JAN 94

Henderson: Tortured the Mau Mau Activists Before the Bahrainis The Kenyan Connection A lot has been said about Ian Henderson. His name has symbolised repression and atrocities since his appointment as Bahrain’s intelligence chief in 1966. He remains a mysterious individual, though, Bahrain’s opposition consider him, more or less, enemy number 1. Bahrainis know that Henderson was engaged in suppressing the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya, that he was expelled from there in 1964 after Kenya’s independenceandthatBritain installed him as head of Bahrain’s intelligence after quelling the workers and students uprising of 1965. More about Henderson’s personality has been highlighted by the newly published book “MauMau and Kenya” by Wunyabari O. Maloba (Indiana University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-25333664-3). Maloba explains the background to the Mau Mau revolt starting from the period before British colonial rule when the Kikuyu people were involved in a southward expansion owning and utilising the land. British settlers started occupying land starting from 1900 after building the Uganda railway. The latter represented Britain’s commitment to securing a firm foothold in East African including the part that became to be called Kenya after 1920. Because Kenya and Uganda lacked minerals, the railway could be profitable only if it stimulated agricultural production. To this end the British (then controlling Kenya as protectorate) considered encouraging the Indians (then under the British rule) to colonize the land. Another British proposal was put to the Jews to migrate to Kenya and establish a Jewish state. However, the Zionist Congress voted to reject the proposal. The latter came after resistance from white settlers who argued that only Christians, and not Jews, were ideally suited to bring the benefits of Western civilization to Africans. Afncans would in the circumstances have to be controlled and disciplined . in the years ahead, up to 1923 and beyond, the white settlers agitated for self-rule in one form or another, and especially for severe legislation in dealing with Africans, such as the “Land Alienation Act” and “Land Ordinance” leasing the land to settlers for 99 and 999 years consequently. Land scarcity in Kikuyuland inevitably led to overutilization of land, which aggravated the agricultural and economic problems. An emotional issue around which many African protests revolved was competition intensity for land possession and utilization. The development of African nationalism up to 1939 was a series of protests againstcolonial policies. Manyofthose who protested and formed protest organizations wcre aware of the physical power of the state. Their objectives remained, therefore, modest requests for reform within the colonial system Chapter 3 of Maloba book is titled “Years of Collision”, and it is from here onwards, Ian Henderson is mentioned in relation to suppression of the uprising. Henderson even wrote a book about his adventures titled “Man Hunt in Kenya” (published in New York: Doubleday, 1958). Maloba referred to Henderson’s book which he found to emphasize Henderson’s side of thc story than provide a redaction of the facts. In 1950, an important meeting of the influential Kenyan African Union (KAU) and trade union leaders recognised the immense potential for an oath as an in instrument for achieving unity and concerted action. In 1952, it was decided to expand oath-taking campaign to as many people aspossibletocreate amass organisation. In his capacity as intelligence officer, Henderson embarked on recruiting Africans as informers. KAU found a member of the central committee to be a spy. The taxi driver, J. N. Mungai, who had been transporting KAU leaders confessed that: from 1944, he was helping Ian Henderson of CID with information to him concerning KAU leaders, which led to the arrest and deportation of Markham Singh. Henderson gave this spy Shs. 100 in order to meet Mau Mau oath fee. Some 400 Africans were arrested by Henderson group with the help of African informers. During 1952, African nationalist movement acquired a lot of ammunition and the first groups of fighters were despatched to Aberdare Mountains and to Mount Kenya. WaruhiuItote, known as General China, went to Mount Kenya. Since 1953, there was a noticeable expansion of the Special Branch under the direction of British intelligence of finials.. Perpetual harassment and infiltration by trained spies and informers weakened the Mau Mau adherents. Then there were the dreaded screening teams (Hooded African informers) who parade randomly arrested Africans and point out Mau Mau activists. However, the turning point for Britain was the arrest in January 1954 of General China. General China was interrogated by Ian Henderson for 68 hours. Henderson was born in Kenya and spoke Kikuyu language fluently. China broke down and gave Henderson detailed insight into Mau Mau organisation. Henderson managed to convince General China to arrange for peace talks between the govemment and the forces which used to be under China’s cornmand. This attempt failed to cause the mass surrender sought by Henderson. During the lull (3 months) Henderson’s group gathered more infommation and atrested more than a thousand in Nairobi (Mau Mau reserves) in three days. After 1955, the most effective method used by the government against Mau Mau was the “pseudo-gangs” composed of ex-African guerillas, again under the supervision of Henderson. These were sent to the forest (without white supervision) and managed to kill their fommer comrades. These were released from capital punishment in return for going back against their people. Mau Mau casualties increased considerably in 1955, when two thousand guerrillas were still active in the mountains. The policy of food denial was tightened by requiring that cattle be kept in guarded enclosures during the night and prohibiting the peasant cultivation of food crops within three miles of the forest. Shortage of ammunition and lack of food considerably reduced the fighting capacity of the guerillas, who were now hunted down deep in the forest. By 1956, British forces stated that ~ ~,503 Mau Mau guerillas were killed, 1,035 wounded, 1,550 captured in action, 26,625 ar .sted and 2,714 surrendered. Only 63 white re killed. Five hundred guerillas remained fighting under Dedan Kimathi. Henderson made it known that the pressure will not be relaxed ltil the capture of Kimathi. On 21 October 956, Henderson captured Kimathi and the ritish offensive came to an end. Not surprising that when Kenya gained its dependence, the then (October 1964) Kenyan Sinister for Home Affairs, Mr. OgingaOdinga, declared Mr. Ian Henderson (with four other ritish security officers) as illegal immigrants nd ordered them to leave Kenya within 24 hours Soon afterwards, Britain (then contn)l mg Bahrain) despatched Henderson in 1966 to structure the intelligence network following Le uprising of 1965 (in Bahrain). Henderson Yost no time in implementing his skills and expertise to suppress Bahrainis. All interrogation methods used to break down General China and other Mau Mau leaders were used. There is very close comparison to the met-hods used in interrogation and suppression, such as letting the imprisoned believe that security forces know every thing, the extensive use of African informers by threatening them with long term jails or execution if they didn’t cooperate, calling for peace with senior figures while arresting followers, use of screening teams and pseudogangs. (refer to Voice of Bahrain, May 1993, IssueNo.17 formore information onHenderson). PM: AGAINSTNATIONAL DAY? The Prime Minister, Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa has been spending his annual holiday in London. He met Douglas Hogg of the British Office. It is not known whether Mr Hogg bothered to bring to the attention of Bahrain’s PM the concern of the exiled fa nilies or the increasing violation of human rights by British citizens in Bahrain. It is worth mentioning that the PM has been spending all his annual holidays in London while the “National Day” is being celebrated with high profile. The stor
y goes back to 1981, when a quarrel erupted between the PM and his brother, the Amir, on the issue of who would rule in case the Amir died or abdicated. The PM wanted to be the heir apparent or at lease makes sure that his son becomes prime minister in case Hamad (son of the Amir) is declared Amir. The problem was worsened by the fact that the Amir had to leave for a short period during December to attend the GCC summits. This arrangement started to surface in 1981. If the Amir leaves the country, the heir apparent takes over. Hence, Hamad becomes boss of Khalifa. This is not acceptable to Khalifa, who considers himself superior to Hamad. Therefore, every year, Khalifa leaves the country during the highprofile celebrations to avoid having Hamad as his boss while the Amir is attending the GCC summit. An exception to tlnis is December 1990, when the Amir was off-sick and Khalifa headed Bahrain’s delegation to the GCC summit in Qatar.

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