This chapter therefore, discusses the complex relations of statehood, nationhood and ethnicity and demonstrates how they unfolded in post-independent Kenya, between the 1960s and 1997.
In Tacilitating this interrogation, aspects of continuity as well as change are highlighted. It is noteworthy to acknowledge from this stage that change is fundamentally an essential aspect of socialization. Change may bepositive or negative. Yet that very outcome cannot make change avoidable in any social process. Hence, where such changes give different signals to recipient members of a society, conflict often emerges. Sometimes this may be as a consequence of ideology, such as that which emerged in the global politics of the cold war. In that era, people who were perceived to be capitalist-oriented clashed ideologically and in some cases militarily with their alleged socialist or communist adversaries. These conflicts emerged due to the nature in which resources were distributed among the citizens of concerned nation states. This being the case, the chapter finds conflict formulation as pertinent in guiding the discourse. The entire territory of the presnt day Kenya in general and in particular the areas of Bungoma. Mt. Elgon and Trans Nzoia have experienced conflictual moments in the process of coming to terms with the requirements of the post independence era. The various ethnic communities in the entire country and specifically for this study those in Bungoma, Mt. Elgon and Trans Nzoia had their own aspirations. They celebrated the independence of Kenya while anticipating the new national government to give back to them what the concerned citizens thought previously belonged to them or their ancestors. They were ready to express their aspirations violently if need be. 6.2 Nationhood in Diversity As the previous chapter has demonstrated, Kenya's independence did not come easily. Various struggles both militarily and constitutionally were undertaken. Indeed to secure the 158
decolonisation of Kenya, a lot of intrigues from various Kenyan ethnic collectivities had to be overcome in the colonial metropole through a series of conferences which were held at the Lancaster House in London between 1960 and 1963. Two outstanding challenges were posed by the Somali of North-Eastern Kenya and the residents of Kenyan Ten Miles Coastal Strip (Mwambao) which stretched from Kenya's border with Tanzania upto Kipini in the North, covering two thirds of the Kenyan Coast (Nasong'o, 1999, 176). The Somali of what was known as 'Northern Frontier District' (NFD) wanted to join their ethnic Kinsmen in Somalia and Ethiopia to form the Greater Somalia. Similarly the Arabs of the Ten Mile Coastal strip demanded that either their autonomy be granted or they be allowed to join Zanzibar so that they would be administered by the Sultan of Zanzibar as was the case before 1 895 when the British colonialists acquired the strip at an annual cost of seventeen thousand sterling pounds. The
- Spring '16
- History, Ethnic group, Districts of Kenya, Western Province, trans nzoia districts