§ 70. Mr. J. Johnson
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement regarding the re-oathing that is now taking place amongst the Meru Tribe of Kenya.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
In late December, 1957, the Kenya police discovered that a number of Africans living in a remote area of Meru district had recently taken oaths similar to first grade Mau Mau oaths; some had been induced to do so by intimidation. Subsequent investigations led to 343 Meru being charged with illegal oath-taking. Of these, 239 pleaded guilty in court and were placed on probation for a year, four were discharged on account of their youth and the remainder are still to be tried. Thirty-one Meru have been charged with administering the oaths, of whom two have already pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentence. The offences were confined to this small area which is only about 12 square miles in extent and there is no evidence of any connection with Kiama Kia Muingi. Investigations are continuing, and I am satisfied that the situation is under control.