Ethnicity and KANU party politics: The case of Nairobi County c, 1960- 2008
Murathi, Antony K.
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Various studies have captured different aspects of politics in colonial and postindependent Kenya. While these studies have contributed to our understanding of political processes and democratic transitions in Kenya, there are still some issues in Kenya's politics that have not been given adequate scholarly attention and therefore require further investigation. In order to have a comprehensive analysis of Kenya's political processes, there's a need to investigate how ethnicity has influenced party politics at the grassroots level. This study seeks to examine ways in which the use of ethnicity as a tool for political mobilization influenced and shaped the organization of KANU party politics. The study also seeks to demonstrate that ethnicity entrenched itself in Kenya during the colonial period. The study is premised on the assumption that the ethnic allegiance of Kenya's political parties is rooted in the colonial legacy. The colonial experience prior to 1960-indirect rule, administrative separation of communities, and the district association policy of 1950's, all worked in manifold ways to cement ethnic identification in Kenya.Ethnic cleavage reverberated in the nationalist movement, particularly from 1955, when the colonial government re-allowed African political organizations operating strictly at the district level. Post-independence political parties in Kenya continued to expound ethnic cleavage by gravitating around the ethnic pole and lacking a national appeal. It is also assumed that ethnicity largely crystallized as the rallying point for organizing KANU party politics in Kenya. The study will employ an integrated theoretical approach, adopting views from. a variety of theoretical paradigms such as Marxism, the Primordial and Instrumental perspectives. The concept of Neo-Patrimonialism with its appendage, 'clientelisni' school of thought, is also useful in this study and will help us to analyze post-independence politics in Kenya with regard to ethnicity and political mobilization. The study will analyze data from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data will come from field research, carried out in the three administrative districts of Nairobi City County. Informants will be selected on the basis of their knowledge of political affairs in Nairobi County and Kenya in general. Secondary data from various sources will be subjected to historical criticism in order to verify its validity. Ultimately, data from primary and secondary sources will be corroborated for authenticity and reliability