Human rights body seeks apology for victims of British injustices ahead of King Charles III visit

KHRC Executive Director Davies Malombe and Board Chairman Davinda Lamba after a press conference [Samson Wire standard]

The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) has demanded a public apology and compensation of victims of British historical injustices, days ahead of King Charles III and Queen Camilla's state visit to the country.

This is according to a joint statement made by the commission's Executive Director Davis Malombe and Board Chair Davinder Lamba.

In a press briefing on Sunday, October 29, the commission seeks to have the British Government, led by the leadership of the Royal Family take five measures to rectify the damages occasioned by historical and current injustices by the British.

"We call upon the King on behalf of the British government to issue an unconditional and unequivocal public apology (as opposed to the very cautious, self-preserving and protective statements of regrets) for the brutal and inhuman treatment inflicted on Kenyan citizens during the entire colonial period-(from 1895 to 1963) and thereafter, to date. Such an apology is a critical step in acknowledging the pain and suffering of Kenyans," the commission says.

"We further demand effective reparations for all the atrocities committed by the different groups in the country. This should be in line with the aforementioned UN Principles and Guidelines which provide supporting among others; adequate compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantee of non-repetition."

The commission is also seeking to have adequate financial and technical support in the construction and maintenance of the requisite memorials.

KHRC also wants to compel the British government to provide support for research and surrender all information linked to its colonial rule in Kenya, for posterity.

"It is time Britain brought back the skull of Koitalel Arap Samoei(just as Belgians have done with the tooth of Patrice Lumumba in DRC) and assisted in the tracing of Dedan Kimathi's burial site for decent sendoffs. With respect to the historical land injustices, we request the British government to support the National Land Commission to carry out further investigations and analysis of all the legitimate claims." The commission's press statement reads in part.

"We expect the King to express the British government's commitment to human rights and the rule of law in its foreign policy and operations. This should ensure that its programmes and investments in Kenya and other regions will continue to be undertaken in full compliance with global human rights standards and principles."

The commission is also pushing for British security operations and multinational corporations operating in Kenya to be held accountable for their actions, as well as finding an amicable way of co-existing with local communities.

KHRC is a non-governmental organization (NGO) established in 1992; to enhance human rights-centred governance by international, regional and national governance frameworks.

King Charles III four-day state visit begins on Tuesday, with international media reporting that he stands to be haunted by the past, as much as he is making plans for the future.

Being the king's first state visit to an African nation and his first to a Commonwealth member since he ascended to the throne last year, there is a lot of anticipation ahead of the visit.

During their visit, the King and Queen will meet President William Ruto and First Lady Mama Rachel Ruto, as well as other members of government, UN staff, CEOs, faith leaders, young people, future leaders, and Kenyan Marines training with UK Royal Marines.

The King will also attend an event to celebrate the life and work of the Nobel Laureate the late Professor Wangari Maathai, together with Wangari's daughter, Wanjira Matha