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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines some key developments of Jomo Kenyatta’s presidency (1963–1978). This includes the collapse of the majimbo federal constitution, the conflict with Somalia, and decision of members of the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) to join the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) in 1964. It also includes the debate over the merits of capitalism and socialism and the saga of the Lumumba Institute, which resulted in the decline of the Left and the marginalization of Vice-President Odinga, culminating in his departure from KANU and the formation of the Kenya People’s Union (KPU) in 1966. The chapter traces the obstruction and subsequent banning of KPU, the alienation of the Luo community and entrenchment of Kikuyu power following the 1969 and 1974 elections. The Kenyatta era ended with the murder of J. M. Kariuki, the “Change the Constitution” Movement of 1976–1977, and the resurgence and repression of the Left.

Keywords: Kenyatta, majimbo, KANU, KADU, KPU, political economy, neo-patrimonialism, ethnic coalition

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