Details of Secret Bank Account Kenyatta and Odinga Shared

  • Kenya's first President Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga ran a joint bank account which was based in London in the run-up to Kenya's independence where funds from various sources were deposited.

    A remaining statement from a suspense account reflects that some socialists within KANU including Bildad Kaggia, Pio Gama Pinto, Joseph Murumbi and Othigo Othieno deposited the money.

    The total amount of money transacted via the account still remains unknown but between February and December 1962, the account had received 62,400 Euros (Sh7,879,249 Million at the current exchange rate.)

    Part of the money in the account which came from donors was used to establish Lumumba Institute which partly contributed to the fall out between the two veteran politicians.

    Lumumba Institute (which houses the Pan African University) was constructed on a 20-acre piece of land in Kasarani, Nairobi (whose road to this institute is Lumumba Drive).

    [caption caption="Jaramogi Oginga Odinga with Mzee Jomo Kenyatta"][/caption]

    The idea was hatched after the Lancaster conference when Mr Kenyatta tasked Odinga with initiating the construction of Lumumba institute after he led the push for his release from detention.

    It is believed that he campaigned for Mr Kenyatta to earn his trust after he appeared dormant during the Lancaster Conference negotiations as he was busy cultivating relations with the Eastern Bloc.

    To Mr Kenyatta, the Institute was an achieved reality for Kanu as it created a base to train its members, activists and youth wingers.

    Nonetheless, Odinga saw an institution as an opportunity to initiate a plan to take over the ruling Party KANU.

    In Odinga's book Not Yet Uhuru, he indicated that the institute was made possible by aid from socialist countries from Eastern Europe.

    He brought two Russian “instructors” Mr Alexei Zdravomyslova and Mr Andrei Bogdanov to teach “principles of socialism,” the Leninist art of political action.

    Jaramogi's secret dealings at the Institute remained secret until  Tom Mboya disclosed the hidden agenda of the Institute in Parliament on account of a brief by US Ambassador William Atkins.

    “There are those who wish to give the impression that the institute is the only place where true nationalists reside. There are those who wish the institute to be regarded as a den where revolution is cooked, where subversion is discussed, where communism is promoted and dished out. Both these images are wrong,” he stated.

    The institute was shut down, and the foreign teachers deported after then Narok East MP Justus Ole Tipis successfully moved a motion in Parliament.

    Efforts by the student's administrations to oppose the move by staging a coup against the KANU regime were futile as 26 students were arrested and some sentenced at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison.

    Later on, Odinga stirred another war seeking to sell the property claiming it was his. Kenyatta lost the battle to Odinga who had already acquired the title deed.

    Finally, after a battle that lasted several years and detention of his close allies, Jaramogi was allowed to transfer the property.