Kenya's Independence Constitution: Constitution-Making and End of Empire

Overview

Kenya's Independence Constitution: Constitution-Making and End of Empire is a narrative of the evolution of the constitution that was put into effect as Kenya's history as a colonial possession came to an end. It details the attempts of the colony's political elite and the British Colonial Office to find a constitutional means to move Kenya to the status of independent state. As this process moved forward, political ethnicity assumed central significance. This produced an environment in which demands for a ...

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Kenya's Independence Constitution: Constitution-Making and End of Empire

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Overview

Kenya's Independence Constitution: Constitution-Making and End of Empire is a narrative of the evolution of the constitution that was put into effect as Kenya's history as a colonial possession came to an end. It details the attempts of the colony's political elite and the British Colonial Office to find a constitutional means to move Kenya to the status of independent state. As this process moved forward, political ethnicity assumed central significance. This produced an environment in which demands for a federal constitution, popularly termed majimbo, came to dominate constitutional discourse. Deep disagreement among Kenya's political elite over this issue marked the remainder of the colonial period. That elite, now represented by the Kenya African National Union (KANU) and the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU), advocated different constitutional paths to independence. KADU's demands for a majimbo constitution dominated discourse during 1962 and early 1963, but deep disagreement characterized the constitutional negotiations. This resulted in a constitution for self-government (introduced on June 1, 1963) that was regional in character but fell short of a federal system. Almost as soon as it came into existence, this constitution faced pressure for substantial change from KANU, the party that won the 1963 general election. As a result, the British government was forced to make alterations in what became the independence constitution. The latter proved a prelude to the destruction of majimbo a year later. Kenya's Independence Constitution provides the first in-depth description of the final stage of colonial Kenya's constitutional evolution. This book not only provides a detailed account of the process of constitution-making, including definitive treatments of the final two constitutional conferences of 1962 and 1963. Utilizing British and Kenya cabinet papers and secret intelligence reports never featured in earlier accounts, the narrative also destroys many of the myt

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Editorial Reviews

Journal Of Contemporary African Studies
Robert Maxon, a highly respected historian of Kenya, provides a detailed account of the complicated negotiation processes which led to the finalization of Kenya’s independence constitution.

He has provided what is undoubtedly a magisterial and highly authoritative account of Kenya’s tumultuous independence process which will provide the major point of reference on the subject for many years ahead.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611470529
  • Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson
  • Publication date: 6/24/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert M. Maxon is professor of African history at West Virginia University.

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Table of Contents

Preface 7

List of Abbreviations 13

1 Background to Constitution-Making and Decolonization 15

2 Pressures for a New Constitution: Kenya, 1960-61 30

3 Majimbo Takes Center Stage 54

4 The Battle for Majimbo: Lancaster House II 77

5 Making the Constitution, April-December 1962 113

6 Completing the Constitution, December 1962-April 1963 152

7 The 1963 Election and Setting a Date for Independence 176

8 Change the Constitution Part 1, April-September 1963 201

9 Change the Constitution Part 2: Lancaster House III and Kenya's Independence Constitution, September-December 1963 221

10 Constitution-Making: Uhuru na Majimbo 267

Notes 277

Bibliography 341

Index 353

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