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Police Reserve (Irregularities)

Volume 524: debated on Wednesday 3 March 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many members of the Kenya Police Reserve have been charged with serious irregularities; to what extent these irregularities have arisen out of vengeance for Mau Mau activities against relatives of those charged with irregularities; and what specific instructions to avoid these irregularities are given through officers commanding and training the Police Reserve.

The answer to the first part of the Question is 42. There is no evidence that the irregularity in any case was in the nature of a reprisal. Eleven directives have been issued by the Commissioner of Police, in addition to those of the Governor and the Commander-in-Chief.

May we take it, therefore, that there are now no further irregularities or malpractices to be attributed to the Police Reserve?

I think the answer to the Question is that 42 have been charged. One cannot say as to what may or may not have happened in any place. If there are further irregularities they will be dealt with in the same way, but there have f been none further that I know of which should be the subject of a charge.

Does my hon. and learned Friend agree that, in spite of recent suggestions of irregularities occurring in circumstances of extreme provocation, the Kenya police has always been a body with a very fine record in the best traditions of service?

The answer must be seen in the framework of the fact that there are 10,000 members of the Kenya Police Reserve.

As this is the first Question about Kenya which we have reached, may I ask the Under-Secretary of State if he proposes to make a statement later either to confirm or deny the statement in the mid-day Press that the death sentence on the Mau Mau leader known as "General China" has been suspended and that he has offered to meet the other Mau Mau leaders to try to arrange a peace?