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Charles Rubia, the fearless champion of multiparty democracy, is dead

Veteran politician and second liberation hero Charles Rubia is dead.

According to his lawyer Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata, the 96-year-old politician died on Monday, December 23 2019 in his Karen home.

Rubia was a man of many firsts but is is strongly remembered for teaming with Kenneth Matiba in what gave rise to 1990 calls for multi-party democracy.

The offshoot of this push for multi-partism hit crescendo in July 7, 1990 popularly known as Saba Saba 1990 when police clashed with the agitators.

Rubia was arrested three days to the rally on July 4, 1990 in the company of Matiba and detained for nine months.

In July 2019, Rubia moved to court through Irungu Kang’ata demanding for KSh 40 billion compensation for illegal detention and torture.

In the submission, Rubia detailed how he was stripped half-naked and made to lie on a cold floor.

Rubia suffered speech impairment, a disability that killed his political career.

He was also kept in dark and very cold cells, denied good nutrition and food and water for many days, denied good medical treatment and subjected to poor and unhygienic sanitary conditions.

The push for pluralism eventually yielded fruit when then president Daniel Moi agreed to repeal Section 2A of the constitution in December 1991 to allow many political parties in the country.

Rubia was also the first African mayor of Nairobi.

He was an MP from Starehe Constituency in Nairobi from 1969 to 1988.

In August 2018, University of Murang’a honoured the former Mayor with a doctorate degree.

Rubia, who generated a lot of wealth through business, hailed from Kandara constituency in Murang’a County.

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