More than 8,000 Kenyans are seeking millions of dollars in compensation from the United Kingdom, claiming mistreatment during the 1950s Mau Mau uprising under colonial rule, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) announced Tuesday (June 4th).
"The Law Society of Kenya has received lists of ex-Mau Mau fighters seeking compensation running into billions of shillings from the British government," LSK chief Apollo Mboya said in a statement.
The thousands of submissions follow an October 2012 test case ruling in London's High Court, in which three elderly Kenyans were given the go-ahead to sue the British government.
Since then, one law firm has submitted more than 8,000 names while another has listed over 700 more, said LSK, which is co-ordinating submissions.
More names are expected to be submitted from the Kenya Human Rights Commission, which supported the initial test case, the statement added.
However, the process has been marred by "raging disputes" between competing Kenyan and British law firms, with the law society stepping in to mediate, Mboya said.
"We will follow the proceedings of the compensation cases filed in UK courts and also the professional conduct of the lawyers involved to ensure the victims are adequately compensated," he said.
At least 10,000 people died during the 1952-1960 Mau Mau uprising against British colonial rule, with some sources giving far higher estimates.