The Mau Mau Post Office

A giant Mugumo tree rises from three sturdy trunks to tower above lush vegetation on the slopes of the Aberdare Ranges, as though imposing its importance among the jungle foliage.

Right at this tree was Mau-Mau central communication post which has remained significant over the years since the state of emergency period in 1952-1960. The stout tree trunks, interspersed magnificently and veined with rugged strips of bark and tendrils, tell of its great age but imply nothing of its rich history.

The last Mau Mau General Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi was the one who pinpointed the tree as an ideal secret ‘post office’ as it had natural deep crevices into which written papers could be tucked in and remain undetected. Mau Mau messengers knew the crevices like post office boxes.

They knew where to place which letters for whom. Messengers coming for letters for their generals would retrieve them from those ‘boxes’, mostly in pitch darkness.

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