News / Africa

Mau Mau Veterans in Kenya Expect Impending Settlement

Seated left to right, Kenyans Jane Muthoni Mara, Wambogo Nyingi and Paulo Muoka Nzili celebrate the announcement of a legal decision in support of Mau Mau veteran reparation payments in Nairobi in this October 5, 2012, file photo.Seated left to right, Kenyans Jane Muthoni Mara, Wambogo Nyingi and Paulo Muoka Nzili celebrate the announcement of a legal decision in support of Mau Mau veteran reparation payments in Nairobi in this October 5, 2012, file photo.
x
Seated left to right, Kenyans Jane Muthoni Mara, Wambogo Nyingi and Paulo Muoka Nzili celebrate the announcement of a legal decision in support of Mau Mau veteran reparation payments in Nairobi in this October 5, 2012, file photo.
Seated left to right, Kenyans Jane Muthoni Mara, Wambogo Nyingi and Paulo Muoka Nzili celebrate the announcement of a legal decision in support of Mau Mau veteran reparation payments in Nairobi in this October 5, 2012, file photo.
Roopa Gogineni
Thousands of elderly Kenyans are awaiting reparations for colonial-era abuses as their lawyers enter the final stages of negotiations with the British Foreign Office. 
 
Amidst the Kenyan struggle for independence decades ago, the Mau Mau resistance movement launched a guerrilla war against the British colonial administration. Hundreds of thousands accused of participating in the uprising were detained, tortured or executed by the colonial government.
 
Last October, the British High Court ruled that the Foreign Office must stand trial for the crimes committed during the 1950s in colonial Kenya.
 
The British government announced it would appeal the decision, but ongoing negotiations between Mau Mau and Foreign Office lawyers could soon end in an out-of-court settlement.
 
Gitu wa Kahengeri is the spokesman for the Mau Mau War Veterans Association.
 
"They have offered to negotiate out of court. We have agreed. Then it all depends what offer they are going to give."
 
Five torture victims first filed their case against the Foreign Office in 2009 seeking financial compensation and a formal apology. One claimant has since died and another has fallen ill. 
 
George Morara has been managing the case at the Kenyan Human Rights Commission.
 
"Our desire has always been to bring this to a speedy conclusion because of the age and infirmity of the old men and women involved. So the sooner it is done, the better."
 
After Kenya’s independence in 1963, the Mau Mau were officially labeled a terrorist group by the new government and sidelined. In 2003, Kenya's president at the time, Mwai Kibaki, finally lifted the ban on the Mau Mau.
 
Shortly afterwards, historians researching the Mau Mau uprising uncovered secret colonial archives documenting the extent to which the colonial government used torture to suppress the Mau Mau movement. The stories of elderly Kenyans found new footing. 
 
Though the cases of only three claimants still stand, Morara believes thousands of others will qualify for compensation.
 
"We hope that any negotiations or discussions will take into account men and women who fall within the broad outline that was set out by the three test cases in London."
 
Wambogo Nyingi is one of the original claimants. He survived the Hola massacre, where 11 men were beaten to death by guards at a Mau Mau detention camp in 1959.
 
"I hope everything will be okay because the British government is friendly and have no problems with the people of Kenya."
 
The Mau Mau settlement would set legal precedent. Across the former British Empire, Indians, Malaysians, Cypriots and Guyanese have already filed similar cases seeking reparations for colonial-era abuses.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid