The Mau Mau war veterans in Nyeri have accused successive regimes of neglecting them.
Led by their chairman Nderitu Wambugu, the freedom fighters claimed they had been living in abject poverty yet they sacrificed a lot to win the country independence.
They accused the Government of spending staggering amounts of money on non-issues such as erecting statues of freedom fighters when they die instead of setting up fund to benefit them while they are alive.
“We are still among the poorest Kenyans despite the fact that we risked our lives to liberate this country. It is unfortunate we have become victims of the freedom we fought so hard for,” said Nderitu.
He spoke to The Standard on Monday at Dedan Kimathi Stadium during Madaraka Day celebrations attended by Governor Nderitu Gachagua and County Commissioner Michael ole Tialal among other local leaders.
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Mr Nderitu also took a swipe at proponents of same sex marriages, saying it was ungodly and against the African culture.
Another freedom fighter, Paul Mathenge, took issue with the use of English in delivering public speeches during national holidays, saying it alienates those who did not go through formal schooling who only understand Kiswahili and mother tongue. “I have not understood anything from the President’s speech read by the county commissioner and that of the governor,” said Mr Mathenge.
Mathenge expressed his dismay at how the celebrations were conducted, saying they were usually dominated by politics and also full of unnecessary pageantry.
“We, the bona fide heroes, rarely get any recognition. We need land since that was what we fought for besides freedom. If we will ever be honored, let it be when we are still alive,” he said. The National Chairman of Mau Mau war veterans association Elijah Ng’ang’a did not attend the celebrations due to poor health and lack of transport.