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Friday, January 25, 2008

Kenya on the Edge : Odinga turns down offer by President Kibaki

HISTORY IN THE NEWS:



History never dies. It is reborn every minute of every day.

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DEDICATED TO THE ORIGINS OF CONTEMPORARY EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD.



"We have in East Africa, the rare experience of dealing with a tabula rasa, an almost untouched and sparsely inhabited country where we can do as we will…”
-Sir Charles Eliot, first colonial commissioner of Kenya.


TAG: In contesting the election victory of President Mwai Kibaki, opposition leader Raila Odinga is fighting bugbears in Kenya's past which go back thirty years- the authoritarianism of a one-party state and the grip of a single tribe on power, apparently in their latest incarnation- President Mwai Kibaki. Nor are matters helped by the fact that President Kibaki is of the dominant Kikuyu tribe and Mr. Odinga of the rival Luo.

IN THE NEWS: AFTER MEETING WITH PRESIDENT KIBAKI THURSDAY NIGHT, ODINGA REFUSES AN OFFER TO BE KIBAKI'S PRIME MINISTER AND SAYS HE WILL SETTLE FOR NOTHING LESS THAN KIBAKI'S RESIGNATION, A NEW VOTE, OR A COALITION GOVERNMENT.

REAR VIEW MIRROR
*1000-1600- ‘mature iron age’ southward migration from the Horn of Africa and the Upper Nile results in conflict and confusion from the admixture of many peoples in the Kenya region. War and opportunities for long-distance coastal trade empower local chieftains.
*1500- the Kikuyu, Luo and Kalenjin populous and well enough organized to strike a balance between able defense of their region and more popular self-government than have their powerful neighbours, Ruanda, Burundi and Ganda. However, they continue to be harassed on their borders by the Masai.
*
1952-1960- the Mau Mau rebellion against British rule, white settlers and colonial policy. A main source of protest is “White Highlands” in Kikuyu territory. The Kikuyu Mau Maus demand restoration of their lands and a return to traditional ways of government.
*1988- President Daniel Tarap Moi is re-elected. He arrests activists campaigning for multi-party democracy. This sets off major riots. The only legal party remains the Kikuyu-dominated KANU.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Kenya has been a point of collision for African tribal migrations down through history. Today, the country has around 40 tribes. It was the largest tribe, the dominant Kikuyu, whom the British expropriated from the fertile central highlands, hence it was the Kikuyu who were first radicalized, the Kikuyu who led the Mau Mau rebellion against the British. The first significant Kenyan political organization was the Kenyan National African Union (KANU). KANU was dominated by the most populous tribes, like the Kikuyu, the Luo and the Kamba, but was mostly led by the dominant Kikuyu. And indeed, Kenya prospered under a charismatic Kikuyu president, Jomo Kenyatta. But it was a one-party state dominated by KANU and therefore the Kikuyu. Within KANU there was dissent. Under Kenyatta's successor, Daniel Tarap Moi, a multi-party system was gradually brought in. As soon a political pluralism became legal, political parties that differed not just ideologically but ethnically from the ld, mainstream Kikuyu of KANU began to spring up. In 2002 they formed a Rainbow Coalition and defeated KANU, breaking its 40 year grip on power. Nevertheless, the new government was headed by a Kikuyu, President Kibaki while his close ally was a "leftish" Luo, Raila Odinga. Odinga and his cohorts were offered positions in the Kibaki government but Kibaki reneged and after further conflict, Odinga and his own people seceded to form the Orange Democratic Movement which opposed Kibaki's increasing authoritarianism. In the December elections, Odinga ran againist Kibaki for president. It appears that Kibaki's election victory was rigged and opposition demonstrations have suffered brutal treatment and killings by government security forces. Behind the conflict likes the spectre of the old Kikuyu grip on power on the person of President Kibaki; and the Luo and other tribes, who have come to resent him- tacitly represented by Raila Odinga.

IN A NUTSHELL: The old one-party state dominated by the Kenyan African National Union (KANU), which was in turn dominated by the Kikuyu tribe, lives on in new guise, even after a multi-party system was legalized in the 1990s. KANU's decline from its glory days under President Jomo Kenyatta into authoritarianism and corruption under President Daniel Tarap Moi, is continuing. Even though President Kibaki defeated the old KANU party in 2002, Kibaki himself has continued KANU's authoritarianism, its corruption and domination by the Kikuyu. Raila Odinga, a Luo, and former ally, has risen to oppose him.

THEN AND NOW: In the late 1960s, Jomo Kenyatta created the 'miracle' of a self-sufficient, progressive Kenya by mixing market economics with 'Africanization', the nationalization of Kenyan industries and by pursuing a non-aligned foreign policy. Through pragmatism, personal prestige and wisdom Kenyatta managed to keep Kenya’s 40-odd peoples united, earning him the nickname “Mzee” (old man) and father of the nation. By 2007, mismanagement of Kenyatta's legacy through corruption, tribal favoritism and authoritarianism, has left the old African miracle in tatters.

CONTENTS: SCROLL DOWN FOR:
DISTANT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS
RELEVANT DATES
RECENT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS
.PREVIOUS ENTRIES
REMOTE BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS
LOCATION OF NOTE:
PROFILE:
CROSS-CENTURY SUMMARY
EYEWTNESS
PRESENT SITUATION
PLUS CA CHANGE
CURIOSITY
TIMELINE FOR THE HISTORY OF

DISTANT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS:

In 1888, British traders on Kenya's Indian Ocean Coast obtained concessions from the Sultan of Zanzibar, among others. The traders received a British government charter and became the British East Africa Company. In 1895, the area was made a British protectorate while the insolvent East Africa Company was taken over by the British government. The first colonial commissioner was sir Charles Eliot. British settlement began quickly and a railway was built to connect the coastal port of Mombasa to Lake Victoria. White settlers colonized the best land, particularly in the central highlands where, in 1903, they expropriated the Kikuyu and the Masai. Throughout Kenya, the poorer land was left to black Kenyans who were formally considered to be without rights. In 1920, Kenya was made a British colony. The Kikuyu, the largest of over 40 tribes in the region began to agitate for greater rights and in 1921, the Young Kikuyu Association(YKA) was named for the largest of over 40 tribes in the region.

Jomo Kenyatta, a leading Kikuyu and destined to be Kenya's greatest leader, transformed the YKA into the Kenyan Central Association (KCA). The KCA lobbied for the restoration or compensation of expropriated Kikuyu lands, more opportunities in education and the removal of trade restrictions on Africans. Kenyatta traveled to London to lobby more directly for the rights of Kenyan Africans. Nevertheless, by 1940, the British regarded the KCA as a danger and the organization was banned.

Kenyatta was not to be deterred. In 1944, he replaced the banned KCA with the Kenya African Union (KAU). As president of the KAU, he became the entire focus of the Kenyan anti-colonial movement. In what would prove to be an ominous development (considering present events), the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) was formed for non-Kikuyu Africans who felts unrepresented by the KAU. But a broad based anti-colonial armed resistance had already begun to emerge. Guerrillas, who felt the the KAU to be insufficiently radical began attacks on white settlers.

Those who came to be called the "Mau Maus" began to organize where the Kikuyus and Masai had been expropriated from their lands in the area that had become known as the "Central White Highlands". They demanded restoration of lost territory and a return to traditional ways. In 1952, the KAU was considered to be leading the Kikuyu Mau Maus. Jomo Kenyatta was imprisoned on perjured evidence for involvement in the revolt, the Mau Mau rebellion exploded in full force and Britain declared a state of emergency. Colonial authorities set up detention centers and employed torture.

By 1959, with thousands of African detained, over eleven thousand Kikuyus dead and the rebellion showing no signs of cooling, political protests against colonial abuses were held in London. The growing pressure led to a Kenyan Constitutional Conference.

In 1960, the Kenyan African National Union (KANU) replaced the KAU and Kenyatta was elected president of a transitional government, in absentia. KANU now represented the three largest tribes, the Kikuyu, the the Luo and the Kamba. Daniel Tarap Moi, from the Rift Valley Kelenjin tribe, represented the smaller tribes in his KADU party and became Minister of Education. Moi lobbied for greater powers for the regions and less centralization.

Kenyatta was released from jail in 1961 and his KANU party won the elections. In 12 December, 1963, Kenya won its independence and Kenyatta brought Moi and KADU into a coalition with KANU and Moi was made Minister of Home Affairs. In a fateful move, Moi's KADU was dissolved into KANU and Kenya became a one-party state.

Kenyatta then began to steer the country on a narrow course, combining 'Africanization' or economic nationalism with the free market. Left wing dissent within KANU and the one-party state was suppressed. Nevertheless, Kenyatta made Kenya a model of African self-sufficiency.
But all was not so rosy within. A party elite developed and even many in the ruling tribe, the Kikuyus failed to benefit from Kenyatta's reforms. Moreover, sporadic fighting had developed beteen the Kikyu and the second largest tribe, the Luo.
In 1978, Kenyatta died and was succeeded by his vice president, Daniel Tarap Moi. Moi shifted the governing balance of power away from Kenyatta's Kikuyu to his own Kalenjin of the Rift Valley. Moi continued Kenyatta's economic policies, but not the latter's charismatic populism. Corruption grew, Moi cracked down on dissent and became authoritarian. Promises to extend political rights to those who remained disenfranchised were continually postponed. Upon his 1988 re-election, Moi ordered the arrest of activists campaigning for multi-party democracy. KANU, essentially a Kikuyu party, dominated everything. Nevertheless there was gradual progress toward a multi-party system.

All the while, however, Kenya was plagued by drought, corruption and government electoral fraud. In 1992 to 1995, ethnic violence resulted in 2,000 killed and 250,000 displaced. In December 2002, in what seemed a watershed event, KANU's 40 year grip on power was broken when Uhru Kenyatta (son of Jomo), who had succeeded Moi at the head of the party, was defeated in December elections by Mwai Kibaki.


RELEVANT DATES:

*1895- East Africa becomes a British Protectorate. Sit Charles Eliot is the first commissioner. The British East Africa company, insolvent, is taken over by the British government.
*1903- the first British settlers expropriate Kikuyu and Masai from the central highlands. Indian merchants begin moving inland from the coast.
*1920- Kenya formally becomes a British colony- while the coastal strip is named the Protectorate of Kenya.
* 1924- the tribal Kikuyu Central Association is founded and led by Jomo Kenyatta to resist colonial discrimination. The KCA demands restoration of expropriated lands, otherwise compensation; availability of education; removal of trade restrictions on Africans.
* Kenyatta works with the anti-colonial lobby in the UK.
*1940- the KCA is banned.
* 1944- founding of the Kenya African Union (KAU) to replace the KCA.
* 1947- Kenyatta is president of KAU. He comes to represent the anti-colonial movement.
*1952-1960- the Mau Mau rebellion against British rule, white settlers and colonial policy. A main source of protest is the “White Highlands” in Kikuyu territory. Kenyatta is arrested. The Mau Maus demand restoration of their lands and a return to traditional ways of government.
* 1959- political protest in Britain against colonial abuses in Kenya leads to the setting up of a Kenyan constitutional conference. The conference paves the road to independence.
*1960- the Kikuyu KANU party succeeds the Kikuyu Central Association and the KAU. Kenyatta is elected president in absentia. KANU is supported by the most populous tribes- the Kikuyu, the Luo and the Kamba.
*1963- 12th December- Kenya becomes independent from Britain under KANU and Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta. He brings KADU into a coalition.
* 1964 -KADU is dissolved. Most of its members join KANU. Kenya becomes a one-party state. Dissent is kept within the party, leaving Kenyatta in control, using minimal repression.
* Kenyatta brings in reforms and ‘Africanization’, meaning the nationalization of businesses. The country becomes –self-sufficient with developed industries.
* 1978- Kenyatta dies and is succeeded by Daniel Tarap Moi on 22nd August.
* 1982- falling prices for tea and coffee and other exports bring economic decline. Faced with unrest, Moi becomes authoritarian.
*1988- Moi re-elected. He arrests activists campaigning for multi-party democracy. This sets off major riots. The only legal party remains the Kikuyu-dominated KANU.
*1992-95- ethnic violence leads to 2,000 killed and 250,000 refugees. Amnesty International finds that opposition leaders are being harassed more than ever.
*2002- December- Uhru Kenyatta and the KANU party is defeated as Mwai Kibaki is brought to victory in a landslide- ending the regime of Daniel Tarap Moi and KANU’s 40 years in power.
*2004- summer- crop failure. Drought. Kibaki calls it a national crisis. The UN launches an appeal for donors.
*2005- January – 40 killed in fighting over land and water.
*February- announcement of $1 billion lost in corruption during the first year of the Kibaki government causes unease among international donors.
*-the legislature passes a draft constitution which protesters have said leaves far to much power in the presidency, after days of violent demonstrations.
*November 21- opposition protests outlawed.
*2007- December- parliamentary elections- public opinion suggests Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement will win.
*2007- 27 December- the opposition declares that parliamentary elections in which victory for the ruling party was declared, were rigged by the Kibaki government.
*government ministers are found to be involved in a corruption scheme involving a shell company.

RECENT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS. In his 2002 election as president, Mwai Kibaki, a former conservative KANU politician, was helped by the leftist Raila Odinga of the breakaway Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to form the Rainbow Coalition against KANU. The coalition defeated KANU candidate Kenyatta. Kibaki and Odinga had both been ministers in the preceding KANU government of Daniel Tarap Moi.

The trouble started almost as soon Kibaki took power. The president elect reneged on a promise to give prominent ministries and positions of power to Odinga and other LDP members. Here, it might do to recall that Kibaki was of the dominant Kikuyu tribe and Odinga of the second strongest tribe, the Luo.

Despite the Kibaki's promise to clean up government, Kenya suffered from corruption, serious drought and related but scattered tribal violence over the succeeding couple of years.
In November, 2005, Kibaki asked for a legislative vote on a new constitution which would concentrate power in the hands of the president. The move was protested in popular demonstrations which had the sympathy of Odinga and other LDP cabinet members. Moreover, the new constitution was rejected by parliament and Kibaki responded by firing Odinga and the LDP members from cabinet. Odinga and his sidelined LDP followers then formed a protest party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) after the orange vote cards that were used to reject the new, authoritarian constitution. Kibaki countered by outlawing opposition protests.

In late 2007, polls suggested that Raila Odinga's ODM would win in the December elections.
On December 27, the vote was taken and the incumbent, Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner.
Fully aware of widespread poll violations, Odinga protested the result, announcing that the election had been stolen from him. There began a continual chain of opposition protests. Even the disputed poll results had found Odinga winning in six out of eight provinces, collecting votes across tribal lines, whereas the only full province taken by Kibaki was his home province which was almost entirely Kikuyu.

Whether Odinga or anyone else in Kenya liked it or not, Odinga, a member of the Luo tribe, had inherited the unofficial leadership of all those smaller tribes, throughout Kenya's modern history, which have protested the Kikuyus' hold on political power. Government crackdowns on demonstrators gave way to tribal attacks throughout Kenya between the dominant Kikuyu and other tribes like the Luo and the Masai. By December 31, 124 had been killed. In January another 30 were burned alive in a Church. Kibaki spoke vaguely of talks and power sharing but offered nothing concrete for Odinga to respond to. As the death toll rose to 650 in mid-month, government troops went on firing on protestors, chasing them into the slums of Nairobi and killing them. Odinga had declared a boycott of all government linked companies before former UN leader Kofi Annan arrived to mediate between Odinga and Kibaki and start Kenya on a road to peace. Today, Kibaki tried offering Odinga the post of Prime Minister but the leader of the ODM said he would settle for nothing less than Kibaki's resignation, a new vote or a coalition government.


REMOTE BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS.

As well as being the home of our first hominid ancestors 2 million years ago, Kenya was the confluence and terminus of a multitude of tribal migrations that made the country into the dense patchwork of peoples that it is today. In the first millennia BC, tribes migrated southward from Axum or ancient Ethiopia. After the 4th century AD, Bantu-speaking tribes like the Kikuyu migrated eastward from Congo and Nilotic-speaking Luo, Kelanjin and Masai came south from Sudan. After 1000 AD, in the middle ages or the African Iron Age, more peoples migrated from the north giving way to tribal conflict, local fiefdoms and competition for long-distance trade. Arab traders had already been settling on the coast for several centuries.

In this period, it was the Kikuyu and the Luo, ironically, who cooperated in the creation of a stable polity in the central region, where early forms of popular government combined with able self-defense made for an oasis of stability among neighbouring peoples like the unstable, warlike and authoritarian Ruanda, Burundi and Ganda. On the coast, through the following centuries to 1500, Arab traders built thriving commercial city states like Mombasa which traded with India and with the Kenyan interior.

Kenya's introduction to Europe came through Portuguese piracy along the coast, the first Portuguese landing in 1498. By 1600, the Portuguese controlled all of coastal Kenya. Over the following two centuries, Portuguese domination of Mombasa and the coastal trade came to an end with the resurgence in the 19th century of the Arab dynasty of the Busaidi who came to dominate Mombasa and Zanzibar. By then a the long distance Arab caravan trade, linking Mombasa to Lake Victoria, anticipated the British railway. Throughout, the Kenyan interior had been more or less untouched, until, in the 1850s, Swahili-Arab slave trading began to cause tribal wars.

After the arrival of the British toward the end of the century, the Luo, who believed that the white newcomers were descendants of heroic Luo forbears, offered no resistance. Luo diviners, generations earlier, had warned of a 'red people' who would come from the sea and that resistance to them would only bring down the wrath of the ancestors. This sad belief, however did not endure and by the early twentieth century, the Luo had turned against the British.

LOCATION OF NOTE: The RIFT VALLEY: Kenya's Rift Valley runs north-south through the west of Kenya's central plateau. A long, fertile farming area, it is ethnically mixed and includes Kalenjin, Luo and Kikuyu peoples. Recently it has become a site of particularly serious post-election violence. The Rift Valley has known ethnic strife before, in tribal competition for land and resources, but the recent post election violence has embroiled in particular the towns of Nakuru and Molo. In the colonial period, the British established the town of Nakuru in the centre of the Rift Valley area known as the White Highlands- where European settlers commandeered the most fertile land, expropriating many of the Kikuyu tribe. To quote the 'Independent" of January 28, 08, "The Rift Valley was long populated by Kalenjins and Luos. British settlers took some of it in the 1940s and 1950s before selling to Kikuyus following independence in 1963. Kenya's first president, Jomo Kenyatta, encouraged his Kikuyu tribe to buy as much land as possible." But after 1978, Kenyatta's successor, Daniel Tarap Moi, shifted political power away from the Kikuyu and toward his own Rift Valley Kalenjin. Kalenjin resentment of Kikuyu land ownership in the area now underlies the election violence. After independence, Nakuru, with its ethnic mix became a cross-section of Kenya, produced many of Kenya's leading politicians and became a locus of intense political competition. Part of the valley is a Kikuyu stronghold of President Mwai Kibaki and when Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement began to accuse Kibaki of rigging the elections, gangs of Kalenjin youths in the Nakuru area went after the Kikuyu with machetes, clubs and bows and arrows, burning homes and forcing thousands to flee to the countryside. Victims have been found shot with arrows or suffering burns. Apparently Kikuyus are are now taking revenge against the Kalenjin.

PROFILE: Daniel Tarap Moi. Early member of the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) and President of Kenya, 1978-2002. In 1978, Moi inherited the state party KANU and the Kenyan miracle of his predecessor Jomo Kenyatta only to preside over its decline until 2002 when Moi finally stood down. A member of the Kalenjin tribe, Daniel Tarap Moi was born in Kurineg'wo village and grew up in the Baringo district of Kenya's Rift Valley. He was educated locally before becoming a school teacher in 1946. He left teaching to join the Legislative Council in 1957 as one of the first eight elected Africans. 1960 saw him as chairman of the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) and Minister of Education in the pre-independence government until 1961. KADU was meant to represent those smaller, non-Kikuyu tribes (like Moi's own Kalenjin) that Kenyatta's KANU did not represent effectively. Moi also pressed for less centralization and more power for the regions. Standing for parliament in the Baringo constituency, he held a seat in the legislature from 1963 to 1978. But Moi hitched himself to the rising fortunes of President Jomo Kenyatta in 1964 when KADU was merged with with Kenyatta's Kenyan African National Union (KANU). Kenyatta made him Minister of Home Affairs, a post he held until 1967. In that year, he became Vice President. When Kenyatta died in 1978, Moi succeeded him as president. During his regime, Moi redistributed power away from the Kikuyu and toward his Rift Valley Kelanjin tribe. He wielded the old KANU one-party state of Kenyatta with much less subtlety than his predecessor and his presidency became openly authoritarian. Ethnic conflict and state repression characterized the 24 years during which he was repeatedly re-elected. By his re-eection in1998, clouds of corruption, electoral fraud and delays in bringing in multi-party democracy hung over Moi's presidency. Before the 2002 elections, he named Kenyatta's son, Uhru Kenyatta as his successor. Uhru Kenyatta was defeated by Mwai Kibaki. It is disaffected members of the former Moi government who now fill the political arena. President Kibaki, a Moi minister, had been demoted by Moi and Raila Odinga, once promised the succession by Moi stood by to see it handed to Uhru Kenyatta. Kibaki, meanwhile seems to be carrying on the authoritarian traditions of Moi, but in the interests of the Kikuyu, where Moi had promoted the Kelanjin.

CROSS-CENTURY SUMMARY: The ideal of a "one Kenya" with an African identity has been undermined by the discrete persistence and periodic intrusion of tribal politics. British settlement polices in the colonial period were part of the cause. In the Central Highlands, the Kikuyu, the dominant tribe, farmed the best land and were expropriated by British settlers. Accordingly, it was the Kikuyu who took the lead in the struggle for rights, in the Mau Mau rebellion and in the independence movement. The main Kenyan African political association, KANU, was sufficiently dominated by the Kikuyu that another party, KANDU, was founded for tribes who felt they were not fairy represented. With the absorption of KANDU by KANU, right after independence, the Kikuyus mainainted their grip on power. As Kenya's only political party, KANU contained a a great many disaffected members, many of them from smaller or competing tribes, still dominated by the Kikuyu leadership. The British, who had also expropriated the Rift Valley Kalenjin tribe in colonial times, now sold their land to the wealthier Kikuyus. Jomo Kenyata, a Kikuyu and an otherwise great leader, made the mistake of encouraging the Kikuyu to keep buying land at the expense of the Kalenjin and other tribes, causing ethnic grievances against the Kikuyu. When Daniel Tarap Moi came to power, he redistributed land and power back to his own Kalenjin tribe. It wasn't until the 1990s that Moi legalized a multi-party political system. The inevitable result was fragmentation of KANU into new parties, which, although they had western-style names like "the Liberal Democratic Party", inevitably carried a baggage of tribal grievances over land. It's doubtful that anyone in Kenya wants a tribal politics, but colonial expropriations and attempts to remedy them have inevitably been carried out along tribal lines.

EYE-WITNESS: "Kikuyu being the central point on the line of the projected railway, and the sanitary and climatic conditions being such as to point to its adoption as a place of residence especially suitable to Europeans, it has been considered advisable to locate the manager's office at this place." Report of a British railway official on the the projected construction of the Mombassa-Lake Victoria railway.- from RED STRANGERS: THE WHITE TRIBE OF KENYA, by Christine Stephanie Nicholls.

PRESENT SITUATION: Former UN chief Kofi Annan continues to try to mediate between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga. As of January 27, violence is escalating in the Rift Valley, members of the Kikuyu have begun to retaliate for killings carried out against them earlier in the week by the Kalenjin. Now Kalenjin have been killed with machetes and burned alive in their homes by Kikuyu.

PLUS CA CHANGE: Between 1992 and 1995, inter-tribal violence under the regime of Daniel Moi, killed over 2,000. The number displaced, at 250,000, is approximately the same as those displaced in the present inter-tribal fighting.

CURIOSITY: As the British arrived in Kenya, late in the 19th century, the Luo tribe accepted the settlers, instructed by tribal elders that these new "red people from the sea" were descendants of heroic Luo ancestors and that to oppose them would upset the gods of the Luo. In the early 20th century, however, the Luo were told that their god had turned against the British and the tribe began to join the opposition to colonialsm.

TIMELINE FOR THE HISTORY OF KENYA:
2 million BC- -in southern Kenya, the first hominids.

2000 BC – farmers and herders migrate south from Axum.

1000 BC- herding peoples live in central highlands.

100 AD- South Arabia trading via Axum with Kenya and the east Coast.


The Great Migrations

-Bantu and Nilotic speaking peoples migrating to Kenya from southern Sudan.

3rd-4th century AD –huge, multi-ethnic migrations populate the Kenya region.

300- Bantu-speaking people migrate from the Congo into west Kenya where they formed sedentary farming and iron-working communities.

-non-Bantu Kalenin, Luo and Masai peoples migrate into Kenya from the north.

650 (circa) Muslim Arabs settle on the coast.

1000-1600- ‘mature iron age’ southward migration from the Horn of Africa and the Upper Nile results in conflict and confusion from the admixture of many peoples in the Kenya region. War and opportunities for long-distance coastal trade empower local chieftains.


The Early Kikuyu and Luo.

-chiefs graduate to military kings. But the Kikuyyu the Luo and the Kalenjin manage to maintain tolerance and equality.

-the Kikuyu, Luo and Kalenjin populous and well enough organized to strike a balance between able defense of their region and more popular self-government than have their powerful neighbours, Ruanda, Burundi and Ganda. However, they continue to be harassed on their borders by the Massai.

900-1500- Swahilis city states in coastal East Africa trade in ivory and other exports with India.
-Arabs found trading city states on the coast, like Mombassa.


The Arrival of the Portuguese.

-East Africa suffers here and there from disruptive migrations, Portuguese piracy and the coastal slave trade. But the interior remains more stable until the 19th century.

1498- the first Portuguese arrive on the Kenya coast.

1600- (circa) the coastal area including Mombasa comes under Portuguese control.


The Triumph of the Arab Busaidi on the Coast.

1729- the Portuguese are expelled from Mombasa by the Arab Busaidi dynasty from Muscat, Oman.

1832- the Portuguese expelled from Zanzibar by the Arab Mazrui of Mombassa.

1837- the Busaidi take Mombasa from the Mazrui.

-long-distance caravan trade between Mombasa and Lake Victoria,

1850s- East Coast Arab-Swahili slave traders cause tribal wars in Kenya and Tanzania.


The Arrival of the British.

-Europeans John Ludwig Krapf and Joseph Thomson map the interior.

1886- British and German governments agree on spheres of influence in East Africa with most of Kenya going to the British.

1887- a British company receives concessions to the coast from the Sultan of Zanzibar.

1888- the area comes under British influence. The British company controlling the coastal concessions is given a charter and becomes The British East Africa Company.

1891- Jomo Kenyatta is born a member of the Kikuyu people.


Kenya Becomes a British Protectorate.

1895- East Africa becomes a British Protectorate. Sit Charles Eliot is the first commissioner. The British East Africa company, insolvent, is taken over by the British government.

1895-1901-a railway constructed from Mombasa on the coast to Kisumu on Lake Victoria- bringing British influence to the interior.

-Africans are assumed to be people without claims or identity; so the best farm land is taken by British settlers while the poorest land is left for Africans.
-The Luo hold the belief that the British are descendants of heroic Luo forbears and so they offer no resistance. Luo diviners, generations back, had warned of a 'red people' who would come from the sea and resistance to them would only bring down the wrath of ancestors.

Expropriation of the Kikuyu and the Masai.

1903- the first British settlers expropriate Kikuyu and Masai from the central highlands. Indian merchants begin moving inland from the coast.

-a caste system develops with British settlers emerging at the top in the “white highlands” of central Kenya.
-the Luo develop a reputation for cooperating with the British due to ancient beliefs. The Luo chief, Odera Ulalo, supports the British in their attack on the warlike Nandi.
1913- the Luo begin to turn against the British. Luo leader Onyango Dunde reports an injunction from the Luo god Mumbo: "All Europeans are your enemies but the time is shortly coming when they will all disappear from our country."
1920- Kenya formally becomes a British colony- while the coastal strip is named the Protectorate of Kenya.


The Young Kikuyu and Central Kikuyu Associations.

1921- with white settlers enclosing more and more of their land, the Young Kikuyu Association is founded by Harry Thuku, a Nairobi telephone operator. His slogan was ‘Hearken, every day you pay hut tax to the Europeans of Government. Where is it sent? It is their task to steal the property of the Kikuyu people.”

1924- the tribal Kikuyu Central Association is founded and led by Jomo Kenyatta to resist colonial discrimination. The KCA demands restoration of expropriated lands, otherwise compensation; availability of education; removal of trade restrictions on Africans.

-Daniel Tarap Moi born in Baringo district.


The Rise of Jomo Kenyatta.

-Jomo Kenyatta lobbies London as a representative of Kenyan blacks.

-Kenyatta works with the anti-colonial lobby in the UK.

-unlike rural people elsewhere in Africa, migrant workers can bring their families to the cities and subsist.

-many black Kenyans leave Christian Churches, suspecting more white control. They establish independent churches.

-the British control the government, the best land and the most profitable agriculture. Indians occupy lower level government posts and engage in small-scale trading. Africans live on subsistence and grow cash crops, coffree, tea and cotton. They also provide labour.

1940- the KCA is banned.


Kenyatta funds the KAU.

1944- founding of the Kenya African Union (KAU) to replace KCA.

-an armed resistance begins to form.

1945- Kenyatta attends the Fifth Pan Africanist Congress at Manchester and founds the Pan African Association with Nkruma.

1947- Kenyatta is president of KAU. He comes to represent the anticolonial movement.

-the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) is founded for non-Kikuyus. The Kikuyus are already represented by KCA and KAU.

-radicals, finding the KAU too moderate begin to attack white settlers.


The Mau Mau Rebellion.

1952-1960- the Mau Mau rebellion against British rule, white settlers and colonial policy. A main source of protest is “White Highlands” in Kikuyu territory. The Mau Maus demand restoration of their lands and a return to traditional ways of government.

1952- the Kikuyu Mau Mau rebels are led by the KAU party. Kenyatta is arrested for involvement in the Mau Mau rebellion but on perjured evidence. He is held until 1961
jority.

-Britain declares a state of emergency. Violence spreads. Colonial authorities set up detention centers and use torture.

-Kikuyu nationalists turn against other Kikuyus accused of collaboration with colonial authorities.

1954- a report in Kenya finds that the single wage meant to support Kenyan workers’ families, only provides subsistence for half.

1957- Daniel Moi resigns teaching to join the colonial Legislative Council.


The Mau Mau rebellion leads to a Conference.


-95 Europeans and 1,920 Kenyan Africans have died at the hands of Mau Mau rebels. But 11,503 Kikuyu people have been killed by colonial authorities.

1958- at the Hola detention camp, of 88 detainees, 11 died and more suffered from torture.

1959- political protest in Britain against colonial abuses in Kenya leads to the setting up of a Kenyan constitutional conference. The conference paved the road to independence.


Founding of KANU.

1960- the Kikuyu KANU party succeeds the Kikuyu Central Association and the KAU. Kenyatta is elected president in absentia. It is supported by the most populous tribes- the Kikuyu, the Luo and the Kamba.

-the British increase the representation of Africans in the legislature. By 1961, African members are in the majority.


Daniel Tarap Moi.

1960-61- Daniel Tarap Moi heads the KADU party and is also minister of education in the pre-independence government.

-Moi and KADU represent the smaller tribes and demand a more decentralized authority with stronger regions.

1961- Kenyatta released from prison.

-KANU, led by Kenyatta, wins elections.


Kenyan Independence

1963- 12th December- Kenya becomes independent from Britain under KANU and Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta. He brings KADU into a coalition.

-Daniel Tarap Moi joins coaltion government to become Minister of Local Government and is elected to represent the Baringo constituency which he represents until 1978.

1964 -KADU is dissolved. Most of its members join KANU. Kenya becomes a one-party state. Dissent is kept within the party, leaving Kenyatta in control, using minimal repression.

1964- Kenya becomes a republic under Jomo Kenyatta who wins the country’s first election. Daniel Moi is Minister of Home Affairs until 1967.


Kenyatta’s Economic Miracle.

-over the objections of KANU’s left wing, Kenyatta brings in a market economy and allows US military bases in Kenya.

-Kenyatta brings in reforms and ‘Africanization’, meaning the nationalization of businesses. The country becomes –self-sufficient with developed industries.

-in foreign policy Kenyatta joins Kenya with the non-aligned movement, and maintains a foreign policy firmly opposed to apartheid and imperialism.

-through pragmatism, prestige and wisdom Kenyatta keeps Kenya’s 40-odd peoples united, earning him the nickname “Mzee” (old man) and father of the nation.

-rapid population increase and country-city mass migration puts strains on the economy.

-Britain still controls Kenya’s defense and Kenyatta has to request Britain’s aid in crushing an army mutiny.

-white Europeans and Asians begin an exodus from Kenya.


Early Tribal Violence between Kikuyu and Luo.

-few Kikuyus benefit from independence. Despite Kenyatta’s abilities, there is sporadic tribal violence between the Kikuyu and the Luo until the 1970s.

1964-68- boundary disputes with Somalia result in occasional armed clashes.

1967- Daniel Moi becomes Vice President.

1969- Tom Mboya, a Luo government official and candidate to succeed Kenyatta is assassinated.

1972(circa)- Kenya suffers from the sub-Saharan drought.

-territorial dispute between Kenya and Uganda.

-after the fall of Idi Amin, Tanzania closes its borders to Kenya after Kenya accepts several of Idi Amin’s supporters.


Moi Succeeds Kenyatta to the Presidency.

1978- Kenyatta dies and is succeeded by Daniel Tarap Moi on 22nd August.
-Mwai Kibaki id Moi's Vice President from 1978-1988.
-President Moi shifts the ethnic balance of power away from the Kikuyu to the Kalenjin of the Rift Valley.

-Moi continues Kenyatta’s policies while cracking down on corruption. He continues the Africanization of industries by putting limits on foreign ownership and and providing credit for African investors.

-Moi cracks down on dissidents and opponents and restricts democratic participation. He dismantles the airforce.


Moi Becomes Authoritarian.

1982- falling prices for tea and coffee and other exports bring economic decline. Faced with unrest, Moi becomes authoritarian.

-Moi concentrates power around the presidency and continually purges the government. Lack of political rights fuels popular unrest.

August-- President Moi survives an attempted coup.

1983- Moi re-elected.

-the granting of political rights is continually postponed.

1988- Moi re-elected. He arrests activists campaigning for multi-party democracy. This sets off major riots. The only legal party remains the Kikuyu-dominated KANU.
-out of favour, Mwai Kibaki is demoted from Vice President to health minister until 1991.
1991- International aid is suspended until Kenya brings in austerity measures and democracy.

-currency is devalued and public expenditure reined in. A multi-party system is legalized.

-some progress is made toward a multi-party system. Mwai Kibaki leaves KANU and founds the conservative Democratic Party (DP)

1992- Daniel Moi wins elections but his party only gains 112 out of 200 seats.

Mid-90s outburst of Ethnic Violence.

1992-95- ethnic violence leads to 2,000 killed and 250,000 refugees. Amnesty International finds that opposition leaders are being harassed more than ever.

-unrest increases in the wake of a three-year drought.


Moi Accused of Electoral Fraud.

1998- Daniel Moi wins elections amid allegations of electoral fraud. He makes little attempt to live up to anti-corruption measures demanded by the IMF and the World Bank.

-the US Embassy in Nairobi is blown up on orders of Bin Laden.

2001- four members of the opposition National Development party defect to the government.
-Rail Odinga, a Luo, is Minister of Energy during Moi's last term.
-Odinga maneuvres to succeed Moi as head of KANU but instead, Moi choses Uhru Kenyatta, son of Jomo Kenyatta. In dissent, Odinga forms the Rainbow coalition with other disilluisoned KANU members. Odinga's own party is the Liberal Democratic party, the LDP, a social democratic party.
-predominant tribes are the Bantu-speaking Kikuyu, Kamba, Gusii, and Luhya and the Nilotic-speaking Luo

-December- in Nairobi’s Kibera slums clashes involving Luo and Nubians over rents
break out. Some are killed; thousands flee.

2002- July- Masai and Suburu tribespeople are compensated to $7 million for injury and death related to ordinance left by the British during the Mau Mau rebellion.

-10 Kenyans die when an Israeli-owned hotel is blown up by a car bomb in Mombassa.


Fall of KANU, election victory of Kibaki.
-Mwai Kibaki, (a Kikuyu) allies his conservative Democratic Party with other parties in the National Rainbow Coalition.
-December- Uhru Kenyatta and the KANU party is defeated as Mwai Kibaki's Rainbow Coalition is brought to victory in a landslide- ending the regime of Daniel Tarap Moi and KANU’s 40 years in power.
-Odinga and other LDP members are disillusioned when Kibaki fails to give prominent positions to the LDP.
2003- January- a Kibaki government bill promises to tackle corruption.


Kenya plagued by Corruption and Drought.

2004- summer- crop failure. Drought. Kibaki calls it a national crisis. The UN launches an appeal for donors.

2005- January – 40 killed in fighting over land and water.

February- announcement of $1 billion lost in corruption during the first year of Kibaki government causes unease among international donors.

-July- tribal violence is blamed for a raid in the North East in which 76 villagers are killed.

-the legislature passes a draft constitution which protestors have said leaves far too much power in the presidency. This, after days of violent demonstrations.

-November-December- voters reject Kibaki’s new constitution. He replaces his cabinet firing all the LDP members inluding Odinga.
-Odinga and the LDP secede from the government to form The Orange Democratic Movement. They now represent those who voted 'No' to the constitution.

Kibaki Government outlaws Opposition Protests.

-November 21- opposition protests outlawed.

2006- January- President Kibaki says 4 million people in the north need food aid because
of a drought.

-government ministers are found to be involved in a corruption scheme involving a shell company.

-March- the government orders raids on the Standard Group, a Kenyan media company.

-April- important politicians dies in a plane crash in the north.

-on a state visit, Chinese president Hu Jintao signs a deal allowing China to prospect for oil off the Kenyan coast.

-October- the UN says 30,000 Somalis have arrived in refugee camps in Kenya, escaping famine, drought and civil war.

-November thousands of Kenyans and Somalis on the northern border are stranded in severe flooding.

Parliamentary Elections Rigged.

-parliamentary elections- public opinion suggests Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement will win.

2007- 27 December- the opposition declares that parliamentary elections showing victory for the ruling party were rigged by the Kibaki government. Even the disputed election returns show Odinga winning six provinces out of eight, cutting across tribal lines, while Kibaki won no privince but his own.

Dec 31- 124 killed in post election violence.

2008- January- in post-election violence a church is burned killing 30.

-the UN says 250,000 have been displaced in the election violence.

-Desmond Tutu attempts to mediate in the conflict.

-January 4- Kibaki talks of power-sharing.

-January 7- Kibaki invites to opposition to talks.

January 15- the death toll from the post election violence rises to 650.

January 15- the opposition Orange Democratic Movement begins three days of protests. Demonstrators are attacked by government forces, chased into the slums and several are killed.

January 17- opposition leader Odinga accuses the government of turning Kenya into a “killing fields of the innocent.”

January 18- Odinga declares a boycott of government-connected companies.

-former UN head Kofi Annan invited to intervene with peace talks.
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