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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines Daniel arap Moi’s succession to the presidency in 1978 and his efforts to consolidate power. After initially seeking to allay fears of change, Moi moved to construct a new coalition following the 1979 elections by removing Kikuyu from key positions and appointing members of his own Kalenjin community, along with other Rift Valley communities, the Luhya of Western Province, and Coastal groups. Following the failed coup of August 1, 1982, the President moved against Charles Njonjo, the most powerful Kikuyu leader, and purged Parliament and the military of senior Kikuyu officers. Rigged elections in 1983 and 1988 eventually generated sustained resistance to the regime’s autocracy. Street protests, the launch of the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD), as well as international pressure and withholding of aid eventually led Moi to allow a multi-party system to re-emerge in 1991.

Keywords: nyayo, mlolongo, KANU, ethnic politics, FORD, Moi, multi-party politics, political economy, neo-patrimonialism

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