Ministry in push for Mau Mau war payout

Members of the Mau Mau War Veterans Association in this file photo. The Kenyan Government is lobbying its British counterpart to compensate former Mau Mau torture victims without taking too much time in court.

The Kenyan Government is lobbying its British counterpart to compensate former Mau Mau torture victims without taking too much time in court.

Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa on Wednesday said that even as the court processes over the matter continued, they had initiated “other diplomatic channels” to ensure that war veterans get justice.

Speaking at a meeting with lawyers of the war veterans who have sued the British government for the wrongs committed during the State of Emergency, the minister said the British had a high moral obligation to face up to its past and pay compensation.

“This matter has already been discussed at Cabinet level and our government is already engaging the British to consider settling this matter amicably,” said Mr Wamalwa.

“This is not only a legal issue but a moral one too. We don’t have to drag the matter through the appeals process. We wish that justice is done quickly,” he added.

The British Government has appealed a High Court decision that allowed the Mau Mau torture victims to pursue compensation for abuses committed during the 1952-1960 insurgency.

On Wednesday, Mr Andrew Lindsay, the managing director of Tandem Law, a UK-based law firm representing more than 3,500 Mau Mau veterans said the British Government was likely to lose the appeal.

Losing appeal

“We expect to prevail. The fact is that this appeal is outrageous. Despite the fact that the British Government is hiding behind legal tactics, we shall surely prevail,” said Mr Lindsay, who was flanked by Mr Freddie Cosgrove Gibson. In October last year, the law firm wrote to the British Government asking whether it was prepared to propose a compensation scheme for the former fighters.

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