Mau Mau war veterans want official State recognition.
figure By PETER MBURU Mau Mau war veterans now want the government to recognise them legally through an Act of Parliament as the people who fought for Kenya's independence.They say that to date, the law has not recognised the role they played to liberate the country from colonialism.
The war veterans have petitioned Parliament and presented a Bill that proposes to have the Mau Mau War Veterans Association recognised as the movement which fought for the liberation of Kenya.Led by their Secretary-General Gitu Wa Kahengeri, the former Mau Mau fighters on Tuesday met the National Assembly Committee on Sports, Culture and Heritage and expressed their dissatisfaction over the State's failure to appreciate what they did decades ago when they forcibly ejected white settlers from Kenya.
RECORD HISTORYThe veterans claimed that even though the Constitution in its preamble recognises "those who heroically struggled to bring freedom and justice" in the country, they still feel the law should capture their name for purposes of recording history."The constitution doesn't say who, it only says those who fought for freedom.
The only thing we want is our movement to be recognised and declared by an Act of Parliament as the one which liberated Kenya from colonialism," Mr Kahengeri told MPs.But the war veterans had a difficult time explaining why they seek recognition of only one movement, when many from different parts of the country participated in the struggle.
CHANGE NAMELed by the committee chairman, Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka, the MPs agreed with members of the movement that there should be a change of name from the current Mau Mau War Veterans Association' to one which is unifying and that has a national face to it.Culture and Heritage Permanent Secretary Josephta Mukobe also said that the name Mau Mau should be changed.
This was after expressed her reluctance on the admission of the elders' bill.Ms Mukobe who was before the same committee had argued that what is captured in the Constitution's preamble is enough recognition for what the freedom fighters did in the country.
But Mr Kahengeri faulted the ministry, saying even the British government ndash which took blame over the tortures committed to Kenyans during colonialism ndash recognised the movement and went ahead to erect a monument at Nairobi's Uhuru Park in their honour. Related Stories