A Brief History of Mitahato Village

By Irving Newman

Mitahato is a small village located in central Kenya in the Kimathi Sub location, Githunguri District, Kiambu County. It is home to ten villages located within it. The population in these villages constitute the population of Mitahato Village which is estimated to be approximately two thousand five hundred people.

There are seven churches in the village of various denominations: PCEA Mitahato Church, St. Theresa Catholic Church Mitahato, Mitahato Anglican Church, Africa Independent Pentecostal Church of Kenya Mitahato, Full Gospel Mitahato Church, Christian Foundation Fellowship and Living Water Mitahato Church. The village cemetery is located in Kiberera village. The cemetery land was donated by a village elder, Mr. Gathirimu, who also donated the piece of land where Gathirimu Girls High School is located. Gathirimu High School was the first Harambee School in Githunguri District and was entirely built through donations and efforts of the parents of Mitahato village.

Economic activities in this area are dairy farming and cash crop farming. The main cash crop grown is coffee. Though most people in this area rely on small scale farming, Githunguri district is home to one of the largest Dairy Processor in the country, Githunguri Dairy Cooperative creamaries. Mitahato village was also home to the famous politician and freedom activist, Harry Thuku, who founded both The Young Kikuyu Association (1920) and the East African Association (1921). These were among the first political organizations in Kenya to fight for freedom from British colony.

The most important historical event associated with Mitahato Village and the Githunguri District as a whole was the coming of the missionaries Reverend & Mrs. Knapp of the Gospel Missionary Society. Together they founded Kiambui Mission Station in 1902 and the present Mitahato Primary School and the PCEA Mitahato Church were also set up by them. The land where these institutions now stand was donated by a generous village elder, Mr. Luca, for the prosperity of the village. Today, Mitahato Primary is estimated to have educated over 40,000 people from this village.

The economic activity of the village is located at the “shopping centre”. Small shops and market stalls supply the daily needs of the villagers. The pace of life in the village is slow and the community is very peaceful.

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