The Dynamics in Kenyan Politics: The making of a nation

My take:

When the colonialists came knocking, they preferred the Mt Kenya region because of its cool climate and fertile land. They then displaced the natives and selected prime areas for settlement. And the affliction of the Kikuyu began…

This triggered the formation of resistance movement within the Kikuyu, taking an oath to fight the colonialists by all means and reclaim their lands (Mau Mau), this only made conditions worse for the already afflicted Kikuyu in the colonial administration.

On the other hand, the railway had been constructed upto Port Florence (Kisumu). Perhaps because of the hot climate in this area, the colonialists did not have a special interest in acquiring large swaths of land for settlement. Their interest in this area became mostly administrative, and the natives could mostly go on with their way of life with minimum conflict with their new masters.

The Luo could take advantage of some of the benefits afforded to natives. Some became educated and took up clerical jobs and such. Others emigrated to other areas e.g. to work in plantations, and some to the capital (Nairobi).

With education and jobs came political awarness, and they therefore sought greater rights for the African via political mobilization. This gave us the likes of Tom Mboya and Jaramogi.

When Kenyatta came back from Britain, it was increasingly apparent to the colonialist that the African will be granted self-rule. Who better as a symbol of the reconciliation and the transfer of rule than a representative of the community they had oppressed, the Kikuyu?

The local politicians also embraced Kenyatta as a unifying figure on the road to independence. (It is said Jaramogi gave Kenyatta his first car on his return, as he didn’t have one).

Fast forward to independence. Jaramogi is Kenyatta’s deputy. As per the agreement, the colonialist reverts much of the prime Mt Kenya region land to the Agikuyu. Unfortunately, Kenyatta’s inner circle take advantage of this to award themselves prime tracts of land, it has merely changed hands rather than redistributed to the Agikuyu.

Jaramogi and Kenyatta part ways, partly because of external western influence (Jaramogi was too cosy with the Russians), and partly internal.

Stay tuned for part 2 where Moi, Njonjo, Raila enter the scene.


That my brother, is wrought with inaccuracies. I am damn sure that if you put some effort (research), you’ll get a better picture of how the Kenyan society evolved. Take this as constructive criticism - you REALLY need to do some homework. What you have now is a framework.

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