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Mau Mau Rebellion, 1952–1959

Mary Ciambaka Mwiandi and George Gona


Colonization of Kenya began with Britain's declaration of Uganda and the whole region down to the Indian Ocean as its protectorate in 1895. In the same year, with the approval of the British Cabinet, the construction of the Uganda railway began. British Empire in East Africa was opened to colonial domination with the building of what Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill described as the “political” railway, the symbol of imperial achievement and its intentions to stay ( Tvedt 2004 ). However, the real thrust of colonization of Kenya started in 1902 when Sir Charles Eliot, the first commissioner of the British East Africa Protectorate (as Kenya was called until 1920), surveyed the territory and its people and saw economic potential. To harness this potential, he invited his countrymen to come to settle in the country, which in 1915 was declared a “White man's country,” a dream which was shattered by the Mau Mau rebellion, fifty years later. Their aims were to struggle for the return of all alienated land from the agrarian and pastoral communities by the Europeans – the Empire builders, commercial companies, and settlers. Mau Mau was a revolutionary and military response to imperial incursions, aggression, land expropriation, the exploitation of African natural and human resources, the degradation of African culture, and taxation. Between 1946 and 1952 Africans in Kenya had come to ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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