More than six decades after Gitu Wa Kahengeri was jailed, tortured and denied food in a British-run labour camp in Kenya, the anti-colonial fighter says he is still waiting for justice.

Now in his nineties, Gitu has ramped up his push for an apology and compensation from the British government ahead of a visit by King Charles III to the East African country next week.

Gitu left school as a teenager after a disagreement with the principal over his anti-colonial beliefs, later joining the feared Mau Mau rebels as a young man.

For nearly eight years the guerrillas -- often with dreadlocked hair and wearing animal skins -- terrorised colonial communities, launching attacks from bases in remote forests.

"We fought to be free because the colonial settlers had grabbed all the fertile land and made it their own," Gitu told AFP during an interview at his home surrounded by pineapple farms outside the town of Thika.

"The cruel... ill-treatment that was meted to the Africans by the colonial administration, I was one to suffer that."

The rolling green hills and lush forests of central Kenya -- once dubbed the "white highlands" -- were especially prized by colonial settlers, sparking bitter resentment from Gitu's ethnic Kikuyu people who were forced off the land.

Months after the rebellion kicked off in 1952, then British prime minister Winston Churchill declared a state of emergency, paving the way for a brutal crackdown.

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