Conservative Imperial Political Elite Establishment in the Decolonisation Process of the British Empire

Conservative Imperial Political Elite Establishment in the Decolonisation Process of the British Empire

The Kenya Africa Union, of which Kenyatta immediately became President, sought creation of further educational and administrative opportunities for Africans, and African representation on the Legislative Council. By 1952, however, a movement called Mau Mau had grown among two minor tribes as well as the Kikuyu, and Jomo Kenyatta became its leader. The Objective of Mau Mau was the expulsion of the European settlers who had taken over the Highlands, adding that all the developments and prosperity that Europeans brought were because of African labourers. There were fierce antagonism and battles as a result of the Mau Mau movement against white settlers. By the time the upheaval had been brought to an end, 1875 civilians had lost their lives, 1786 of them Africans. Moreover, about 1811 Mau Mau fighters died in the campaign. To control the uprising more troops were sent to Kenya from Britain and more than £30 million was spent on emergency measures between 1952 and 1955. The Kenya African Union, which was the Principal African political organization, was banned and Jomo Kenyatta was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for his part in the leadership of the revolt.

During the period that Oliver Lyttelton was Colonial Secretary, in 1954, provision was made for African and Asians (Asian settlers in Kenya) to be appointed as ministers. In 1956, when Alan Lennox-Boyd was Colonial Secretary, announcement came that African members would be elected to the Kenyan Legislative Council. African representation was doubled in 1958 in response to the demands of a future Minister of Justice, Tom Mboya, and his supporters. It was increased again in 1960. In 1960 and 1961 deliberations in London, under the guidance of Iain MacLeod, the then Colonial Secretary, resulted in the introduction of constitution which allowed the Africans of Kenya to dominate future elections to the Legislative Council. At the same time it had been agreed that more educational facilities, homes, Highland villages and light industries should be made available for the native Kenyans. This added to the scheme, inaugurated in 1954, under which the native farmers of Kenya were being encouraged to exchange scattered holdings for compact fenced farms, on which they could keep their animals and experiment with new crops and modern methods.

However, as Kenya was a racially mixed society, there were substantial problems as a result of all these reforms. There was strong resentment among the Europeans because they saw these developments as threats to their best educated and most enterprising minority, although a major effort took place by the British to bring about racial co-operation in Kenya. There were also problems among the African Kenyans themselves. Divided into a National Union, representing the strongest tribes (Kikuyo and Luo) and a Democratic Union of the minor tribes, seeking respectively unitary government and federation for Kenya, they were faced for a time with the fragmentation of their country on the eve of independence. Nonetheless, Kenya came nearer and nearer to independence. Kenyatta, who was under detention in the north of the country and was favoured as a leader by all of the African in Kenya, was released in 1961. He became Prime Minister in 1963, just before Kenya’s independence was achieved. Kenya was granted its independence in 1963, as a republic.

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!