CAUSES OF THE SCRAMBLE FOR EAST AFRICA.
- The rise of Nationalism in Europe. The Unification of Germany, after the Franco- Prussian war (1870-71) upset the balance of power in Europe and there was need to rebalance out through acquisition of colonies in Africa including east Africa. The Germans also felt that the only way their nation could gain recognition among other European powers was through securing colonial possession.
- Strategic location of East Africa in relation to Egypt. Europeans were concerned with the source of the river Nile in East Africa and control of the Suez Canal. Therefore, the ownership of East Africa was crucial to the Egyptian affairs. East Africa, had, from the days of the Portuguese conquest in the 15th century, proved to be a strategic location for fresh supplies. That is why the Germans and the British competed for possessions in the region.
- The need to speed up economic development of the European countries. The industrialized nations were rushing for colonies to tap raw materials to keep their factories running. There was also a popular believe that East Africa contained pockets of precious metals awaiting exploitation. They were also driven by the search for market for European produced goods. The Europeans were also looking for places to invest their capital.
- The rise of Public opinion in Europe. There was growth of public support towards the acquisition of colonies. E.g., the Daily Press in London spoke well about acquiring colonies.
- Social factors.
- East Africa was to be occupied as a means of stamping out slave trade and replacing it with legitimate trade.
- The Europeans were keen on spreading their culture to east Africa.
- They wanted to protect their missionaries who were already operating in east Africa
The process of Partition.
The partition of East Africa was sealed through the following two treaties.
- The Anglo-German Agreement of 1886.
- The agreement facilitated peaceful settlement of the german and British claims on east Africa as follows;
- a) The Sultan was given the 16 KM (10mile) coastal strip from Vanga to Lamu. He also acquired islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, mafia, Lamu, pate and Towns like Lamu, Kisimayu, Mogadishu, Merca, and Brava.
- b) Germany acquired the coastline of Witu the region between river Umba in the North and river Ruvuma in the south.
- c) The British got the territory north of river Umba up to river Juba in the north.
Terms of the Heligoland Treaty of 1890.
- a) Germany officially recognized Uganda as a British sphere of influence/protectorate.
- b) Germany abandoned her claim over the territory of Witu for British in exchange for Heligoland island in the North sea
- c) Germany accepted British protectorate over Zanzibar and Pemba.
- d) Germany acquired a strip of land on Lake Tanganyika from Britain and the Coastal region of Tanganyika from the Sultan of Zanzibar.
- e) The Sultan of Zanzibar retained a 16km (10 miles) Coastal strip.
- This treaty thus ended the scramble for and partition of East Africa.
BRITISH OCCUPATION OF KENYA
- a)Signing of treaties. The following treaties were signed either by the British or on behalf of the British to facilitate their occupation of Kenya;
- A treaty by Sir William Mackinnon and the Sultan of Zanzibar Barghash in 1887 which effectively put Zanzibar under the British for 50 years.
- The Maasai Agreements of 1904 and 1911 between Oloibon Lenana and the British
- The Anglo-Germany Treaties of 1886 and 1890.
- b) Collaboration. The British collaborated with communities like the Wanga and Maasai who were later used as bases to extend British Authority over other areas.
- c) Establishing operational bases. The British built Forts like Fort Smith (Kabete) and Fort Hall (Murang’a) to enhance their political control.
- d) Use of company Rule. In the initial stages, due to the fear of the enormous costs of effective occupation and administration, the British mandated the IBEA. Company to administer the Kenyan protectorate.
- a)Levying and collecting taxes and institute custom duties in the area.
- b)Establishing political authority and Maintain of law and order in the British East Africa.
- c) Promoting legitimate trade and Eradicate slave trade
- d) Developing and civilizing the indigenous peoples with the assistance of the imperial consul based in Zanzibar.
- a) The company succeeded in quelling local aggression in the British spheres of influence from communities such as the Nandi, Maasai and Akamba.
- b) The company established a series of Forts at Kibwezi, Machakos, Smith and Dagoretti, which laid the basis for colonial administration in Kenya.
- c) The company improved transport and communication in the protectorate by pioneering road construction in Kenya. For example the Sclater’s Road between Kibwezi and Busia in 1894 which assisted in transportation of railway building materials.
- d) The company succeeded in eradicating slavery to some extend and securing freedom for many slaves.
- e) The company also developed a rubber industry along the coast and the interior.
Reasons why Britain used the IBEA Company to administer her possession.
- a) Absence of a clear policy on the administration of colonial possessions. This gave room to the use of the company to administer the colony.
- b) The company could provide cheap administrative capital that Britain had failed to raise for colonial governance. The colonies were not yet economically viable
- c) There was a problem of inadequate personnel to be used in the administration of the colonies.
- d) I.B.E.A.Co’s long experience in the region. The company had invested heavily in east Africa, hence making its participation in the administration of the colony inevitable.
- a) The region lacked strategic natural resources for export thus making the IBEACO, a trading company, to operate at a loss and narrow its revenue base. Minerals like Gold, copper and Diamond were not existent.
- b) The company lacked sufficient capital to carry out the day- to- day administrative operations. The company had spent the little funds available in the construction of fortified trading stations, with little reward.
- c) Transportation of goods in the region proved expensive and slow as the region did not have any navigable rivers
- d) The company faced the problem of poor coordination of its activities caused by lack of proper channels of communication between the head office in Europe and the offices in the colony.
- e) Some of the company officials were corrupt and therefore misappropriated funds.
- f) The company faced numerous resistances especially in the Nandi country thus disrupting their operation. At one time, Fort Smith was set on fire by African resisters.
- g) Some of the company officials lacked experience in administrative matters since most of them came merely as traders.
- h) The company officials also were affected by the harsh tropical climate and diseases like malaria and sleeping sickness that killed many. The company thus surrendered the Charter in 1895 to the British government for a compensation of 250,000 dollars
Factors facilitated the establishment of the British control over Kenya during the 19th century
- a) The Christian missionary factor. They created an atmosphere of friendship with Africans, which was important for colonization. They also occasionally called home for protection against hostile communities.
- b) Presence of trading company (IBEACO. The companies through their agents signed treaties with African rulers and among themselves as a means of initiating effective occupation of Kenya.
- c) Superior military power/good army. The European armies were more efficient than he African ones. This was witnessed in the ability to quell the numerous wars of resistance like the Nandi resistance.
- d) Disunity among African communities. By the time the British came to East Africa, the Wanga were up against the neighboring communities in western Kenya, the Nandi and the Maasai were at war and the Mijikenda against the coastal Arabs over land. This was of advantage to the British.
- e) Signing of treaties. There was Collaboration of some communities with the British. The Maasai signed the Maasai Agreement of 1900. The Wanga also signed various treaties with the British.
- f) The British policy of indirect rule was readily acceptable, thus reducing the chances of resistance.
- g) Financial support from the home government.
KENYA PEOPLES’ RESPONSES BRITISH INVASION OF KENYA
- Africans in Kenya offered varied responses to the British intrusion into their country. Some resisted while other collaborated.
- The communities that resisted actively included the Nandi, Agiryama, Bukusu, Somali and sections of the Agikuyu
The Nandi Resistance (1895-1906)
- a) The Nandi had gained a lot of pride, having subdued their neighbours E.g the Luo, Maasai, Abagusii and Abaluhyia. At that time, they were enjoying a sense of superiority that gave them confidence to take the British Intruders head-on.
- b) The Nandi military superiority made them feel equal if not superior to the whites. Their warriors were well- trained and equipped and had gained a lot of experience through the numerous cattle raids the conducted against their neighbours.
- c) The Nandi detested the physical appearance of the white people which they considered as evil and must be expelled from their community.
- d) The Nandi were opposed to Land alienation by the British. They disliked the grabbing of their land for railway construction/white settlement.
- e) Kimnyole’s prophecy that foreigners would dominate the Nandi motivated them to fight against the Europeans.
- f) The Nandi had a long history of resisting and fighting intruders. They had successfully warded off the Arab and Swahili traders in the 1850s.
- g) The Nandi resisted as a means of safeguarding their independence which they had enjoyed for a long time.
- h) The Nandi also enjoyed unity under the leadership of Koitalel Arap Samoei between 1895 and 1905. This had helped them to register numerous victories against neighbouring communities. They therefore felt strong enough to resist the British.
Course of the Nandi rebellion.
- The Nandi wars of resistance began in 1895.
- The Nandi mainly employed guerilla warfare ambushing the caravan traders and mail carriers who passed in their territory.
- When two Nandi warriors strayed into the Guasa Mesa administrative camp headed by Andrew Dick in 1895, he murdered them as a response to the attacks by the Nandi on foreigners passing in their territory.
- The Nandi retaliated through the murder of a British trader, Peter West and thirty of his workers. This sparked off British punitive expeditions against the Nandi with the first in 1897 which however failed to stop the Nandi raids.
- When the railway reached the Nandi territory, they refused to cooperate with the railway builders and even kept stealing building materials to make weapons and ornaments. They even ambushed and murdered railway builders.
- In 1900, the British sent three punitive expeditions under Colonel Evatt, the commander of the Uganda Rifles reinforced by the Maasai, Baganda, Swahili and Indian mercenaries.
- The Nandi were supported by the Kipsigis enabling them to resist for so long causing high death toll on the British and the Nandi as well.
- The year 1901 witnessed a temporary truce worked out by the British administrator, Walter Mayes (1901-1905), after realizing the heavy causalities both sides were experiencing.
- The war was re-ignited when the Nandi realized that the British had started settling and farming on their land. They destroyed the railway in protest. The British reacted by destroying crops and villages and stealing cattle for the next three years.
- The Nandi war of resistance only ended when the British officer in Nandi, Captain Meinertzhagen, hatched a plan to have Koitalel, the chief coordinator of the résistance, killed.
- He and his advisers were killed in October 1905, during a “peace” meeting convened by Meinertzhagen.
- The Nandi finally sought for peace in December 1905 ending the ten year long resistance.
Why the Nandi offered the longest and strongest ever resistance to the British intrusion in Kenya.
- a) The British intrusion into their territory happened when the Nandi were at the best of their power and superiority.
- b) Existence of a superior military organization based on the age set system. The Nandi army was strong and could match any foreign force. The regimental age-set system supplied the Nandi with young men who were experienced in battle, disciplined, organized and were effective.
- c) The Nandi also possessed knowledge of weapon manufacture and repair through their local ironsmiths and using stolen railway material.
- d) The Nandi enjoyed regular supply of food and war equipment which sustained the fighters for a long period. This was mainly aided by the Nandi mixed economy enabling them to turn livestock for food when the British destroyed crops.
- e) The Nandi had good knowledge of the terrain in which they were fighting the intruders thus having an advantage over the British who were not familiar with the terrain. The difficulties faced by the British as posed by the terrain disadvantaged them during the resistance
- f) The Nandi knowledge of Guerilla tactics. This enabled them to organize many surprise attacks while vandalizing key British installations like the telegraph lines.
- g) The existence of strong leadership. The Nandi leadership was religiously inspired and therefore very strong. The Orkoiyot was their symbol of unity and strength and was believed to possess some supernatural powers that gave courage to the fighters.
- h) Their enemies, the British troops, were slowed down in their advance by problems like respiratory disease due to the wet and cold climate. The Nandi were accustomed to these conditions
- i) The Nandi received assistance from the Kipsigis fighters – the Elgeyo, Lembus and Nyangori which enabled them to hold off the British for Six weeks in 1900..
Why the Nandi were defeated in the hands of the British.
- a) The British obtained support, against the Nandi, from the collaborating communities like the Somali and the Maasai.
- b) The British military strength remained superior to that of the Nandi especially in terms of the weapons. Their guns were superior to the Nandi spears.
- c) There was an outbreak of smallpox in the Nandi country 1890. This weakened them by killing many and rendering others unable to fight on.
- d) They Nandi failed to get support from the neighboring Kenyan communities like the Luo and the Abaluhyia who were not friendly to them.
- e) The treachery employed by Captain Meinertzhagen, the British commander who lured Nandi Orkoiyot Koitalel Arap Samoei to a meeting where he was killed.
- f) The death of Koitalel Arap Samoei demoralized the Nandi into even signing for peace.
- g) The British used Scorched Earth Policy, which seemed more punitive to the Nandi since their houses were burnt and livestock confiscated.
Results of the Nandi resistance.
- a) The Nandi country was colonized by the British after 1906. The Nandi lost their independence.
- b) There was massive loss of life. Koitalel Arap Samoei, his entire council of elders and over 1000 warriors were killed. The British also experienced casualties on the part of their forces.
- c) There was destruction of property through burning and looting. E.g the British confiscated atleast 5000 herds of cattle and burnt more than 5000 huts and grain stores.
- d) There was massive land alienation. The Nandi were pushed into reserves where they experienced impoverishment due to drought and cattle diseases. The Nandi lot their territory and traditional salt licks at Kapchekendi and Kamelilo that were now inhabited by the whites.
- e) The Nandi military organization disintegrated thus making them lose their dignity and authority in the region.
- f) The Nandi were separated from their close cousins and allies the Kipsigis through the creation of the Nandi Reserves where they were confined. Their economic lifestyle of grazing animals freely was also disrupted.
- g) Many Nandi warriors were recruited into the colonial police.
Causes of the Agiriama resistance.
- a) They did not want to pay taxes, especially hut tax that was hurting to traditionally polygamous group, to the British. The British also were forcing them to pay it in terms of labour instead of allowing them to sell their grains and livestock to pay.
- b) They had lost their independence/the British replaced the Agiriama traditional rulers with their own appointees
- c) They were opposed to forced labour on British plantations for little or no pay especially on land that had been snatched from them.
- d) The British did not respect their culture. The British policemen at Kitengani insulted the Agiriama culture by raping their women.
- e) The Agiriama were reacting against forced conscription into the King’s African Rifles. They were forced to produce a 1000 able-bodied men within a month, join the British army
- f) They lost their land to the British due to the massive land alienation for settler farming. They were forced to offer paid labour on their own former land to the chagrin of the elders.
- g) The British, who were seeking to take over the Agiriama role as middlemen, disrupted their trade in ivory and food stuffs
- h) They disliked the British-appointed headmen whose duties included collection of taxes and recruitment of labour.
The Agiriama resistance was inspired by a Giriama prophetess, Mekatilili wa Menza. She was joined by an Elder, Wanje wa Madorika in mobilizing people to a mass resistance against the British rule. The immediate course of their reaction was the forced military recruitment into the KAR. To provoke the British to war, they barred their young men from moving outside their villages to work. Mekatilili and Wanje called on the people to return to their ancestral shrine at Kaya Fungo and offer sacrifices and denounced all appointed puppet rulers in favour of the traditional council of elders. The two administered traditional oaths to unite and inspire the people to war. I.e. the Mukushekushe oath for women and the Fisi oat for men. When a state of emergency was declared by the British over the Agiriama, they resorted to Hit-and-run warfare. They attacked the homes of loyalists, Europeans and collaborators forcing the missionaries to seeker refuge at Rabai. The British countered the hit-and-run warfare with burning villages and crops and driving away livestock. The resistance only subsided when Mekatilili and Wanje were arrested and deported to Kisii. The Arabs, under Fadhili bin Omari, mediated between the Agiriama and the British, marking the end of the war under the following terms;
- a) The Agiriama to offer a specific number of labourers for European settlers and public works.
- b) They would also offer a certain number of able-bodied men to serve in the King’s African Rifles.
- c) The British would occupy all the land to the north of River Sabaki.
Role of Mekatilili in the Agiriama resistance.
- a) She encouraged the Agiriama to face the British by administering the Mukushekushe and Fisi oaths to unite the people to war.
- b) She presented the grievances of the Agiriama, some of which the British later addressed.
- c) She rallied the people together against a common enemy thus laying the basis for nationalistic struggles for independence.
Results of the Agiriama resistance to the British
- a) Many people lost their lives some as fighters while others were caught in the crossfire.
- b) The Agiriama lost their independence to the British
- c) There was Rampant destruction of property i.e. food stores at home, food crops in the fields and cattle. Some property was lost through confiscation.
- d) The community’s economic activities were disrupted, especially the lucrative trade at Takaungu, where they had been acting as middlemen.
- e) The Agiriama were prohibited from brewing traditional liquor.
- f) The British withdrew their order demanding Agiriama to move out of their homes.
- g) For the first time women took up the leadership of the rebellion e.g. Mekatilili
- a) They wanted to safeguard their independence and culture i.e. circumcision.
- b) They were being compelled to recognize Nabongo Mumia as the overall leader of Abaluhyia.
- c) The Bukusu did not like the idea of paying taxes to the British through force.
- d) They resented the British demand in 1894, that the Bukusu warriors surrender guns they possessed.
- e) The British invasion had happened when the Bukusu were enjoying immense military power.
Course of the resistance.
Methods used by the Bukusu to resist the British.
- a) Use of Warfare. They directly fought the British troops led by Major William Grant, at Lumboka and Chetambe hills.
- b) Ambushes. The Bukusu ambushed a caravan of traders, sent by the commanding officer at Kavirondo to the Ravine Station.
- c) Revolting against rule by Wanga agents. The Bukusu Murdered a Wanga agent, Hamisi, who had been sent, to administer the area. `
Effects of the Bukusu resistance.
- a) The Bukusu lost most of their land through massive land alienation
- b) They lost their independence as Bukusuland was declared part of the British East Africa Protectorate.
- c) There was massive loss of life within the Bukusu and the British forces.
- d) There was loss f property and disruption of Bukusu economy. The Bukusu lost their cattle and sheep.
- e) Bukusu women and children were taken prisoners by the British.
The Somali resistance.
Causes of Somali resistance.
- a) The Somali were opposed to the division of Somaliland into the British and Italian spheres of influence, which separated the clans.
- b) They were opposed to punitive expedition sent against them by the British.
- c) The Somali people being Muslims were opposed to being controlled by the British who were Christians.
- d) The British attempted to stop the Somali raiding activities against their neighbors.
- e) The Somali were against British control of their pastureland and watering points.
- f) The British wanted the Somali to drop their nomadic way of life.
Course of the resistance.
- a) They viewed such an undertaking as to expensive in terms of the arms and military personnel that would have been involved.
- b) The Somali were a nomadic group therefore it was very hard and time consuming to suppress them.
- c) There was no economic justification for waging such a war on a highly unproductive territory.
Results of the Somali resistance.
- a) There was massive loss of life, as many Somalis were killed. Sub-commissioner Jenner was also killed.
- b) The British divide the Darod and Hawiye clans through the boundary changes of 1914.
- c) The Somali cattle were confiscated.
- d) Somali lost their independence through the declaration of the protectorate status.
- e) The process of colonization by Europeans was delayed considerably.
- f) There was favorable boundary change that saw Ogaden being placed under Italian Somaliland.
The Maasai collaboration.
Reasons for the Maasai collaboration with the British.
- a) Losses of the Maasai military supremacy. At the time the British came to Kenya, the Nandi had overtaken the Maasai in terms of military superiority. They therefore sought for foreign support against their aggressors.
- b) Internal feuds. There were a series of succession disputes in the period between 1850 and 1890 caused by differences in economic activities. In one of the disputes, when Lenana seemed to be losing to Sendeyo, he appealed to the British for support.
- c) Natural calamities/disasters. The Maasai country witnessed severe hunger, livestock and human diseases in the 1850s. These weakened them more making them unable to resist.
- d) Threat and wars from the Agikuyu. When the Maasai went to reclaim their women and children at the end of the hunger period, the met with outright threat of attacks from the Agikuyu. They therefore sought British support.
- e) Prophecy of Mbatian. He prophesized the coming of a white man who was more powerful and that the Maasai should not bother to resist him.
- f) Lenana personally chose the path of collaboration because he wanted to consolidate his position and that of his kingdom. He was looking for the much needed military support to overcome his sibling, Sendeyo of the Loita Maasai.
The process of Maasai collaboration.
Results of the Maasai collaboration.
- a) Lenana was made a paramount chief of the Maasai in 1901.
- b) The collaboration led to the separation of the Maasai related clans. The Purko Maasai were divided into the Loita and Ngong Maasai.
- c) There was massive land alienation with the Maasai being moved to the Ngong and Laikipia reserves and later the southern reserve.
- d) Maasai freedom in conducting rituals was curtailed with their confinement to a five – square-mile reserve for initiation rites.
- e) The Maasai lost their independence. Just like any other part of kenya, Maasailand became part of the British protectorate.
- f) There was total disruption of their territorial integrity. Even their cattle economy was disrupted as the number of livestock was reduced. There was an attempt to cause them to abandon their nomadic habit.
- g) The Maasai gained material reward in form of cattle and grains looted from resisting communities like the Nandi and Luo of Ugenya.
- h) Their age old custom of livestock cross- breeding with their Samburu neighbours was disrupted with the curtailing of their migratory behaviour. Their stock was therefore weakened.
- i) Some Maasai were hired as mercenaries against the resisting communities such as the Nandi and Agikuyu.
Reasons for Wanga Collaboration.
- a) Nabongo Mumia hoped that by collaborating, he would be made a paramount Chief of the entire western region.
- b) There was family rivalry over leadership. This compelled Mumia to seek help against his brother Sakwa. He wanted to safeguard his position at home.
- c) He wanted British protection against the Nandi, who were by then enjoying military superiority, the Bukusu and the Luo of Ugenya
- d) He wanted to revive a disintegrating kingdom.
- e) He wanted to take advantage of the British western civilization particularly education and religion. He also wanted material gains from the British.
- f) He aimed at achieving territorial expansion. Mumia aimed at ruling up to Kabras, Kimilili, Marama, Butsotso, Ugenya and Samia.
- g) He realized that his community was very small and it was futile to resist the militarily superior Europeans.
- h) Having realized that the British declaration of western Kenya as their sphere of influence was inevitable, he chose to become their ally at the earliest opportunity ever.
Process of Wanga Collaboration.
Ways in which Nabongo of Wanga collaborate with the British.
- a) He offered his seat-elureko to become an operational base of the British expeditions.
- b) He offered his men to fight alongside the British in their expeditions against other communities.
- c) He provided Wanga agents to aid the British in administering the conquered areas.
- d) The Wanga provided food, water and shelter to the British invading forces.
- e) They gave the British free passage through their territory and offered them hiding places during the battles.
- f) Mumia signed treaties of friendship with the British.
Results of the Wanga collaboration with the British.
- a) Wanga kingdom was strengthened using military support from the British. Wanga kingdom was expanded. Nabongo gained more territories e.g. Samia, Bunyala and Busoko
- b) Their king Mumia was declared a paramount Chief thus raising his prestige. He ruled as a British paramount chief ruling as far as Bunyala, Gem , Ugenya and Alego, upto 1926, when he officially retired
- c) Mumia warriors became agents of the British colonialism. The warriors were used to subdue the Luo, Bukusu and Nandi.
- d) The Wanga Princes became agents of British rule over western Kenya. For example, Mumia’s half-brother Murunga was appointed chief of the Isukha and Idakho.
- e) Mumias headquarters at Elureko became the seat of British administration in western Kenya upto 1920 when it was moved to Kakamega.
- f) Mumia and his people gained material benefits from the British through trade, western education and religion.
- g) Nabongo Mumia became an important ally of the British administration in western ken\ya, providing them with vital information over the appointment of chiefs and Headmen in western Kenya.
- h) Due to the Wanga Collaboration, there was intensified enmity and hostility between the Wanga people and other Abaluhyia subsections who viewed the Wanga as traitors.
- i) However, The Wanga, just like any other collaborator or resister lost their independence when Kenya was declared a British Colony in 1920.
The Akamba Reaction.
Why the Akamba decided to resist British administration?
- a) The British failed to respect Akamba traditions and customs. For example, the cutting down of the ithembo (shrine) tree for a flag post at Mutituni in 1891.
- b) When the Akamba attacked the Agikuyu, The British intervened against them. This was not taken kindly.
- c) The Akamba were protesting the misconduct of Company officials based at Machakos who stole from the local people and raped Akamba women.
- d) The establishment of colonial administration disrupted the long distance trade, which was the Akamba lifeline.
- e) The establishment of British rule meant loss of independence for the Akamba.
- f) The establishment of military posts in Ukambani without their consent. The British built a fort at Masaku in 1890.
- g) The British kept on disrupting their peace by sending military expeditions that resulted in death and massive destruction of property.
- h) The Akamba were also resisting forced labour.
Course of the Akamba resistance.
- In 1890, Nzibu Mweu led he Akamba in boycotting to sell goods to the company agents. Prophetess Syonguu also ordered the Iveti Warriors to attack the Masaku fort in the same year as a reaction to the cutting down of the ithembo tree for a flagpole.
- The British agents were defeated during this surprise attack.
- When the British tried to stop the Akamba raids on their neighbours in 1894, a Warrior, Mwatu wa Ngoma ordered the Akamba warriors, who had been inspired by medicinemen, to attack the British.
- The British responded with devastating consequences on the side of the Akamba forcing them into collaboration with the British District Commissioner, John Ainsworth. Mwatu wa Ngoma became a collaborator.
- Later, another gallant fighter, Mwanamuka, led the Kangundo people to attack the colonial police at Mukuyuni and Mwala, killing six. With the assistance of Maasai mercenaries, the British sent a punitive expedition against the Akamba and even confiscated their livestock When Mwanamuka tried to blockade the Lukenya area to cut off communication between Fort Smith and Masaku, he was met with devastating consequences that forced him to also petition for peace.
Why a section of the Akamba collaborated with the British.
- a) They had lost heavily during the Akamba-British war of 1894 causing them to fear the British.
- b) The ruthlessness with which the British attacked the Akamba scared many warriors into collaborating. For example, the Machakos station superintendent, Leith dispatched troops to deal with Syonguu’s forces in 1891, causing merciless killings and looting of property.
- c) Some especially the trades collaborated expecting material gains.
- d) Collaborators wanted to gain prestige.
- e) They wanted to get guns to be used in robbing for wealth.
- f) The Akamba had been weakened by the 1899 famine and were therefore unable to effectively tackle the British.
Reasons for the Akamba defeat.
- a) Some of the Akamba were not patriotic to the resistance course. Some self-serving opportunists allied with the colonial agents with the aim of enriching themselves thereby resulting in the Akamba defeat.
- b) Internally, the Akamba lacked territorial cohesion. It was therefore very difficult to coordinate a strong resistance to British rule among a highly segmented society lacking in a centralized system of government.
- c) Sections of The Akamba community experienced severe famine in 1899. They were weakened to the level of being unable to stage a gainful resistance to the British.
- d) The role of missionaries who pacified some sections to the level of collaborating with the intruders. The missionaries actively undermined their religious practices and traditional beliefs.
- e) When the Akamba caravan trade and raiding activities were disrupted, they had lost a significant source of livelihood and thus became weakened more.
Consequences of the Akamba reaction.
- a) The Akamba lost their independence as their territory was declared a British protectorate.
- b) There was massive alienation of Kamba land to pave way for white settlement.
- c) Many people, especially the Akamba warriors lost their lives during the confrontations with the British soldiers.
- d) The British interfered with the Akamba culture by cutting down the Ithembo tree and raping their women.
- e) The Akamba were subjected to heavy taxation in order to raise revenue for the colonial administration.
- f) Many of the Akamba men were forcefully conscripted into the King’s African Rifles to fight in world War I.
The Agikuyu reaction.
Explain the causes of Agikuyu resistance.
- a) The British failed to respect Agikuyu traditions and customs. The missionaries campaigned against female circumcision and Kikuyu forms of worship.
- b) Misconduct of company officials. They stole from the local people, killing some of them, and raped Agikuyu women.
- c) The Agikuyu were revolting against the forced supply of grains and water, by their women, to the British soldiers.
- d) There was massive land alienation, which had left many landless or pushed to unproductive land.
- e) Harassment of the Agikuyu, by British punitive expeditions. To enforce their policies, the British usually applied excessive force.
- f) The British had begun meddling in the Agikuyu internal affairs making them suspicious of their intentions.
- g) Fear of Loss of independence by some leaders like Waiyaki wa Hinga.
- h) The Agikuyu were reacting against the punishment meted on them by the British for raiding Fort Smith in 1892.
Reasons why some Agikuyu collaborated.
- a) Agikuyu leaders like Kinyanjui wa Gathirimu and Karuri wa Gakure wanted to derive personal wealth and prestige through collaboration.
- b) Kinyanjui wa Gathirimu and Karuri wa Gakure hoped that by collaborating, they would be made paramount Chiefs among the Agikuyu.
- c) The collaborators wanted British protection against their enemies amongst the Agikuyu and other neighbouring communities.
- d) They wanted to take advantage of the British western civilization particularly education and religion.
- e) They also wanted material gains from the British through trading with them.
- f) The Agikuyu of Nyeri realized that it was futile to resist the militarily superior Europeans. They therefore chose to collaborate.
Organization of the Agikuyu reaction.
The Agikuyu reacted by setting the Dagoretti fort on fire. Waiyaki was arrested by the forces sent by Sub-commissioner Ainsworth, and died enroute to Mombasa. It is alleged that he was buried alive at Kibwezi after provoking his captors. Kinyanjui wa Gathirimu, a collaborator, succeeded Waiyaki at Dagoretti. In 1899, Fort Dagoretti was closed down due to a series of raids. Francis Hall opened another Fort at Murang’a (renamed Fort Hall after his death in 1901) after the locals were subdued and forced to accept the British Colonial rule. British trader John Boyes forged an alliance with Karuri wa Gakure, the Agikuyu leader at Fort Hall, which enabled him to subdue the resisting Agikuyu groups. He also made contacts with Wang’ombe of Gaki (Nyeri) who together with Gakure supplied the British with mercenaries in exchange for confiscated loots from resisting groups. Meinertzhagen, who succeeded Francis Hall in 1902, subdued the Muruku and Tetu section (led by Chief Gakere) of the Agikuyu. Chief Gakere was murdered and his associates deported to the coast after they wiped out the entire Asian caravan on the slopes of the Aberdares. The Agikuyu of Iriani (Nyeri) were defeated in 1904 and their Aembu and Ameru allies sought for peace in 1906, having seen the effects of resisting. By 1910, British rule had been established in the entire Mount Kenya region. With the Agikuyu settling peacefully in the reserves upto 1920s when they began to agitate again.
Results of the Agikuyu mixed reaction.
- a) The reactions fuelled mistrust, hatred and animosity in most of Kikuyuland. Such feelings of mistrust continue among the Agikuyu of Murang’a, Kiambu and Nyeri up-to-date.
- b) There was massive alienation of Agikuyu land by the British with the help of the collaborators like Wang’ombe wa Ihura and Gathirimu who gave land to the British for construction.
- c) Some Agikuyu leaders amassed a lot of wealth and rose to prominence. For example, Karuri wa Gakure and Wang’ombe of Nyeri,
- d) The collaborators like Kinyanjui wa Gathirimu and his people received western education and were converted to Christianity.
- e) There was massive loss of lives for the resisters. For example Waiyaki wa Hinga and many Agikuyu fighters were killed.
- f) The Agikuyu, both collaborators and Resisters lost their independence when their territory was declared a British protectorate.
- g) The Agikuyu wars of resistance forced the British to shift their administrative base from Fort Dagoretti to Fort Hall.
- h) There was massive destruction of property. The Agikuyu razed down Fort Dagoretti. The Agikuyu villages were burnt by the British.
The Luo reaction.
Reasons for the resistance against the British by the Luo of Ugenya.
- a) To protect their land and national heritage.
- b) To protect their freedom and independence
- c) Protect their livestock, grains and fish from being taken by the British soldiers who were undisciplined
- d) The Luo had become a formidable nation in the area and did not entertain any intruder.
- e) They were also provoked by the punitive expedition sent against them by Mumia and the British.
- Why the Gem and Asembo Luos collaborated.
- a) Their chief, Odera Akang’o had been influenced by the Wanga Neighbours who had gained materially from their collaboration.
- b) Odera also needed British assistance to subdue the Luo of Seme, Uyoma, Sakwa and Ugenya, and the Nandi, who were a threat to his people.
- c) He realized the futility of resisting the British through the experience of his neighbours.
Course of the Luo resistance.
Results of the Luo reaction.
- a) Both collaborators and resisters lost their independence to the British.
- b) The Luo lost their property through burning and looting.
- c) There was massive loss of lives, especially among the Ugenya Luo.
- d) It Bred hatred between the collaborators and resisters
- e) The collaborating communities were able to gain western education and religion as the British established schools and missions in their areas.
- f) The African leadership was replaced with the British administration, thereby undermining traditional political systems.
- g) The Luo were alienated from their land to pave way for the British occupation and settlement.