The process by which Kenyans were killed and intimidated in order to give up land and to stop further uprisings against the British colonialists. They were punitive murder campaigns that also saw livestock stolen from the Africans.
In 1894, Fort Hall (Murang’a) was captured under Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen.
A soldier wrote the following account:
“Marched into Fort Hall and the expedition comes to an ends. To my mind the people of the Embu have not been sufficiently hammered and I should like to go back at once and have another go at them. During the first phase of our expedition against the Iriani, we killed 797 niggers and during the second phase against the Embu, we killed about 250.”
1117 people killed amongst the Nandi people as part of an 11-year resistance against the British that ended in 1905, when Meinertzhagen assassinated Koitalel Arap Samoei – the leader of the Nandi War against the British.
There was opposition to what was happening on the African continent, even from the countries where the colonialists hailed from.
“Surely it cannot be necessary to go on killing these defenseless people on such an enormous scale.” – Winston Churchill Junior British Minister (1906).
By 1915, about 4M acres in Central Kenya had been given to 1000 British settlers. By the 1920’s about half of the able-bodied Kikuyu and Luo male population were working as farming labourers for British newcomers. Taxation was the method by which labour was assured.
Watch Basil Davidson’s documentary on the Scramble for Africa: