Last year, the Treasury released Sh888 million ($8.88 million) to compensate survivors of State torture and cruelty, bringing to focus what a back breaking burden left on the Kenyans by overzealous Nyayo-era government officials and security agencies who committed the human rights violations.
In March 2019, 23 survivors of torture during the Nyayo era, among them former Subukia MP Koigi wa Wamwere, wrote to the Treasury over their delayed compensation. They were demanding more than Sh 154 million ($1.54 million), which they said they desperately needed to pay medical bills and other obligations after waiting for years without receiving compensation.
The funds were released between June and December 2019 to cover for 52 cases of survivors who had successfully sued for compensation over inhumane treatment decades back, according to sources at the Treasury and the Attorney-General’s office, Business Daily reported.
More than 400 Kenyans have since gone to court and successfully argued that they were tortured by State officials or officers during the Moi-era. Among them are lawyers, politicians, journalists, former university lecturers, former student leaders, police and military officers.
During the dark days, it was common practice for the police to arrest persons perceived to be dissidents and hold them in the infamous torture chambers at Nyayo House.
While awarding some of the survivors, the judges ruled that they were persuaded that the complainants had proved to the required standards that they were physically tortured and subjected to unwarranted cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.