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Britain’s King Charles to Acknowledge ‘Painful Past’ During Visit to Kenya

Britain’s King Charles and his wife Camilla are due to arrive in Kenya on Tuesday for a four-day state visit that is full of symbolism.

It was in Kenya in 1952, that his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, learned that she had become monarch following the death of her father King George VI.

Charles’ visit will be his first to a Commonwealth nation since he succeeded her last year and also comes as Kenya marks 60 years of independence from Britain.

He heads the voluntary grouping of 56 independent countries, most of which have historical ties to Britain.

But many residents of Nairobi are not very clear about the benefits of his visit.

“There is nothing he is bringing to Kenya. He is just coming to visit. He is wealthy, he has everything,” said Isaia Ouma, who works in public transport sector.

“There is no way I am going to benefit as a citizen. We will just suffer economically because a lot of businesses are going to close down and roads will be blocked. That day will be very hard for us in the transport sector.”

Student Purity Majimbo agreed that King Charles’ visit will just bring “congestion and confusion” in the city without having any “big or positive impact” on the country’s economy.

While older resident, Jane Kemunto, seems happy with the king’s visit, even she thinks there should be more to it than just that.

“King Charles is visiting Kenya, noting that we are the children of the queen. They gave us independence from the British colonial era and Kenya belongs to Britain and therefore when the king visits here, it is wonderful, but we expect him to give back,” she said.

For others, Britain still has much to answer to from the past. It ruled for more than six decades before Kenya won its independence in 1963.

While the two countries have enjoyed a close relationship since then, tens of thousands of Kenyans died during the prolonged struggle against colonial rule, sometimes known as the Mau Mau Rebellion.

“In my opinion, the British, in regards to the Mau Mau, they should compensate them or they should find a way of reaching out to them, especially to those who have never received any form of compensation,” said student, Mary Nkatha.

Buckingham Palace has said Charles will acknowledge “painful aspects of the UK and Kenya’s shared history” during his visit from 31 October to 3 November.

He is also due to meet with President William Ruto, attend a state banquet, and hear about how the two countries are working together on issues such as defence and climate change.

Source: Africa News