Kenyan Petitions Prince William Over Grabbed Land

  • Prince William addressed a congregation on the growing calls for change in the Caribbean
    Prince William addressed a congregation on the growing calls for change in the Caribbean
    Courtesy
  • Kenyans who lost their ancestral land during the colonial period have petitioned the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.

    According to a letter obtained by Declassified UK Organization, Joel Kimutai Bosek, an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya petitioned Prince William to facilitate reparations to the victims.

    In the letter seen by Kenyans.co.ke, the lawyer stated that Kenyans were violently evicted from their homes in fertile regions to make space for the very lucrative tea plantations that still exist today.

    Prince William at a previous public engagement
    Prince William at a previous public engagement
    Courtesy

    The petitioners noted that they suffered violations of their human rights during that period yet none of them was ever compensated by the British Royal family.

    In the letter addressed to Prince William, the petitioners noted that although the British Royal family has some historic moments in Kenya, the monarchy continues to ignore the plight of families from Kericho.

    "It is most telling however that at the same time in Kericho county, only a few hundred kilometres from where the Queen was staying, our families and ancestors were being violently pushed off the land we had always lived on.

    "It was the British colonial forces that did this so that tea could be planted on the very fertile ground where we were born. We are turning to you now 70 years later as a group of over 100,000 victims from Kericho whose suffering as a result of this period has been entirely ignored by your family and successive British Governments," the letter read in part.

    They urged Prince William to stand on the side of justice and recognise the grave violations they have endured for decades.

    "Our people were violently evicted from their homes to make space for the very lucrative tea plantations that still exist today. Many men and women were raped, arbitrarily detained, and in some cases killed whilst trying to resist the evictions.

    "All were displaced and humiliated, and none have been compensated. The trauma of having our ancestral land stolen from us and the degradation to which we were subjected affected not only those of us directly removed from the land but also all our family members for generations to come," the letter continued.

    An undated photo of workers plucking tea in Kericho
    A photo of workers plucking tea in Kericho County.
    File
    The Guardian

    In the letter, the petitioners clarified that they don't want the matter to turn into a bitter dispute but they are seeking justice and a clarification of the wrongs committed against them to be recognised. 

    Further, the families noted that they want an apology and a discussion about compensation. The group also informed Prince William that most of the complainants are very elderly and there is an urgency to see them compensated.

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