Political indicators told us that the Kenyan Political Problems started few years after the independence of Kenya in 1963 and exactly in the second term of the reigning of the second Kenyan president Daniel Arab Moi.
In fact, the indicators are not only political. They are also sectorial and social. They may be accurate and up to the points and they may also be wrong in some levels while spotting factors.
Sometimes the Kenyan political scene seems calm, despite the fact that sectorial and social problems boil under the surface of the normal view of every day life
While sometimes religion adds something challenging, but in fact it is one of the social elements of the challenges, which include ethnicity.
It is very interesting to say ethnicity in Kenya, although according to the demographics of Kenya the land is black and it is owned by Africans. That means there is not serious numbers on non-african who can change this fact.
In the Great Lake region in East Africa the population of Kenya have reached 45 million of Bantu, some Cushitic ethnic minorities and Nilotic population.
The minority of Arabs acquired the Kenyan nationality and they are few numbers from Hadhramaut and Oman. They live mostly on the coast in cities like Mombasa.
There is also a minority of Indian descendants from Indian residents in 1896 and they came as labours from India to build the British railway. Many of those who become Kenyan Indians came from Gujarat.
The census in 2009 estimated 46,782 as Kenyan Asians and those who don't have Kenyan nationality/citizenship are 35,009. Kenyan Europeans are 5,166 and there are 27,172 European in Kenya without a citizenship.
Kenya has experienced assassinations, riots, coup attempts, ethnic violence, and political corruption, since just few years after the independence. The ranks of the disaffected, the unemployed, and the poor have multiplied.
In this authoritative and insightful account of Kenya's history from 1963 to the present day, Daniel Branch sheds new light on the nation's struggles and the complicated causes behind them.
Branch describes how Kenya constructed itself as a state and how ethnicity has proved a powerful force in national politics from the start, as have disorder and violence.
He explores such divisive political issues as the needs of the landless poor, international relations with Britain and with the Cold War superpowers, and the direction of economic development.
Tracing an escalation of government corruption over time, the author brings his discussion to the present, paying particular attention to the rigged election of 2007, the subsequent compromise government, and Kenya's prospects as a still-evolving independent state.
In 300 pages, "Kenya: Between Hope and Despair" explores 48 years of Kenya's post-independence history. The exploration highlights indeed the Kenyan political problems, when you look deep behind the lines to connect some things that had happened in the past with what happens now.
As a book it is not without merit, as the story moves along at pace and the historical informative insights Daniel Branch serves up is easily digestible. In this respect it is a popular history for the general reader, or someone new to the subject of Kenyan history.
Unfortunately, however, for those with a knowledge of the country's history, Branch's multiple errors and unjustified assumptions will prove a problem.
Take for example the book's section on the murder of Kenya's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Robert Ouko, in February 1991 (`Who Killed Bob', pages 190 - 193).
Branch writes: `To maintain cohesion of the ruling elite, the government nevertheless turned to another well-rehearsed method of asserting its authority', i.e., had Ouko murdered.
There is little or no evidence for this assumption and virtually all of the evidence that has come to light since about 1991 suggest that it is wrong.
A couple of lines later and Branch states; `On 15 February 1990, the partially burnt body of the foreign minister, Robert Oukjo, was found, close to his home near Kisumu'. In fact, Ouko's body was first found on 13 February that year by a local herdsboy (who did not report it to the authorities) and officially found following a police search on the morning of 16 February.
Branch goes on to state that Ouko's relationship with some of his cabinet colleagues in the months prior to his death had `soured' in the months leading up to his death. There is little or no evidence for this statement (and much that contradicts it) and Branch does not provide evidence in its support.
More worryingly, Branch repeats verbatim an allegation made in a book by the US Ambassador in Kenya at the time of Dr Ouko's murder, Smith-Hempstone, that is demonstrably nonsense.
Smith-Hempstone claimed in his autobiography that Ouko had been taken from his up-country farm at Koru, transported to State House, beaten and shot twice in the head in front of President Moi by a member of Kenyan cabinet and then dumped back near his home and his body burnt to conceal his injuries.
However, if Daniel Branch had read the forensic evidence supplied by Scotland Yard (who were called in to investigate Ouko's murder) he would have known that Dr Ouko was shot where is body was found, or a few feet from it.
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