Gitobu Imanyara is a Kenyan lawyer, journalist, politician, and human rights defender.
Birthday and Childhood.
He was born in August 1953 at central Imenti in Meru County. He is the son of Joseph Imanyara and Jennifer Naitore Imanyara.
After completing his primary education, he proceeded to Nairobi school for secondary education. While at Nairobi school, he was a student leader and used to champion the rights of other students in school.
Gitobu joined the University of Nairobi for a bachelor’s degree in Law. He completed his bachelor’s degree in 1977 and joined the Kenya school of Law for further studies and certification.
Marriage and Family
Imanyara got married to his wife Florence Kagwiria Mbui in December 1977 and together they have two children, Mutuma Imanyara and Marangu Imanyara.
Wealth and Assets
Gitobu Imanyara’s wealth, assets, and net worth will be updated as soon as possible.
He was an advocate at the High Court of Kenya since 1978 and an active member of the law society of Kenya.
In 1987, he founded a magazine by the name Nairobi Law Monthly. This came after he had spent two years in Maximum prison for charges associated with his work as a human rights lawyer. He was arrested again for accusations that he failed to register the Magazine as required by the law.
Interest in Media
Gitobu had developed an interest in journalism since his days in high school. He initially wanted to pursue a degree in journalism but his father protested, lamenting that journalism was an inferior career.
After securing a good grade in form 4, Imanyara heeded his father’s advice to pursue a law career. However, he continued chasing his passion for journalism.
After his law degree, he published his first magazine dubbed ‘Nairobi Law Monthly‘ and later rose to become one of the most successful journalists and editors in Kenya.
To date, he is a member of the Media Institute for the advancement of the freedom of expression and was once the Chairman of Kaibi Publications Ltd, Nairobi.
In Trouble with Government
In 1990 he wrote and published an article about Law, democracy, and Multi-party politics in Kenya which led to his arrest after it brought a co-motion in the country.
He was arrested again in 1991 for allegations of arranging for the formation of an opposition party in the country which was not allowed at the time as Kenya was a one-party state.
While in custody, Imanyara developed a brain tumor which was treated. Kenyan aid money went down significantly after the arrest, and the U.S. State Department called it “another denial of freedom of expression in Kenya.”
Due to his endless efforts in defending human rights and advocating for justice and democracy, he was awarded a prize in 1991; the World Association of Newspapers Golden pen of freedom award.
In 1997, he vied for the MP seat in the Central Imenti constituency where he won with a landslide, finding his way into the national assembly. While serving as an MP, he continued publishing his magazine which had been renamed African Law Review.
He also served as the Secretary-General to the Forum for Restoration and Democracy (FORD) political party since 1992 prior to joining the August house in 1997 as an MP.
Scandals and Controversy
In January 2008, Imanyara was involved in a scuffle with the then-first lady Lucy Kibaki whom he accused of assaulting him when he visited her home for a meeting with President Kibaki.
Gitobu had allegedly slapped the first lady and threatened to sue Kibaki over the assault incident. However, the first lady denied the allegations, accusing Imanyara of political hatred.
During an interview with The Standard, Gitobu narrated what had really transpired in the incident.
The lawyer explained that the reason he smacked Lucy in the face was that he felt attacked and was acting in self-defense.
In past media briefing about the Scuffle, Gitobu stated that he had received apologies from President Kibaki, adding that the matter was best left forgotten.
He once confessed that he regretted joining politics and revealed that his life would have been more conducive and perhaps have more children if he did not join politics.
Apparently, Gitobu is publishing and managing a law magazine ‘The platform’ while he seems to have completely ditched the political scene.
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