NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 13 – Mau Mau freedom hero Gitu Wa Kahengeri made a passionate speech about tribalism; “When we were in those forests, fighting for the freedom of our country, it was not about which part of Kenya you were from. We fought for all Kenyans, from Namanga to the Indian Ocean, from Busia to Mandera, we fought for everyone.”
Supported by a cane as he spoke, he also refuted the popular belief that fighting for the freedom of Kenya was a reserve for the Kikuyus, saying that those forests had people of all part of the country.
“Even before most of here were born, there were fighters from all parts of the country. These included Waiyaki Wa Hinga, Koitalel Arap Samoei and Osman Ali,” he said.
He therefore called out to the present generation of Kenyans to do away with tribalism in honour of men and women who lost their lives and suffered in great bounds to give Kenya the freedom it enjoys today.
The speech was made to hundreds of Mau Mau freedom fighters who came to witness the unveiling of a British funded monument which is in honour of the 1952 to 1960 fighters who lost their lives and suffered torture.
They wore red t-shorts written ‘Shujaa Wa Mau Mau’ and sat on grass under the scotching sun as speaker after speaker spoke of how honoured they were of witnessing the reconciliation process that saw the British Government acknowledge that it had indeed done great injustice to the fighter during the colonial period.
An estimated 10,000 fighters died brutal deaths that consisted of torture by the British army.
“The memorial stands as a symbol of reconciliation between the British Government, the Mau Mau, and all those who suffered during the emergency period. It is an acknowledgement of the difficult parts of our shared history encompassed in a spirit of reconciliation and respect,” British High Commissioner Christian Turner said in his speech.