HISTORY

The Emergence of the Modern East African Nations 1900 -1963
The Mau - Mau Uprising 1954

ACTIVITIES

Introduction
MAU-MAU movement
Effects of MAU-MAU rebellion
Learners' activities

 

 

 

EFFECTS/RESULTS OF THE MAU-MAU RISING

  • Many people lost their lives which led to depopulation. 100 Europeans and 2000 Pro-British Africans lost their lives. Over 10,000 energetic men were killed and this massive loss of productive labor led to economic decline in Kenya after 1956.

  • The Kenyans were allowed to participate in the Legislative council in large numbers. In 1958, a constitution (Lennox) was drawn which provided for 15 members of African representation to the council and therefore members like Arap Moi ,Oginga Odinga ,Tom Mboya joined  the legislative council who became influential  in the independence struggle.

  • Kenyans became involved in various economic activities as equal partners from which they had been excluded .They were allowed to grow profitable crops like coffee, tea, cotton from which they obtained profits and improved their standards of living.

  • It led to the formation of political parties. Due to the increased constitutional reforms and increased education, African elite emerged and these formed strong political parties which included Kenya African National Union. (KANU) Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU). These parties strongly advocated for Kenyan Independence.

  • It led to the leaders of the Mau-Mau and many people being arrested and detained in prison for a long time hence their suffering and misery  for example Jomo Kenyatta detained for seven years and Dedan Kimathi.
  • The activities of the Mau Mau uprising put pressure on the colonial government to the extent that Kenya got her independence in 1963. The colonial government was forced to undertake social, economic as well as political reforms. In 1958, constitutional reforms were adopted which quickened the way to multi-racial form of government in Kenya. For the first time the Africans were included in the local and national politics in Kenya.

  • The uprising led to the exodus of many white settlers in Kenya and the plans to make Kenya a white man’s country became futile. After 1956, all parts that were racially restricted were made open to all races including the Kenyan highlands.

  • Farms were destroyed which led to food shortage in the area. There was massive destruction of the food stores, granaries and burning of fields and yet people were confined in camps and reserves. These became congested and over crowded with no land for agriculture. The political instability destabilized the agricultural development in Kenya.
  • The war was costly to both Britain and Kenya. Britain. For example it’s estimated that the British Government spent over 50million pounds on buying auxiliary weapons and financing the war. In addition there was loss of business and therefore money since trade was paralyzed. Administrative centers, churches, farm machinery worth millions of pounds were also destroyed.

  • The colonial administration was forced to with draw the foreign labour policy and many Kenyans began looking for jobs in their own country reducing the Asian domination of the commercial and retail sectors.

  • The removal of Kikuyu leaders gave an opportunity to other leaders to rise up, example, Tom Mboya, Oginga Odinga etc. These worked to sensitize the Africans to fight on and intensify the massive destruction of property that belonged to the British, Asian retail shops were frequently looted. This created economic pain that forced the British subdue to the African cry for independence by promising quick constitutional transformation.
  • The whites accepted that a multi-racial society was the only solution and each race had to accept peaceful existence with one another. Equality of races was witnessed in schools, agriculture and government especially the ministerial ranks.  The exclusive white occupation and settlement of Kenya highlands was abolished. In this respect the Mau Mau achieved the objective of its leaders i.e. Equal treatment of races.
  • Mau Mau rebellion affected the settlement patterns of the kikuyu:  Small and protected villages were created by the government as a means of separating civilians from guerillas (fighters).A total of 80,000 Kikuyu men, women and children were confined in detention camps. The 1952 state of emergency forced the kikuyu to live in the protected villages together instead of the formerly scattered settlement. This later enabled easy provision of schools, health services, and market services to the people.
  • It led to the release of political prisoners .For instance in August 1961 Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was released, elected to Legislative Assembly and made president of Kenya African  National Union (KANU).Similarly, 173 prisoners who were released by rebels during the height of the Mau Mau uprising.

  • Increased Africanisation of Kenya’s educational system, Africans were allowed to access good quality education similar to that of the white settlers. Many were admitted in public schools, more schools for the African children were constructed even in the rural areas. Further still African children were given priority on scholarship awarded by the government which never happened before.

In conclusion, the British were quick to hand over power to Africans i.e. Ghana 1957, Tanganyika (Tanzania) 9/12/1961, Uganda 9/10/1962, Kenya 12/12/1963. This was done so as to avoid worse embarrassment and bloodshed as the case was with the Mau Mau in Kenya.

Teachers' guide
Scheme of work
Lesson plan
Learners' activities

Useful web links

Time line: Mau Mau rebellion

Mau Mau: Kenya political movement
Origin of the Mau Mau