NAIROBI, Jun 4 – More than 8,000 Kenyans are seeking millions of dollars in compensation from former colonial rulers Britain, claiming mistreatment during the 1950s Mau Mau uprising, the country’s law society said on Tuesday.
“The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has received lists of ex-Mau Mau fighters seeking compensation running into billions of shillings from the British government,” LSK chief Apollo Mboya said in a statement.
The thousands of submissions follow an October 2012 test case ruling in London’s High Court, in which three elderly Kenyans were given the go-ahead to sue the British government.
Since then, one law firm Miller & Company Advocates has submitted more than 8,000 names while another has listed over 700 more, said the society, which is coordinating submissions.
The numbers will rise further with more names due to be submitted from the Kenya Human Rights Commission, which supported the initial test case, the statement added.
However, the process has been marred by “raging disputes” between competing Kenyan and British law firms, Mboya said, with the law society stepping in to mediate.
“We will follow the proceedings of the compensation cases filed in UK courts and also the professional conduct of the lawyers involved to ensure the victims are adequately compensated,” Mboya added.
At least 10,000 people died during the 1952-1960 Mau Mau insurgency against British colonial rule and a brutal crackdown, with some sources giving far higher estimates.
More international attention at the time was given to the 32 white settlers murdered during the course of the uprising.