Civil society groups and victims of the Nyayo torture chambers on Thursday commemorated the 20th Anniversary on a day which seeks to inform and educate Kenyans on history in the political space and freedom enjoyed currently as a result of the 2nd liberation war.
In 2003, February the day was marked as a monument of shame thus its birth and celebration every year.
Speaking during the Commemoration at Nyayo House in Nairobi, Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) Executive Director (ED), Davis Malombe, said that the Commission presented a petition to Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki, on the revocation of gazetted legal notice number 11 of 1991, which designated Nyayo House Basement, floors 24th, 25th and 26th as protected areas, to pave way for the establishment of a public memorial or remembrance site.
“Nyayo House Torture Chambers, is a memorial and learning site, part of the recommendation contained in the Report of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TRJC) and has been officially gazetted,” remarked Malombe.
Malombe appealed to the current government to fulfill promises made during the Burial of Mama Mukami that is to exhume the remains of the Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi and accord him a dignified state funeral.
The ED also called for the full operationalization of the Sh.10 billion Restoration Justice Fund, for the benefit of all survivors and victims of torture in the following Financial Year.
National Victims and Survivors Network (NVSN) Secretary, Wachira Waheire, voiced that some people would rather have Kenyans forget history, whereas, this history is the conscience, heart and soul of Kenyans, who were tortured and killed within the dungeons.
He noted the importance of reminding Kenyans what was before the 2010 Constitution, repeal of Section 2A and the gains the country is consequently experiencing now, by reason of political detainees and prisoners.
Waheire urged the youth in the country, to be proactive rather than being reactive in different dimensions of the political, social and economic issues, while reminding them of liberties and benefits caused by human torture.
He condemned the alleged demolition of the dungeons at the Nyayo House Chambers, terming it as a violation of the country’s history, since tempering with history will eliminate crucial evidence and facts.
Waheire advocated for the documentation of the history as some of the sources may not be conversant or reachable with time so as to conserve the country’s heritage.
“We are here to remind Kenyans of those patriots who were tortured, maimed, killed and those alleged to have committed suicide, as well as those who were sexually abused and broken families that suffered for the sake of the freedom of this nation,” said Waheire.
By Phinta Amondi and Daisy Masinde