Mau Mau and the Kikuyu


In September 1952 it became necessary for the Kenya Government to declare a State of Emergency, as a result of the activities of an organization known as Mau Mau. Troops had to be flown out to the Colony, the Police Force had to be strengthened, the Police Reserve had to be mobilized and the Kenya Regiment called into action. Nobody knows how long this State of Emergency will last, or what the future holds in store, before peace and confidence can be restored and the normal life of the Colony be resumed.

Mau Mau is openly anti-White and also anti-Christian. It aims to drive the Europeans and all other foreigners out of the country and intends to use murder, intimidation, and, finally, a general uprising to bring this about. Had it been possible for the Mau Mau organization to remain really secret until the leaders thought the time was ripe for the action which they planned, the consequences might have been very serious indeed.

The plans of the Mau Mau leaders necessitated trying to make nearly every Kikuyu in the country a member, and in order to achieve this end they instituted as a sine qua non of membership a ceremony of oath-taking based upon old tribal custom, but which violated ancient custom in many ways. The oath which had to be taken by members was very carefully thought out and so worded that once a person had taken it, even under pressure, there would be little risk of his reporting the facts to the authorities.

In the initial stages of the movement, membership was voluntary, but in the past two years all kinds of pressure has been brought to bear on the members of the Kikuyu tribe to force them to join the Mau Mau. This has not only . . .

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • London
Publication year:
  • 1952


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