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The Land And Freedom Movement Of Kenya In 1952

The citizens of Kenya can be grouped into three tribes: the Hamitic, Hilotic, and the Bantu. The Hamitic and Bantu differ extremely in their character and cultures. The Hilotic are Negroes discovered in the western region of the country even though they are different from the Negroes of West Africa.

In 1886, a voyage funded by J.F Hutton and Sir William MacKinnon was dispatched to Kenya where they approved some agreements with the local chiefs. From 1888 to 1895 the task of administration of Kenya was addressed by the Imperial British East Africa Organization which was authorized to oversee the territories under its custody. In 1895, Britain took over the explicit government of Kenya.

One of the conditions that brought about the Mau Mau rebellion was the accession of African lands by the foreigners. Due to the benefits which subsisted in Kenya like fertile agricultural lands, and accessible African labor, the building of the Uganda railway motivated Europeans to move into Kenya instantly. In 1895, the British administration launched the “white settlement scheme”, and took over Kenya in 1895, which conferred safety for immigrants and gave them land in the rich portion, later recognized as the “white highlands”. By 1915 About 6000 square miles of Kenya land, which was the most productive highlands had been estranged to European immigrants according to the Crown Lands Decree of 1902.

This British rule had no respect for the liberties of Africans to possess lands. By 1913, an entire tribe, the Masai had been discarded from their origin in the rift valley region to the Laikipia area, to make way for European immigrants. The Kikuyu, an agricultural tribe were propelled from the Highlands only to serve squatters on European grange.  

The land ordinance estrangement led the British administration to establish reserves for Africans. To exacerbate the crisis, there was no protection of land terms for Africans in the region. The land reserved for Africans was greatly insufficient apart from being infertile. Thus, the land came to be the most powerful single subjective factor which produced a level of unity and instilled a sense of common goal among the various elements that partake in the Mau Mau revolution.

The labor operation maintained by the British colonial administration also benefited the outburst of the Mau Mau revolt. Through the labor operation, Africans were technically compelled to work for the white colonists. This was accomplished through the imposition of a tax which rose from time to time not for the development of the good of Africans, through growth purposes, but to make their labor on European farmlands to be able to fund the increased taxation. With this in mind, the government increased taxation when the labor ratio fell under expectation. Moreover, Africans were constrained from the opportunity to cultivate cash crops like sisal, coffee, or tea so that they might not contend with the European agriculturists, and also to steer Africans in Kenya.

Yet the operating requirements on the farms were grossly insufficient and unpleasant. These unpleasant conditions on the farms had been greatly enhanced by the servants and masters' law of 1906.

Also the British category hierarchy and skin color became a big division for ethnic division in Kenya. This development outraged Africans in Kenya. Europeans held the first denomination, the Asians held the second denomination, and Africans held the lowest area in Kenya's social system. This social racism was also exacerbated in Kenya by immigrants from South Africa. Tremendous tensions were put on the British colonial administration by these immigrants to bring up the South African situation in Kenya. However the administration did not instruct the South African case on wholesale, its government appeared to have pushed near to it to satisfy the immigrants. The unjust rules in the tax administration, in the cultivation of cash crops, in education, in employment opportunities, in marketing, in transporting, and liberty of movement only transpired in African taking up cooperations against the colonists in 1952.

With these resentments cited above, the arrival of some African rulers especially from the Kikuyu tribe, and leaders from other tribes assisted to harmonize the endeavors of African people in resisting and suppression of European occupation and invasion. In 1944, Jomo Kenyatta from the Kikuyu tribe became the ruler of the Kenya African Union (KAU) established by Eliud Mathu. The Kenya African Union (KAU) even craved to use power to obtain political freedom. In 1952, the Mau Mau believers began to kill European colonists as well as those Africans who stayed loyal and enthusiastic to the British colonial administration. The revolution took several structures like maiming of European immigrants' herds, arson, and also killing the settlers themselves. 

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African Britain J.F Hutton Kenya Negroes


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