Time Police Shot at James Orengo

  • Senator James Orengo with Raila Odinga addressing a crowd. In the 1980s, then attorney-general Charles Njonjo labelled Orengo as one of the “Seven Bearded Sisters”. Facebook
  • Siaya Senator James Orengo has been known as a political activist since his days as a student leader at the University of Nairobi

    Being vocal on matters of national importance, Orengo was among the politicians opposed to the Moi regime.

    In the 1990s, the Saba Saba protests were on high gear with the opposing leaders pushing for multi-party democracy.

    Many had endured the brutality of police during protests and in detention and Orengo had gone through his fair share of arreests, torture and exile under Moi's rule.
     

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    James Orengo and Martin Shikuku on July 7,1991. They had alighted a van that was

    On July 7, 1991, Orengo while heading to Kamukunji grounds with Masinde Muliro and Martin Shikuku, got their journey disrupted when gunshots were fired. 

    As they were drove through Bahati area in Nairobi, the gunshots grew louder and one bullet hit the pick-up's tank. The fuel began leaking prompting them to stop and that's when they exchanged cars.

    They got into another vehicle and drove up to Kariobangi where they were arrested and put into a station wagon Peugeot.

    The vocal politicians were later taken to Nairobi Area Police Headquarters.

    "Shikuku and I wore or carried warm clothes as was the practice because we always ended being locked up in cold and damp cells or prisons," Orengo recalled.

    Month's later on November 16, 1991, the pro-reform movement led by the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD) attempted to hold a rally in Kamukunji.

    It was declared illegal by the Moi administration, police surrounded the ground and the brave demonstrators who dared them were beaten and tear-gassed.

    Though the rally was aborted; the day became an important landmark on the road to multipartyism which was achieved in 1992.

    Key leaders of the reform campaign fronted by the Ford pressure group, James Orengo and Martin Shikuku, atop a pick-up heading towards a rally at the Kamukunji grounds on November 16, 2001.
    Key leaders of the reform campaign fronted by the Ford pressure group, James Orengo and Martin Shikuku, atop a pick-up heading towards a rally at the Kamukunji grounds on November 16, 2001.