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Joseph Martin Shikuku

Joseph Martin Shikuku

Joseph Martin Shikuku (c. 1933 – August 22, 2012) was a Kenyan politician.

Shikuku attended Mumias Secondary School and St. Peters Seminary in Mukumu, Western Province. Shikuku was in many ways one of the founding Fathers of the Kenyan Nation. At the age of 28, He was the youngest member of the Kenyan delegation to Lancaster House talks which paved way to the Independence of Kenya.

He joined Nairobi People's Convention Party (NPR), becoming its Secretary-General soon afterwards. He later resigned to join the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) as a youth leader along with future President Daniel Moi and Ronald Ngala. Shikuku was elected the Butere Constituency MP in 1963 on KADU ticket. His party merged soon later with Kenya African National Union KANU, the only legal party during the subsequent Kenyan single-party era. Shikuku was the Last member to cross the floor of the House to join the one government after the Merger of Kanu and Kadu.

He retained the Butere seat in 1969 was appointed Assistant Minister in the Office of the Vice-President and Home Affairs by the President Jomo Kenyatta. Later Shikuku was detained by Kenyatta after the minister sarcastically referred the KANU government as "dead". Shikuku was released in 1978 when Daniel arap Moi took over as the President upon Kenyatta's death. Shikuku recaptured the Butere parliamentary seat the next year and was appointed Assistant Minister for Livestock Development. He retained his seat at the 1983 elections but lost in 1988.

Kenyan single-party system started to crack in early 90's. He was a founding member of Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD) alongside Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. FORD would split soon, Odinga formed the Ford-Kenya party, while Shikuku Ford Asili with Kenneth Matiba. The 1992 general election were the first multiparty election in Kenya since the 60's. Matiba was the Ford Asili presidential candidate, while Shikuku recaptured the Butere MP seat on Ford Asili ticket.

Matiba later left Ford Asili and at the 1997 elections Shikuku was the party's presidential candidate. He did not get many votes and also lost his parliamentary seat.

He died on August 22, 2012 at the Texas Cancer Centre in Hurlingham, Nairobi., aged 79

Shikuku was married to four wives, of whom one was still alive when he died.

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