SECTIONS

Promise of cash turns Mau Mau war veterans against each other

By LYDIAH NYAWIRA

Factional wars between freedom fighters might derail the ongoing compensation suit lodged against the British Government.

Yesterday, the feud came to the open when two groups, each claiming to be the genuine Mau Mau heroes, disagreed over how the compensation should be done.

At a meeting held at the historic colonial court in Nyeri, one faction disowned the case lodged by five war veterans claiming “imposters” were pushing it.

Led by Elijah Kinyua Ng’ang’a alias General Bahati, said they have registered their displeasure with the Government about the mischievous suit that has been lodged in London.

 A group, which claims to be genuine Mau War Veterans Association, said any bid to compensate them should be based on “Government to Government negotiations.”

But in a swift response, the other faction led by Gitu Kahengeri said the case filed in Britain was for compensation for individual torture cases and would continue. Kahengeri, who was branded by the other group as an imposter, dismissed the claim saying he was among freedom fighters detained and tortured by the British.

Compensation

He said confidential negotiations are ongoing, with those tortured during the Mau Mau insurgency likely to receive compensation.

Speaking at a meeting attended by over 200 Mau Mau Veterans at the Ruring’u Museums, Bahati criticised Kahengeri for getting involved with matters he had no knowledge of.

“Kahengeri is not Mau Mau, he is one of the men who have been against the Mau Mau and their interests,”General Bahati noted adding: “He is from our ethnic community but those who died in the forest left behind women and children and it is a curse to misrepresent their interest.”

One of the veterans at the meeting claimed that Kahengeri was not detained at Manyani rather accommodated at the prison as part of intelligence gathering on Mau Mau activities.