In Memoriam
by John K. Tettegah, Secretary-General of All African Trade Union Fed.

PIO PINTO IS DEAD!

SUCH were the dire tidings that flashed over Africa and the world on February 24, 1965. An African Patriot had been foully murdered in broad daylight by assassins who had sold their own conscience and their countrymen. Kenya - and all Africa - was the poorer. Yet, strangely, the world was richer, too. For this 38-year-old freedom fighter had strengthened his nation's fibre, had illumined the path ahead by his sufferings for a noble goal.

It was my privilege to have known Pio Pinto: and I say, SUCH A MAN CAN NEVER DIE! Though his body was struck down by the enemies of all Africa, by cowards who think that hired bullets can stop the people's triumph, his work, his sacrifice and his example remain to inspire others, who will rise ten-fold and take his place.

Long before I had the pleasure of meeting him personally, I knew of him. What African freedom fighter did not know the name of this talented journalist - a Kenya born Indian of Goan parentage, educated in his parents' land but dedicated unto his death to the cause of African nationalism?

When, later, I actually ravelled to Kenya to make contacts for our continued joint campaigns against world imperialism, I had several meetings with Comrade Pinto. Not only did he impress me as a dedicated fighter, heart and soul with us: he inspired me. He revitalised my energy and influenced me to even greater zeal in the arduous task of reconstructing our colonialist-burdened continent, a cause in which we have most humbly accepted to serve. In detention and banishment, his torments undergone for the freedom of Kenya remain as a living, everlasting monument to his unmatchable memory.


The last time I met him was an occasion on which he had organised a small party. There, I had the opportunity of discussing and explaining the aims and objects of A..A.T.U. F. to several Kenyan Parliamentarians. We assessed the difficult tasks ahead, the heavy responsibilities Afriican workers must shoulder in the building of a continental United Africa. Late into the night, we talked on.

Yet Comrade Pinto found the strength to be at the airport in the early morning hours to tell me good-bye. As we walked toward the plane, he continued to impress upon me that I should not forget the comrades in Kenya. Africa, he

said, must give them all the assistance possible to ensure that Kenya take the road to socialism.



Outside Parliament with (left to right): Joe Murumbi, J.B. Ferguson (Ghanaian Labour Attache at Dar.), Mzee Kenyatta, John Tettegah (Secretary General of A.A.F.T.U.), Acieng Oneko and Fred Kubai





Mrs. Pinto at Santiago receiving the International Organisation of Journalists' Award to Pio in September 1965.





AWARD - International Organisation of Journalists.





I listened and tried to reassure him, little dreaming that this was to be our last meeting,

Pio Pinto fell on the battlefield in our common war against neo-colonialism. He is not the first person to die for the cause of emancipating Africa. He will not be the last to pay the price for the path we have chosen. Along with the immortal Patrice Lumumba, Reuben Um Nyobo, and Felix Moumie, he has joined the ranks of our martyrs whose blood must be avenged. In such honourable company, his death - like theirs - will recruit new armies of Pintos to continue the fight in which he died, the effort to create a united socialist Africa. That achievement alone can repay the honesty, the sincerity, sacrifice and love of justice that characterised the man Pio Pinto. That alone can embody the essence of his life, through the freeing of subject peoples.

To me, his death was noble. It was symbolic. He died a true revolutionary socialist. I for one can pledge to those comrades carrying on the good fight in Kenya, as I pledged to Comrade Pinto on our last morning together: African Labour will surely stand by Kenya in the building of socialism. A.A.T.U.F. will redouble its vigilance, will steel its revolutionary will, and will broaden and deepen its ideological work, work to which Pio Pinto devoted so much time during his last years.

Comrade Pinto! You live on in us, your fighting African trade union brothers! We pledge to vindicate your life and your death. Your murder has only strengthened the determination of the peoples - not only in Africa, but in Asia and Latin America, too. No force on earth can stem our determination to win that freedom and dignity of man for which you lived and died !