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Ruto more likely to gain from King's visit than freedom fighters

The second category was that of territories whose existence was for wealth extraction, not necessarily for white settlement, and may be for stopping other Europeans from getting access to certain resources.

Denying access to resources, being an expression of power, creates scarcity which then makes certain commodities in high demand 'strategic' to those desiring them.

This fact made the European scramble for Africa an exercise in denying strategic resources and territories to each other as they created colonial states in which they implemented Emmanuel Kant's idea of 'thrashing' Africans into separation.

Some territories had the misfortune of experiencing both the 'dominion' dreams for white colonists called settlers and also playing the role of extractive and strategic denial of resources and territories to rival Europeans.

What became Kenya was one of those places where 'colonists' had dominion dreams and also served British interests of denying the Germans, the Italians, and the French certain strategic claims in Eastern Africa. The Mau Mau War spoiled the dominion dream and forced independence by removing race as criterion for holding positions.

Given that, in 19th-century geopolitical power play in Africa, Kenya is a British creation to serve the imperial interests of Victoria, great-grandmother to Charles, the king's visit has aspects of imperial nostalgia.

It awakens colonial demons that Charles might want to expunge and their number seems to increase as assorted peoples demand apologies and compensation for British atrocities on their ancestors. Initially, there was much talk about the need for Charles to address British atrocities on the Mau Mau and about documents carted to Britain.

The very possibility of compensating Mau Mau victims, however, encouraged historians to look for other victims of British atrocities also deserving of potential compensation.

Colonial administrators at a village during the Mau Mau crackdown in the 1950s. [File, Standard]

The transition from whiteness to blackness succeeded in part because since colonialism was racial, anti-colonialism was equally racial. Subsequently, independence removed the 'colour line' and made the new black elite, which acquired a lot of land, closer to the British royal family with its big ranches and conservancies.

Given that the new black rulers had close attachment to British institutions, structures, and royalty, they had little desire to associate with the Mau Mau or to question continued English influence. Still, expunging the Mau Mau 'demon' remained a constant in Britain's relations with post-colonial Kenya.

As Prince of Wales, waiting to become king, Charles had visited Kenya many times. As king, his intended visit has aroused speculation as to whether he will apologise for past imperial atrocities on the colonised with some expecting compensation and 'reparation'.

The visit, however, is not about apologies and compensation or reparations. It is about King Charles and Kenya's President William Ruto. It is about Charles asserting his presence as head of the Commonwealth and, for sentimental reasons, he might 'regret' past misdeeds and offer bits of 'aid'.

He reportedly will visit Uhuru Gardens Museum which Uhuru Kenyatta built as part of his legacy. It is the place where his father, Prince Philip, handed the instruments of independence to Jomo Kenyatta, Uhuru's father. It is big enough to accommodate relocation of the misplaced National Archives whose roofs are reportedly leaking and damaging documents.

For sentimental reasons, Charles can appear to be reasonable by agreeing to help return Kenyan documents and artefacts to be housed at Uhuru Gardens. The help would include financing the operations of the new Museum at Uhuru Gardens for an agreed period of time. This would help Charles to kick start his Commonwealth tour on a positive note.

Besides making Kenya his starting point in his tour as head of the Commonwealth countries, Charles makes Kenya's Ruto happy. As the host of his royal visitors, Ruto has no Mau Mau baggage or 'daemon' to carry or discard and will, instead, get thrilling praises and attention that he likes.

Although he often makes foreign policy mistakes he could avoid, the Charles visit is a political feather in Ruto's diplomatic hat. While it may not thrill the Mau Mau and those grumbling about apology and compensation, the visit will sooth the increasing national unhappiness with Ruto's domestic and international performance.