Paulo Muoka Nzili walks through the maize fields outside his home in the countryside near Machakos, Kenya It’s December 1952" /> Paulo Muoka Nzili walks through the maize fields outside his home in the countryside near Machakos, Kenya It’s December 1952" />

Recasting the mau mau uprising: reparations, narration, and memory

Kenyans who were arrested, beaten & tortured by the British during the fight for independence share their stories.

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Paulo Muoka Nzili walks through the maize fields outside his trang chủ in the countryside near Machakos, Kenya
It’s December 1952. Naomày Nziula Kimweli, her husband Kimweli Mbithuka Kilatya, and their three children are on a bus, returning to their home town lớn celebrate Christmas in what today is central Kenya. Life is good: Kimweli works at the Department of Public Works và Naomi is five sầu months pregnant with their fourth child.

But then soldiers stop the coach and force everytoàn thân off. Kenya was then a colony of the United Kingdom, và the soldiers were commanded by a British officer. Naomày and Kimweli refer khổng lồ him as Luvai, which in their Kamcha language means “ruthless person”.


 Watch: Kenya’s Mau Mau: The Last Battle

The soldiers separate the men from the women and children, và haul the passengers lớn a detention camp.

“When we arrived, we found other people being tortured and we were being asked how many oaths we had taken; I said ‘no’ lớn anything about taking an oath,” Naomày says softly. “I was blindfolded and I could hear my children crying, calling me ‘Mummy, Mummy.’ I never saw them again.”

Now 87, Naomi wears a flowery dress and colourful headscarf, but her eyes are sad & her face angry as she recounts her ordeal. “Because when this bottle was pushed into my vagina, I fell unconscious,” she adds.

Naomi woke up some time later in Nairobi’s King George Hospital, today the Kenyatta National Hospital, khổng lồ learn that the assault had caused her lớn miscarry.

In the meantime, her husband, Kimweli, now 91, suffered his own torment. “When we were taken khổng lồ that camp, we were asked: ‘You must tell us how many oaths you have sầu taken because you are also a Mau Mau’,” he explains.

Then he says he was pushed khổng lồ the ground, ordered khổng lồ straighten his legs & trampled on, slowly. Pulling up the hems of his trousers, he reveals scars he says are from wounds inflicted upon hyên that day.

A tall, gaunt man in a worn-out, too-small suit, Kimweli frowns as he continues: “Then I was forced to lie on my bachồng, my groins were taken. Then they used pliers and I felt a very painful yank of my testicles.” He had just been castrated.

The uprising

A few years earlier, a local movement had started revolting against the British colonial administration, which had ruled the area since 1895.

The movement mainly comprised Kikuyus, Kenya’s largest native sầu tribe, many of whom had been pushed off their fertile lands in central Kenya by the European settlers. Along with other tribes, the Kikuyus had been forced to live in ethnic reserves that were too small for them, và required khổng lồ possess a special permit to move around the country. Many ended up as cheap labour on white-owned farms in what had become known as the White Highlands.

Many of their European masters were young, upper-class British officers who had resettled there after World War I; others had arrived from South Africa và British-administered Rhodesia. Most enjoyed a life of luxury on their large, servant-staffed estates.

But, by 1948, growing unrest on the farms had alerted the colonial government to the existence of the so-called Mau Mau movement, which it subsequently banned in 1950. But just two years later, violence erupted as rebels began attacking farms & killing Africans they considered to be supporting the regime.


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Ndiku Mutwiwa Mutua says: ‘After I was castrated, I remained at trang chính & I’ve been living under care of my brother; he is the one who takes care of me.’ They cultivate their fields for food. ‘Whatever we eat, whatever we bởi vì, it depends on yourself or on tư vấn from the family. The government has done nothing for freedom fighters’

The rebels called themselves the Kenya Land & Freedom Army (KLFA). Their alặng was to lớn end colonial rule. It was the British who called them “the Mau Mau”, a term whose origins and meaning is still being discussed today.

The Mau Mau were said to be united by a secret Kikuyu oath that involved drinking blood & even eating human flesh.

When the rebels started killing Europeans too, the newly appointed governor, Sir Evelyn Baring, declared a state of emergency in the colony. It was October 1952, & the war against the Mau Mau had officially begun.

The colonial response

The colonial authorities struông xã swiftly and, intending khổng lồ thwart the rebellion at its very beginning, arrested around 180 people, among muốn them Jomo Kenyatta, the leader of the Kenyan African Union (KAU), a predominantly Kikuyu political organisation. But the actual leaders of the guerrillas, who, like Dedan Kimathi, came from the most radical wing of the KAU, had already escaped into the forests, from where they would continue their fight.

The rebels possessed few firearms so used spears và machetes. When they killed, they left the bodies torn to pieces. Living in the bush, they grew dishevelled, with long hair or dreadlocks, và some wore animal skins.

The fact that they mostly killed other Africans enabled the administration to frame the conflict as inter-Kenyan, one that the authorities were obliged to pacify.

“But that is not true. The truth is the Mau Mau was a mass movement that was organised khổng lồ liberate Kenya from colonial domination,” says Gitu wa Kahengeri, the secretary-general of the Mau Mau War Veterans’ Association. “We went on and on & on; we did not want to leave until came lớn underst& that this country belongs khổng lồ the Kenyan Africans.”


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Kimweli Mbithuka and his wife, Naomi Nziula Kimweli, were travelling with their three children when they were stopped by colonial soldiers. The couple were separated from each other và never saw their children again. They took in several young women as daughters over the years, và subsequently have surrogate great-grandchildren

Compared with almost all the other veterans, things are good for the secretary of their association, who ended up becoming a member of parliament & now has a state pension. In a navy xanh suit, Gitu looks healthy & younger than his 86 years. He is sitting in the manicured gardens of the Fairview Hotel, near the centre of Nairobi. The hotel was already here in the 1930s, when its guests were Europeans arriving in the administrative sầu capital of British Kenya.

Gitu says he joined the Mau Mau movement in 1946 and spent seven years in detention after being arrested in 1953.

Back then, while the regime soldiers fought the guerrillas, the colonial government also conducted a campaign of mass arrests. Almost anybody toàn thân even slightly suspected of belonging khổng lồ the Mau Mau was arrested and taken khổng lồ a detention camp or prison where they were then interrogated & often tortured & abused.

Many women, lượt thích Naomi, were raped with glass bottles. Many men, lượt thích Kimweli, were castrated with pliers.

Few prisoners were brought before a court of law. They were classified according to lớn how dangerous they were perceived lớn be, and they were continually moved from one camp or prison to another until they were considered safe lớn be sent to a reserve sầu.

As the war dragged on, the administration started relocating a large part of the native sầu population into what it dubbed “protected villages”. These were surrounded by barbed wire, guarded by soldiers & resembled the detention camps in everything but name. The “villages” also served the purpose of cutting off the locals’ support to lớn the guerrillas.

Conditions in both the camps & villages were harsh; violence, sickness & hunger were rife.

There is contention about how many people were detained, but Harvard historian Caroline Elkins estimates that between 160,000 and 3đôi mươi,000 Kenyans were taken to detention camps. In total, she says, up to lớn 1.5 million, including almost all the Kikuyu population, were forcibly kept either in the camps or the “protected villages”.

The rebellion proved khổng lồ be much more difficult khổng lồ giảm giá khuyến mãi with than the British had anticipated: the colonial government brought in 20,000 extra soldiers & used the British Royal Air Force to try to strike the rebels in the forests.

In October 1956, the Mau Mau leader Dedan Kimathi was shot and captured, effectively signalling the over of the fighting in the bush. Kimathi was tried & sentenced to lớn death. He was hanged in February the following year.

Finally, in 1960, the state of emergency was lifted, và the colonial regime filed the uprising away as just a savage conflict conducted mostly between Africans.

The rebellion, however, had helped lớn accelerate the transition of power, as had been happening in other European colonies. Three years later, in 1963, Kenya was declared independent.

Its first government was led by Jomo Kenyatta, by then on friendly terms with the UK. The lvà which did not remain in British hands passed to Kenyans linked with Kenyatta’s government.

The new masters had little interest in bringing khổng lồ light the wrongs committed by either side during the uprising, or in recognising the role played by the Mau Mau fighters. The Kenyan government did not remove the law banning the Mau Mau movement, và so the veterans remained barred from meeting and organising themselves inlớn any kind of association.

The death toll of the conflict remains a source of dispute today. The Mau Mau killed around 1,800 Africans because of their supposed loyalty to the colonial regime, & a further 32 European và 26 Asian civilians, according to figures compiled by David Anderson, a professor of African history at the University of Warwiông chồng in the UK.


A woman walks through the compound of Kimweli Mbithuka and his wife, Naomi Nziula Kimweli. Kimweli was castrated during his time in detention, and Naongươi, who was pregnant at the time, was assaulted with a bottle, causing her khổng lồ miscarry

According to lớn the official figures, the rebels also killed some 200 colonial security forces during combat. But as most of them were Africans, not more than 100 Europeans died as a result of the uprising. In contrast, at least 11,000 rebels were killed by the regime, và historians such as Anderson calculate the number of Kenyan casualties khổng lồ be at least trăng tròn,000 – possibly more.

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Harvard historian Elkins, whose estimates have sầu been disputed by some of her colleagues, says between 100,000 và 300,000 Africans are unaccounted for.

All these disagreements were made possible by the fact that, as researchers such as Elkins discovered, many official documents from the time of the uprising were nowhere to lớn be found. It seemed the British government had actually tried to delete that part of its imperial past.

Rewriting history

Things suddenly changed in 2003. That year the government of the newly elected Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki lifted the law that banned the Mau Mau. The veterans immediately began gathering lớn mô tả their stories, và soon the Mau Mau War Veterans’ Association was formed.

Together with the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), the veterans started working towards the possibility of bringing a lawsuit against the United Kingdom. The KHRC said it had documented 40 cases of sexual abuse, castration and illegal detention. From those cases, the commission was finally able khổng lồ present five sầu Mau Mau veterans as claimants in mid-2009.

As part of the research for the legal case, Professor Anderson made a startling discovery in 2010. He found out that the British government had indeed smuggled out of Kenya a huge number of official documents, which were still being kept secret on special premises. The judge for the case ordered the government lớn release these. Some 1,500 files recording Britain’s past in Kenya surfaced, many of them documenting systematic abuses committed by the colonial regime during the uprising. More than 7,000 secret files were found in 36 other former British colonies.


Naomi needs a lot of help around the home page as a result of the injuries she sustained at the hands of the colonial soldiers. ‘I don’t walk properly because of the injuries I got. I feel I was destroyed inside,’ she says. They took in young women, one of whom still lives with và cares for the couple

The British government argued that any legal responsibility for the Mau Mau case had passed on to lớn the Kenyan government along with independence, and that a fair trial was not possible after such a long time.

The court denied both arguments; the first in April 2011 và the second in June 2012. Finally, the judge ruled that three of the Mau Mau claimants – Wambugu wa Nyingi, Jane Muthoni Mara và Paulo Muoka Nzili – had been tortured và abused by the colonial authorities. They could proceed with their case và sue the British government.

The trial never happened, however. In June 2013, the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, announced that Britain would pay roughly $31m in costs và compensation khổng lồ a total of 5,228 veterans represented by the British law firm Leigh Day.

“We understvà the pain và the grief felt by those who were involved in the events of emergency in Kenya. The British government recognises that Kenyans were subjected khổng lồ torture & other forms of ill-treatment at the hands of the colonial administration,” Hague said. He also insisted that his government still denied liability for the actions of the colonial administration in Kenya, and added that it would defkết thúc any claims brought by other former British colonies.

“You know, wrote our history the way they wanted it khổng lồ be seen or to lớn be heard,” says Gitu, the Veterans’ Association secretary general. “Now the government has lớn tư vấn us, and I think it’s going lớn support us, because now the constitution recognises those who went to war to liberate Kenya, and there is also a day specifically to lớn commemorate those who did fight the British government.”

“Therefore something is happening within our government, and possibly in the future they will embrace the rewriting of our history, perhaps before we die.”


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The injuries Kimweli Mbithuka và his wife, Naongươi Nziula Kimweli, sustained mean that they have not had an intimate relationship since their detention

Meet the Mau Mau

Jane Muthoni Mara:

“We took the oath to lớn be united lớn ask for freedom & for our land”


Jane Muthoni Mara was arrested when she was about 15
Born in around 1937-1939 in Kianjiru village, Nyeri district A member of the Mau Mau, she was arrested in 1954, when she was about 15 She was sent to a detention camp, where she was beaten & violated with a glass bottle She was one of the three claimants who won the right to lớn sue the British government

“The main thing I used to vì was take food khổng lồ the Mau Mau,” says Jane Muthoni Mara.

She recalls how she ran inlớn the bush to lớn escape harsh treatment by the colonisers “because they came in force, beating us … We were not fighting them; we ran khổng lồ the forest for safety,” she adds.

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She was arrested, she says, “because somebody toàn thân, somewhere, reported that I belonged to lớn the Mau Mau”.

She describes how, in detention, “we were thoroughly beaten và we had bottles inserted into lớn our private parts. There were different glass bottles for elderly women và for the young ones. For the young ones, they used bottles of soda and for the others, Tusker beer bottles.”

“There was a certain British man, Waikanja as we called hyên, and he forced the soldiers to beat us & to insert the bottles inkhổng lồ our private parts … They wanted us to say that we’d been given oaths by some of those who had gone to lớn the forest. So we were forced khổng lồ say who gave us the oath.”

“The area – the private parts – was injured. When the bottles were inserted, blood came out, I started bleeding.”

A healer gave Jane stitches.

When she returned trang chủ, she says she married and had children.

“My children are now suffering from the lachồng of land, a lachồng of education,” she says. “I tend lớn forget things và I think it could be because of the beatings.”

Jane và her husband have only casual employment. “We suffer from poverty,” she says. When asked if she receives any kind of support from the Kenyan government, her reply is a brief “nothing”.

The British, she says, “curtailed my life, they never did anything to benefit me”.

“The British never came to prevent anything here, they colonised the l& and they denied the people of Kenya their rights, snatching their l& & their freedom,” Jane laments. “They came with guns và machine guns and whips lớn beat all of us …. We all suffered the consequences: those who were in the forest, those who were in the villages, those who were in detention or in the prisons.”

Kimweli Mbithuka Kilatya:

“I was forced to lớn lie on my back & my groins were taken. They used pliers and I had a very painful yank of my testicles”


Kimweli Mbithuka Kilatya was arrested in 1952 in December. He was interrogated, beaten up và castrated
Born in 1923 in Kasau During the uprising he was a civilian, working at the Department of Public Works in the colonial administration He was arrested, interrogated, beaten up and castrated

“I was arrested in 1952 in December. We were going for Christmas, & we were intercepted on the way. We were all in the vehicles we were travelling in, which was stopped by a European.

“When we arrived in the town called Athi River, we were ordered out. There were very many other men và women who were going for holidays. All the men were ordered to go into one van, which was caged, và all the women were told to lớn go inlớn another van, also caged. That is where I was separated from my wife, Nziula. They were taken and we were taken và we never met until some time afterwards.

“When we were taken khổng lồ that camp, we were asked how many oaths each one of us had taken. When I said I never took an oath because I was working with the minister of Public Works Department, I was told, ‘No, you must tell us how many oaths you have taken because you are also a Mau Mau’. I refused, so I was abused using ropes, & I continued saying ‘No, no’. We were taken backwards, on the neông xã here, behind the neông xã here. And then I was ordered khổng lồ straighten my legs và here I was trampled on, slowly . ‘How many oaths did you take?’ ‘I did not take oaths.’ I was pressed harder, three times.

“Then I was forced to lie on my bachồng and then my groins were taken & then they used pliers. I had a very painful yank of my testicles. It was very painful and then it got swollen.

“After I got all these injuries, I was unconscious & I don’t know how many days I remained there because I was only half there. There was a time, when I came baông chồng to lớn consciousness, I found myself in today’s Kenyatta Hospital, which was called baông chồng then King George’s Hospital. How I went there, I don’t know; who took me there, I don’t know.

“I think they punished us or they tortured us because we’d joined together to lớn ask for our l& và whoever asked for that land was … Mau Mau, so we were tortured seriously.

” After treatment, which took slightly more than two months, we were discharged from hospital and then I went baông xã home page. I was not taken lớn the detention camp again, so I was allowed khổng lồ go baông xã home page.

“I never did anything else when I went baông chồng home, I never worked. I used to lớn get support from relatives who were sympathising with me, until I was able lớn have sầu produce from my shamtía . After becoming a little bit stronger, I used lớn make quivers và sell them, và this is how I got tư vấn. ”

Naomi Nziula Kimweli:

“When they inserted this bottle inlớn my vagina, I fell unconscious”


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Naomày Nziula Kimweli was five sầu months pregnant when she was arrested, beaten & assaulted
Born in 1927, she now lives in Katangi She was five months pregnant when she was arrested, interrogated, beaten và assaulted, resulting in a miscarriage The last time she saw her three children, one girl and two boys, was when she was being tortured. She does not know what happened lớn them

“We were going trang chủ for holidays when our bus was stopped. Men were separated from women, w e were forced lớn enter our own van and we were taken lớn a detention camp.

“When we arrived at the detention camp, we found other people being tortured. We were also taken khổng lồ be tortured, và asked how many oaths we had taken …. I said ‘no’ to any information about taking an oath. At that time I was blindfolded & during all of this I could hear my children crying, calling me ‘Mummy, Mummy’, và I never saw them again.

“When t his bottle was pushed inkhổng lồ my vagimãng cầu, I fell unconscious, I aborted.

“When I fell unconscious, fortunately there was my nephew, who was an army officer …. When he came to Athi River and found a bus stopped and asked, ‘What happened?’, he was told, ‘All the passengers have been taken to lớn Kwaluwai’. He went khổng lồ see because he knew we were coming home page. So when he came khổng lồ see if we were there, lớn fight for us so that we could be released, he found me unconscious. Because I had not yet died he asked khổng lồ take this woman khổng lồ the hospital & because he was working with the same government he was allowed, so he took us to lớn King George’s Hospital.

“When I was taken to lớn hospital, the bottle that was in my vagimãng cầu was removed và the fœtus that had died from injuries was also removed & I was treated for more than three months. When I gained consciousness, I was told four of us ; two had died and another one had not yet died; she died recently of old age. I was stitched, the stitches can be seen, so this is the suffering I got.

“After t hat time I never saw my children again.

“Those who used lớn beat và kill và bởi vì all evil were British. It was the Britons who were fighting against the Africans, because they did not want to lớn give sầu us freedom or our lvà.

“I don’t walk properly because of the injuries I got. I feel I was destroyed inside.”

Ndiku Mutwiwa Mutua:

“The Kenyan government has done nothing for us – it has done nothing for the freedom fighters”


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Ndiku Mutwiwa Mutua took the Mau Mau oath và was later arrested và castrated
Born in 1927 or 1928 in Kimutwa village, near Machakos He took the Mau Mau oath và used to give sầu the rebels food from the farm where he worked He was arrested và castrated, và then rescued by the Mau Mau & taken to lớn the forest He was one of the original claimants but his file was removed because of a legal technicality

“We had to lớn support , & we had decided whoever would not tư vấn the freedom fighters outside in the fields, he should also be killed because he was useless. So one could be cut inkhổng lồ pieces và left or dealt with mercilessly by fellow Africans.

“There was no civil war in the country, but what we wanted was freedom và we used guns, we hid ourselves & we fought …. Those who supported them we considered enemies. But to lớn say there was fighting in the country between each other … there was nothing lượt thích that.

“If there’s anyone who has done a lot of injustice, it was the British – they were very bad people.

“The oath was a mixture of so many things I cannot tell …. You are joined together, you won’t leave them and you’ll fight và tư vấn fighters for the freedom of this country.

“I worked on a farm as a milkman. Together with others, we used khổng lồ hide some of the milk to give sầu khổng lồ some of the freedom fighters we knew, & we also gave them some of our rations. But when we were discovered by our employer – he was Luvai . We were arrested and taken lớn that detention camp where we got really tortured, severely tortured.

“We were asked whether we were members of the Mau Mau movement, because the British government did not want to leave Kenya. We were against their ruling of the country, we wanted freedom.

“The castration was done by soldiers under the instructions of the Europeans, especially that man called Luvai. They used a pair of pliers, we were tied, blindfolded, and our hands astray, pinned on the ground, legs astray, pinned on the ground. And everything, anything bad was done khổng lồ your testicles.

“When we were taken to lớn that camp, we were severely beaten everywhere, for example, in the ankles, legs, ribs. I was hurt in the jaw và on my head; we were seriously beaten, mercilessly.

“The government has done nothing for us. There’s no support, nothing as a token, nothing. It took nearly half a century for the law banning the Mau Mau to lớn be lifted. We went to court this late, after this length, because the time had not yet come for us khổng lồ be không tính tiền, khổng lồ say anything, because we were banned by the former constitution … We are now không tính tiền, so this is the time to speak for ourselves and we decided lớn sue the British government for all the atrocities they perpetrated against us.”

Paulo Muoka Nzili:

“The oath had some effect, because after taking it we were very united and did not fear anything”


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Paulo Muoka Mzili was one of three claimants who won the right lớn sue the British government
Born in 1927 in Kiimakiu village A former Mau Mau fighter, he was one of three claimants who won the right to sue the British government He was arrested in 1955, taken lớn a detention camp và castrated

were harsh against us & they never listened khổng lồ us. We were given the hard jobs và, on complaining, one was beaten. We had to lớn rise against them because of these injustices.

“We took the oath because it was an oath of unity and it had some effect. After taking it we were very united and did not fear anything. There was a state of unity; you cut yourself here, you suông chồng that blood và also your friover sucks blood, that is for unity.

“I went to lớn the forest & I fought … We were given home-made guns, because there were experts from World War II who had come & who knew how lớn vì it, so they prepared guns & they gave sầu us in the forest so I knew how lớn use it.

“I just fired shots against Europeans who were attacking us in the forest. I don’t know whether I killed or not kill, because it was in the forest và you cannot know whether you have hit your enemy. But we were defending ourselves because we were attacked, there in the forest.

“I was arrested near the Kamethe prison and when I was discovered I was taken khổng lồ Kwaluvai, the Mbkađam mê detention camp. At Mbakađê mê we were beaten up và I was castrated there, by this man Luvai. He gave the instructions to an askari .

“I was forced khổng lồ lay on my baông xã, my arms were tied và my legs were tied by chains, & then this man, Luvai , ordered a soldier khổng lồ make sure that I was castrated hard because I was coming from the bush và I was a very bad person – as far as the fight against the Europeans was concerned. So they castrated me using a pliers-like instrument.

“After castration, I got swollen all over & they took me to lớn King George’s Hospital. I was there under the supervision of the askaris . After treatment, I was taken bachồng to lớn Mbakayêu thích under the instructions of Luvai & then I was, after some time – about two weeks – taken to lớn Manyani detention camp.”

Wambugu Wa Nyingi:

“When I was released, I found that my father’s lvà had been given lớn Kenyan collaborators”

 


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Wambugu Wa Nyingi won the right khổng lồ sue the British government
Born in 1928 in Aguthi village, Nyeri district He was not a Mau Mau but a thành viên of the Kenyan African Union (KAU), from the most militant wing of which the Mau Mau was formed He was arrested on December 24, 1952, taken to lớn a detention camp and beaten up He was one of the three claimants who won the right lớn sue the British government

“I wanted lớn be a không tính phí man and our l& lớn be given baông chồng khổng lồ us. The organisation used khổng lồ unite people, in order to lớn get the freedom of our l& that had been taken by the White people.”

On December 24, 1952, Wambugu was arrested & taken to lớn the Kiariua detention camp. “There, w e were thoroughly beaten with clubs, sticks & even the butts of the guns,” he recalls. “B eaten such that 16 people died … I saw it, I witnessed it with my eyes. They were buried by the detainees there.”

After Kiariua, Wambugu was moved lớn the Athi River detention camp, where the conditions were much better. “This camp was very peaceful. We were not beaten, we were given food freely – the camp was just nice to us. Life was good,” he says.

But then he was moved lớn another camp where he says the detainees “were thoroughly punished and even had khổng lồ walk on our knees on gravel, were tied with chains”.

When he was eventually returned khổng lồ Athi River, the situation there had changed. “We were totally punished,” he recounts. “The greatest punishment was we were tied on the legs & then we were hanged, the head down và the legs up, & then water was poured on us.”

The torture was used to extract a confession about having taken the Mau Mau “blood oath”. “We stayed hanging for about 15 minutes và there were some bitter questions, whether we had taken the oath or not, whether we were going lớn deny the Mau Mau.

“We were beaten on the shoulders every morning with special sticks,” he adds.

“The word Mau Mau was brought by the British colonisers. Even now I bởi vì not know what ‘Mau Mau’ is,” Wambugu says.

“The colonisers, they never came here khổng lồ prsự kiện Kenyans .”

Wambugu remembers one man at the Rudwar detention camp they dubbed ‘White House’. “That white man used lớn Điện thoại tư vấn himself ‘God of Rudwar’. He was terrible, very brutal to us.

“Because of what I faced, the torture, the beating, even now I feel pain when I move my head …. After I was released from detention, I found my father’s lvà was given lớn other people who were siding with the British people … Because it was my lvà và the freedom I wanted that was not given, I need compensation from the British.”

When the British withdrew from Kenya, he says, they “left the Kenyan people suffering and even their children suffered. They curtailed their education, they curtailed their agricultural development and so on.

“Our children will not be enemies of the British people, because something has been done to their fathers or their father’s fathers … so we become friends & we continue with that friendship.”

This article first appeared in the August năm trước issue of the Al Jazeera Magazine.


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