Oscar Kamau Kingara

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Oscar Kamau Kingara
Oscar Kamau Kingara.jpg
The Oscar Foundation
Personal details
Born (1971-07-14) 14 July 1971 (age 42)4
Kiambu, Kenya,
Died Friday, March 6, 2009
University Way, Nairobi
Political party PlaCenta Party of Kenya
Spouse(s) Nancy Wangeci Munene (m. 1997)
Relations Legal Advice, Leadership
Children Natalie, Naima
Occupation Lawyer, Politician, Human Rights Activist
Religion International Christian Church
Website http://oscarfound.org/

Oscar Kamau Kingara (born July 14, 1971) was brought up in both Kiambu and Nairobi in modest and average upbringing. After graduating and acquiring a law degree, Kamau Kingara opted to venture into the family business that involved manufacturing Industries, meat & fish processing, real estate, import/ export and dealership of building materials in Kenya. He was a Kenyan lawyer and human rights activist. Kingara was the founder and director of the Oscar Foundation Free Legal Aid Clinic, a human rights organization based in Nairobi.[1] His 2009 assassination is widely attributed[1][2] to his work in documenting police killings.[1][3]

Human Rights work[edit]

Kingara was credited with an important role in investigative work behind police killings in Kenya.[4] In 2008, he released a report accusing Kenyan police of killing or torturing more than 8,000 people as part of a crackdown on the Mungiki criminal organization.[1] Another report to which Kingara made major contributions, The Cry of Blood — Report on Extra-Judicial Killings and Disappearances[3] was widely publicised by WikiLeaks.

Politics[edit]

Before his death, Kingara joined underground politics. Being an enemy of the government of the day, he joined Quincy Timberlake to form the PlaCenta Party of Kenya. The party's main agenda was based on Human rights in Kenya that has continued to deteriorate. He was the de facto chairman of the party until elections were conducted that saw him sworn in as the leader. He continued to receive warnings from the government to stop his campaigns against government's extra-judicial activities against innocent Kenyans. Timberlake was temporarily arrested by a group of unknown people who later dropped him in at Ngong Hills. Ngong Hills are known for political assassinations.

On Thursday afternoon, Oscar Kamau Kingara, director of the Kenyan based Oscar legal aid Foundation, and its programme coordinator, John Paul Oulo, were both shot dead at close range in their car less than a mile from President Kibaki's residence. The two were on their way to a meeting at the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights. He was the leader of the Oscar Foundation. The Oscar Foundation is an indigenous and homegrown organization born out of the desire by Kenya to better lives of their fellow Kenyans and more importantly to Kenyans by the very Kenyans themselves.[5]

Kingara spent part of his great fortune on the party and its affiliations. Upon his death, Timberlake took over as the leader of the party. Since then, the government has constantly mounted unwarranted attacks on Timberlake for his pro-Kingara policies. Timberlake fled into exile.

UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Prof Philip Alston has urged Kenyan Government to establish independent investigations into the killing of two prominent human rights activists.Prof Alston said the way the Oscar Foundation’s officials were killed was likely to raise suspicion upon the police.[6]

Assassination[edit]

On March 5, 2009, Kingara and his assistant, John Paul Oulu, were ambushed and shot as they sat in rush hour traffic in a white Mercedes outside of the University of Nairobi dormitories.[1] Kingara was killed instantly while Oulu died soon after the attack.[1] The three gunmen, who were dressed in dark suits, escaped in two cars.[1] Critics quickly pointed to elements with the Kenyan security forces and police as responsible for the assassinations.[1] Following the assassination, WikiLeaks called for witness reports and described Kingara and Oulu as "Wikileaks-related senior human rights activists".[2] Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga condemned the killings saying, "We are hurtling towards failure as a state."[1]

Kingara is survived by his wife, Nancy Kamau, and their two children.[7] He was 38 years old. Kingara was buried at his family's home in Kiambu, Central Province.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i McConnell, Tristan (2009-03-07). "Rights activist Oscar Kamau Kingara shot dead in central Nairobi.". The Times. Archived from the original on 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  2. ^ a b "Wikileaks writers killed in Kenya". Hawai`i Free Press/WikiLeaks. 2009-03-09. Archived from the original on 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  3. ^ a b "'The Cry of Blood' — Report on Extra-Judicial Killings and Disappearances". Kenya National Commission on Human Rights/Enforced Disappearances Information Exchange Center. 2008-09-25. Archived from the original on 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  4. ^ WikiLeaks (2009-06-02). "WikiLeaks wins Amnesty International 2009 Media Award". WikiLeaks. Archived from the original on 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  5. ^ Wikileaks Report."Murder in Nairobi: Wikileaks related human rights lawyers assassinated", "WikiLeaks", Canberra, 8 March 2009. Retrieved on 6 October 2013.
  6. ^ Rukanga, Mutahi."UN's Alston urges independent probe over deaths", "The Daily Nation", Nairobi, 6 March 2009. Retrieved on 6 October 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Activist laid to rest". Daily Nation. 2009-03-14. Retrieved 2009-04-02.