July 5


Thomas Joseph Odhiambo Mboya, Kenyan politician, was assassinated. Mboya was born August 15, 1930 in Kilima Mbogo, Kenya. In 1950, Mboya joined the African Staff Association and a year later was elected president and began molding the association into a trade union named the Kenya Local Government Workers Union.

In 1955, he received a scholarship to attend Ruskin College, Oxford where he studied industrial management and graduated in 1956. After returning from Britain, Mboya won a seat in the Legislative Council, but became dissatisfied and formed his own party, the People’s Congress Party.

In 1958, at the All-African Peoples’ Conference, Mboya was elected conference chairman at the age of 28. In 1959, Mboya organized the Airlift Africa project which sent 81 Kenyan students to the United States to study at U.S. universities.

Between 1959 and 1963, hundreds of Kenyan students benefitted from the project. A book detailing the project, “Airlift to America: How Barack Obama, Sr., John F. Kennedy, Tom Mboya, and 800 East African Students Changed Their World and Ours,” was published in 2009.

In 1960, the People’s Congress Party merged with the Kenya African Union and Kenya Independent Movement to form the Kenya African National Union with Mboya as Secretary General.

After Kenya gained independence in 1963, Mboya became Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and later Minister for Economic Planning and Development, the position he held at the time of his death.

A street in Nairobi is named in his honor as well as Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu, Kenya. In 2011, a monument in honor of Mboya was erected in Nairobi.


About Author

Leave A Reply