It was highly anticipated that King Charles will issue a strong apology for the harrowing atrocities of colonialism in the region during his visit to Kenya. Local rights groups were pressing for reparations but instead came a strongly-worded regret. “The wrongdoings of the past are a cause of the greatest sorrow and the deepest regret,” Charles said during a state banquet.
The British King acknowledged the painful struggle of Kenyans as he said, “There were abhorrent and unjustifiable acts of violence committed against Kenyans as they waged… a painful struggle for independence and sovereignty and for that, there can be no excuse.”
The crimes committed by the British colonial forces date back to the time when Kenyans were forced out of their tea lands as the British took over. Their lands are still producing more than 50 percent of tea for the British. Not just that, in the Mau Mau uprising during 1952-1960 a total of 90,000 people were brutally killed and 1,60,000 were detained.
Exactly a decade ago, UK Government announced payments of almost 20 million pounds to more than 5,000 people in what is known as a “a process of reconciliation”. This visit was paramount as Kenya is celebrating its 60th independence anniversary. “It matters greatly to me that I should deepen my own understanding of these wrongs, and that I meet some of those whose lives and communities were so grievously affected,” the King remarked.
While some are greatly disappointed at the lack of a formal apology speculated to be delivered ahead of the visit, President William Ruto has appreciated the courage of the British monarch for shedding light on “uncomfortable truths that reside in the darker regions of our shared experience”.
British royalty speaks publicly on the advice of the cabinet and Rishi Sunak has already rejected the call for an apology.