Charles Rubia, first African Mayor of Nairobi, dies at 96

Charles Rubia, first African Mayor of Nairobi, dies at 96
The late Charles Rubia during a past interview with Citizen TV. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL

First African Mayor of Nairobi Charles Rubia is dead.

Rubia, a former political detainee, died on Monday at his Karen home in Nairobi.

Rubia joined Parliament as MP for Starehe from 1969 to 1988.

In February 1987, he was arrested and accused of importing guns to overthrow the government and was detained at Nyayo House for five days before being released without being arraigned in court.

He was, in March 1990, again detained by former President Daniel arap Moi after he – alongside Kenneth Matiba – led calls for multi-party democracy; he was released after nearly a year.

In July this year, he sued the State for illegal detention and torture, seeking Ksh.40 billion as compensation.

In court documents previously seen by Citizen Digital, Rubia alleged that – during his detention – he was blindfolded and driven in circles, denied access to a lawyer, kept in dark underground cells, stripped half-naked and made to lie on a cold floor.

He further stated that he was denied good nutrition and food and water for many days, denied good medical treatment and subjected to poor and unhygienic sanitary conditions.

“Thereafter, he underwent vigorous and prolonged treatment in Kenya and London. Despite this, the petitioner was left with severe disabilities in his speech among others … To date, the petitioner continues to receive treatment and shall continue to do so for the rest of his life,” read court documents.

Rubia sought Ksh.5 billion for general damages, Ksh.5 billion for exemplary and moral damages, Ksh.20 billion for all medical and related costs and Ksh.10 billion for any other relief.

He also wanted a further Ksh.40,674,544 for special damages and Ksh.150 million for loss of businesses, calculated with interest as from May 1991 to date of payment.

The deceased was last year honoured with a Bachelor of Letters by the University of Murang’a.

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Story By Ian Omondi
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