Mau Mau in fresh torture claims against Britain

Fresh claims against the British Government for atrocities committed during the colonial period have started to be registered.

The claims target 8,000 Mau Mau veterans excluded from last June’s Sh2.6 billion payout.

The registration led by British firm, Tandem Law, follows last month’s order by a British High Court that claimants in the group litigation filed by Mrs Eloise Mukami Kimathi, widow of Mau Mau hero Dedan Kimathi, Mr James Karanja Njoro and others must be registered before April 30 next year.

The other 13 law firms handling various segments of the suit have been ordered to join the group register being processed by the lead solicitors or notify them of their clients’ interests in the suit before the deadline.

Thursday, Tandem Law’s lead solicitor Freddie Cosgrove-Gibson and Kenyan representative Cecil Miller addressed a press conference in Nairobi where they explained how the registration of claims from victims of the colonial atrocities would be done.

Mr Cosgrove-Gibson said that advertisements notifying the concerned parties of the recent development regarding the case have been running in the local newspapers in Kenya.

“A Group Litigation Order (GLO) has been agreed in the Kenyan emergency group litigation in the High Court of England and Wales. Tandem Law has been appointed lead solicitors for the claimants,” he stated.

He urged all genuine claimants to come out for the last chance to get justice done to them.

“We have not sent anyone out there to collect money from the claimants to finance the suit. We have decided to do a ‘no win, no fee case,” the lawyer said.

He explained that the GLO order granted on October 22 signalled the beginning of the legal process and case management of claims against the British government.

“It also outlines the formal notification period for Kenyan claimants and law firms representing claimants to come forward,” said Mr Cosgrove-Gibson.
Mr Miller noted that those allowed to place claims must be genuine Mau Mau veterans and not their relatives or descendants.

Other qualifications for claims include proof of having suffered mistreatment during the same period and that the mistreatment must have been inflicted by or on behalf of the State, whether British or Kenyan.

They must also be ready to personally give witness statement and must have their Kenyan national identity cards.

This article was published by the NATION on November 21, 2013