, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19 – Kenyan independence fighters, Mau Mau, and any others who may have been tortured during the October 20, 1952 to December 12, 1963 emergency period now have another opportunity for compensation from the British government.
They have been invited by British firm Tandem Law to submit their claims, through Miller & Company Advocates in Kenya, before April 30, 2014.
“The High Court (of England) has ordered that no person may bring a claim after April 30, 2014 and therefore any person wishing to make a claim should do so before this date and therefore you need to act now,” an advert published in a local daily reads.
In order to qualify for a claim, a person “must have suffered some form of mistreatment during the time period indicated.”
And the mistreatment “must have been inflicted by or on behalf of the State, whether British or Kenyan,” the Tandem Law advert specifies.
Again in order to qualify as a claimant one must also possess a Kenyan identity card and be prepared to give a witness statement.
While claimants are free to choose who will represent them once they’ve submitted their claims, Tandem Law – as can be expected – have urged them to stay on as clients.
“You are free to seek representation from any of the above law firms or any other of your choice. However, the above firms together already represent thousands of claimants in this action and it may be appropriate to instruct one of the above,” the advert reads.
The opportunity for a second round of compensation arose on October 22 when the English High Court made a Group Litigation Order, “subject to the approval of the President of the Queen’s Bench Division,” for the case management of any claims against Her Majesty’s government in relation to the emergency period.
In June last year the British government and the Mau Mau War Veterans Association reached an out of court settlement in which the veterans received Sh340,000 each.
However many Mau Mau fighters complained that they were not among the 5,228 compensated and said Sh340,000 was not commensurate to the suffering they endured at the hands of the colonialists.
The 8,000 that Tandem Law represents have however been involved in the Mau Mau litigation since March, before the settlement with Mau Mau War Veteran Association was reached and are led by Dedan Kimathi’s widow Eloise Mukami.