Decolonization & Independence in Kenya, 1940-93

By B. A. Ogot; W. R. Ochieng | Go to book overview

One
Decolonization:
A Theoretical Perspective

WUNYABARI O. MALOBA

The performance of African countries more than twenty-five years after the attainment of political independence has not been impressive. Hunger, political strife, severe limitation on civil liberties have all grown in intensity, leading many observers to conclude sadly that 'African independence has been an abysmal failure'. 1 This harsh assessment, it needs to be emphasized, has not been limited to external agencies and foreigners, many of whom can easily be accused of malice. Many local evaluations and appraisals of the economic, social and political performance of African countries have tended to provide evidence of stagnation and even regression in development. 2 Economic stagnation has been recorded despite 'vast amounts in aid between 1962 and 1978'. 3

In the area of politics, there has been a proliferation of states under authoritarian rule or army rule, in which there has been loss of civil liberties, often the result of regimes seeking to maintain themselves in power by suppressing political rivals. This suppression, often brutal, has 'curtailed the openness of debate and public wooing for support, on which politics as an activity must inevitably thrive'. 4

This chapter seeks to discuss the general idea of decolonization, especially as it relates to Africa. The aim is to show how the present conditions in Africa can be ideologically and institutionally linked to the colonial and imperial past. Without comprehending this tragic linkage, Africa's poverty and misery become the results of ill-fortune, a curse or some inexplicable haunting set of circumstances.


I

African nationalism in the 1960s had one overriding aim: to attain political independence. Kwame Nkrumah, correctly regarded as a

-7-

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Decolonization & Independence in Kenya, 1940-93
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Contributors viii
  • Prologue on Decolonization xi
  • Notes xvii
  • Introduction the Invention of Kenya 1
  • Note 3
  • Part One the Decolonization of Kenya 1945-63 5
  • One Decolonization: A Theoretical Perspective 7
  • Conclusion 21
  • Notes 22
  • Two the Formative Years 1945-55 25
  • Conclusion: Towards an Alternative Future 43
  • Bibliography 44
  • Three: The Decisive Years 1956-63 48
  • Part Two the Kenyatta Era 1963-78 81
  • Four Structural & Political Changes 83
  • Conclusion 106
  • Appendix: Constitutional Amendments Under Kenyatta 107
  • Notes 108
  • Five - Social & Cultural Changes 110
  • Conclusion 143
  • Notes 144
  • Part Three the First Nyayo Decade 1978-88 149
  • Six the Economics of Structural Adjustment 151
  • Conclusion 182
  • Notes 183
  • Seven the Politics of Populism 187
  • Notes 213
  • Eight the Construction of a National Culture 214
  • Part Four Epilogue 1989-93 237
  • Nine Transition from Single-Party to Multiparty Political System 1989-93 239
  • Conclusion 259
  • Notes 260
  • Index 262
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