MPs want countrywide compensation of Mau Mau victims
26 February 2015, 11:53
Nairobi – MPs want the government to ensure all Mau Mau uprising victims across the country are compensated following the British government’s acceptance to release KES 2.5 billion to settle the matter out of court.
Ford Kenya nominated MP, Patrick Wangamati who is the sponsor of the motion for fairness and equity in compensating the victims, argues that many people from different communities all over the country were affected by the British colonial rule in the struggle for independence.
“Noting that the struggle for independence in this country involved various communities and individuals like the followers of Dini ya Musambwa movement who were also killed, tortured and detained during the fight, and therefore deserve equal compensation from the British Government,” reads part of the motion.
Despite the Mau Mau victims from both Kiambu and Nyeri counties receiving compensation from the UK government in 2014 after initiating a court process, Wangamati maintains that other victims of torture from Meru, Kirinyanga, Murang’a, Embu, Kajiado and other parts of the country were left out.
“Aware that the British Government has accepted to release further compensation money, on condition that only the victims who are still alive can prove that they were tortured will be compensated from these monies, this House resolves that the Government ensures that the compensation goes to all affected homes and families of victims who are still alive all over the country,” proposes Wangamati.
Wangamati, who is also the Luhya community chairman, blamed the government for its minimal effort in compelling the UK government to compensate the Mau Mau victims and asked it to apologize to them and create a “Freedom fighter Fund” in their honor.
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He added that most MPs clearly know and can identify the suffering victims of Mau Mau in their constituencies and that they can be relied upon in forwarding their names to the government’s committee for compensation.
“This government should come up boldly and develop a mechanism of raising funds to equally compensate the victims of independence struggle and their descendants to recognize their contribution to freedom to the people of this country,” said Wangamati.
The Luhya chairman further revealed that most living victims from affected areas across the country were unable to travel to Nairobi to record statements as genuine victims with Miller & Advocates who represented a section of identified freedom fighters for in a case for the UK government’s completed first compensation exercise.
He lauded Gitau wa Gahengeri and other living Mau Mau veterans for their bold step to seek compensation from the British government on behalf of other freedom fighters but insisted that the compensation should benefit all victims.
The MPs overwhelmingly supported the motion saying many communities contributed to the nation’s liberation and there should be no regional favoritism in compensating the victims of Mau Mau uprising.
The MPs said most victims are languishing in poverty after being forgotten and sidelined by the State despite their outstanding contribution to the enjoyed current freedom.
“Selective compensation of living freedom fighters without compensating victims also is spreading injustice. The compensation to all affected persons should have a face of the nation,” said Westlands MP, Timothy Wanyonyi.
Tiaty MP, Asman Kamama asked the government to work with leaders from different communities to identify the descendants of notable persons such as Koitalel arap Somoei of Nandi, Mekatilli wa Menza of Mijikenda, Oloibon of Maasai, Elijah Masinde Wanameme of Luhya among others.
The approval of the motion by the MPs has been left in the hands of the National Assembly Implementation Committee chaired by Narok County MP, Soipan Tuya to fast-track its implementation by the government.
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