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Stanley Mathenge wa Mirugi
Mahiga, Nyeri District, Kenya
AllegianceKenya Kenya
Battles/warsKenya Land and Freedom Uprising

Stanley Mathenge wa Mirugi (born c. 1919 in Mahiga, Nyeri District) was a KLFA leader.

Before the KLFA Uprising, he had fought in Burma. Later he became the leader of the Forty Group, an organization supporting the Kenya African Union (KAU). He also founded the Kenya Riigi, a group of fighters. Mathenge believed in traditional Kikuyu spirituality [1]. In May 1953 he became the leader of the newly formed Land and Freedom military unit Nyeri District Council and Army [2]. His rivalry with field marshal Dedan Kimathi harmed integrity of the movement [3].

He disappeared in 1955 and was later reported to be allegedly living in Ethiopia [4].

On May 30, 2003 a man believed to be Stanley Mathenge, living in Ethiopia, was invited to Kenya by president Mwai Kibaki and was given a hero's welcome by the state. It was soon revealed that the man was Ato Lemma Ayanu, who himself denied being Mathenge [5]. DNA test published four years later proved he was not Mathenge [6].


  1. Marshall S. Clough: Mau Mau memoirs: history, memory, and politics Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1998. ISBN 1555875378
  2. Abiodun Alao & Christa Hook: Mau-Mau warrior Osprey Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1846030242
  3. Robert M. Press: Peaceful resistance: advancing human rights and democratic freedoms.Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006. ISBN 0754647137
  4. Carole Cooper, J. R. A. Bailey & Garth Bundeh: Kenya: The National Epic. Kenway Publications, 1993
  5. BBC News, May 31, 2003: Doubt cast on Mau Mau hero
  6. Daily Nation, October 18, 2007: Ayanu Fake, DNA Shows