13 MARCH 1953, Page 2

Still-Vexed Kenya

While the trial at Kapenguria drags its slow length along the action between a security patrol on Mount Kenya and a Mau Mau gang, resulting in the death of -eleven members of the latter, is a reminder of the state of war which still continues in parts, though parts only, of Kenya. - Though described as one of the principal successes achieved yet it is not a success that can give much satisfaction in itself. Still less can the arrest of Mr. F. W. Odede, a member of the Legislative Council and Acting President of the Kenya African Union (in the absence of Jomo Kenyatta) on a charge of association with Mau Mau. This is a case in which judge- ment must be suspended for the moment. There is no alterna- tive, for no evidence against Mr. Odede has been produced and apparently no charge which he can attempt to answer is to be brought. It is stated simply by the Government of Kenya that before taking the serious step of arresting Mr. Odede " H.E. the Governor has satisfied himself that Mr. Odede has been in touch with the Mau Mau movement, and that he has been attempting to spread into Nyanza Province the violent methods adopted by the Mau Mau." These allegations, it is explained, are based on " information which has been received from absolutely trustworthy and reliable sources." Reasons of security are invoked as ground for this conspicuous reticence, and of course silence must often be kept if in future useful information is not to be withheld. But the whole of Mr. Odede's career is perfectly well known, from the day when he left a mission school to become a veterinary student at Makerere College. The whole of it does him credit and it is singularly difficult to believe him guilty of the offences now alleged against him. His arrest adds substantially to the general uneasiness about Kenya.