How British Government Attempted to Blame Hola Massacre on Dirty Water

  • On March 3, 1959, eleven prisoners at the Hola Detention camp in River Tana area, lost their lives under mysterious circumstances in the hands of the British colonial government.

    The British government covered the deaths (said to have been brutal murders) of the detainees by selling the propaganda that they succumbed to drinking dirty water.

    Enoch Powell, a British Labour MP, and his party, pushed to get to the truth of what happened at Hola.

    Deeper inquest into the matter proved that the detainees were murdered in cold blood.

    Wambugu wa Kigotho, a survivor of the ordeal, who was in the camp at the time of the massacre, narrated that on that day, guards, apparently on orders from the camp commandant, clubbed to death 11 of the prisoners.

    Wambugu also noted that the detainees were killed by blows from blunt objects to the back of the head on that fateful day.

    Speaking to the Nation on how he cheated death, Wambugu noted that despite being 85, he still hears the screams of the men as they were being beaten by police.

    The issue sparked sharp reactions in the house of commons over the reduction of support to the colonial government in Kenya.

    This also marked a major turning point for British colonial policy.

    A monument has since been built in present-day Hola GK Prison in memory of the 11 men killed during the massacre.