alexa County proceeds with case against Britain over colonial sins - Daily Nation

County proceeds with case against Britain over colonial sins

Monday January 9 2017

Chepkwony

Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony speaks at an event celebrating top performers in the 2016 KCSE in Ainamoi on January 8, 2017. He wants Britain to apologise for atrocities committed during the colonial era. PHOTO | TIMOTHY KEMEI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

TIMOTHY KEMEI
By TIMOTHY KEMEI
More by this Author

A case against the British government seeking compensation for injustices meted out on the Kipsigis and Talai communities during the colonial era in Kenya will be filed at the British High Court in London next month, Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony has said.

Speaking in Sumeiyon village in Ainamoi constituency during celebrations organised for top KCSE performers, Prof Chepkwony said all the necessary documents for a watertight case have been compiled.

The governor will also want an apology from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Theresa May.

"Next month I will travel to London to witness the filing of this historic case to demand justice for atrocities brought on our people in the colonial era.

"I am sure we will triumph because the British sent our people into poverty when they forcefully took away their ancestral lands," Prof Chepkwony said.

MULTINATIONALS REASSURED

He said he will not be distracted from pursuing the matter to its completion.

The governor also said lawyers handling the case have received travel documents and will head out soon.

The county assembly passed a resolution three years ago approving the lawsuit.

The motion was filed by Cheptororiet/Seretut Ward MCA Livingstone Kipkoech, who noted that numerous efforts by the Kipsigis seeking reparations through the National Assembly for the injustices suffered between 1918 and independence, have failed.

At the same time, Prof Chepkwony assured managers of multinationals such as James Finlay, Unilever and Williamson Tea that they will not be affected.

"This case is about the historical injustices that were committed by the British colonial government against our people.

"We are determined to go the whole stretch to ensure that justice prevails. This case will not target any British investment companies here and they have no cause for worry," he said.

'HORRIFYING' EVIDENCE

Last year, Nairobi lawyer Kimutai Bosek, who is handling the case with British lawyer Karim Khan, said his team of experts had discovered "terrible and horrifying" pieces of evidence about the atrocities that the British government was aware of.

"This was known by the British Government in London. We have evidence of beating and burning down of homes belonging to the victims, forceful transfer of populations and rape," he said.

Mr Khan, the lead lawyer, on December 2015 told the litigants that the case will be a challenging one.

The county allocated Sh40 million in the 2016/2017 financial year for facilitating the case.