Focus On Independence

Antonio Rudolfo Jose Pio Gama Pinto was born on 31 March 1927.

31 March 1927 - 24 February 1965

Focus On Independence

1961 KANU won the Parliamentary Elections. Membership was open to Africans only initially.

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga: ‘After his release, Pinto found hundreds of widows and orphans of his comrades who had perished in the struggle. Most of us surged on with independence as our goal but Pio collected money, food and clothing for them. Dr Yusuf Eraj was swamped with sick women and children sent by Pio. Few people know that because of his immense admiration for Pio, this medical practitioner received no fees for many years.’

In 1959, Pinto printed JM Desai’s National Guardian newspaper which carried interviews with African nationalists such as Harry Thuku, Mbiyu Koinange, Jomo Kenyatta and Tom Mboya. In 1960, with Odinga and Gichuru, Pinto published Sauti ya KANU. He also formed the East African Goa League. In May 1961, a delegation from Goa was allowed to meet Jomo Kenyatta at Maralal. The colonial authorities were shocked to find Pinto leading the group.

In 1961, with Odinga and Murumbi, Pinto founded the Pan African Press and started publication of Sauti ya Mwafrika, Pan Africa and Nyanza Times. He canvassed support for the liberation of Goa as a start to crack the bastion of Portuguese imperialism everywhere. Pinto and Chokwe even offered Pandit Nehru to organize an international volunteer brigade but Goa was liberated by the Indian army.

1962 – with Chokwe, Pinto formed the Mozambique African National Union in Mombasa. Later he worked very closely with FRELIMO and the Committee of Nine of the OAU, interacted with PAC (South Africa), MPLA/UPA (Angola), PAIGC (Guinea Bissau) and others.

1961 KANU won the Parliamentary Elections. Membership was open to Africans only initially. Pinto with Chanan Singh, KP Shah and others formed the Kenya Freedom Party to harness South Asian support in the freedom struggle. The KFP merged with KANU in 1963.

1963: Pinto was elected as Member of the Central Legislative Assembly and attended the Afro-Asian Solidarity Conference in Moshi. 1964, he became Specially Elected Member of the House of Representatives.

12 December 1963 – Pinto celebrated Kenya’s independence with the publication of Glimpses of Kenya’s Nationalist Struggle’. The pamphlet marked the end of 68 years of British colonial rule and gave an overview of the intensive struggle waged by various organisations against imperialist domination abetted by white settlerism.

1964 – He established the Lumumba Institute, principally to train Pan-African  and Party cadres. It was paid for largely by Afro-Asian and Socialist states. Wang’uhu Ng’ang’a: ‘I worked closely with Pinto as I was the deputy principal of the Lumumba Institute 1964-65. Mathew Mutiso was the principal. Pinto served on the board together with Bildad Kaggia (chairman), Paul Ngei, Koduho Olwande and others. Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga were the patrons. It was built just beyond the present Safari Park Hotel on land donated by Odinga.’ It was closed in April 1965, following Pinto’s assassination.

1964 – Pinto with others established the Kenya African Workers’ Congress – a Trade Union independent of the US-dominated ICFRTU and allied to the All Africa TUF. This move alerted the Imperialists that Pinto needed to be ‘closely watched’.