If you have taken the time to read this then you will know that dad has been named Jurist of the Year 2004. I have to admit that prior to this I did not know much about the Jurist of the Year award (JOY) but I have since found out that it is an award given by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) -in dad’s case by the Kenyan section of the ICJ .
The award is given to:
individuals who have consistently, fearlessly and impartially promoted human rights, the rule of law and democracy in Kenya during the year.
So there have it, hopefully I have cleared up any confusion about the award, especially for all those who thought it was an award given to members of the jury.
Thanks to A. Nish (again) who sent me the article below, I am now twice as proud of dad for his decision to dedicate the award to mum.
Kihoro Dedicates Award to His Wife in Hospital
The East African Standard (Nairobi)
December 11, 2004
Posted to the web December 13, 2004
At his finest hour, when former Nyeri Town MP Wanyiri Kihoro received the 2004 Jurist of the Year award, it was to his wife that his thoughts first went.
Dr Wanjiru Kihoro, to whom her husband dedicated his award, has been in a coma for the past two years, following a plane crash in Busia.
She went into a coma after the 2003 plane crash in which former Labour minister Ahmed Khalif died and Cabinet ministers Raphael Tuju, Ms Martha Karua and Mrs Linah Kilimo were injured.
“I hope it will be a wake-up call for her to return to duty,” Kihoro said after receiving the award on Friday evening.
Kihoro received the award from the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Kenya section chairman, Mr Otiende Amollo, for his human rights and democratisation crusades.
The award is given to lawyers who have made outstanding contributions to the protection of human rights and democracy.
The ceremony held at the organisation’s headquarters in Kileleshwa, Nairobi, coincided with the International Human Rights Day, which is marked worldwide every December 10. Kihoro, one of the people detained at the infamous Nyayo House ‘Torture Chambers’, was showered with accolades for his human rights record.
After his release from the detention, he successfully sued the Kanu government and was awarded slightly over Sh400,000 as compensation for wrongful confinement. Kihoro has relentlessly fought against the grabbing of public land by politically correct individuals.
In his acceptance speech, Kihoro said he was excited by the honour bestowed on him. He said he had been humbled by the realisation that his work and struggles haad been noted and recognised, adding he would visit his wife at the Kenyatta National Hospital to make sure she saw the award.
“I hope it will serve as a wake-up call for her to return to duty,” Kihoro said amid applause.
He said he would remain true to his ideals as democracy is yet to be fully realised in the country.
The former Democratic Party of Kenya (DP) legislator said although Narc had won the 2002 General Election, it failed to carry with it the ideals its members held while in the opposition.