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Mbotela seeks compensation for ’82 coup

Renowned broadcaster Leonard Mambo Mbotela has appealed for compensation for the role he played in the aborted 1982 coup.

He spoke to comedian Churchill on the Churchill Show, aired weekly on NTV.

“I’m disappointed nobody has compensated me. I was forced to engage in a task without my consent. It was a risky assignment and I would even have lost my life,” he said.

The veteran radio presenter who appeared frail during the interview, did not, however, clarify who should compensate him, or by how much.

Mbotela says he was famously picked from his Nairobi home dead in the night by gun trotting armed forces attached to the Kenya Airforce who’d attempted to overthrow former President Daniel arap Moi.

He was thereafter taken to the National Broadcaster, now referred to as the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, and severally forced to make an announcement indicating Hezekiah Ochuka, an army officer, was the new Head of State after overthrowing Moi.

“Ochuka also asked me to announce that all citizens to remain at home and all policemen in the country were civilians. I had no choice but to comply.”

The situation would change after officers loyal to President Moi successfully thwarted the coup.

“The then head of army Gen. Mahmoud came to the studio and demanded I announce he had crushed the coup plotters by officers loyal to Moi.”

“Days later I was taken to the Court Martial and asked to defend myself over the role I played in the coup. I was acquitted.”

Mbotela has been involved in a radio broadcast for over five decades. He hosts a weekly show named ‘Je huu ni Ungwana’? and was also famed football commentator.

Mbotela who has been unwell for sometime, also thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta for recently settling his Sh1.2 million hospital bill.

He’s also requested an appointment with the Head of State so as to personally thank him.