HC Deb 28 April 1959 vol 604 cc1080-2
38. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the action taken by the Kenya Government following the death of Kabugi s/o Njuma in Aguthi Works Camp.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

On the Attorney-General's instructions, Samuel Githu, a District Assistant at the Camp, was charged on three counts of inflicting actual bodily harm upon three detainees, including Kabugi. Githu was found guilty on 23rd April on all counts, and sentenced on each to two years' imprisonment. He has given notice that he will appeal.

Whether further criminal proceedings will be taken against any person as a result of the trial and finding is a matter for the Attorney-General.

The Governor and I deeply regret this deplorable incident and he is considering urgently what further steps, besides full enforcement of the law, are necessary to prevent any repetition.

He has already issued a personal directive emphasising the need for close and effective supervision by Europeans especially over the arrival and departure of detainees and while they are at work.

Mrs. Castle

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for that reply, may I ask him, first, whether he will in due course make a further statement on the disciplinary action that the Governor may find it necessary to take arising out of the conduct of affairs in this camp? Secondly, will not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is deplorable that a warder can be accused and found guilty of deliberate and calculated assault, including threats to bury a man alive in a pit, as a result of which one man died? Does not the right hon. Gentleman think also that it is strange to attribute the cause of that man's death to natural causes, in view of the treatment he received?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I have never attempted to minimise the gravity of this offence or what the Governor and I—indeed, all the people in Kenya—feel about it. As to the earlier part of the hon. Lady's supplementary question, I will gladly answer any further questions on any subsequent action that may be taken.

Mr. Remnant

Will not my right hon. Friend agree that this is a very exceptional case which should be put into its proper perspective and not taken out of it?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Yes, that is indeed true. I would ask those who think that this would not have been ventilated had it not been raised in the House to read again the speech of my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State on 24th February.