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Govt to compensate tortured Kenyans

SETTLEMENT: A member of the Mau Mau veterans stands outside Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi during the country's 50 Madaraka day celebrations (PA)

BRITAIN IS set to offer compensation worth millions to thousands of Kenyans who were tortured during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s.

Thousands of Kenyans were mistreated and tortured by the colonial British government and the victims have been fighting for compensation for decades.

Foreign secretary William Hague is expected to announce payments of £2,600 each to more than 5,000 survivors totalling a compensation bill of nearly £14 million, which is to be footed by the taxpayer.

Hague is also expected to announce at the House of Commons today (June 6) the sincere regret over the brutal abuse to which the Kenyan prisoners were subjected, including castration, rape and beatings.

The historic settlement follows test cases brought by three Kenyans – Paulo Muoka Nzili, Wambuga Wa Nyingi and Jane Muthoni Mara – in the London courts.

The Government had initially argued that all liabilities for the torture had been transferred to the Kenyan Republic upon independence in 1963, and that it could not be held liable now.

But in 2011, the High Court ruled that the three elderly claimants did have arguable cases in law.

The Government will now also agree to fund a memorial in Nairobi to Kenya’s victims of colonial-era torture.

Martyn Day, the lawyer for three claimants, said: “We are looking forward to the statement by William Hague in the House of Commons.

"We very much hope that this will be the final resolution of this legal battle that has been ongoing for so many years.”

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