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Published in 2018. Vita Books P.O. Box 62501-00200 Nairobi. Kenya http://vitabooks.co.uk info.vitabkske@gmail.com; info@vitabooks.co.uk
Distributed Worldwide by: African Books Collective P.O. Box 721 Oxford, OX1 9EN orders@africanbookscollective.com www.africanbookscollective.com
ISBN 978-9966-1890-0-4 (Paper) ISBN 978-9966-1890-4-2 (eBook)
© 2018 Individual authors; photos and illustrations: those who made them available to Vita Books.
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Design and layout by Vincent Uba Cell: +254724 592 309 www.vumacoolgraphics.com
Printed in Kenya 2018 By CLC Christian Booklink Kenya LTD P.O Box 26665-00100 Nairobi
Pio Gama Pinto, Kenya’s Unsung Martyr
Message from Emma Gama Pinto
Dear friends and readers of this tribute book about Pio
I am grateful to you for keeping Pio’s work and ideals alive. It is hard to believe that it has been 53 years since Pio’s assassination in 1965. I am now 90, my own memory is failing and my girls, who were so young at the time, have little recollection of their father.
When Pio proposed marriage to me, he informed me that his calling was the freedom and dignity of the Kenyan people. So, it is îtting that Kenya and Kenyans keep his memory, what he worked for and what he gave his life for, ever present.
People have used words like “communist” and “socialist” to describe Pio. I feel at his core he was a humanist. It truly grieved him to see people suffer. He understood that every person’s dignity deserved respect. He also believed that ignorance was just as much an insult to human dignity as poverty. Many of you know the story of how he walked out of Manda barefoot, because he had given his shoes to another detainee; how he taught other detainees to read using my letters. It is also true that I never knew how much money he earned, because he gave much of it away to support the widows of the freedom îghters.
Pio truly lived his values of equality and brotherhood. It is unfortunate that his example was not allowed to light the way for a few more years. Who knows what more he might have achieved for Kenya and its people! I will conclude with the lines that are etched on Pio’s gravestone: “If I have been extinguished, yet there rise A thousand beacons from the spark I bore.” Thank you, friend and readers, for helping to spread the spark. Emma Gama-Pinto September 2018
Pio Gama Pinto, Kenya’s Unsung Martyr
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Contents
Message from Emma Gama Pinto. 3
List of Illustrations 6
Dedication 10
Acknowledgements 11
Preface - No Easy Journey to Publishing Pinto 12
INTRODUCTION: Pheroze Nowrojee: A Threefold Cord to Independence 21
The Unsung Martyr 30
Shiraz Durrani (2018): Pio Gama Pinto Lived and Died for Revolutionary Change 31
Willy Mutunga (2018): Celebrating Pio Gama Pinto 149
Angelo Faria Remembers Pinto (2018) 151
Rosario Da Gama Pinto (2015): Pio, My Brother 153
Firoze Manji (2015): Tribute to Pio Gama Pinto 162
Pio Gama Pinto, 1926-1965 (2005) - Compiled by Awaaz Magazine 167
Kamoji Wachira (2005): Gama-Pinto, the Linkman 176
Dinesh Singh (1975): Pio - Son of India 183
Malcolm MacDonald (1975): Pio Pinto 185
Lord Fenner Brockway (1974): Pio 188
Makhan Singh (1965): The Assassination of Pio Gama Pinto 190
Joseph Murumbi (2015): Pio Gama Pinto: Nationalist and Freedom Fighter 193
Pinto in his Own Words201
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Pio Gama Pinto (1963): A Detainee’s Life Story 202
Pio Gama Pinto (1963): To All KANU Members of the House 204
Pio Gama Pinto, Kenya’s Unsung Martyr
Pio Gama Pinto (1963): Glimpses of Kenya’s Nationalist Struggle 208
Pinto – A Selection of Quotes 247
Pinto seen through his correspondence 252 Pinto to Brockway: 12-01-1953 252 Pinto to Brockway: 14-01-1953 256 Pinto to Brockway: 18-01-1953 258 Pinto to Murumbi: 07-01-1961 265 Pinto’s handwritten notes, Conference of Afro-Asian Solidarity 274
Selected Points from Pinto’s Correspondence with Lord Fenner Brockway 274
Emma Gama Pinto’s Perspective: Life with and without Pio285
Emma Gama Pinto: Remembering Pio 285 Emma Gama Pinto interviewed by Frederick Noronha (2000) 291 Emma Gama Pinto in Conversation with Benegal Pereira (2012) 298
DOCUMENTATION309
Pio Gama Pinto: Independent Kenya’s First Martyr 309
Pio Gama Pinto: Report of the TJR Commission (2013) 347
Pio Gama Pinto, The Patriotic Journalist (IOJ, 1965) 357
Pinto seen by others - Selected Quotes 361
Pio Gama Pinto: A Timeline 369
Pio Gama Pinto: A Photo Story372
Pio Gama Pinto, Kenya’s Unsung Martyr
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List of Illustrations
Pio Gama Pinto Road, Nairobi 9
Vita Books announces book on Pinto (1987) 12
Panaf Great Lives planned Pinto’s biography (1972) 17
J. D. Kali to June Milne of Panaf Books (15-03-1972) 18
J.D.Kali to June Milne on copyright (30-05-1972) 19
Joseph Murumbi to June Milne (15-05-1972) 19
Zed Books to Vita Books re Panaf book on Pinto (01-12-1987) 20
Awaaz Magazine, No. 1 (2005) 167
Kamoji Wachira’s article in Awaaz magazine (2005) 176
Sir Malcolm MacDonald: Pio Pinto 186
Lord Fenner Brockway: Pio 188
Makhan Singh’s article on Pinto reproduced from Patel, Z (2006) 190
Pinto: A Detainee’s Life Story 201
Pinto’s signature 203
Pinto’s memo to all KANU Members. 1963 204
Pinto: Glimpses of Kenya’s Nationalist Struggle (1963) 208
Pio Gama Pinto to Fenner Brockway (12-01-1953) 252
Pio Gama Pinto to Fenner Brockway (14-01-1953 256
Pio Gama Pinto to Fenner Brockway (18-01-1953) 258
Pinto to Brockway (28-02-1953) 262
Pio Gama Pinto to Joseph Murumbi (07-01-1961) 265
Pinto’s handwritten notes, Conference of Afro-Asian Solidarity. Moshi, 1963 272
Pinto to Brockway (08-04-1952) 278
Emma Gama Pinto 298 6
Pio Gama Pinto, Kenya’s Unsung Martyr
Benegal Pereira, Emma Gama Pinto and Fritz De Souza 307
Ambu Patel to Joseph Murumbi on Pinto booklet (03-01-1966) 310
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Vice President, at the funeral. Mrs. Emma Pinto is on his left. 316
Oscar Kambona, Tanzania’s Foreign Minister pays his last tribute 319
Pinto at a public rally with Bildad Kaggia and Joe Murumbi in 1963. 322
Pinto speaking at a reunion of ex-detainees at the home of Achieng Oneko 327
Members of Parliament rejoice at Pinto’s election to Parliament 330
Pinto with Murumbi, Ferguson, Kenyatta, Tettegah, Oneko and Kubai 333
Emma Pinto at Santiago receives the IOJ’s Award to Pinto (Sept. 1965) 334
The IOJ Award to Pinto, 1965 334
Pinto and De Souza at an anti-imperialism demonstration 339
Pinto visiting Kenyatta in detention at Lodwar 340
Pinto with Kali, Karumba, Ngei and Chokwe 345
Lumumba Institute 356
Pio with parents and siblings 372
Pio Gama Pinto – 3 images 373
Pinto, Jan. 1965 373
Pinto in 1951 with sports(îeld & track,, tennis etc,) trophies. 373
Pinto with two daughters, Linda and Malusha in India (1962) 374
Pinto and Friend, 1962 374
Dr. Yusuf Eraj with Pinto daughters: Linda, Malusha Tereshka Nairobi (1966) 374
Pinto with children 375
Pinto speaking at his wedding (Jan. 1954) 375
Tereshka Pinto, 1966 376
Emma and Pio engagement (Oct. 1953) 376
Pio Gama Pinto, Kenya’s Unsung Martyr
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Kabernet restriction house, 1958 376
Pinto in his Parliament ofîce. 376
Members of Parliament rejoice at Pinto’s election to Parliament 377
Pinto outside Parliament with others 377
Pinto at a public rally with Bildad Kaggia and Joe Murumbi (1063) 377
Pinto speaking at a reunion of ex-detainees at the home of Achieng Oneko 378
Pinto visiting the Koinange family in restriction at Kabernet 378
Pinto visiting Kenyatta when he was in detention in Lodwar 379
Pio Gama Pinto and Fitz de Souza at an “anti-imperialist” demonstration 379
Pinto outside Parliament with Murumbi, Ferguson, Kenyatta, Tettegah, Oneko and Kubai 379
Pinto’s cofîn in the family living room: Linda (left), Malusha (right), Emma 380
Linda, Malusha Emma and her mother lead the cortage 380
Oscar Kambona pays his last tribute at the funeral 381
Odinga consoles Emma at the funeral 382
Oginga Odinga at the funeral 382
Outside Pinto’s house, a few moments after his assassination 383
Drum Magazine: Africa mourns a brother (May 1965) 383
Drum Magazine Article on Pinto 384
Pinto Postal Stamp 384
Special issue of Awaaz on Pinto (2005) 385
Nowrojee (2007): Pio Gama Pinto 385
Ngweno: Pio Gama Pinto (DVD)386
Ngweno: A Political History of Kenya (DVD)386
Pio Gama Pinto: Glimpses of Kenya’s Nationalist Struggle (1963)387
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Pio Gama Pinto, Kenya’s Unsung Martyr
1. Pio Gama Pinto Road, Nairobi
Photo by Nicholas Mwangi (02-07-2018)
Pio Gama Pinto, Kenya’s Unsung Martyr
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