The story of Muthoni Mathenge, a Kenyan woman who lived to see the struggle of her people under colonial rule, sheds light on the atrocities that African freedom fighters suffered under British rule, especially after the assumption of Queen Elizabeth II, whose death was announced yesterday.
Muthoni Mathenge has been seeking compensation for the torture she suffered under British troops while fighting for the freedom of Kenya with the Mau Mau from 1952, the same year Elizabeth was crowned Queen of Britain.
Muthoni narrates how the British soldiers persecuted her after she refused to reveal the whereabouts of her husband, who was also a Mau Mau freedom fighter.
“I had not seen him for days. Informing the fighters was like signing your own death warrant,” she told DW in a video published on Twitter in June.
Her neighbors would later help her locate her husband in the forest, who nursed the deep injuries she had suffered on the legs, inflicted by the British men. The most severe injury was made by an axe.
Sadly enough, her husband and thousands of other freedom fighters were caught by the British troops and detained in inhumane conditions and many of them were killed.
Since then, she has never seen him.
“At times the dead bodies could fill up to two lorries and we would bury them all day. We weren’t allowed inside before we buried them all. We would bury six per grave, on top of each other,” she narrates.
Muthoni, like many other freedom fights, has been seeking compensation from the longest-serving British Monarch, who is accused all over Africa for being the initiator of strife, plunder and suffering in the continent, and whose death was announced yesterday at Buckingham Palace in the UK.
She died at 96 (1926-2022), having reigned for 70 years since she was 25 in 1992.
Queen Elizabeth II was crowned while on a honeymoon in Kenya just after receiving news about te death of her father, King George.
Sam Oduor is the editor-in-chief at the Western Kenya Times who leverages the power of the Internet in telling stories that shape opinions.