Freedom hero’s widow wants land pledge kept
By By ABIGAEL SUM
| Dec 19th 2013 | 2 min read
|Evangeline Muthoni Baimungi points at the guns used during the Mau Mau war kept at National Museums of Kenya. [PHOTO: WILBERFORCE OKWIRI/STANDARD]|
By ABIGAEL SUM
Kenya: The wife of the late Field Marshall Baimungi M’Marete from Meru wants the Government to ensure she is settled on the land she claims was given to her by founding President Jomo Kenyatta.
Evangeline Muthoni, 85, says the family is yet to be settled on the land 50 years since the country attained independence.
She was speaking during a trip to the National Museums of Kenya to identify the artifacts and weapons surrendered by her late husband after the declaration of independence.
“It was an emotional experience to finally get to see the homemade guns he used while he was in the forest fighting. Inspecting and assessing the condition of the weapons gave me an opportunity to remember, honour and recognise Baimungi’s efforts, endurance and perseverance during the Mau Mau war that freed Kenya from the chains of colonialism,” said Muthoni, who was accompanied by her children and friends.
After returning from Italy where he served as a soldier during the Second World War, Baimungi joined the Mau Mau movement and later participated in the guerrilla warfare in Central Kenya forests as a field Marshall.
“When he died, his guns were taken away from us. But I am happy to finally see them,” said Wilson Kiremi, Baimungi’s son.
When President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the family in 1999, he promised to fulfil his father’s wishes of settling the family.
“I hope President Kenyatta will do what his father failed to do,” she said.
The family threatened to seek legal redress if the Government fails to honour their pledge.
“Apart from the National flag which is still in the family’s custody, a sign of recognition for Baimungi’s achievement crowned by independence, the family has lived in a tiny piece of land,” noted Geoffrey Kirinya, the family’s spokesman.
The family also criticised the Mau Mau War Veterans Association for excluding Muthoni and her family in the compensation by the UK Government.
“We are appalled that despite using the artifacts of field Marshall Baimungi in their case against the British Government, Evangeline Muthoni never got even a cent,” said Kirinya.
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