Lari Memorial Peace Museum,
Photo: Annie Coombes
26th of March 1953 marked an indelible mark in the history of Lari. On that fateful night, the nationalist struck the royalists killing over a hundred and fifty individual. Houses were burnt, animals were killed as well. Lari witnessed a bloodbath.
The following morning was even worse. The colonial government came down for revenge. Many were killed within the villages and others taken into the nearby Kiriita and Uplands forests where they were short dead. Others were killed at Lari police station. Later on, a court was opened at Githunguri for trials on the suspected Mau Mau adherents. The trials continued up to mid 1954 where many were sentenced for hanging. A generation was lost as a result of the killings.
The internal wounds have kept the community in pain, suspicion, hatred and separation between the two sides (nationalist and loyalists) from one generation to the other. The pain of the internal wounds has refused to go. The wounds and painful memories linger in them as if they happened yesterday. It has remained an indelible mark ever since.
The Lari Memorial Peace Museum was started in year 2001 and registered on 29th May the same year. The Organization grew as a commitment to fight the hatred, suspicion, pain and the many unhealed internal wounds that kept the Lari community since the 1953 infamous Lari massacre and documenting this history.
The small, young museum which has an exhibition of the massacre photos and cultural artifacts is opened Monday to Friday with no entry fee charges.
As a peace building organization, the museum has other projects which include the cycle for life project, Inter-ethnic youth exchange project, computers for peace project, HIV/AIDS project and provision of sanitary towels to school girls in selected areas.
For more information, please visit amanikenya.com.