Thursday, October 12, 2006

Handoutville, Kenya

This from the BBC

Mau Mau veterans seek UK damages
Veterans of Kenya's independence war with Britain 50 years ago have filed a formal claim for compensation against the British government.

The case has been brought by six former Mau Mau fighters who say they were subjected to inhuman treatment in British-run detention camps.

Their lawyers plan to give Whitehall four months to respond before taking the case to the High Court in London.

Claims are also being pursued in Kenya by up to 2,000 more Mau Mau detainees.

The six former Mau Mau fighters say they were subjected to inhuman treatment including beatings, denial of food and suspension by the feet. Read the whole story.

It seems Kenyans never miss an opportunity to make a quick buck. I have two problems with this (and the "Bomb Blast" claims against the Americans).

First, I understand that attrocities were committed during colonial times but that was over 50 years back. There must be a statute of limitations on these things. Otherwise you will have all sorts of claims: the families of the 32 white civillian settlers killed during the uprising suing the MauMau for compensation, the Dorobos suing the Kikuyus and other Kenyans for the return of their land, Kikuyus and others suing the Maasai for centuries of cattle rustling and so on ad nauseum.

Second, they perpetuate the culture of victimhood where we refuse to take responsibility for the state of our affairs. So the MauMau blame the British for their plight but not the Kenya government which promised them land and jobs but roundly ignored them. In fact, MauMau (or the Land and Freedom Army as they called themselves) was a banned group in independent Kenya and only received official recognition in 2003. The August 7, 1998 survivors blame the US for the actions of Al Qaida but not their own government which failed to detect and stop the terrorist activity, and whose reaction to the disaster was less than sterling.


kipepeo said...

as much as i am bitter at the way the mau mau veterans have been neglected...I have to agree with you....there has to be a limit...for goodness sakes, they fought for our freedom and liberty, OUR government should help them out. As for the bomblast victims, again OUR should do something, the victims hold kenyan passports, not american...but hey, thats just my take on things...

Anonymous said...

Kipepeo, that's a very mature and circumspect comment. But then, you are not living in Kenya, object to the daily press stultification, are you? Ah yes, I knew...