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Your views: Kenya Mau Mau case

Mau Mau War Veterans Association protesters outside the British embassy in Nairobi on 18 February 2005
Members of the Mau Mau War Veterans Association protest in Nairobi

BBC News website readers have been sharing their memories of life in Kenya in the 1950s during the so-called "Mau Mau uprising".

The veterans of Kenya's independence struggle are bringing a case for compensation against the British government at the High Court in London.

The three men and two women allege they were victims of human rights abuses in the 1950s and 1960s, at a time when thousands of people were rounded up and forced into camps by the British.

The UK says the claim is not valid because of the amount of time since the abuses were alleged to have happened.

Read the full story here


Here are some of your comments:

The British treated us like we were creatures from another planet - we were fighting for what was rightfully ours. They were killing us for what belonged to us.... Ours was not a rebellion, it was a struggle for freedom.
Maragu, Nyeri, Kenya

Anyone who showed any reluctance or hesitation to what the British ordered them to do were hit with fists and/or slapped with the open hand. This was usually enough to dispel any disposition to disobey the order to change. The European officers would sometimes "rough house" you and strip your clothes off, hitting, on other occasions kicking you while you are on the ground. They did not care if it is on your head, stomach, sides or back.
Nyaruai, Nairobi, Kenya

I was in Kenya with the 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment. More locals were killed by the Mau Mau than British troops. Some people have very short memories of how ruthless the Mau Mau was, and now wish no doubt through our legal aid system to get some money from the UK. This war was not just, but it was a product of the times. How any form of truth can be established after such a long time is for lawyers only and they are the ones driving this issue. In war people on all sides suffer, but trying to apportion blame after such a long time is nonsense.
James, Southampton, UK

Who is going to compensate the thousands of people killed and tortured by the Mau Mau, or is this compensation just a one-way money grab? The facts are the Mau Mau acted brutally during the 1950s uprising slaughtering men, women and children. The claim that 90,000 Kenyans were "executed, tortured or maimed" during the anti-Mau Mau crackdown is exceptionally inflated and fanciful. The total casualties were 14,000+, nearly all civilians killed by the Mau Mau. In today's "compensation" atmosphere, everyone is out for money including many bogus Mau Mau "veterans". I live in Kenya and was brought up during the Mau Mau.
Peter, Nairobi, Kenya

I certainly was not born in the 1950s but my parents were and they usually give me vivid accounts of the gruesome torture there had to endure growing up in Central Kenya where the Mau Mau (armed struggle) took place. My mother, as a little girl watched as a man was shot dead by the British soldiers, and how after her parents (my grandparents) were rounded up in concentration camps she had to take care of her siblings being the eldest. My mother had to endure walking long distances to take food to my grandmother in the concentration camp once every few days. Such emotional, psychological and physical torture left an indelible dark spot in the hearts and minds of our parents.
Samwel, Nyeri, Kenya

They are a group of greedy Kenyans who actually denied Kenya better infrastructure and who because of their little education wanted to colonise the country. You would wonder why they are from one region and not country as a whole. [It] is a want for money...
Victor, Nairobi, Kenya

I served in Kenya on exercise in the late 1990s. One phrase sums up the population that I remember. I quote: "You give me something". If I can't sue the Army for an injury in Kenya because of time past, why should they. In the same vein, some Kenyans claim for stepping on spent munitions (mortars) on Kenyan Army ranges and want to sue the British. What they don't tell you is they look for spent parts to add to wooden clubs used to protect themselves from wild animals. This is not a rant, been there and seen it for myself.
Andy, London, UK

Was in Northern Rhodesia in the 50s when we saw European refugees of the Mau Mau. Suggest that all these refugees should lodge a counter claim against the Kenyan government for loss of assets and emotional trauma caused by the horrific nature of the attacks by the Mau Mau.
Peter, Perth, Australia


Were you in Kenya in the 1950s? What are your memories of the Mau Mau uprising? Send us your comments.

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