Governor Mutahi Kahiga unveiled Ksh6.5 million statue at Kahigaini Village in Nyeri County during the 63rd anniversary of the freedom fighter’s death.
The event was preceded by tree planting at the monument site, the place where Kimathi was shot and subdued by collaborators.
Governor Kahiga emphasized on the importance of recognising the Mau Mau fighters through the provision of BIMA health cover program for them by the County Government of Nyeri and ensuring that those living in the 33 former colonial villages are awarded title deeds.
He also called upon the national government to ensure the body of Kimathi is found so that he could be given a decent burial.
The Dedan Kimathi statue that was erected in Nyeri on February 18, 2020
The governor was accompanied by Field Marshal Muthoni Kirima, Tourism CEC Diana Kendi, Kimathi Foundation Chief Executive Evelyne Wanjugu who is also Kimathi’s daughter.
The Ksh6.5 million cost of the statue sparked reactions from Kenyans on social media.
They criticised the county for spending heavily on the statue instead of giving it to families and foundations.
The statue stands barely a few metres from where he was captured 63 years ago.
It is coated in green and yellow paint, with three sets of staircases meant to access it.
A statue of freedom fighter Dedan Kimathi that was unveiled in Nyeri County on February 18, 2020
The statue can be compared to a similar one in Nairobi CBD. The Ksh4.5 million statue was erected nearly ten years ago by former President Mwai Kibaki.
It is seven feet tall, made to relive a revered freedom fighter clutching the nozzle end of a gun with his right hand and a stick on the other, with ruggedness registered all over it.
The Dedan Kimathi statue at Nairobi CBD
Dedan Kimathi Waciuri was the senior military and spiritual leader of the Mau Mau Uprising, spearheading the fight against the British colonial rule.
He was captured on October 21, 1956 which marked the end of the Mau Mau but the rebellion surged on until after Kenya’s independence in 1963.
He was sentenced to death by hanging in the early hours of February 18, 1957 at the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison.
He was not given a formal burial but instead buried in an unmarked grave, with the burial site remaining virtually unknown for 62 years.