Socialist Worker

Kenya's Mau Mau veterans demand justice

Issue No. 2312

Three Mau Mau veterans took their case against the British government to London’s High Court on Monday of this week.

Paulo Muoka Nzili, Wambuga Wa Nyingi and Jane Muthoni Mara say that British forces tortured them during its occupation of Kenya in the 1950s.

Their lawyers say that Mr Nzili was castrated, Mr Nyingi was severely beaten and Mrs Mara subjected to sexual abuse in detention camps. The three demand an apology and damages from the British government.

The Foreign Office says too much time has passed since the alleged atrocities to guarantee a fair trial.

Britain imposed brutal collective punishment on Kenyans it suspected of supporting the Mau Mau rebellion. It has recently released thousands of documents detailing its repression of the independence movement.

But it only did so after a sustained fight for justice by Mau Mau veterans. The government had previously claimed that the documents were “lost”.

In 2011 a High Court judge ruled that the claimants had an arguable case. A fourth claimant, Ndiku Mutwiwa Mutua, has now died.

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