"I Refuse to Die": Koigi Wa Wamwere, One of Kenya's Leading Human Rights Activists, Is Running for Parliament in Today's Elections. He Talks About US Support for the Moi Dictatorship and His Fear That

December 27, 2002

Koigi wa Wamwere is one of Kenya’s leading human rights activists. Wa Wamwere was born in Nakuru Province, Kenya. He attended Cornell University (U.S.) as a special student in hotel administration in 1971. The following year, he returned to Kenya to push for economic and political change in his homeland.

His outspoken criticism of Kenya’s human rights record and activism for landless Kenyans incurred the anger of the Kenyan government. In 1979, he was elected to parliament and served for three years. Since 1972, the government has imprisoned wa Wamwere four times. Most recently, he was arrested in 1993 and, after a trial widely believed to be staged, sentenced to four years in prison. He was released in 1996 for medical reasons.

Wa Wamwere has written several books including The Ethnicity Bomb: Ethnicity as A Weapon of Mass Self-destruction in Africa, Kenya, Independence Without Freedom and Justice on Trial the story of his most recent arrest, trial, and imprisonment.

His latest book is I Refuse to Die: My Journey For Freedom. Koigi wa Wamwere recently won the support of the Kenyan people and is running again for parliament in today’s elections.


  • Interview with Koigi Wa Wamwere, Kenyan human rights activist