Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Ayoub mzee with Kenya Prominent human Rights Lawyer Paul Mite

The Myth of 'Mau Mau' State Murder in Kenya ‘The Mickeys were hard men and only hard methods would work with them. It was a war to save white civilisation in Kenya and in war people get killed.’ A white policeman in Kenya

Ayoub mzee with a Mau Mau Fighter who are in London seeking for compansation from the British Government

Africa was the last of the great continents to be fully opened up to colonisation, before which only a few white explorers, missionaries and traders had penetrated the core. Prior to the last two decades of the 19th century, western countries had directly ruled only a few coastal areas - with most of the interior under African control. Then steam power, especially for rail and ships, provided the means to open the continent up to foreign invasion and Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain and Portugal competed for territory. Africa then became a patchwork of new provinces, with most of its peoples coming under the control of the new colonial masters.

Another Mau mau fighter

At the end of the 19th century, Britain had opened East Africa up for colonisation by the building of roads and railways. Strategic forts were built and African opposition was met with force, with tribes people who tried to stop the railways being machine-gunned. Tens of thousands of Africans were massacred and many more driven from their land. Kenya, as a country, emerged from the European ‘scramble for Africa’, which divided the continent into ‘spheres of influence’. The 1884/5 Berlin Conference and later colonial agreements and adjustments deciding borders, which were then plotted by colonial bureaucrats – rather than them developing from interaction between the native peoples.

A mau mau fighters meeting Most of the Kenyan peoples, including the Kikuyu, Akamba, Maasai, Luo, Meru and Embu, were opposed to foreign rule and, as in other colonies, efforts were then made to win over some sections of the native population to the colonisers’ side. This usually took the form of securing agreements with, or instating, local collaborationist tribal chiefs - whose main tasks then were to facilitate colonial rule and collect taxes. The Kikuyu tribe explained that they had no chiefs but were organised by age groups which reflected seniority. The colonial authorities ignored this tradition of clan elders and put in place chiefs who were paid and controlled by the British. Kenya held no large deposits of natural resources, but it had strategic importance and parts of the land – especially in the highland region – was conducive to productive farming. All land was designated ‘Crown land’, which was then parcelled up into ‘tribal reserves’ – with large parts of the best land being retained for colonists from Britain. The native peoples, including many Kikuyu, were then forced from this fertile land to make way for white settlers:
Kenya was in many ways like England after the Norman invasion, with the white settler barons treating the African people as serfs – driving them through laws and taxes into forced labour. Unsurprisingly, sign of revolt began to show. In the years following the 1st World War Harry Thuku, a low paid telephone operator, formed the Young Kikuyu Association to campaign against the mounting hut taxes and an end to the pass laws. He was sacked from his job and then arrested and deported to the desert region in the north of the country. At a protest meeting in the capital, Nairobi, a number of Africans were shot down, while cheering white settlers looked on – this occurred just over three years after the massacre at Amritsar in India. Over 100,000 Africans from Kenya served in Britain’s forces during the 2nd World War, often fighting alongside white troops. But afterwards, on their return home, they were offered only menial jobs under whites who called them ‘boys’ and treated them like slaves. Africans still had no worthwhile representation on any level of government and in the capital, Nairobi, black workers, fighting for better wages and conditions, organised themselves into trade unions. The East African TUC, set up by a number of these unions, called for African political independence and majority rule in Kenya.
The real guys who fought for kenya indipendence
BBC TEAM In May 1950, the authorities arrested the leaders and banned many of the trade unions, including the East African TUC. A general strike, which led to a shut-down of large parts of the country, was called, but the strike was broken with mass arrests and large scale intimidation from British police and troops with armoured cars, supported by low-flying war planes. Hemmed in by repressive laws and with their economic conditions getting steadily worse, Africans found that their peaceful political protests about land rights in the countryside and the right of workers to organise into trade unions in the towns were being suppressed by armed force. Not content with this level of repression, the authorities then declared a ‘State of Emergency’ on 20th October 1952, implemented even more repressive laws, built up local police and militias and sent for reinforcements of British troops. With all routes to constitutional reforms blocked off Africans, in steadily increasing numbers, began to support the emergent underground revolutionary movement, known to them at first as the ‘Movement’ or ‘Unifier’ and later in its armed stage as the ‘Land and Freedom Army.’
Paul muite making a point As part of the counter-insurgency campaign then mounted against the opposition to colonial rule, the British authorities, using their control of the media, ensured that the underground movement of Africans would became known to the outside world as ‘Mau Mau’. The words did not mean anything in any African language, and probably first came into use when whites misheard a local dialect. ‘Mau Mau’ conjured up images of an African ‘heart of darkness’ in susceptible western minds, and quickly gained widespread usage both within and outside Kenya. The spread of the name was helped by Government agencies and this successful psychological warfare operation made it easier to dehumanise the organisation in future years. Moderate nationalists, many of whom had appealed to the authorities to allow a few concessions that might have halted the drift into conflict, were silenced or rounded up and jailed. The leading nationalist politician Jomo Kenyatta, who had denounced the use of violence by the militants, was arrested and convicted after a show trial of being ‘the leader of Mau Mau’, and was sentenced to imprisonment for 7 years. Josiah M. Kariuki, who was also interned in prison camps from 1953 to 1960, later stated: After the 1939-45 War things were changing. Our social and economic grievances were plainer to all and there were many more educated Africans who were beginning to understand that the social system was not immutable. Most of all was this happening among my own tribe, the Kikuyu ... Normal political methods ... seemed to be getting nowhere. The young men of the tribe saw that a time of crisis was approaching when great suffering might be necessary to achieve what they believed in... Although the situation was dangerous, even in October 1952, it was not so dangerous that it could not have been put right by a few political concessions ... But the Government chose to answer it with a series of the harshest and most brutal measures ever taken against a native people in the British Empire in the twentieth century, and so the movement developed by action and reaction into a full-scale rebellion involving the soul of my people...[3]

One Love One Aim - Smiley Culture

The settlers had long been angered by the growing ‘insubordination’ among the ‘Kukes’ (Kikuyu), because of the long history of their opposition to British rule. Many Kikuyu had resisted attempts by missionaries to change their local customs and traditions. Some also refused to send their children to mission schools, which they saw as perpetuating the colonial system, and organised their own independent schools instead. Settler xenophobia deepened, especially after attacks were made on a few isolated farms and some whites were killed. Considerable political pressure was exerted on the British authorities by the settlers and a shoot to kill policy was implemented. In ‘Prohibited Areas’ any African could be shot dead, in other areas they could be challenged and shot if they did not halt. The settlers were delighted with their ‘shooting orders’; in the past they had spoken about ‘wiping out the Kukes’. At a public meeting at Nakuru it had been seriously proposed that ‘50,000 Kukes’ be killed ‘to set an example’. Now, after the killings were officially sanctioned, some whites brought in bounty hunters to carry out the ‘exterminating’ for them: Some settlers hired other Africans to do their killing for them. The practice of paying Wanderobo hunters 20 shillings for every presumed Mau Mau they killed became so open that it was reported in the United States press. Other whites did their own “exterminating”. Several professional hunters began to stalk Kikuyu just as they would some relatively dangerous game. One hunter, who was not usually given to braggadocio, said that he had killed more than 100 Kikuyu whom he thought to be Mau Mau, although he admitted that his policy of “shooting first and asking questions later” made it difficult to be certain.[4]

16 April 2011

A march for human rights and justice for all organised by the family of Smiley Culture.

  • Saturday 16 April 2011, 12pm

  • Assemble at Southbank Club Gym, 124 -130 Wandsworth Road, London SW8 2DL to march to Scotland Yard, Broadway, London SW1H 0BG
Karigo Muchai was an African who had also fought against the Japanese in Burma in the British forces. Back in Kenya he became involved in the struggle for freedom. He tells what happened after he was arrested and ‘taken to the police post which held about 400 prisoners and was run by a brutal European officer nicknamed “Kihara”’: I was to spend a month in this police post doing forced labour during the day and never knowing which night might be my last. ‘Kihara’ had a strange and terrifying game, which he practised daily. At any time he might come into one of the cells and read two or three names off the police register. No one knew when his name might be called and all of us lived in constant fear. Those called were tied up and thrown into a Land-Rover. ‘Kihara’ would then drive to the home of one of the prisoners, call his family out and in the presence of all, put a bullet through the head of his helpless captive. Leaving the dead body for the family to bury he would drive off to the next house where the same process was repeated.[6] Many of the settlers were members of the local security forces, including the Kenya Police Reserve and Kenya Regiment. In these units, with white officers and native lower ranks, killings and ill treatment of black civilians became commonplace. The King’s African Rifles (KAR), which recruited native soldiers from all over East Africa, quickly gained a reputation for brutality in prosecuting the war: ‘The KAR were the first to be accused of atrocities. KAR troops, like those of the Kenya Regiment, routinely burned the houses of Kikuyu who were thought to sympathise with the Mau Mau, and it was KAR troops under the direct command of white officers who were said to have shot more than 90 prisoners in cold blood in what came to be known to the Mau Mau as the Kagahwe River massacre.’ [7] Idi Amin, from Uganda, served as a soldier with the KAR in Kenya. A contemporary, Dr. Atieno Odhiambo, described Amin as ‘just the type the British liked, the type of African that they used to refer to as from the “warrior tribes”: black, big, uncouth, uneducated and willing to obey orders.’ [8] A British officer said of Amin: ‘Not much grey matter, but a splendid chap to have about.’ It was in Kenya that Amin learned many of the brutal practices that he would employ against his own people in Uganda many years later: ‘Whether under orders by white officers or not, KAR soldiers often treated wounded Mau Mau by casually shooting or bayoneting them, or throwing them on top of dead Mau Mau in the back of a truck before driving off on a long journey during which the wounded either died on their own or were helped to do so.’ [9] 6: The Hardcore, the story of Karigo Muchai, LSM Press - Canada1973. 7: Mau Mau: An African Crucible, by Robert B Edgerton, The Free Press, Collier Macmillan London 1989.