Sunday, June 9, 2013

It’s a case of too little, too late for Mau Mau war veterans

The sum offered to the Mau Mau veterans by the British as compensation would make old Mwaniki in Carcase for Hounds spit in disgust. The man would not allow the former oppressors to throw him a peanut for all the ills meted. He would choose to keep his poverty and pride than give the Queen the pleasure of thinking they have paid for their sins.

This compensation business is a case of too little too late. If this amount had been paid soon after independence, when many freedom fighters lived and had a whole future ahead, it would have made sense. They would have died knowing their pain was recognised.

Relatives, friends, neighbours and even passers-by must be lining up to take a bite of the mzungu cash.

That the list of those set to benefit is a paltry 5,000 makes a mockery of all those left out. Those who died during the struggle must be turning in their graves.

That many of those who left the comfort of their homes to fight the oppressors ended up being serial losers is the bitter reality. They lost their land, missed out on education and when independence came, they were largely ignored and forgotten.

Lawyer Paul Muite proposes that the government takes up from where the British have left, and compensate those left out. This is as good as declaring the case closed. All these years the government failed to do so. It will not morph into an angel.

EMMA KABIRU, Nyeri

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