HC Deb 11 April 1961 vol 638 cc6-7
11. Mr. Turton

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that at E1 Burgon, during the recent elections in Kenya, an African speaking for the Kenya Coalition was warned that if he continued speaking his wife and two daughters would be slashed on 4th March, 1961, and that on that date his wife and two daughters were discovered slashed and dead; and what steps he is now taking to investigate this and other cases of intimidation that occurred during the recent elections in Kenya.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The Governor reports that on 5th March the police found a Kikuyu girl lying unconscious in the forest area at Molo, and, nearby, the dead body of her mother. They were the daughter and wife of Zachariah Mbuthia who had spoken in support of the Kenya Coalition at an election meeting at E1 Burgon on 25th February.

The police are looking for two assailants named by the injured daughter. The police are unable to obtain corroboration of the motive for the attack until the alleged assailants have been caught. All reported cases of intimidation are investigated by the police, but in view of the gravity of this deplorable case I will report again to the House when investigations are complete.

Mr. Turton

Will my right hon. Friend himself take a certain amount of responsibility to inquire into these cases of intimidation, and not merely say, as his hon. Friend did, that this matter is purely one for the courts of Kenya? We have a responsibility here.

Mr. Macleod

I think I have made it clear that I take this case very seriously, and I have said that I will report again to the House upon it. On the general question, when I saw the Governor of Kenya a few days ago, as I was passing through, he told me that very few cases of intimidation at the election had been reported, and that in none of them was there sufficient evidence to enable a prosecution to be laid.

Forward to