The struggle against Mau Mau had exacted a political price from the British imperialists. Their military occupation of Kenya could not last indefinitely, but neither could they return the country to the status quo ante. Reform became imperative. The colonial regime now saw the need to broaden the basis of collaboration at the national level to include Africans within the political and economic structures of the colonial society. The main objectives of these colonial reforms were to create a base upon which a collaborative African leadership could emerge and to undermine the support of Mau Mau freedom fighters.
1954 was a watershed year in Kenya's tortuous road to independence. Not only was it the year of the draconian 'Operation Anvil' in Nairobi, which put thousands of Africans in detention camps, but it also saw the birth of the Swynnerton Plan, the Carpenter Committee Report, the Lidbury Report and the Lyttelton Constitution, all of which in their various ways embodied new state policies, which reflected, and further shaped, the underlying structural changes in Kenya's political economy.
Roger Swynnerton was an official in the Department of Agriculture. His plan provided the funding and the rationale for the land consolidation programme and enclosure movement which, from the turn of the 1950s, had come to be regarded as an essential prerequisite for an agricultural revolution in African areas. The main objective of the Swynnerton Plan was to create family holdings which would be large enough to keep the family self-sufficient in food and also enable them to practise alternate husbandry and thus develop a cash income. It was envisioned that 600,000 African families would have farming units of approximately ten acres a family, which would raise their average productivity in cash sales from £10 to £100 a year after providing for their own needs. The