§ 27. Mr. Swingler
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what are the causes of the unrest in Nyeri in Kenya; and what steps are being taken by the Government to remove them.
§ The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Iain Macleod)
There is some evidence of a revival of secret activity in Nyeri, including the administration of unlawful oaths, and the extortion of money by false pretences and intimidation. The police are vigorously investigating possible offences and a considerable number of people have already been convicted by the courts. In addition the murder of Wambugu Kimathi is still under investigation, and curfews continue to operate on four villages under the Preservation of Public Security Ordinance.
§ Mr. Swingler
In view of this disquieting news, has the Colonial Secretary examined how far this recent outbreak of violence and recurrent activity is connected with the very low standard of life and the lack of economic opportunities in the area?
§ Mr. Macleod
Frankly, I doubt that there is a connection there. No fewer than 150 persons have been convicted of extorting money by false pretences, and I do not think that that could be explained by the circumstances to which the hon. Member has referred. Moreover, although the Central Province certainly has economic problems, they are, on the whole, less in Nyeri than in many other places there.