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Grandson’s unwavering 28-year quest for justice

By By Boaz Kipng’eno | Jan 19th 2014 | 2 min read

By Boaz Kipng’eno

KENYA: Anthony Loipisai Leaduma, 50, a popular public figure in Maralal town in Samburu County, wonders what his fate would be in the longest journey of his life.

Anthony has for the last 28 years been involved in various legal processes and missions to obtain justice for his grandfather, Laibon Leaduma.

Perhaps the helm of his struggle was when he travelled to London to visit museums and archives with the hope of finding material evidence related to the unfair detention of his grandfather.

The junior Leaduma has also visited various institutions in Nairobi, including the Kenya National Archives, the National Museums of Kenya and the University of Nairobi libraries.

In 2003, Anthony met the lawyers who in 2012 helped the Mau Mau war veterans win a compensation case against the British government.

He was however unable to raise the Sh10 million asked by the law firm before they could process and open the case.

Nevertheless, Anthony has vowed to follow up on the disappearance of his grandfather and hopes that justice will one day be served.

He says the fate that befell his grandfather has traumatised him and many of his relatives as his  arrest marked the end of the Leaduma clan’s practice of Laibonism, which the British associated with witchcraft.

“My family members were afraid of being arrested by the British in case they found out that they practiced Laibon art, prompting them to abandon the trade,” says Anthony.  Various theories have since clouded the locations of his grandfather’s grave and remains, with some saying he was buried at an island in Lake Naivasha. Others believe he was buried in Kwale while some say his remains were interred in Embu.

At one point, Anthony optimistically connects the Samburu area in Kwale to his grandfather.

A graduate of the South African Wildlife College, Anthony, who unsuccessfully vied for Samburu Central Constituency parliamentary seat in the 2013 polls, now engages himself with wildlife conservation in Samburu.

He says his political ambition was inspired by his grandfather, who he highly regards as his hero.

Anthony pleads with the government to recognise freedom fighters who resisted the colonial rule in northern Kenya and decries “the high level of marginalisation imposed upon such national heroes at the expense of other parts of the country”.

 “Recognition by building monuments and even compensating families whose relatives suffered under the fight for freedom should be put in place,” he says.

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