What are the trials faced by Deadan Kimathi?

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Dedan Kimathi faces four trials; all are held in his jail cell.

First Trial: Henderson comes into Dedan's cell to make a deal with Dedan, but Dedan will have none of it. Henderson offers Dedan his life in exchange for a guilty plea in court. At this point, Dedan accuses Henderson of British imperialist arrogance. Henderson reminds Dedan that his own brother, Wambararia, is now working with the British. Dedan scoffs that his own brother sold out so that his stomach could be filled; he thinks his own brother is a traitor and has betrayed the cause.

Henderson tells Kimathi that his guilty plea will convince the rest of the rebels to cooperate with the British. He tells Kimathi that 'nations live by strength and self-interest,' and that his British compatriots rose up to defend their self-interest when it was threatened by Kimathi's people. Kimathi refuses to plead guilty in exchange for his life because he does not trust the word of an imperialist. After he attacks Henderson, wardens rush in, but Kimathi lets Henderson go. He defiantly refuses to accept Henderson's deal.

Second Trial: Kimathi is visited by a colonial governor and a banker's delegation. The banker's delegation consists of a white man, an Indian man, and an African man.

The white man tells him that the rebel wars have hurt investment, progress, and development in the country. He tries to convince Kimathi that pleading guilty would not only save his life but also help to stop the carnage and violence raging through the country. He states that Kimathi's people should willingly join the white man in ushering development and progress into the country, tempting Kimathi with visions of resort hotels, casinos, and oil refineries. Kimathi sneeringly replies that his people would only be there to provide slave labor.

Third Trial: Kimathi is visited by an African business executive, a politician, and a priest. Both the business executive and politician try to convince Kimathi that their people have already won the war. They tell Kimathi that the British are willing to work with the Africans if they would just stop their revolutionary wars.

As proof of British goodwill, Africans will now be appropriated places in the Legislative Council, provincial and district political parties will now be allowed, banks will be open to Africans, and new laws against racial discrimination in business and government will secure new rights for Africans. When Kimathi remains unconvinced, both try to reason with him that the new motto is now Partnership In Progress. Kimathi scoffs at their delusion that the British will come through with anything good for their people. The priest also tries to convince Kimathi that their struggles are not earthly but rather spiritual struggles. All want Kimathi to plead guilty, but Kimathi again disappoints them.

Fourth Trial: Henderson enters the cell and tells Kimathi that he is there to pay his last respects to Prime Minister Sir Dedan Kimathi. He tells Kimathi to stop dreaming about any prospects for freedom beyond that offered by the British. Kimathi refuses to surrender to British terms, and Henderson has Kimathi tortured mercilessly.

While Kimathi is being whipped, his torturers question him about the whereabouts of Stanley Mathenge and other rebels. Henderson's men want Kimathi to sign a form of surrender, but he stubbornly refuses. He tells the soldiers that they are traitors, selling out their country's freedom for their stomachs. Kimathi also references Henderson as a member of the oppressor class who have been part of the enslavement of Africans for four hundred years. In response, Henderson tells the soldiers to take Kimathi back to the torture chamber.

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