AFRICANGLOBE – Colonial chickens have come home to roost in Kenya where 5228 Mau Mau movement victims of British barbarism and inhuman abuse stand to get nearly four thousand dollars each as an out-of-court settlement after a four year legal wrangle.
In a clear climb down from his government’s earlier position, the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague recently expressed his government’s sincere regret for the abuses committed against the Kenyans between 1952 and 1961 by British settlers in that country.
The abuses included rape of women and castration of innocent men who were defending their motherland against British foreign rule.
The British massacred tens of thousands of Kenya’s Mau Mau movement rebels during the 10-year period.
The admission by the British of their excesses and the money should bring some degree of solace to the Kenyans and their families.
It is indeed a major victory in Africa’s tortuous decolonisation process.
But the colonial scar will forever remain on the soul of a nation that, along with the rest of Africa, was harangued by the heinous claws of foreign depravity and subjugation.
Many sins were committed across Africa by the Portuguese, British, French, Belgians, Italians, Spanish, Americans and Dutch as they parcelled out the continent under the guise of Christianity, commerce and civilisation.
This is not the first time that a foreign power has agreed to pay for its past sins against another nation.
The Germans paid millions to Israel to atone for the gassing of thousands of Jews at Auschwitz.
In Australia, the native Aborigines won their case and have been paid for land that they lost to the White invaders.
A similar development took place with the Maoris in New Zealand.
Nearer home, in Namibia, the Hereros, one of the major ethnic groups in that country threatened to take their case to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, the Netherlands, until the German government officially apologised for the 1904 genocide that decimated the group.
No formal restitution was made despite the demands made by the Hereros when the 110th anniversary of the genocide was commemorated.
But the German government upped its financial assistance to its former territory because of this particular case.
By the same token, the British should have paid huge sums of money in compensation for the African people of Zimbabwe who lost their fertile land when the White invaders confiscated the land beyond the Limpopo and hoisted the Union Jack in 1890.
One of the contentious issues at the 1979 Lancaster House constitutional conference in London on Zimbabwe was land.
The British agreed to release money to the new African government in Harare to buy land to resettle more than a million landless people.
Britain felt obliged to do so as the colonial master but that restitution has never been fulfilled.
That is why the land issue remains a bone of contention. The Whites refused to give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.
And now that Caesar has taken back what belongs to him, the British cry foul.
What hypocrisy by the phoney advocates of so- called human rights and democracy.
The Asantes of the former Gold Coast, now Ghana, the Lozis in the former Northern Rhodesia- now Zambia and other African groups have a case against their colonisers as they have not been compensated either for land lost or for human abuse.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Kenyan victory will open doors for Africans who were brutalised during the colonial era.
Would the Portuguese, the major slave traders, be found with a case to answer and would they be asked to compensate the Africans?
By: John Gambanga