NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 17 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday hosted Mau Mau war veterans at State House, Nairobi, where he announced measures to be undertaken by the government to support the liberation heroes.
The Head of State announced that the veterans will be registered to benefit from the cash-transfer program for the elderly.
“For the first time in history, genuine Mau Mau war veterans will also receive health care services under the National Hospital Insurance Fund,” he said.
The President said Mau Mau veterans will also be accorded official sitting arrangements at every Mashujaa Day celebrations on October 20 and honoured with national awards for their sacrifices during the bloody Mau Mau freedom struggle.
The Mau Mau veterans were from Malindi, Kiambu, Narok, Kajiado, Kisii, Bungoma, Muranga, Machakos, Nyandarua, Meru, Nairobi, Muranga and Nakuru.
They were led by The Mau Mau War Veterans Association Secretary General Gitu Wa Kahengeri.
President Kenyatta agreed to meet with all the Mau Mau heroes on a date to be agreed this coming April at State House where the freedom fighters will be decorated with national awards.
The month of April was identified in remembrance of the horrors visited on Mau Mau veterans in April 1954 – the month of Operation Anvil when the colonial administration swept hundreds of Mau Mau to prison, detention camps and emergency villages for torture purposes.
The President instructed the Head of the Public Service Joseph Kinyua who was present to liaise with the various Mau Mau groupings and bring them together for the April meeting.
The Head of State underlined the urgency of the matter because of the advanced age of the veterans who are in the 70-100 year age bracket.
The Head of State was however emphatic that the government will only work with the Mau Mau war veterans as a unitary group and not the various wrangling groupings existing today and all of which separately claim recognition.
President Kenyatta announced that a national monument will soon be erected in honour of the Mau Mau war heroes and heroines.
The President said the government had always planned to celebrate all its genuine freedom heroes but the process had been bogged down by wrangling of the various groupings seeking recognition.
“This is very important. For a long time, we wanted to celebrate our heroes but the many groups claiming to be Mau Mau frustrated our efforts. We need to celebrate the veterans as one group. We need to bring all our heroes together. The country is ready to celebrate all the heroes as one group irrespective of where they come from”, said the President
The President mentioned in positive light the contributions of Mukami Kimathi and the wife of General Mathenge, both of whom should be recognized as heroines.
The President also said arrangements will be made to appreciate the role of elderly teachers and former employees of the defunct East African Community who left service without pension.
Thanking the President for agreeing to meet all the veterans in April, Wa Kahengeri said the association will remain solidly behind the president adding that he has brought the country to the level they had envisaged when they fought for independence.
“You have brought the country to the level we envisaged and fought for,” said the Secretary General.