Settler-Missionary Alliance in Colonial Kenya and the Land Question
This article sets out to demonstrate the hugger-muggers that oiled the existence of an unholy alliance between European settler-farmers and missionaries—the Anglicans and Presbyterians and/or the Protestant wing in particular—in 20th century Kenya and East Africa, and especially on land policies. With land for settlement being the key factor to both missionaries and settler-farmers, the land question undoubtedly became one of the major factors that glued them together in colonial Kenya (1895–1963). Was the settler-missionary alliance meant to hurt the same people whom the missionaries had come to convert to the God of Christendom? Most importantly, how did the missionaries relate with the African chiefs regarding the land question, especially with reference to Kirinyaga County of central Kenya? This further drives us to wonder: Was the Devonshire White Paper of 1923 and/or the Indian Question related to the land question? The article sets out on the premise that while land remained the most prized commodity in colonial Kenya (1895–1963) and the entire 20th century, the 21st century has seen the church—and especially the afro-Pentecostal wing of the church—focusing on money and wealth without necessarily focusing on land. In its methodology, the article has heavily relied on archival resources, unpublished works, and field work materials, especially with regard to Kirinyaga County of central Kenya where oral sources on missionaries and land acquisition were sought. It also reviewed existing literature regarding settler-missionary alliances, especially on land-related matters.