In her popular book Imperial Reckoning: the Untold Story of Britains Gulag in Kenya, for example, Carolyn Elkins states on page 12 that the Kikuyu were the ethnic group most affected by the colonial governments policies of land alienation, or expropriation.
It must also be an oversimplification to state that the Kikuyu have dominated the government since independence in 1963. The Kenyan government was headed by Daniel arap Moi, a Kalenjin, from the death of Jomo Kenyatta in 1978 until 2002.
San Francisco, California
In several articles in the Militant on the current situation in Kenya you have stated that the Kikuyu were favored by the British during colonial rule and ran many shops, restaurants, banks, and factories. They have dominated the government since independence in 1963. It seems to me that statement is one-sided at best and not entirely accurate.
The Mau Mau movement, which fought against the British colonial rule, was predominantly Kikuyu. Some estimate that 50,000 Kikuyu or more were murdered by the British colonialists and their agents during the rebellion in the 50s, not to mention the tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands who were detained, relocated, beaten, and worse. If that is being favored by the civilized British imperialists, god help those who are less favored.
Des Moines, Iowa
The readers above are correct. Ten of thousands of Kikuyudriven from their lands and herded onto reservesbecame a key component of the labor supply for white-settler plantations. They were also given jobs as clerks, office workers, and minor administrative positions in the colonial government. The Militant will run a more in-depth background piece on the struggle for Kenyas independence, and its relationship to developments there today, in the coming weeks.
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