Mbiyu Koinange

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Hon.
(Peter) Mbiyu Koinange
Minister of State in the Office of the President, MP for Kiambaa
In office
1963–1979
Succeeded byHon. Njenga Karume
ConstituencyKiambaa (Kiambu)
Personal details
Born
Mbiyu wa Koinange

1907
Kiambaa, Kiambu (Central Kenya)
Died3 September 1981
Nairobi, Kenya
Resting placeKiambaa, Kiambu
CitizenshipKenya
NationalityKenyan
Political partyKenya African National Union (KANU)
Alma materLondon School of Economics, University of Cambridge (St. John's College), Columbia University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Hampton Institute, Alliance High School
CabinetJomo Kenyatta

Peter Mbiyu Koinange[1] (1907 – 3 September 1981) was a politician from Kenya. He served in the government and cabinet of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya's first president, for 16 years. During this time, he held the post of Member of Parliament for the Kiambaa constituency and the portfolios of Minister of State for Education, External Affairs, Pan-African Affairs, as well as Minister of State in the Office of the President.

Family[edit]

Born Mbiyu wa Koinange in 1907 in Njunu, Kiambu District he was the eldest son of Koinange Wa Mbiyu, a prominent Kikuyu chief during Kenya's colonial period, and Wairimu, the chief's great wife.[2] He was one of seven children, with another six siblings who died either at birth or early on in their childhood. His elder sister, Isabella, was one of Kenya's first trained African nurses, while his younger brother, Charles Karuga Koinange, served as a colonial chief and was a civil servant in independent Kenya for more than 30 years. He was also brother to Grace Wanjiku, Jomo Kenyatta's third wife.[3]

Education[edit]

Mbiyu Koinange moved to the United States in 1927 for studying.[4] He attended Hampton Institute in Virginia, where he graduated in 1931.[5] Koinange then started at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio in 1931, completing a four-year bachelor's degree in 1935.[6] From Ohio, Koinange then received a one-year postgraduate certificate in education from Columbia University in 1936.[7] Mbiyu Koinange then spent a year at the University of Cambridge, St. John's College as a Rhodes Scholar,[8] followed by a year at the University of London Institute of Education before returning to Kenya in 1939.[9] He was the first Kenyan African to hold a postgraduate degree.[10]

Early career[edit]

Upon his return to return to Kenya and in consultation with his father, Koinange Wa Mbiyu, Mbiyu Koinange decided to create an African-run, community owned college, modeled on his alma mater Hampton Institute and on Tuskegee University. Mbiyu Koinange was the principal of this Kenya Teachers College situated at Githunguri, the site of the first independent elementary school founded by Musa Ndirangu. The KTC's objective was to train teachers for the Kikuyu Independent Schools Association (KISA) and the Kikuyu Karinga Education Authority (KKEA), founded in 1929, and to increase their independence from missionary training centres.[11]

In 1952, just as a state of emergency was decreed in Kenya and the Kapenguria Six and many others, notably associated with the KTC, were arrested, Mbuyi Koinange was in England representing the Kenya African Union, thus narrowly escaping arrest himself.[12] Following the proscription of the KISA and KKEA schools in late 1952, Mbiyu Koinange remained in England, returning ten years later as the secretary of the Pan-African Freedom Movement for East, Central and South Africa.[13]

Political career[edit]

He was the Kiambaa Constituency MP from 1963 to 1979 when Njenga Karume was elected the Kiambaa MP.[14] During this 16-year tenure, Mbiyu Koinange served in several roles including Minister of State for Pan-African Affairs, Minister for Foreign Affairs,[15] Minister of Education. For the majority of his tenure, Peter Mbiyu served as Minister of State in the Office of the President (1966–79).

Publications[edit]

  • The People of Kenya Speak for Themselves (1955), Detroit: Kenya Publishing House
This book was endorsed by C. L. R. James, Grace Lee Boggs and Cornelius Castoriadis in their book Facing Reality

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peter Mbiyu Koinange officially dropped the use of "Peter" in the 1950s–1960s.
  2. ^ "Koinange, Peter Mbiyu," St John's College Archive, Cambridge University, No. 1587.
  3. ^ "Mbiyu Koinange, the powerful force behind the Kenyatta presidency | Nation". nation.africa. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  4. ^ Gatheru, R. Mugo (2005). Kenya : from colonization to independence, 1888–1970. Jefferson (N.C.): McFarland. p. 177. ISBN 0786421991.
  5. ^ "Mbiyu Koinange Biography". Kenya News Agency. May 1966.
  6. ^ Time, 24 June 1935: Education: Dancer's Son
  7. ^ Ogot, Bethwell A. (1981). Historical Dictionary of Kenya. Metuchen, NJ [u.a.]: Scarecrow Press. p. 111. ISBN 0810814196.
  8. ^ Throup, David (1987). Economic and Social Origins of Mau Mau 1945–1953. Ohio University Press.
  9. ^ Ogot, Bethwell A. (1981). Historical Dictionary of Kenya. Metuchen, NJ [u.a.]: Scarecrow Press. p. 110.
  10. ^ Ngũgĩ wa Thiongʼo (2011). Dreams in a time of war. London: Vintage. ISBN 978-0-09-954852-2. OCLC 751122860.
  11. ^ Ngũgĩ wa Thiongʼo (2011). Dreams in a time of war. London: Vintage. ISBN 978-0-09-954852-2. OCLC 751122860.
  12. ^ Ngũgĩ wa Thiongʼo (2011). Dreams in a time of war. London: Vintage. ISBN 978-0-09-954852-2. OCLC 751122860.
  13. ^ "Mbiyu Koinange, the powerful force behind the Kenyatta presidency | Nation". nation.africa. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  14. ^ Center for Multiparty Democracy: Politics and Parliamentarians in Kenya 1944–2007 (archived at Archive.org).
  15. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs: ABOUT THE MINISTRY Archived 3 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine