The veterans said the monument did not accurately portray the history or the sacrifices made in the struggle for independence.
Association Secretary General Mwai Muthigi said they were not involved in the design or the preparation of the monument therefore the information on the plaque was distorted.
“It is very disappointing to hear that the monument is to commemorate the independence struggle yet the message being portrayed has nothing to do with the heroes and heroines of the Mau Mau movement,” he said.
Association Chairman Elijah Kinyua popularly known as General Bahati insisted that the plaques were not about the known freedom fighters but mainly glorified the facilitators.
“Kenyans must write their own history correctly and we protest the fact that British High Commissioner Christian Turner was there during the unveiling because it was not about his nation, it was about our country’s heroes,” Mr Bahati said.
Full article by Lydiah Nyawira – Excerpt by Melanian News
The statue shows a woman handing food to a Mau Mau fighter, their faces turned away so they could not reveal the other’s identity if caught by the British authorities.
Tens of thousands of Kenyans were held in detention camps during the Mau Mau campaign. Many suffered abuses including beatings, rape and castration.
“The memorial stands as a symbol of reconciliation between the British government, the Mau Mau, and all those who suffered during the emergency period,” Christian Turner, the UK High Commissioner to Kenya, said at the ceremony.
The monument is part of a 2013 out-of-court settlement by the UK government when it agreed to pay £20m ($30m) in compensation to Mau Mau veterans.
It also expressed “sincere regret” for abuses committed under colonial rule.
Full article by BBC news UK – Excerpt by Melanian News
In a statement read out on 6th June 2013 in the House of Commons, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, expressed regret for the first time that thousands of Kenyans had been subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment at the hands of the British colonial administration during the Kenya Emergency during the 1950’s. Mr Hague expressed “sincere regret” that these abuses had taken place and he announced that the British Government would pay compensation to Leigh Day’s 5,228 clients, as well as gross costs, to the total value of £19.9 million and finance the construction of a memorial in Kenya to the victims of colonial era torture.
“During the run up to Kenyan independence thousands of Kenyans suffered horrific treatment in detention camps run by the colony. These crimes were committed by British colonial officials and have gone unrecognized and unpunished for decades. They included castration, rape and repeated violence of the worst kind. Although they occurred many years ago, the physical and mental scars remain. Many of those who were detained and tortured were never tried and had little or nothing to do with the Mau Mau insurgency.
It is also fitting that a memorial to those, for whom this acknowledgement comes far too late, will be erected in Nairobi, paid for by the British Government to remember those many thousands of Kenyans who similarly suffered torture and abuse in the colonial era.
The British Government rightly states that it is the sign of a strength of a democracy that it is willing to learn from its past. This case has been a long, hard struggle for justice; taking four years and two court defeats for the Government before they finally agreed to treat these victims of torture with the dignity they deserve.
Martyn Day is the senior partner at law firm Leigh Day that represented the 5,200 Kenyan victims of colonial torture, stated, “Our clients would like to pay tribute to the British legal system, which impartially and rigorously scrutinized the complex factual and legal issues raised by this historic case. Equally, the role of the expert historians Professor Caroline Elkins, Professor David Anderson and Dr Huw Bennett in this case has been of critical importance.
“Our clients would also like to pay tribute to the Kenyan Human Rights Commission and the Mau Mau War Veterans Association who have provided them with every assistance during this arduous legal battle. “We would also like to thank the many leading international human rights activists and politicians and who have repeatedly championed this issue over the years including Desmond Tutu, Lakhdar Brahimi, Glenys Kinnock, Sir Nigel Rodley and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez. “We hope that this case will act as a reminder that there are human rights abuses so grave that they deserve recognition and redress even if the events in the question happened many years ago. That was true of those who sought redress decades after the Second World War, including the British Prisoners of War of the Japanese (whom we also represented), and now it is equally true for these African victims of British colonial abuse.”
Full article by Leighday – Excerpt by Melanian News
watch – WARNING GRAPHIC AND DISTRUBING: The Rise and Fall of the British Empire (Jomo Kenyatta and the Mau Mau oath)