LONDON, Aug 11 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has assured the Mau Mau veterans that the government is fully committed to supporting their case against the UK over human rights violations committed in the colonial era.
The PM said there is complete commitment in the Cabinet to ensure Mau Mau veterans and their families get justice.
The PM spoke when he met one of the lawyers for the Mau Mau veterans in their case against the UK Daniel Leader in London.
Leader briefed the PM on the status of the case and presented the PM with a summary of the judgements so far and letters of support for the Mau Mau from prominent members of the international community who have thrown their weight behind the freedom fighters.
Among those who have supported the Mau Mau case is Bishop Desmond Tutu and former First Lady Graca Machel.
Odinga said the government’s position remains that responsibility for the atrocities committed on the Mau Mau cannot be passed to the government of Kenya that took over at independence.
“The perpetrators were part and parcel of the colonial system. The responsibility for their actions cannot therefore be shifted to the independence government which was essentially part and parcel of the liberation struggle,” the PM said.
“There is commitment in the Government, from the President down, to ensure this case is settled once and for all. The wheels of bureaucracy may be slower than those of justice, but the will is there and we will fully support the Mau Mau case, he said.
The PM told the Mau Mau lawyers that he fully appreciates their volunteer work they are doing on behalf of the Kenyan nationalists.
He however regretted that there are attempts by a few individuals to hijack the struggle by the Mau Mau for compensation.
The PM asked the lawyers to embark on establishing a clear idea of the number of people belonging to the Mau Mau group.
“There are people who are suddenly showing up to say they are Mau Mau while their ages clearly indicate they could not have participated in the struggle. They are too young. There are also fake lawyers showing up to ask for money from Mau Mau for the case. Yet we know Leigh Day and Company was taking this case on volunteer basis. It is regrettable,” Odinga said.
The PM said the Mau Mau war remains one of the wounds in the history of Kenya and there is need to address the injustices and bring the dark chapter to an honourable closure.
The PM met the Mau Mau lawyer in the company of Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara.
Imanyara is PM’s emissary on the case.