Why lobby group is demanding an apology from King Charles III over colonial atrocities

KHRC Deputy Director Cornelius Oduor. [Courtesy]

As the British royal couple begins their four-day visit to Kenya, human rights activists have renewed their call for an apology from King Charles III over the colonial abuses inflicted by the British.

Cornelius Oduor, the Deputy Director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), told Spice FM on Tuesday, October 31, that an apology would be a crucial step towards reconciliation.

“We are seeking an apology for several things that happened during the colonial time. The apology is very important for reconciliation, especially for people who still suffer from the effects of what happened,” said Oduor.

He added that a public apology would address many issues and give the king a chance to speak to the victims directly.

“We are not asking for too much, the opportunity is here and we are asking for what is rightfully ours. We cannot go to the United Kingdom to seek an apology, the king is here, and the opportunity has presented itself,” he said.

Oduor also said that the activists were open to a possible dialogue that would give the victims an opportunity to air their grievances and receive an apology.

He said that it was not about the king and KHRC, but about the victims and giving them a space to engage in a balanced way.

On Sunday, KHRC issued a statement demanding that the British government, led by the royal family, take five measures to rectify the damages caused by historical and current injustices by the British.

The measures include returning the skull of Koitalel Arap Samoei and helping to locate the burial site of Dedan Kimathi for proper burial.

They also want the British government to support research and surrender all information related to its colonial rule in Kenya, for posterity among other issues. This is the first time the King is visiting an African Nation and his first to a Commonwealth member since he ascended to the throne last year.