British East Africa Protectorate

During the scramble for Africa in 1880s the British took over present day Kenya and gave it the name British East Africa Protectorate in 1895, the name of the company that controlled stuff here then. In 1920 the East Africa Protectorate was turned into a colony and renamed Kenya, for its highest mountain.

The British colonized Kenya until 1963 when Kenya gained internal self government and later on in the year, she got her independence from British colonial rule. This was after several uprisings throughout the colony by the natives whose fertile land had been taken and were forced to labour for their colonial masters. Notable among these was the MauMau uprising which led to the state of emergency in 1952. This was mainly a Kikuyu led uprising which left tens of thousands perhaps hundred of thousands Kikuyus dead.

Over 100 years later after the British set foot in Kenya, their influence is still a force to reckon with. The current situation in Kenya just says as much. The British diplomats have had bitter exchanges with Kenya since Kibaki, a Kikuyu took over power in 2002. It started with Sir Edward Clay who found it disgusting that the Kikuyu rulers were constantly vomiting on his shoes. Adam Wood is the current Governor. Gradually, it is becoming a Kikuyu-British affair just like the days of the British colonial rule. Listening to Martha Karua, one of the negotiators on the Kibaki side, on her views about British Ambassadors pronouncements paints a picture of the disdain the ruling Kikuyu elite has on the British.

It was British Prime Minister Gordon Brown who set the pace of the current mediation circus when on January 2nd he said that he had asked the then Africa Union Chairman and Ghana President John Kufuor to go to Kenya to sort out the mess. Kufour was later to hand over the button to his fellow countryman and former UN chief Koffi Annan who is still running the cyclic marathon.

Britain has been in the fore front of issuing threats, ultimatums and dangling sanctions and visa bans on the negotiating teams to rush them come up with an acceptable power-sharing agreement, something that Annan is pushing day and night. Uncle Sam has been beefing up Britain's position but it is clear that it is the British who are calling the shots in Kenya, arm twisting Kibaki and his cronies to dish to Raila an executive Prime Minister position. Ideally, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

Interestingly, according to Kibe Mungai a Nairobi lawyer and political activist, the African Union whose current chair is Jakaya Kikwete, the Tanzanian President, who is currently being dollied up by Uncle Sam, has been silent on the mediation talks. AU has not been pushy on any mediation agreement nor has it threatened to impose sanctions if the talks fail, unlike Kenya's colonial masters and their hangers-on. Tanzania has been a top beneficiary of the current crisis in Kenya with tourists re-routed to Tanzania and Zanzibar. Landlocked countries in the greater Eastern and Central Africa have considered Dar es Salaam as their preferred port of call.

Already, the Arusha government has been given massive funding to improve its infrastructure. It is observable that on Sunday, visiting American president George Bush saw it fit to meet with the 1998 families of victims of the Dar terrorist bombing. Could the US have shifted its global war on terror Africa base from Kenya to Tanzania?

Further Annan, AU and ODM are mere pawns in a geopolitical interests war between the west and the far east. According to Kibe;

The British was not happy with the way Kibaki did not give commercial contracts to UK and has looked Far East on Military Equipment Contracts and Oil exploration franchises

Uganda has found oil, Tanzania also recently found oil, Sudan has oil. Kenya is believed to have massive untapped oil reserves. Most of oil exploration contracts were given to China, rather, not given to the UK. It is probable that EU/UK/US would want to install a government that will recede these contracts.

Kenya political stalemate could easily have been sorted out by a court petition. Trust in the judiciary not withstanding, a total of 38 Dec 27 electoral petitions have been filed in the Kenyan courts so far by both ODM and PNU.

In regard to the AU, where did AU meet and made a resolution that John Kufuor should come and mediate in Kenya, among other issues that raise questions on British neo-colonialism interests in Kenya.

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