Pio Gama Pinto


Pio Gama Pinto

Pio Gama Pinto (March 31, 1927 – February 25, 1965) was a Kenyan journalist and politician.

Early years

At age eight, he was sent to India for his education and spent the next nine years there. He studied the arts for two years before joining the Indian Air Force in 1944 for a short time. When seventeen, he started agitating against the system which kept so many people of Goa in poverty.

Political career

In 1949 he returned to Kenya and, after a succession of clerical jobs, became involved in the local politics aimed at overthrowing colonialism. Kenya at that time was still under British rule. He turned to journalism and worked with the Colonial Times and the Daily Chronicle. In 1954, five months after his marriage, he was rounded up in the notorious Operation Anvil and spent the next four years in detention on Manda Island. He was kept in restriction from early 1958 until October 1959 at the remote Kabarnet.

In 1960 he founded the Kenya African National Union (KANU) newspaper Sauti Ya KANU, and later, Pan African Press, of which he subsequently became Director and Secretary. He was actively involved in the 1961 Elections to make KANU victorious and, in 1963, was elected a Member of the Central Legislative Assembly. In July 1964, he was appointed a Specially Elected Member of the House of Representatives. Also in 1964, he worked late hours to establish the Lumumba Institute, which was principally used to train Party Officials. He was a member of the Board of Governors and took keen interest in its functions.

Assassination

In Nairobi, on February 25, 1965, Pinto was shot down at very close range on the driveway while waiting for the gate to open. He was with his daughter in his car at the time of his killing. Kisilu Mutua was arrested for the killing. Kenyans widely believe that he was killed by Kiambu mafia. At the time of his assassination, Pinto left his wife, Emma; his eldest daughter, Linda, age six; the second, Malusha, age four and a half; and the youngest, Tereshka, one and a half years old.


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