Ruto’s Government Should Put The Pain Of Our Freedom Fighters To An End

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 Dominic Ihomba  

PHOTO COURTESY: President Jomo Kenyatta with Mau Mau leader Field Marshal Mwariama.

  • The colonial government led the torture against the africans who championed for Kenya’s liberation.
  • The african governments have continually denied the freedom fighters what the shed blood for.

In January 26, 1963, M’Marete M’Ikandi (Field Marshal Baimungi) died at the hands of government forces. This was despite the fact that the Mau Mau warrior was instrumental in the achievement of independence.

This was just among the impunities that the African governments meted on the freedom fighters. Many freedom fighters continue to die poor in a country they tirelessly fought for its liberation. Jomo Kenyatta was among the Kapenguria six that were jailed in October 1952 by the colonial government.

They faced the allegations of supporting an outlawed Mau mau organization. When Jomo Kenyatta became president, freedom fighters were hopeful of ‘Uhuru’. However,  oppression  from their own government became the order of the day. Their crucial role in the struggle towards independence went unrecognized since the Kenyatta’s and Moi regimes never lifted the barn on the freedom fighters’ movement.

 The post independent African governments alienated them from the land that made them sacrifice their energy and blood. The various settlements set apart for the freedom fighters ended in the hands of the few and those who collaborated with the colonialists and new government authorities. The freedom fighters remained squatters in their independent country.

Hope was, however ,revived in 2002 when H.E president Mwai Kibaki took office. In 2003, he championed the legalization of the Mau mau movement. He further, in February 2007, unveiled the Dedan Kimathi’ bronze statue monument. This, he said was a way of honoring the  freedom fighters.

In 2013, surviving freedom fighters’ and their descendants’ hope for compensation for the injustices that the colonial government meted on them was revived. This came after a legal contest between the freedom fighters and the colonial masters.

In June 2013, Britain announced that it would pay some $31 million to some of the Mau mau victims. According to The Guardian, the money was actually paid out in cost and compensation. This came after several other occasions where the colonizer had expressed willingness to compensate the freedom fighters.

However, the failure of the government to follow up has seen no victim compensated so far. In February 2016, during H.E Uhuru Kenyatta’s government, a proposal was presented by the Mau Mau War Veteran Association (MMWVA) which sought for among other things, the registration of the surviving freedom fighters into the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

They also grieved for establishment of settlement schemes for the many landless ageing war veterans. The president then promised to actualize the requests by the time he would leave office. However, by the time of leaving office, 6 years later, none of the demands had been actualized.

The deputy president, Rigathi Gachagua, has in more than one occasion identified as a descendant of the freedom fighters. In one incident, during the cabinet retreat in Nanyuki, he hiked Mount Kenya and even repeated that he is a son of Mau Mau. The few surviving freedom fighters and their descendants are expectant that the DP will deliver the ‘Uhuru’ to the oppressed fighters.

Report has it that the wife to Dedan Kimathi, Mukami Kimathi, has been detained in a hospital for failure to clear a pending medical bill. On Jamhuri day, Mukami Kimathi expressed her fear that she would die before the country presents her with the hero’s body. Kimathi was captured in 1956, executed in 1957 and his remains buried in an unknown place.

The government has failed to present the body despite the many demands by the family and other freedom fighters. Many others of the descendants and the freedom fighters continue to languish in poverty as squatters in a country they bleed for.

The government should end the oppression on the Heroes and Heroines of the county who shed their blood for us to get the freedom we are enjoying today. A fund should be set aside to cater for the health of the freedom fighters and their descendants. This will be the only way of serving them justice.

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