Kenya Cowboy: A Police Officer's Account of the Mau Mau Emergency

Kenya Cowboy: A Police Officer's Account of the Mau Mau Emergency

by Peter Hewitt

Paperback(3rd Edition)

$24.95

Overview

“This is an interesting book written by an objective observer who has witnessed the gradual decline of a country that showed so much promise”
— Dries Brunt, Citizen

Originally published in 1999, Kenya Cowboy has been updated and re-released with a new analytical postscript. This is a stylish, first-hand account of Britain’s futile and often tragic struggle to retain its rich stake in East Africa in the face of the relentless Mau Mau uprising. Previous to the social unrest that began in December 2007, which has blighted its apparent democracy, Kenya was hailed as a mature and stable post-colonial independent state. However, after 40 years of rigged elections, underlying problems have finally manifested themselves with thousands of aggrieved citizens taking to the streets. Unlike many of its neighbors during the period of transition from colony to independent state, Kenya did not collapse into a state of anarchy. But the Mau Mau uprising hangs like a dark cloud over this evolution. Their savage and brutal brand of terrorism was unknown to many—with the insurgents themselves hailed as heroes and celebrated with pride on Kenyatta Day every year since. Here, Peter Hewitt, a former police officer at the time of the uprising, offers another side to the story. He gives a balanced assessment of the implications of Mau Mau as well as vivid and shocking reconstruction of events that took place. He seeks both to give a human perspective and to shed light on the darker areas of the time. It is a book that is filled with revelations, many damning.

Peter Hewitt was born in Windsor with the Great Depression looming. At age 18, following an MoD engineering apprenticeship, he was conscripted and served for eight years in the Fleet Air Arm. Upon release he entered Colonial Police Service, a career change that took him first to Kenya, followed by tours in Cyprus and Nyasaland. His police career concluded with a nine-year spell in the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary. Retuning to England in 1972 he took up an appointment with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where a succession of postings took him to diplomatic missions in Sierra Leone, East Berlin (GDR), Guyana and Lisbon—until a surfeit of ‘foreign parts’ prompted him and his wife to settle in north London.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781920143237
Publisher: 30 Degrees South Publishers
Publication date: 04/01/2008
Edition description: 3rd Edition
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

PETER HEWITT was born in Windsor with the Great Depression looming; his adolescent years were passed in Reading, also on the Thames. At age 18, he was conscripted and served for eight years in the Fleet Air Arm. Upon release he entered Colonial Police Service, a career change that took him first to Kenya, followed by tours in Cyprus and Nyasaland. His police career concluded with a nine-year spell in the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary. Retuning to England in 1972 he took up an appointment with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where a succession of postings took him to diplomatic missions in Sierra Leone, East Berlin (GDR), Guyana and Lisbon— until a surfeit of ‘foreign parts’ prompted him and his wife to settle in the north London suburb. There was to be, however, one final call of the wild that he felt unable to resist and so took off again for Sierra Leone where he was engaged by a large diamond-mining company in a senior security role. This post-colonial swansong persuaded him that retirement might be the preferred option. Since then he has alternated between Cockfosters and a ‘bolthole’ in north Cyprus.

Table of Contents


Map of Kenya and the White Highlands     8
Author's note     9
Introduction     11
Jambo bwana! Fully attested     22
'Kenya Cowboys' under training     34
Vulnerable settlers on a fertile plateau     49
Salus populi in the White Highlands     76
Is that gun really necessary, bwana?     99
How to eliminate elusive 'micks'     106
The tempo quickens: the massacre at Lari and the sack of a police station     130
From running battles at dusk to simple assassination     143
Oathing-to make savages out of insurgents     163
Legal slaughter or excusable homicide?     187
The penalty for being a Kikuyu and the folly of employing one     207
Exploitation of traitors to hasten the turning of the tide     228
'Kenya Cowboys' vs Mau Mau rustlers     251
Operation Bullrush: the waning moon of Mau Mau over a papyrus swamp     265
The dreadful cost in life and money: for what? Land?     289
Epilogue     302
Postscript     309
Glossary of Swahili words     317
Glossary of army and police abbreviations     320
'Your turn may come'-a directive published by the Department of Information,Nakuru, for the Provincial Emergency Committee     321
Letter of appreciation: the Carnelly Raid     326
Message to all officers of the Army, Police and the Security Forces     327
Ill-treatment of persons in Police custody     329
Operational Intelligence Summary     332
'Saving'     338
Operational Intelligence Summary     342
An excerpt from of F.D. Corfield's official report for the Kenya government: The Origins and Growth of Mau Mau     346
Declaration of a State of Emergency     348
Emergency statistics up to the end of 1956     351
British military units that served in Kenya during the Mau Mau emergency     352

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