Day Soldiers Went to Rob Central Bank but Ended Up in Wrong Building

  • Central Bank of Kenya building in Nairobi. The Standard
  • During the August 1, 1982, attempted coup, a section of soldiers was deployed to loot from the Central Bank of Kenya.

    However, their mission ended prematurely when they ended up in adjacent buildings.

    Recalling the events from the coup d'etat, then Central Bank Governor Duncan Ndegwa stated that the renegade Air Force soldiers ripped open shop doors ostensibly to facilitate mass looting.

    "A section of soldiers on the looting spree had apparently been deployed to the Central Bank of Kenya to clean out the vaults. Those on this mission must have lost their maps, ending up in adjacent buildings," he wrote in his memoir: Walking in Kenyatta Struggles.

    Duncan Ndegwa representing Kenya at the World Bank IMF joint meeting of finance ministers and Central bank governors, 1973.

    Ndegwa maintained his confidence in the security features in the bank explaining that in the event the soldiers had managed to enter CBK premises, the multiple doors and timed access barriers would not have given in.

    "The measure I initiated at the Bank immediately after the coup included freezing foreign accounts operations. Since communication had been tampered with, banks countrywide were advised not to operate or accept bank notes until further notice," he conveyed.

    Senior Private Hezekiah Ochuka and Sergeant Pancras Oteyo Okumu captured the Voice of Kenya (VoK) radio, the state broadcaster, and announced that Kenya could no longer tolerate Moi's dictatorship.

    Kenya Air Force soldiers were reportedly behind the coup that resulted in sustained gunfire lasting between two to three hours all around Nairobi, with Uhuru Park being the centre of the action.

    President Moi was transported from his Kabarak home to Nairobi by a group of friendly officers led by General Musomba who were en route from a training session in Turkana.

    The coup was strategically planned to coincide with the war games taking place in Lodwar, when most of the army units and the senior leadership were away from Nairobi.

    The aftermath of the 1982 coup.