Posts Tagged ‘Mau Mau’

“Sorry” shouldn’t be the hardest word

02/05/2011, 02:00:32 PM

by James Watkins

Saying sorry can be annoying. Nobody like admitting their mistakes. But when it comes to international politics, apologising just makes common sense. When wrongs have been committed in the past, a line needs to be drawn so that the country can move on. This is a truth that David Cameron was grasping for when he rightly said, on a recent visit to Pakistan, “with so many of the world’s problems, we are responsible for the issue in the first place”.

Yet, David Cameron’s Government is resisting saying sorry to four Kenyan senior citizens. Ndiku Mutua, Paulo Nzili, Wambugu Wa Nyung and Jane Muthoni Mara have begun legal action in the high court following the repressive actions of the British colonial authorities in Kenya between 1952 – 60. In response to the Mau Mau revolt, many Kenyans were herded into internment camps and only now are the true horrors coming out – after the high court ordered the foreign office to release documents on the use of torture by the colonial authorities in the 1950s.

Government barristers have owned up to the torture – but have said that the responsibility for these camps lay with the colonial authorities and any liability incurred for actions taken in the camps would now rest with the current Kenyan government. This Kafkaesque response has echoes of another controversy regarding the demand for an apology – that of the actions of the Japanese government after the second world war.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon