The British Tortured Obama's Grandfather: Today, the British Go Abroad to Preach Human Rights to Other Nations. but Not Too Long Ago, They Were Torturing Freedom Fighters All over Their Colonies in Africa, Including President Barack Obama's Kenyan Grandfather

By Duodu, Cameron | New African, February 2009 | Go to article overview

The British Tortured Obama's Grandfather: Today, the British Go Abroad to Preach Human Rights to Other Nations. but Not Too Long Ago, They Were Torturing Freedom Fighters All over Their Colonies in Africa, Including President Barack Obama's Kenyan Grandfather


Duodu, Cameron, New African


In the October issue of New African, my article, "How The Black Struggle Is Interconnected", recounted how, in October 1945, many black politicians from Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean, met in Manchester, England, to discuss the course of the struggle to free Africa from colonial rule. I specifically highlighted the role played in the conference by the Kenyan politician, Jomo Kenyatta, and what effect the meeting with so many black activists had on him. When he returned to Kenya from Britain, he contributed immensely to the freedom movement in that country which the British derisively called the "Mau Mau" revolt.

I linked the Kenya freedom movement directly to the fact that Barack Obama's father left his country to go and study in the United States, where he met Barack's mother. I wrote:

"In a very literal sense [then] ... Obama is the product of the Black Struggle around the world. Looking at him now [I continued], it may be difficult for the ordinary person to link him to the city of Manchester and the conference held there in 1945 that was to have such a revolutionary effect on the future of Africa and significantly, on Kenya, the land that gave birth to Obama's father."

Since I wrote that article, information has come to light showing that Obama's links to the Kenyan freedom struggle are even more rock-solid than I had imagined. Both Obama's father and his grandfather were jailed by the British during Kenya's independence struggle! In an article entitled "Beatings and abuse made Barack Obama's grandfather loathe the British" and subtitled "The [American] President-elect's relatives have told how the family was a victim of the Mau Mau revolt", published on 3 December 2008, The Times [of London] revealed that Obama's grandfather was imprisoned by the British on the mere suspicion that he was giving information to the Mau Mau revolutionaries. To try and force him to disavow his protestations of innocence, they tortured him whilst he was in prison.

The amazing aspect of the affair is that Obama's grandfather was a Luo, and not a Kikuyu, the ethnic group that spearheaded the Kenyan freedom struggle. The British line has all along been that the Mau Mau freedom fighters were Kikuyu tribalists who wanted to drive away both whites and other Kenyan tribes--including the Luo--from Kikuyu lands.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

To achieve their purpose, the British alleged in their propaganda that the Kikuyu resorted to atavistic "oath-swearing" ceremonies during which they swore to kill everyone who was not a Kikuyu. But The Times has unearthed evidence that shows that this was a deliberate piece of disinformation, disseminated to win the other ethnic groups to the British side and turn them into the enemies of the Kikuyu. In other words, "divide and rule!" What's new?

Barack Obama's grandfather was called Hussein Onyango Obama, and fought in Burma as a conscripted British soldier in World War II. (It will be recalled that Jomo Kenyatta himself escaped similar conscription by the skin of his teeth--he removed himself just in time from the town in which he was practising carpentry to another town, where he became a shop assistant, in the employ of an Asian businessman.)

On being discharged from the army, Onyango Obama managed to find work as a cook for a British military officer serving with the British army contingent based in Kenya. But inexplicably, he was arrested in 1949--long before the Mau Mau emergency was declared by the British in 1952.

During two years' detention in a high-security prison, he was subjected, according to his family, to horrific tortures to extract information from him about what he knew about the growing unrest in Kenya. The unrest, of course, was caused by the seizure of African lands, which were distributed to white settler farmers who were disdainfully called the kaburi by the dispossessed Africans.

Interviewed by The Times, Obama's grandmother (whom Obama calls "Granny Sarah") said: "The African warders were instructed by the white soldiers to whip my husband every morning and evening till he confessed. …

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