Celebrating East African Writing!

Corridors of British Colonial Injustice: A Review

How would you feel when you know that your beloved father was a victim of injustice? Would you sit and wait for karma? Or would you, like Samuel N Waruhiu, take it upon yourself to expose the injustice, and reveal the cover-up that was the death of your father and the hanging of the men accused of killing him?

Corridors of British Colonial Injustice is the account of the assassination of Senior Chief Waruhiu. Written by his son Samuel, the book highlights the events before and after the death of the Senior Chief.

The first chapter takes us straight to the murder of the Chief on his way from the land tribunal in Gachie. He was shot in the chest by an unknown assailant. In the second chapter, the narrator recounts the prevailing circumstances in the country in 1952, and how it played an important role in the death of the Chief, and the events that followed.

The life and times of Chief Waruhiu are highlighted in the third chapter. The reader gets to understand his background and life as a chief. The narrator tries to dispel all the misconceptions that surrounded his father, and other African chiefs under the Crown. Chief was of a different clan from his cousins, on account of his father, and this fact will play an important role in his life later.

The next chapters highlight the events after his death. The reader gets to see how the police investigations were carried out and what exactly happened in the trial and the accounts of the different witnesses. The narrator highlights the mechanical ways in which the case was dealt with by the persons responsible. The gaps and loopholes that lead to the hanging of the suspects- Githuku Migwi and Waweru Kamundia- were also portrayed, just like the circumstances that lead to the acquittal of others.

This account highlights more than just the death of the Chief. The injustices that were carried out on the Africans are evident. Some of them included keeping the Africans away from fertile land and keeping them below the European or Indian counterpart regardless of their education.

The narrator went an extra length to present the stark differences between what was presented by the investigators, and what really happened. The witnesses’ accounts were quoted, just like police regulations and court reports.

However, the main questions remain: Who killed Senior Chief Waruhiu? Was his death a culmination of the tension in the country at the time? Or was it an excuse for the declaration of the state of emergency, or for the push for self-rule on the White highlands?
The narrator takes us through the different theories that arose at that time. Was Chief killed by the Mau Mau, the police or a group of individuals whose interests were at stake?

At the end of the book, the narrator summarises the different aspects of the case, and displays the glaring discrepancies between the court systems in colonial Kenya and that in England and Wales.

The facts are out here for you to read and make a decision.


The Murder Most Foul Short story call-out is still on. Submit your story and stand a chance to win:

1st Place – 2 books, 2 Season Tickets to the Storymoja Hay Festival( 14 – 16 September 2012)

2nd Place – 1 book, 2 Season Tickets to the Storymoja Hay Festival.

3rd Place – 1 Season Ticket to the Storymoja Hay Festival.


3 comments on “Corridors of British Colonial Injustice: A Review

  1. Dr Oloya
    June 27, 2012

    The race hating ulster unionists


  2. Ruth Lucinde
    July 10, 2012

    where can I get this book?


  3. Horizon Publications Limited
    September 7, 2012

    @Ruth Lucinde, the book is available at Nakumatt supermarket’s BooksFirst outlets (the in-store booksellers in each Nakumatt supermarket), on Amazon ( and at select bookstores in Kenya.


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This entry was posted on June 22, 2012 by in Writer's Blog.
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