13 March 2019

Kenya: MPs, KLRC Meet Over Mau Mau Heroes' Push for Recognition

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The National Assembly Committee on Sports, Culture and Heritage will today meet the Kenya Law Reforms Commission (KLRC) over a petition by Mau Mau War Veterans Association's push for recognition.

The war veterans are seeking recognition by law as the movement which fought for Kenya's independence.

The House committee will also meet the Attorney General for advice on the matter.

Members of the movement, who met the House committee on Tuesday, said that for close to six decades after independence, they were yet to be recognised by law.

They also claimed that their roles in the struggle for Kenya's independence had not been appreciated.

COLONIALISTS

Led by Mr Gitu Wa Kahengeri, their secretary-general, the war veterans presented a bill to the committee, seeking recognition by law as the movement that liberated Kenya from the colonialists.

"Countries such as South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe have already recognised in law those who fought for their independence. Our government should also do the same," Mr Kahengeri told MPs on Tuesday.

The association, however, accepted to have the name 'Mau Mau' dropped after MPs suggested that a name with a national face should be used. This, the legislators said, would make all Kenyans who participated in the struggle for independence feel appreciated.

STRUGGLE

"Groups from various parts of the country participated in the struggle (for independence), they should also feel recognised," House committee chairman and Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka said.

Mr Kahengeri, however, said they were not opposed to change of name as long as the law recognised their movement.

The KLRC is the statutory body mandated to review Kenyan laws to ensure they are relevant and harmonised with the Constitution.

"Freedom fighters want to be recognised by name, future generations should know that there is a movement that fought for our independence," Mr Kahengeri told the House committee.

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