Mau Mau veterans from Makueni sue UK govt for colonial era atrocities

Tuesday January 24 2017

Mr Kinguli Ngumi, 84, a Mau Mau freedom fighter

Mr Kinguli Ngumi, 84, a Mau Mau freedom fighter from Makueni narrates the ordeal he suffered under the colonial government during an interview in Kasikeu on January 24, 2017. The former freedom fighters are seeking compensation from the UK government. PHOTO | PIUS MAUNDU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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A UK-based law firm has entered into a deal with a group of former Mau Mau freedom fighters from Makueni County to push for compensation from the British government.

This has signalled hope for the freedom fighters whose efforts to seek compensation from the British government had earlier hit a snag after another UK-based law firm abandoned them.

During a meeting held at Kasikeu market on Tuesday, Hugh James, the UK law firm, agreed to handle the cases in which an over 189 Mau Mau freedom fighters are seeking compensation from Britain for atrocities meted on them by the colonial the government.

A partner in the law firm, Mr Andrew Davis, took the frail former freedom fighters through the obligations and expectations of the new deal, including ways of opting out of the case.

They freedom fighters were reminded that they should be truthful before signing a document binding them to the new deal.


Afterwards, the octogenarians and their kin recounted to the lawyers their experiences in the hands of the colonialists.

"We had just been forcefully recruited into Mau Mau and before we hit the ground, we were rounded up by the government forces, thoroughly beaten up and forced to do hard work in building government offices in Machakos Town," 84-year-old Kinguli Ngumi told

He said he was lucky to be alive as his colleagues were sentenced to death and others died later "out of complications related to the atrocities meted on them by the whites."

According to the chairman of the former freedom fighters Mr John Mutuku, most of the complaints against the British government are on torture, forceful evictions, wrongful detention, and loss of property and lives.

Freedom fighters said that they have left the UK law firm the mandate of deciding how much compensation they should seek should the case succeed.