Oscar Kamau Kingara
Oscar Kamau Kingara.jpg
The Oscar Foundation
Personal details
Born (1971-07-14) 14 July 1971 (age 48)
Kiambu, Kenya,
DiedFriday, March 6, 2009
University Way, Nairobi
Nancy Wangeci Munene (m. 1997)
ChildrenNatalie, Naima
OccupationLawyer, Politician, Human Rights Activist

Oscar Kamau Kingara (July 14, 1971 - March 5, 2009) was a Kenyan lawyer and human rights activist. Kingara was the founder and director of the Oscar Foundation Free Legal Aid Clinic, a human rights organization based in Nairobi.[1] His 2009 assassination is widely attributed[1][2] to his work in documenting police killings.[1][3]

Early life

Kingara was brought up in both Kiambu and Nairobi in modest and average upbringing. After graduating and acquiring a law degree, Kamau Kingara opted to venture into the family business that involved manufacturing Industries, meat and fish processing, real estate, import/ export and dealership of building materials in Kenya.

Human rights work

Kingara was director of the Keny's Oscar legal aid Foundation. [4] He wAS credited with an important role in investigative work behind police killings in Kenya.[5] In 2008, he released a report accusing Kenyan police of killing or torturing more than 8,000 people as part of a crackdown on the Mungiki criminal organization.[1] Another report to which Kingara made major contributions, The Cry of Blood — Report on Extra-Judicial Killings and Disappearances[3] was widely publicised by WikiLeaks.


On March 5, 2009, Kingara and his assistant, John Paul Oulu, were ambushed and shot as they sat in rush hour traffic in a white Mercedes outside of the University of Nairobi dormitories.[1] Kingara was killed instantly while Oulu died soon after.[1][6] The three gunmen, who were dressed in dark suits, escaped in two cars.[1] Critics quickly pointed to elements within the Kenyan security forces and police as responsible for the assassinations.[1] Following the assassination, WikiLeaks called for witness reports and described Kingara and Oulu as "Wikileaks-related senior human rights activists".[2] Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga condemned the killings saying, "We are hurtling towards failure as a state."[1]

United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Prof Philip Alston has urged the Kenyan Government to establish independent investigations into the killing of the two prominent human rights activists. Alston said the way the two men were killed was likely to cast suspicions on police.[7]

Kingara is survived by his wife, Nancy Kamau, and their two children.[8] He was 38 years old. Kingara was buried at his family's home in Kiambu, Central Province.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i McConnell, Tristan (2009-03-07). "Rights activist Oscar Kamau Kingara shot dead in central Nairobi". The Times. Archived from the original on 2010-12-29. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
  2. ^ a b "Wikileaks writers killed in Kenya". Hawai`i Free Press/WikiLeaks. 2009-03-09. Archived from the original on 2010-12-29. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
  3. ^ a b "'The Cry of Blood' — Report on Extra-Judicial Killings and Disappearances" (PDF). Kenya National Commission on Human Rights/Enforced Disappearances Information Exchange Center. 2008-09-25. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
  4. ^ Murder in Nairobi: Wikileaks related human rights lawyers assassinated
  5. ^ WikiLeaks (2009-06-02). "WikiLeaks wins Amnesty International 2009 Media Award". WikiLeaks. Archived from the original on 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
  6. ^ Wikileaks Report https://wikileaks.org/knowpedia/Murder_in_Nairobi:_Wikileaks_related_human_rights_lawyers_assassinated "Murder in Nairobi: Wikileaks related human rights lawyers assassinated"], "WikiLeaks", Canberra, 8 March 2009. Retrieved on 6 October 2013.
  7. ^ Rukanga, Mutahi."UN's Alston urges independent probe over deaths", "The Daily Nation", Nairobi, 6 March 2009. Retrieved on 6 October 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Activist laid to rest". Daily Nation. 2009-03-14. Retrieved 2009-04-02.