The British response to the MAU MAU revolt of 1952-1960 would have caused more than a gasp today. The scenario is very much like what is taking place today in Libya in that the "rebels" are in a military conflict with their "oppressor" who has superior warfare equipment. Unlike the Libyans who have found favor with France, the UK, the UN and the USA, the Kenyan men and women fighting for their independence against a Nazi-oppressive regime fought as the UN, Europe and the USA watched. These are the same nations that scream they hold the values of justice, freedom and democracy sacred.
Almost 50 years after this brutal British regime was marched out so that Kenyans would gain their independence four brave, now elderly, Kenyans have brought a case to the UK courts seeking compensation for specific torture meted out to them by the colonial British militia.
The claimants, Ndiku Mutua, Paulo Nzili, Wambugu Wa Nyingi and Jane Muthoni Mara, in their 70s and 80s, flew from their rural homes to appear in a London court. This has been an on-going case which was catapulted by Caroline Elkin's pultizer prize book "Imperial Reckoning - the Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya". The book also inspired a four-series BBC documentary in the UK. Dr. Elkin, a professor at Harvard, spent a decade investigating the so called Mau Mau "rebellion" (as opposed to a "revolt") and she concluded "I now believe there was in late colonial Kenya a murderous campaign to eliminate Kikuyu people that left tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands dead". The official estimates of the Mau Mau killed by British forces was 11,000.
10 days ago the UK government ordered the release of records documenting the Mau Mau "uprising" which will be used in the human rights case before the courts for the for four claimants. Interestingly, these documents have been concealed and only authors like David Anderson, a professor at Oxford University - and an expert witness in this case, and Dr. Elkin have had access to these records. Kenyan authors who have written about the Mau Mau revolt never had access to validate their facts.
In a brief conversation with Dr. Elkin, I found out that she had experienced some difficulty obtaining the records in London as an American. However, one of the most interesting aspects of her book is the information she obtained directly from descendants of British settlers in Kenya. Dr. Elkin told me how she fought to keep a straight face as these white Kenyans described in offensive language their disdain and contempt of the African Kenyans with whom they currently live among. They also gave her graphic details of what was done to the Kenyans during what was known as the Emergency period.
British Ministers have called for the compensation case before the High Court in London to be struck out. They claim the British government cannot be held liable for abuses during the British colonial rule. Is it not absurd that this case is being tried in and by the country that committed these heinous acts of violence? Is there not a conflict of interest which is why we now hear the clamoring of the British Ministers demanding that the case be thrown out of court?
I bet these Ministers concur and support those bringing the German Nazi perpetrators to justice today - 60 years after the holocaust. What is the difference between the German Nazis and the British Nazis? They both killed, maimed, tortured and humiliated innocent citizens. They both committed gory crimes against humanity.
It is a sham for the UK to send forces into Libya to fight Gaddafi in the name of justice and democracy when he (Gaddafi) is doing exactly what the British colonial government did to innocent Kenyans and now does not want to be held accountable.