Kenyans hail right to sue Britain

2011-07-22 07:53

Nairobi - Kenyan veterans of the 1950s Mau Mau uprising celebrated on Thursday after four colleagues won court approval in Britain to sue the British government over brutality they claim they suffered in the struggle.

"For a very long time we have remained steadfast in our pursuit for justice, for the torture we suffered under the British government," said Gitu Kahengeri, the secretary general of the Mau Mau War Veterans Association.

"With today’s ruling we are happy that there is light at the end of the tunnel," Kahengeri told journalists.

The claimants - Ndiku Mutwiwa Mutua, Paulo Muoka Nzili, Wambugu Wa Nyingi and Jane Muthoni Mara, who are in their 70s and 80s - are calling for an apology and a victims' welfare fund.

The test case could open the door for claims from around 1 000 others still alive who survived the detention camps during the bloody rebellion against British colonial rule.

"As we move forward we hope that we will have an opportunity to discuss the ways of settling our case as soon as possible," Kahengeri added.

"We are afraid that if the British government continues to deny us justice based on mere technicalities then most of us will not be able to be there to witness justice, if and when it finally comes."

The Foreign Office contends Britain is not legally liable for the alleged abuses, which include castration and torture, saying responsibility was transferred to the Kenyan government upon independence in 1963.

More than 10 000 people were killed during the 1952-1960 Mau Mau uprising, with some figures going much higher.

The case will proceed to a further hearing, due before April 2012, at which the court will consider the government's argument that the claims should not proceed to trial as they have been brought outside the legal time limit.

  • Jou - 2011-07-22 08:13

    Wonder if this will open the door for the families of the woman and children killed in the camps during the Boer wars to sue Brittan???

  • Charles - 2011-07-22 08:15

    AND so it continues the families who lost members in turn have the right to sue the Kenyan government for their ordeals ?

      Nesomaniac - 2011-07-22 08:24

      Right on Charles - It cuts both ways. Mau Mau War Veterans = terrorists

      wmutahi - 2011-07-22 15:03

      Why should they, they were in Kenya by choice. The native Kenyans on the other hand were fighting for their land. The Brits had a choice, get off the land. The kenyans had no choice, it is their land. Objectively, they chose to die :)

  • Gorilla - 2011-07-22 08:23

    Urggh. Let it go already. Lots of people have suffered over two world wars and loads of underhanded and terrible conflict since then. We could go on and on. Ridiculous.

  • Mnr. Smith - 2011-07-22 08:24

    Does this mean the Boers can sue Britain for the war-crimes and genocide committed against them in the Boer-Concentration camps?

  • Ross - 2011-07-22 08:29

    I am going to sue Britain for incarcerating my grandmother and her sisters in British concentration camps just because they could not win the Boer Kommando's. I also want compensation for the plus million head of cattle they killed and the 60 000 homesteads they burned to the ground. Rape charges will also be laid. I also suggest that Britain claim compensation from Italy because the Romans occupied their land for 400 years and killed many indigenous people. And let us not forget the Viking atrocities. Bring the class action lawyers and let the show begin.

      ian.d.samson - 2011-07-22 09:06

      LOL! Touché!

      Brian - 2011-07-22 09:13

      This has got to be the ultimate respone, well said Ross

      Mnr. Smith - 2011-07-22 11:03

      Ross for Global President. Give this man the Bells Factory too! lol

      wmutahi - 2011-07-22 15:14

      shallow thinking :(. But you can write and read I guess?

  • Hux - 2011-07-22 08:29

    What I think? Just another bunch of blacks wanting money for nothing. Now the whites who had family killed in Kenya must sue the Kenyan Gov. Oh yes. The bushman must sue the whites and blacks in South Africa for chasing them off the land and hunting them like animals. Also the red indians in America must sue the Irish and others for killing them and so on and so on and so on.... Where does it stop? all just stupid.

      wmutahi - 2011-07-22 15:06

      Don't be a m0r0n. On second thought, be. You can't commit atrocities against people whose land you've invaded and hope that history will cover it up for ya. The sh1t that your forefathers committed will come back to bite ya.

  • Jannie Swem - 2011-07-22 08:42

    so other kenyans can sue kibake and odinga for the 2009 massacres?

  • ian.d.samson - 2011-07-22 09:03

    I hope that's a two-way street, and that those white people who suffered at the hands of the black people in Kenya during that uprising have equal rights to sue!

      wmutahi - 2011-07-22 15:07

      The flippin brits had it coming. They invaded Kenyan land. They got what they deserved. No apologies.

  • Anton - 2011-07-22 09:09

    Well done Mau Mau War Veterans, If you have been wronged, you take the perpetrators, or the ones responsible, to court. Even if its 60 years ago, that's kul !! Israel is still taking their war criminals to court, many cases of these are older the Mau Mau cases. I agree that Israel does so, so why should we deny Kenyeans to do the same ???????

      Gavin - 2011-07-22 09:32

      I'm going to sue the offspring of the Neanderthals who left the plains of Africa for Europe - thanks to them I have lost my tan over the past thousands of years. I also am unable to run as fast as black athletes - this was very embarrassing to me during my Grade 1 Sports Days and I have still not recovered. Do you know of any lawyers who will take on my case (pro bono, of course)?

      mike - 2011-07-22 09:37

      wow anton - I think that you should be nominated for the nobel prize for philosophy for that insight

  • Guru Martini - 2011-07-22 09:58

    This is just the beginning for justice at last. The Khoi descendants must sue the Blacks for migrating down from East Africa and colonising Southern Africa and chasing them off their land...

      Anton - 2011-07-22 13:10

      One does not have to become silly about this. Off course, one would only have a court case if , some of the victims and perpertrators are still alive That is the case here. I also realize that the Mau Mau was not a boy scout club ,but that does not mean, they should not go to court.

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