By Nyankuir de Mabior
The Kenyan Commission for Human Rights (KCHR) have launched a compensation campaign on behalf of five survivors of the Mau Mau Struggle.
The campaign has the potential to cost the British Government millions of pounds and could possibly open the gates for more veterans seeking a similar settlement.
After constant delays caused by the sporadic outburst of the 2008 election violence as well as the subsequent political instability, the five elderly survivors are out of their native Kenya for the first time.
Sexual abuse, unlawful detention and castration are amongst the 40 documented cases of torture that the British government has been accused of.
The five elderly Kenyans claim that the compensation is only a small fraction of their coming to the UK and have requested an official apology from the Government.
Professor Daniel Ochieng from the University of Nairobi said that it is time for people to, “expose the realities of torture, slavery, landlessness, dehumanization and imprisonment.” Ochieng asserts that although the Mau Mau fighters do deserve to be compensated, the success of the lawsuit will bring to the forefront the battle between “Kenyan patriotism and selflessness”.
Kenya’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule started in 1952 and ended in 1960 when the country gained its independence. Sometimes known as the Mau Mau Rebellion, the conflict was characterized by the need for the Kenyan citizens to break free from colonial pressures.
The eight year dispute is one of the lesser known conflicts and yet upwards of 70, 000 people killed were killed in it. The law suit is a bleak reminder of a dark and buried history.