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Maumau veterans plead for compensation, warn of fraudsters taking advantage of poor Maumaus

Members of Mau Mau, a militant African Nationalist Independence Movement, now want the government to either compensate the remaining freedom fighters and their siblings or never again mention their names.

The freedom fighters took issue with the government for taking them in circles for years whenever they raised the issue of compensation.

Led by Mau Mau veteran Johana Chege, the men and women who fought colonists noted with concern that despite the tribulations they underwent under the rule of the colonial government, the current administration has failed to appreciate their efforts.

Most freedom fighters, they said, are impoverished, many don’t have land and shelter while others have died as a result of ailments under the watch of a government they fought for.

“It is sad that we underwent untold suffering to give Kenya the peace and the freedom it currently enjoys but our efforts have never been appreciated. As we speak most freedom fighters are slaves of poverty, many live in very deplorable conditions while others have even lost hope in life. The government has been promising to do something to appreciate the work we did but they just utter words without implementation,” said Chege.

Speaking in Thika under the Mugumo tree where the independence of the country was prophesied by Mugo Wa Kibiru, a famous Gikuyu healer and Prophet, Chege who was accompanied by other Mau Mau members urged the government to bring to a closure, the compensation issue which has caused them a lot of pain.

“Whenever we see genuine fighters of Kenya's freedom suffering as people who never participated in the fight enjoy a good life, we feel devastated. The government has for many years been hoodwinked by people masquerading as freedom fighters and who enjoy the sweat and the blood, we shed to make this country what it is,” added Chege.

The elderly and frail men and women urged President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua to give them a listening ear to explain their predicament for a solution insisting they fought the bloody war with other generals such as Dedan Kimathi.

They made the plea in the wake of revelations that a section of ingenuine people camouflaging as Mau Mau fighters have been demanding funds from Kenyans to enlist them to benefit from the government’s compensation.

“It’s a pity that the government is allowing conmen to go around the county soliciting money from the few remaining mau-mau members, cheating them of a registration fee so that they can qualify to benefit from the compensation. The conmen are demanding up to 60,000 shillings from the poor freedom fighters,” Rose Gicharu, another Mau Mau veteran said.

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