HC Deb 07 November 1934 vol 293 cc1017-8
21. Lord SCONE

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if the sentence of death recently passed upon seven Lumbwa natives, in Kenya, for the murder of Mr. Semini, has been carried out; and, if not, when the execution is to take place?


No, Sir; appeals have been lodged against the convictions and are awaiting hearing by the East Africa Court of Appeal.


Can my right hon. Friend say when these appeals are likely to be heard?


No, I do not know.

24. Sir G. FOX

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the recent case in Kenya, which involved the murder of Mr. Semini and the rape of his wife by some Lumbwa natives, he will consult with the Governor of Kenya as to the desirability of executing the criminals in public, with a view to impressing upon the native population the serious nature of the crime; and whether, in this connection, his attention has been called to the existing practice in India and, in particular, to the public execution on 6th August at Shandadkot of two dacoits who had previously terrorised the Larkana district of Sind?


No, Sir. The Governor informs me that if the sentences are upheld on appeal and the law takes its course, he proposes to follow the recommendation of the recent Commission of Inquiry into the Administration of Justice in East Africa and arrange for representatives of the community to which the condemned men belong to see them before and after execution, in order that the fact that the death sentences have been carried out may be generally known. I am aware of the very exceptional circumstances of the case to which my hon. Friend refers in the last part of his question.

Sir G. FOX

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the feeling among white settlers out there who, in large numbers, would very much like there to be a public execution?




I am honestly very sorry that that question has been put. It has been the consistent policy in the Colonial Empire for some time past not to have public executions, and I think it is a policy which is appreciated just as much in the Colonial Empire as in this House.

Captain GUEST

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the grave dissatisfaction among the settlers in Kenya Colony, and that many settlers who, in the past, would have left their homes and wives, are not prepared to do so now; and is it not worth his while to pay very careful attention to the questions that have been asked this afternoon?


I should have thought that my answers showed that the Kenya Government are paying the very closest attention to this matter. I am in constant touch with them. When there was serious lawlessness in the Lumbwa, as this condition of affairs was traced to the machinations of these witch doctors, the unique step has been taken of passing an Ordinance authorising the removal of the whole of these mischief-makers into an area where they will be completely isolated from everybody. The Colonial Office are keeping very careful watch on the situation.

Captain GUEST

May I be allowed to ask the right hon. Gentleman one more question. Is he aware that the delay in the summary justice applied to these murders in the Lumbwa is causing increased dissatisfaction


I hope the right hon. and gallant Gentleman will read the report of the official committee which sat in East Africa and which has gone carefully into the causes of delay in certain cases, which, he no doubt knows, is an extremely difficult thing. If you were to try all these cases by judges you would need to increase the number of judges. There is also the right of appeal. You cannot take away the right of these people to appeal.

Forward to