NEO-COLONIALISM: THE KENYA CASE By Rukudzo Murapa The object of neo-colonialisan is to change the alignment of independence forces in favour of imperialism, to place power in the hands of those who will forsake the national interest to advance themselves. Oginga Odinga, Not Yet Uhuru, p. 250
political and socio-economic dilemma which characterizes most of the African countries in the form of rico-colonialism is explainable notonly in terms of the pre- and post-colonial political administrative infrastructure but also in terms o f the nature and method by which independence was achieved. That the colonial presence violated the traditional African customs, mores and beliefs enough to cause the emergence of a class system among the Africans (not unlike that found within the white colonial-capitalist society, although distinct and separate) requires no debate. The western religio-educational system and the way in which it was administered in the colonies had built-in assurances for the class system to emerge among the Africans. The role of the Christian missionary as a colonial factor must remain paramount in any analysis dealing with the African as a colonial product. Although there was apparent conflict between government and missionary policies, it was obviously clear that there was an underlying working agreement - if not conspiracy. Oginga Odinga observed the relationship thus:
The Review of Black Political Economy The mission produced men who were rebels against the old way of life for a while but were then themselves absorbed into the mission and administration. They became tame, middlemen, shadows and subjects of White mission men, and any stirrings in them to become independent leaders of their people were suppressed by their allegiance to the mission hierarchy, and the fact that, once educated, they were absorbed into the government machine. 1
The products of mission schools ended up serving the colonial administration as clerks, tax and census computers, interpreters and as chiefs. It is these few educated Africans who constitute, in the post-colonial era, the elite/bourgeois class. Thus the division and restructuring of the African society which was once essentially egalitarian - into a class system along the western pattern must be viewed as a consciously designed plan aimed at fulfilling colonial goals. The principle of "divide and rule" was not only applied between one ethnic (so-called tribe) group and another, but also within each such group. Kwame Nkrumah has noted that this group of educated Africans was always "limited to the minimum needed for the functioning of the colonial administration ''2 and that they were imbued with a capitalist ideology which molded them into a link between the colonial regime and the masses. To guard its own interest, the colonial regime took special measures to make it virtually impossible for this group to rise above a certain level in their economic and political achievements. For instance, in the economic arena, this cluster of African iiatelligentsia was not permitted to participate in the ownership of major instruments of production, such as mining, industry, banks, export-import business and large scale farming. It was felt that such participation, despite its consistency with the proclaimed democratic principles, would shatter the whole system. Colonialists were resolute in their determination to safeguard the system. Thus, no matter how well the intelligentsia tried to emulate the colonial masters, it was never allowed to become a part of them. Each member was constantly reminded: . . . those efforts are in vain. He only acquires thereby an additional trait, that of being ridiculous. He can never succeed in becoming identified with the colonizer, not even in copying his role correctly . . . . Indeed, a man straddling two cultures is rarely well seated, and the colonized does not always find the right pose.
Neo-Coloni.qHm'~"The Kenya Case
Everything is mobiliTed so that the colonized cannot cross the doorsteps, so that he understands and admits that his path is dead and assimilation is impossible. 3 Being so faced with the harsh realities, or Closed Door policies of colonialism, and finding their aspirations completely frustrated, the inteltigentsia resolved to join forces with the masses to deal a cnlshing blow to the colonial system. Thus, the masses and the intelligentsia rediscovered their unity in opposition to colonialism. As Jean-Paul Satre so beautifully put it in his introductory remarks to Albert Memmi's masterpiece, The Colonizer and the Colonized, "the excluded human beings will affmn their exclusivity in national selfhood." Indeed, colonialism did create the patriotism and unity of the colonized. Satre's contention that "a people's misfortune will become its courage; it will make, of its endless ,,~ection by colonialism, the absolute rejection of colonization, '~ was lived up to. In this unity, the intelligentsia played the leadership role in the nationalist movement. Armed with this unity, the intelligentsia led the masses in the struggle for freedom and independence. As nationalism gathered momentum, colonialists began to engage in those plans and activities which would protect their interest throughout the duration of nationalist agitation against colonialism and, more importantly, guarantee the protection and growth of those interests in the post-colonial era. It was at the height of this struggle that colonialists found it to be in their interest to crack the once-upon-a-time tight doors and admit some members of the African intelligentsia into the hall-ways of the inner chambers of colonial interests. A handful of educated Africans were sprinkled here and there within the state machinery and the foreign companies. This appointment of Africans into positions once labelled "for Europeans only" must be seen for what it was: "Blackenization" not Africanization. It is important that this difference be made: Blackenization involves a mere replacement of white expatriates by black faces (Africans), while the structures and objectives thereby served are left intact. It is a bootpolishing job. Blackenization was therefore achieved where the intelligentsia's only aspiration was to replace the colonial masters without the intention of raising fundamental questions about the structures of the colonial power and the need to radically transform the society. Africanization, on the other hand, goes far beyond the question of personnel replacement or exchange. It addresses
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itself to the question of relevancy. It questions the very nature and purposes served by existing colonial systems. It in fact poses the question, "given the circumstances - the objective conditions - and the ends that must be achieved, what logically interrelated actions - social, economic, political, etc. - must be taken in order to arrive at the stipulated objectives. ''6 It seeks to construct and establish a system that is functional and easily understood by those people whom it is supposed to serve and help. Further, it seeks to establish a system which is highly contiguous with African traditional culture. It is true that such contiguity may not always be glorified or glorifying, yet its "denial would mean the,negation of the very self and of any pretensions to identity. 7 Thus a meaningful Africanization program must challenge the bourgeois values, rooted in the European-colonial culture, which existed under colonialism. An Africanized society is one that is imbued with African values and one whose very personality is in consonance with African culture. The colonialist, as well as some members of the African intelligentsia, were not interested in Africanization, comprehensively defined, but rather in blackenization - the post colonial brand of indirect rule. The colonialists found it to be in their best interest to set up dikes, as it were, which would contain the floodwaters of African liberation. The policy of blackenization provided these necessary dikes. The purpose was to unleash a decolonization process that would surrender political controls and yet insure the retention of economic influence. The Africans who became the material for blackenization were schooled in the colonial values and European ideologies. For example, they were made to subscribe to the philosophy of individualism, the righteousness of individual ownership of property and the Lockean concept of government, as the protector of private property. The new elite thus became the guarantors and perpetuators of the colonial-capitalist political and economic values. The foundation of Neocolonialism had been laid. II. Re-emergence of Class Division Although the nationalist struggle had the effect of blurring class divisions among Africans due to the presence of a common enemy, namely colonialism, those classes were not completely obliterated. They were temporarily put into the background
Ni~(2oloni~lkm: The Kenya Ca~
only to emerge again in the post-colonial era. The serious question is: "Why were the class divisions among Africans not completely eradicated? Or why did they re-emerge? The cunning manipulation of the educated African by the colonial system for its own purposes, discussed above, in part provides the answer. A further answer, however, seems to lie in a misinterpretation of what independence was all about. Two major interpretations seem to have predominated. One came from the petty-bourgeois secondary school graduates, teachers, civil servants and professionals, who were fighting what Karl Marx would call a "partial political revolution," one which would place them in positions of political power. The other came from the larger society - the masses: the proletariat and peasantry whose interest it was to effect an overall change in the socio-politico-economic structure, not only as it related to the relationship between Africans and Europeans, but also as it affected the relationship of Africans among themselves and between the rulers and the ruled. That is to say, the Africanization of the system. The notion was that if the fight against colonialism were carried to its logical conclusion, independence would usher in a new, morally acceptable, politically democratic and economically egalitarian order. Still others entertained such wild ideas that an independence government would take the "lots of money in the bank" and distribute it among the people and if it were not available, "money would be printed easily enough. ''a Unfortunately, most of Africa has been the recipient of the type of independence predicated upon the fin'st interpretation. As a result, very few structural changes have taken place in the political, economic and social systems. Rather, the pettybourgeois seems to have its hopes fulfilled. A number of them are now ministers or high ranking civil servants in the various departments and some even have Europeans as their subordinates. A dream fulfilled! The structures of the colonial era remain essentially unchanged, exclusive as well as repressive as ever. The policy or system of blackenization is responsible for creating a peculiar kind of elite in Africa today. Within many African countries there is an elite that makes national decisions while lacking the economic basis for the exercise of power. They became window-dressers and thus did not assume ownership of industries, banks and other major enterprises which constitute what is generally known as means of production.
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This sad situation, this anomaly, in turn becomes the basis upon which the behavior pattern manifested by that elite can be intelligently explained. Because of the transparent lack of self-confidence and the sense of insecurity which arises from its lack of an economic bases, the elite cannot make strong meaningful decisions. Rather, many of its policies, particularly those affecting major industries, become half-way measures or conciliatory. IlL Development of the Salariate Efite in Kenya This dilemma is clearly demonstrated in Kenya where the former ruling racial and economic class (European) remains, in fact, the owner of the economy, particularly the major modern sector of Kenya. This is the class that was responsible for, and was in control of, the organization of the economy and the political bureaucracy during the colonial period. Within a period of approximately sixty-seven years when Kenya was under colonialism, the colonialists developed a very extensive and highly commercial system of agriculture and established themselves as the unchallenged proprietors of all the productive industries within the urban sector. Ownership of property as practiced by this racial class was based on the capitalist ethic defined within the framework of the English Common Law. This ethic, of course, was and is diametrically opposed to the traditional principle of African socialism. According to the principle of African socialism, property belongs to the group or family, and individual members of the group had no right to dispose of such property. The English Common Law, however, provided the exact opposite: individualism was and is the cornerstone of the capitalist culture. The magnetic force of colonial education, imbued as it was with the capitalist-christian ethic, caused a few Africans to move into the modern sector. It is estimated that only about 10 per cent of the Africans were so affected. 9 However, this new African elite, unlike its European counterpart, did not enjoy all the rights and privileges of the modem sector. At best it became a "salariate"* elite, while the elitism of European colonialists was rooted in the ownership of private property, in capitalism and, of course, in ethnicity. The colonial policies clearly defined the line of demarcation between African and non-Africans as regards to ownership of property. For example, the colonial land tenure system was such that the Africans could not own certain property, such as land in particular areas. The colonial *A "salaxiate" elite bases his elitism in the magnitude of his salary rather than in the ownership of property.
theory of white settlement, white government and land alienation was religiously observed in Kenya as it was in Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia) and Zambia (former Northern Rhodesia). Kikuyu country in Kenya, because of its fertility, became the center of white settlement and a good portio,~ of it was later christened "the White Highlands." European settlement in this particular area dates back to 1908 when the British Government "granted exclusive right of occupancy to people of European descent" contending that it was an area not previously occupied by Africans 10_ an argument not unlike that advanced to justify white settlement in South Africa. At a later stage, Orders-In-Council and other pieces of legislation were passed to preclude Africans from "occupying the land as tenant farmers, forcing them to be either laborers or squatters.,,11 European settlement not only monopolized vast areas of land but also the most productive land available. About half of the land in Kenya worth cultivating lay in the White Highlands. 12 The Africans were therefore relegated to the non-arable land and consequently their agriculture barely satisfied subsistence needs and remained, for the most, unmechanized. The situation in the urban areas was not too different from that found in the rural areas, for here too, the land tenure policies were equally segregative. Cities were generally situated in "white land areas" so that Africans came to the cities only to seek employment rather than to establish permanent residence and own property. Like their brothers in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), Africans in Kenya were "precluded from acquiring security of tenure in European areas and could not contemplate permanent residence,,13 in the cities. It is a combination of these built-in obstacles and others like them that explain why the new African elite had to emerge as a "salariate" petty-bourgeois rather than owners of huge modernized, mechanized farmlands, factories, banks or other industries. The very nature of this elite and the process by which it evolved, raises serious questions vis-a-vis Karl Marx's conception of tha middle class. It is clear that a middle class of this nature, one that derives its economic base exclusively from a salary, is, essentially, not a middle class by classical European standards, which defines classes by the location o f a particular group of people in the process of production.
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"'The Salariate" As Farmers
With the advent of African nationalism, European colonialists had to make a choice: either (1) to resist it to the end or (2) to accomodate its demands by making certain concessions. They chose the latter after their attempts at the former were completely frustrated by the sweeping storm of nationalism. As pointed out earlier, many of the educated African elite were absorbed into higher levels of administration in both public and private enterprises. In Kenya, as elsewhere in Africa, only special people were appointed to those positions: It was the children of detainees or dead freedom-f~,hters who could not pay school fees and were excluded from the classrooms; it was the sons of the loyalists not the freedom-fighters who got employments, or were taken into the administration, the army or the police force and had opportunities for higher education...freedom-f'~ghters were unemployed and landless; and the loyalists had entrenched themselves and had become the dependable middle group that government had aimed to create. Those who had sacrificed most in the struggle had lost out to the people who had played safe. 14 It was to this group of educated Africans that banks, insurance companies and cooperative societies started extending loans which were used to buy intermediate lands, and a sizeable portion of fairly modernized farms whose owners - Europeans - were selling out and fleeing to South Africa, Australia, Latin America or back to Europe because they abhorred the idea of living under an African government. Many had already fled the country during the height of the Mau Mau. Soon after independence, the post colonial Kenya government, under the veil of their concern with the maintenance of certain level and quality of production, decided not to have the farms sold to just anyone. The Kenyatta government wanted the farms sold to those Africans or citizens whose earning capacity was within a certain bracket. These people, it was argued, could not only maintain the minimum required level of production but could also secure loans from the government, banks and insurance companies with more facility. It was therefore to this "salariate" elite that loans were made available and who, in turn, bought up the large commercialized farms which were formerly owned by whites.
NeoColonialism: Tile Kenya Case
Those who bought this land which ranged in size from one hundred acres upwards, turned out to be mostly civil servants at senior levels, ministers and other senior politicans and a few Africans in the private sector, such as university professors. Being a "salariate" elite, however, these people had to face the iiaher~nt dilemma; for example, although they had borrowed enough to buy the farms, they could not quit their employment in the cities and positions in government to go to work on their respective farms. To do so would be tantamount to giving up their very means of survival, their salaries, their means of paying back part of the loans and interest, at least in the short run.* They, thus, found themselves left with no choice but to hire e0tnpetent farm managers to run .the farms. This choice posed another dilemma. Skilled farm managers were not easy to come by and the few that were available demanded substantial salaries - in many instances beyond the ability of the farmers to pay from their own salaries. Because they had to maintain their jobs in the cities and because they were unable to employ competent farm managers and a reasonable amount of experienced labor to make the farms productive and self-sustaining, it was not u n c o m m o n for many of these people to invite their relatives to come and squat on the farms. These relatives were not only a convenient source of labor but also solved the problem of wages. They did not demad payment in cash but were paid in kind, they were allowed a portion of the farm for their subsiste~ace. The absence of skilled labor and effective management caused the level of productivity to decline, making it increasingly difficult for the individual farm owners to m~et their monthly mortgage payments. B.
The Farms and the Finances.
It is believed that in 1966-67, the Kerryan government, greatly worried by this situation and the decline in productivity as well as the financial institutions' demands that the mortgages be paid, borrowed a substantial amount of money from West Germany. This money was distributed among farm owners in an attempt to enable them to employ competent labor. 15 Unfortunately, even this desperate move by the government did not solve the problem. The government was at a loss in terms of what to do. It could not repossess these farms and auction them * It must further be noted that the educated African had been affected by an aristocratic virus which had caused him to view manual labor, particularly work that would soil his hands with contempt.
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because the owners were themselves in critical decision making positions within the government and any tinkering with them could place the government in jeopardy. In the meantime, a constant cry came from the masses for a more equitable distribution of the land. After all, land was always a central issue throughout the bloody but heroic Man Mau days. Former freedom-f'~ahters who had established residency in the forests and mountains of Kenya and struggled against colonial rule, were confounded when they found themselves confined to the "skimmed milk" side of the post-colonial economy. Even some members within the government and KANU party circles found it necessary to raise their voices on behalf of the masses. Soon there were massive appeals to the government to nationalize the land in the interest of the people. Bildad Kaggia, a veteran of African Nationalism and a junior minister of education, in a memorandum dated April 14, 1964, wrote: Everyone in this country is very well aware of the land hunger that has existed among Africans as a result of the robbery of their land by the British colonial Imperialists. The logical method to solve the problems'passed by this robbery would have been to nationalize all big estates owned by Europeans and make them either state farms, so as to alleviate unemployment, or hand them over to cooperatives formed by landless Africans. 16 He accused "these inhuman settlers" of not only "evicting the true sons o f the soil f r o m their own soil, but (of) also destroying their crops, making our poor brothers beggars in their own country. ''17 Rather than heeding these pointed words in the spirit in which they were made, President Jomo Kenyatta concluded that Kaggia was criticizing the government generally and demanded "personal assurance that incidents of this type...will not recur. ''18 He reminded Kaggia that if a parliamentary secretary was unwilling to support and accept "collective responsibility .for any of the government's acts or policies, the only course open to him is to resign. ''19 Kaggia chose to resign in order not to betray his "inner-most convictions for the sake of a salary or a position." In his letter of resignation, he declared, "As a representative of the people, I found it very difficult to forget the people who elected me on the basis of def'mite pledges, or to forget the freedom fighters who gave all
they had, including their land, for the independence we are enjoying, ''20 IV. Maintenance of Neo-Colonialism Another important point to be considered in regards to land in Kenya is the fact that by the time Kenya got independence in 1963, farm prices had become astronomical. During the independence constitutional talks, Reginald Maulding, the Colonial Secretary, devised a scheme which fixed the purchase of settler acres at 1959 prices - a year in which land prices soared. This scheme made it necessary for "land bought by settlers for a pound or two when the White Highlands policy placed the country wide open for settler acquisitions ''21 to be bought back from them at the price tag of ten pounds an acre. Effective execution of this scheme was carried out by the employment of settler-owners as settlement officers. Loans were extended to Kenya by both the British Government and the World Bank for settler compensation, thus making Kenya's national debt even higher. There seems to be little doubt that Britain was more interested in the welfare of the departing expatriates than in the state in which she was going to leave Kenya. In fact, it seems that this was a plan consciously designed to make Kenya continue her dependence onBritain. An effective plan for neocolonialism would call for such a move. Kenya soon found herself burdened with financial obligations arising out of Britain's subsidizingthe existing settlers and civil servants and the land compensating policies which Britain made sure to include in the independence constitution. The independence constitution clearly stipulated that compensation for settler farms be paid in cash rather than by bond. It is most unfortunate that the Kenyan government did not exploit the land settlement discussions as an opportunity to propose a meaningful program of cooperatives or state ownership. As it turned out, its laissez faire approach on this issue left the door open for Britain to sow her seeds for neo -colonialism even deeper and on more fertile soil. Inspite of the much publicized massive exodus of settlers during the eleventh hour of Kenya's independence, statistics show that 70 per cent of the land sold to individuals after independence was bought by Europeans. 22 In response to criticism against the increasing acquisition of land by Europeans, the Kenyan government legislated against
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the advancing of loans to non-citizens. This would have had the effect of denying the majority of Europeans the opportunity of buying land through loans. Reacting to this legislation, however, the British government passed its own legislation which provided automatic citizenship to Kenyan citizens of British origin upon renunciation of their Kenyan citizenship. Europeans, in order to get loans, buy land and enjoy their rights in Kenya, applied by the hundreds for Kenya citizenship and were secure in their knowledge that this was only a tactful maneuver, for their status as British citizens was, in reality, never lost. The state of economic affairs in Kenya today is such that the Europeans are still very much the reference group in practically every walk of life. The governing African elite continues to expend a substantial amount of time and effort manipulating those institutions within their reach in an attempt to enter into the life style of the former ruling class. On the other hand, their traditional primordial ties keep reminding them of their obligation to the people. It would not be an exaggeration to state that the elite in Kenya finds itself in a limbo - on the one hand it is removed from the masses, while on the other it is not able to comfortably fall the shoes left by the colonialists, mainly because of its lack of a sound economic base. Nonetheless, by hook or crook, they cling to their positions of power. Their attempt to do so verges on political corruption. Furthermore, the elite develops a sense of acute insecurity, so much so that their decisions are greatly influenced by those who still control and manage the means of production.
Who Controls Industry of Kenya?
The question of controlling the means of production must be regarded as crucial to the meaning of independence. In 1965, the Working Party of the Department of Christian Education and Training of the National Christian Council of Kenya undertook a study of "Who Controls Industry In Kenya?" Its findings were astounding. 23 The Bank System in Kenya is organized somewhat along the structural lines of that found in the United States with the Central Bank of Kenya as the counterpart of the Federal Reserve Board. Unlike its American counterpart, however, the Central Bank of Kenya does not exercise complete control over the ten commercial banks operating in the country.
Neo.Colonialim~ The Kenya Case
About 70 per cent of those banks are offshots of foreign banks. Because of their status, (i.e. branches) these banks operate under the general guidelines set down by the Central Bank c,f Kenya but, are, however, bound to follow the policies laid down by their head offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Turkey, Holland and Pakistan. That is where their first allegiance lies, not in Kenya. It is at these loci of financial power that decisions concerning credit are made. In September, 1966, an article "Recent Development in Commercial Banking in East Africa" by Michael Selsford, revealed that the three largest banks in East Africa, Barclays Bank D.C.O. Ltd., National and Grindlays Bank Ltd., and Standard Bank Ltd., held more than 80 per cent of the total banking assets. 24 It can therefore be easily understood why the so-called Big Three (banks), all of which are registered in Britain, decisively influence Kenya's credit supply, the power of the Central Bank of Kenya notwithstanding. Commercial banks in Kenya are, generally, very security conscious. They are notorious for their tendency to shy away from long-term investments in industrial enterprises and are more willing to extend short-term loans to agricultural enterprises. On the one hand, this hesitancy bespeaks of the faith (or lack of it) the banking powers have in Kenya's political stability. On the other hand, it has had the effect of making it virtually impossible for Kenyans, even the elite, to get loans to adventure into big industry. The door has, thus, been left wide open for foreign industries to establish themselves in Kenya since they do not have to depend on local banks for loans. The Kenya elite, as discussed earlier, has at best been able to get bank loans for agricultural enterprise. Mere blackenization of senior staff within the banking system will not in itself adequately answer the question of public accountability in view of the fact that exogenous decision makers still make the key decisions baseti on the indexes of the stock exchanges and other economic factors in their respective countries. All available indications seem to suggest, rather harshly, that foreign control of the banks is going to remain a fact of life for quite some time to come and "there seems no likelihood of any existing offshoots of foreign banks hiving off and being incorporated within Kenya. ''25 It must, however, be emphasized that some measures, albeit modest, have been taken to establish a
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Government presence in the banking world of Kenya. The ownership of means of production by foreign interests as typified in the banking system, has left Kenyans, the elite and the masses alike, in a real predicament - one in which they understand their powerlessness in a much more acute sense. This feeling is not compensated for by mere appointments to managerial positions. In fact, such appointments can only serve to make the contradictions more pronounced, heighten the level of frustration and hasten the day of revolt. Yet, the Kenyatta government has made it its declared policy to open the door wider for the continued inflow of private investments from outside. In his speeches in the summer of 1970, during the opening of a tourist hotel in Mombasa and the welcoming of the Firestone Tire Company, Mzee Kenyatta left no doubt that foreign investments will continue to be encouraged for a long time to come. With more industries and other foreign enterprises enjoying their "rendezvous with destiny" in Kenya, Nairobi, the capital city, and its Stock Exchange, looks, in Ahmed Mohiddin's words, "more like a thriving city in the Midwest United States than a thriving socialist capital of a poor developing country in Africa. ''26 Accent has been placed on economic growth so much so that the African tradition of communal ownership of the basic means of production, even though proclaimed in
Sessional Paper No. 10: African Socialism and lts Application in Kenya, has been cast into the economic and political dust bins. As noted earlier, suggestions aimed at nationalizing major industries have been met with resistance by the government as irresponsible and unacceptable as a basis on w h i c h to b u i l d " s o u n d g o v e r n m e n t policies." If nationalization is to be acceptable, the industries so nationalized must, according to the late Tom Mboya, "make profit at least equivalent to taxes paid when privately owned. ''27 Thus profit becomes the criterion for nationalization rather than the administration of social justice, such as equitable distribution of resources, effective stoppage of the exploitation of man by man, and the establishment of social egalitarianism. In order to encourage the inflow of capital from outside, there has been a deliberate design to undertake those measures which would avoid tampering with the economic system. The measures that have so far been taken have had
NeoColonialism: The KenyaCase
the effect not of radicalizing the present economic system, but of "making (it) work more effectively.''28 The whole banking system is still very much tied to that of the United Kingdom, and thus controlled from that end. For instance, it is argued that the interest rates in Kenya cannot be lower "than those prevailing in the United Kingdom without curtailing the flow of funds from the United Kingdom to East Africa."29 As the Working Party pointed out, such a "reliance on funds from the United Kingdom means Kenya is drawing money from one of the most expensive markets in the world." With the establishment of the Central Bank of Kenya, steps have been taken to chart an independent line in regulating the nation's bank rates, however, it is still far from being satisfactory. Public accountability of the Central Bank of Kenya still remains a major issue as "local policy decisions are still in the hands of non-Kenyans, ultimately answerable to boards of directors outside of the country. ''30
B. Kenya's New Strategies Kenya's already acute problem of unemployment is heightened by the fact that approximately 126,000 persons enter the labor force each year. It is estimated that that number will have risen to 147,000 by 1975. Yet only 30,000 new jobs are created annually in the modern urban sector. In spite of the policy of Kenyanization or the presence of the Volunteer Youth Service programs, the possibility of total absorption of available labor force is not in sight. As a result, more professional beggars arise as do frustration and crime. Already daylight holdups are reported to be commonplace in Nairobi. Mzee Kenyatta's appeals to private employers in 1964 and 1970 to raise their payrolls by 10 per cent have not produced any significant long-term rise in employment. A three-pronged strategy to create new jobs has been proposed:31 1. Higher rates of output growth; 2. Income policies designed to encourage employment of large numbers of unskiUed laborers; 3. Narrow the urban-rural wage gap in order to slow down migration to urban centers. Whatever strategy is finally decided on, all indications
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suggest that none of the three formulae in itself will effectively solve Kenya's unemployment dilemma. In fact nothing short of out-fight radical measures aimed at full employment, increased productivity and controlled prices will avert the peasant and proletariat revolt toward which Kenya seems to be headed. This event may be delayed by the fact that over 80 per cent of Kenya's population is still very rudimentarily peasant. However, as this peasantry continues to feel neglected, if not exploited, and as its expectations are raised by the demonstration effects of the modern sector, the present elite will be compelled to shape up or be booted out. Already signs of peasant restlessness are highly visible in Kenya - from the university community in Nairobi to the outskirts of the "White Highlands," from street sweepers and market peddlers to the people facing Mount Kenya. The old slogans of "Uhuru na Umoja," "Uhuru na harambee," "Uhuru na Uj amaa" ("Freedom and Unity," "Freedom and Togetherness," "Freedom and Socialism," respectively) are steadily being converted into "Uhuru na Najaa" (Freedom and Hunger"). Tom Mboya once attacked the latest slogan as being a birthchild of "those who ply cheap and idle slogans," completely overlooking the fact that "Uhuru na Njaa" goes beyond an exercise in sloganeering but in fact is a clear expression of a harsh experience, disillusionment and outright anger. Rather than engaging in exploitation of those steps necessary to make "njaa" anathema to Kenya, the government remains adamant in its policy against the "levelling downwards" of income distribution and the general wealth, "We do not," stated Tom Mboya in explaining the government's policy, "believe in the theory of equitable distribution of poverty. ''32 Unfortunately, the present government's economic and political policies seem to support Tom Mboya's position. The political elite, is determined to have nothing to do with the "distribution of poverty." Rather it is ceaselessly engaged in the development of its imitational behavioral patterns, such as emulating European styles of dress, appetite and diction. Rather than moving in the direction of creating a new Kenya in order to meet some of the needs stated above, the Kenyatta regime, instead, has decided to pursue those very steps that are bound to ensure the perpetuation of the old system. Unlike her East African neighbor, Tanzania, Kenya
Neo-Colonialism: The Kenya Case
has steadfastly resisted any move towards nationalization of major industries. She has maintained that "we really have no factories or industries to nationalize. ''33 It is very difficult to understand the grounds on which such a statement is made in view of the fact that Kenya is by far the most industrially advanced country of the East African community. Even if it were true that there are no industries and factories to nationalize, there is always one omnipresent property item that can be nationalized, land. As noted earlier, this has not been done in spite of strong suggestions for nationalization and the creation of cooperatives. However, there are a number of industries and factories that can be nationalized, for example, banks, coffee and sisal factories, the news media, (newspapers, radio and television - these items are still foreign owned, their crucial political importance nationally, notwithstanding) and hotels. Paradoxically, the governing elite continues to maintain that in the final analysis, "the Government and Parliament must have control and direction of the economy of this country on behalf of the people. ''34 Given, the nature of ownership of property in Kenya, one cannot help but wonder who "the people" are. As noted in the discussion of the banks in Kenya, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to command full control of the direction of enterprises, whose policy makers, boards of directors, are not only removed from the country but also base their policies on indexes outside of the country. V. Conclusion
The government has, therefore, found as its first order of economic business the creation of property in the hope that it will be nationalized at a later date. This means foreign capital and manpower must continue to be attracted. It is estimated that "with foreign assistance we can grow at about three times the speed we would without it. ''35 In the long-run, it is argued, foreign contributions will only play a marginal role. Obviously some questions must be raised: At what point in the continuum of time will foreign contribution be so controlled? What built in guarantees are there so that that goal will be reached? How are the foreign owned industries going to exploit the time, both economically and politically, between now and whenever "the long run" is? How much property should there be before nationalization can be made a government policy?
The Review of Black Political Economy
It can categorically be stated, that there/s enough property in Kenya to justify nationalization. The intelligentsia, argues Dr. Okumu, is against nationalization not because "there is no property" but because "these people . . . are trying to make it individually. ''36 If the government were serious about its intention to nationalize, it would be surprised (ff indeed it would be) to find that there is plenty of property, some of which is very crucial to the existence of the country as a nation, to nationalize. Whether Kenya will move beyond the point of 51 percent partial ownership in this company or in other industries remains to be seen. However, many doubt that, short of a revolution, drastic measures aimed at nationalization for the benefit of the masses are forthcoming in the near future. In fact, some have concluded, that Kenya "is a lost cause." Mzee Kenyatta's own dedication to " . . . a l l the dispossessed youth of A f r i c a . . . " in his book Facing Mt. Kenya, must be a constant reminder of what independence should be all about. Independence is not decolonization until and unless it goes beyond constitutional rituals and black faces in government positions to a complete re-arrangement of allegiances and priorities - consistent with the people's wishes - and the liberation (or is it revolution?) of attitudes in order to remove the castratic effects of colonialism. FOOTNOTES 1. Oginga Odinga, Not Yet Uhuru (Hill and Wang, N.Y. 1967). 2. Kwarne Nkrumah, Class Struggle in Africa (Panaf Books Ltd., London, 1970). 3. Albert Memrni, The Colonizer and the Colonized (Beacon Press, Boston, 1967). 4. Ibid., p. xxviii. 5. Ibid., p. xxix.
6. Ahmed Mohiddin, "Tanzania and the Principles of Relevance in Africa" (Unpublished). 7. Loc. ciL
8. Ogtnga Odinga, op. ci~, p. 243. 9. Willie E. Abraham, The Mind o f Africa, (Phoenix Books, The University of Chicago Press, 1962). 10. Oginga Odinga, op. ci~, p. 22.
NeoColonialism: The Kenya Case
11. Oginga Odinga, Ioc. cir. 12. Lord Halley, An African Survey, (Oxford University Press, London, 1957). 13. William J. Barber, The Economy of British Central Africa, p. 37. 14. Oginga Odinga, op. ciL, p. 126. 15. Lecture, "Politics and Economy of Kenya:' by Dr. John Okumu at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, August 6, 1970. (Given to visitors from the Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University). 16. OgingaOdinga's op. cit, po 264. 17. L o ~ cir. 18. Ibid., p. 266.
19. Lo~ ciL 20. Lo~ cir., pp. 266-7. 21. Ibid., p. 258. 22. Ibid., p. 261. 23. The Working Party's report was compiled into a book: Who Controls Industry In Kenya?, (East African Publishing House, 1968). 24. Economic and Statistic# Department).
(East African Statistical
25. Who Controls Industry In Kenya?, p. 171. 26. Ahmed Mohiddin, op. clt., p. 6. 27. "Daily Nation" (Kenya) May 8, 1965. 25. Ahmed Mohiddin, op. cir., p. 8. 29. Who Controls Industry In Kenya?, p. 168. 30. Ibid., p. 171. 31. Frederick Hunter, "On Needy In Nairobi," Christian Science Monitor, January 5, 1971, p. 1. 32. Tom J. Mboya, "The Development Progress in Kenya," East African Journal, (October, 1965, p. 31). 33. Ibid., p. 32. 34. Ibid., p. 33. 35. Lo~ cic 36. John Okumu, op. cir