Magazine article The Spectator

Kenya's Trials

Magazine article The Spectator

Kenya's Trials

Article excerpt


Tom Cholmondeley has done it again.

The scion of Kenya's Delameres has shot dead another black African trespasser on his Rift Valley farm. This is his second in a year. Kenya's authorities, which gave up trying to pronounce his name and settled for 'Tom Chom', let him go first time.

That won't matter on this occasion as I reckon Tom may be sharing his cell for a long time with a very large fellow convict who will insist on calling him Tinkerbell.

That's if he stays alive.

I don't know how or why Tom Chom has to shoot people. I have managed to get through life in Kenya without shooting a single person. I don't believe Cholmondeley is a psychopath. We shall have to see what happens in the courts, if he can be accorded a fair trial in today's Kenya.

Before he was even charged, the shooting brought out the Kenyan enragés who increasingly hog the microphone on all matters. The white tribe is 'peculiar in everything it does, ' wrote columnist Gitau Warigi. He went on, 'What silently resonates among many Africans. . . is the refusal by people like Mugabe to stomach the nonsense of settler descendants whose mindsets remain stuck in the colonial past.

The fate of the Zimbabwean economy is not what matters. What does is. . . selfrespect.' Yeah right, tell that to the Zimbabweans enjoying their 1,000 per cent inflation. But long before the Cholmondeley incident, Kenyans were applauding Mugabe. 'My government fully appreciates the positive steps being undertaken by the government of Zimbabwe, especially in the field of agriculture and land reform, ' said Kenya's ambassador to Harare last year.

On internet chat forums, views expressed by young Kenyans -- many of them students at universities in the West -- are pretty alarming on the subject of whether Cholmondeley should have a fair trial. 'I say murder the son-of-bitch Julie Ward-style.' 'I DON'T CARE THE OUTCOME of this investigation! ! ! This man needs to have his farm set on fire and the man and his kin killed in cold blood IRRESPECTIVE OF WHAT THE COURTS SAY!' 'We black Africans now need to show him why his grandfather's friends fled Kenya in the Sixties and go jungle on his behind. I say we lynch him and then deal with the fall-out in the investor community. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.