How Raila Odinga’s Father got Involved In Zanzibar Revolution.

Tanzania Times


Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, was among the top three people that were involved in the Zanzibar Revolution which toppled the Isles’s last Royal under Sultan Jamshid Bin Abdullah Al Said.

Zanzibar would later unite with Tanganyika on the mainland to form the current United Republic of Tanzania.

Jaramogi is mentioned by the recently uncovered classified CIA report compiled by Helen-Louise Hunter, a spy who worked with the US Central Intelligence Agency for more than 20 years, doubling as researcher and economic expert.

Zanzibar’s researcher and author, Harith Ghassany in his book, ‘Kwaheri Ukoloni, Kwaheri Uhuru,’ (Farewell Colonialism; Goodbye Freedom), quotes a vaulted CIA report, which links Oginga Odinga to the leaders of the Isles’s revolution.

In his book, Ghassany explains that the report was brought to his attention by the former Inspector General of Police in the then Tanganyika, IGP Hamza Aziz.

The Researcher writes that even the first President of Kenya, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was informed of the planned Revolution, but the actual dates were kept from him.

Kenyatta is however said to have agreed not to dispatch soldiers to the Isles should the Isles’ Prime Minister, Mohammed Shamte seek help during the attacks.

According to Historian, Mohammed Said, even President Nyerere of Tanganyika also refused to intervene when a midnight distress phone call from Mohammed Shamte of Zanzibar pleaded for help.

Odinga’s name is listed among the top three kingpins behind the Revolution. Top on the bill is the famous Oscar Kambona, the first Foreign Affairs Minister in Tanganyika, a country which later united with Zanzibar.

Oscar Kambona was second most popular person in Tanganyika after Nyerere

The other figure, and essentially leader of the Revolution was Sheikh Abdulla Kassim Hanga, then a young scholar and member of the Afro-Shiraz Party, fresh from his studies in Russia.

Kassim Hanga would later be appointed prime minister, while Abdulraḥman Mohammed Babu, leader of the left-wing Umma Party (formed by defectors from the ZNP), became minister for defense and external affairs.

Hanga was executed for allegedly trying to topple the Government of President Abeid Amani Karume in 1969, during the time when Oscar Kambona had also fled to the UK after differing with President Julius Nyerere.

In 1964, Hanga headed the revolution from the Zanzibar side while Kambona orchestrated the deal from mainland.

The battalion used was mostly manual laborers that used to work for sisal plantations in Tanga, under their supervisor, Victor Mkello.

They crossed to Isles in boats during the night and attacked in early hours of the morning.

The Coup, known as Thawrat Zanjibār was staged on January 12, 1964.

Scores were killed during the Zanzibar Revolution which was staged in the Islands of Unguja and Pemba in January 1964 ousting the Sultan Jamshid and the newly elected Government under the Zanzibar Nationalist Party.

Living in Oman with his family, former Zanzibar Sultan Jamshid first fled to Britain after the revolution. It is reported that Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta prevented his ship from Docking at Mombasa

The late Oginga Odinga, the father to one of the current Kenya’s Presidential Elections 2022 Candidates, Raila, is mentioned by CIA as among the foreigners who had a hand in the Zanzibar Coup.

“There are reports that say the Kenyan Minister of Local Government, Oginga Odinga, together with Oscar Kambona and Sheikh Kassim Hanga were actively involved in the Zanzibar Revolution. Hanga, the young scholar from the Isles, is credited for leading the coup. He was also very close to Jaramogi who is among the people that assisted Hanga to study abroad. It is therefore possible that the former Kenyan Minister had a hand in the Zanzibar Revolution even though his involvement is yet to be fully substantiated”

Helen-Louise Hunter – CIA

But according to the statement from the late Oginga Odinga himself, neither he nor Fidel Castro or Cuba were involved in the Zanzibar Revolution as being insinuated.

“Zanzibar Revolution was planned and staged by leaders in the Isles itself, this was after a constitution was written barring local Zanzibaris from democratic voting which would have enabled the residents in the archipelago to oust the Arabs from the Isles’s reigns,” Says Odinga.

Odinga did not mention who were the leaders that planned the Revolution, but admits to have hosted one of the Isles Politicians, Abdulrahman Babu who headed the Umma Party at his Nairobi House.

“I was very aware that Babu and fellow politicians were planning a revolution in Zanzibar but since he hardly told me, I wasn’t exactly involved, if Babu had asked for my Opinion, I probably would have warned him that his involvement with the Afro-Shiraz Party, which was heading the revolution, won’t do him any good as they will never offer him the position he was craving for!”

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga

Former Zanzibar’s foreign Minister, Sheikh Ali Mukhsin Barwan was previously quoted as saying Babu leading Umma Party, was a double dealer, striking agreement with Mukhsin’s party, ZNP and also forging ties with Afro-Shiraz at the same time.

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