Bado Mapambano Story
Bado Mapambano has a long and storied history in the world of independence. We have been pioneers in the struggle for many years and are known for taking innovative steps. We are very proud of our achievements and all the people who led us here.
Governance before colonialism. How did we live?
Kenya before the advent of colonial rule like many other African Countries was at best a Geographical expression. Before colonization communities lived in polities which were ethnically rational and elastic. Boundaries were demarcated by the acts of spears and to large extent geographical barriers such as lakes, Mountains and forests.
Life in the colony
The twin events of the Agrarian and the industrial revolution in Europe marked a major watershed in the relations between Africa and Europe. Soon as Imperialism took a center stage in the race for colonies. Earlier activities of explorers and missionaries laid the foundation for later colonization. The flag quickly followed the cross. An excuse had to be found for colonization and the four C’s came in handy i.e. Christianity, Civilization, Colonization and Commerce. The 1884-85 Berlin West African conference organized by King Leopold II of Belgium was to say the least the last straw which broke the African Camel’s back. On a table, Africa was divided onto spheres of influence, colonies, protectorates and provinces of half a dozen European powers. This simple event happening several miles in European Continent altered irretrievably the African political landscape with far reaching effects to this day.
The Colonial State and the Motivation for rebellion
Kenya was declared a British colony and a boundary drawn. Soon many hitherto antagonistic communities found themselves bundled together; families and communities were separated along National borders of Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and present day Somalia. Such divisions needless to argue became potent causes of future strife and of course rebellion. Besides, the communities were held together by the barrel of the colonial gun. In time parts of Kenya were marked whites only areas and Africans could only venture into those areas with special permission or passes (KIPANDE). African was recruited into forced labor on white farms, taxes of all kinds were levied, and raids into African communities by colonial Askaris were the norm. Force was used virtually in all areas of life including conscription into the colonial force; the ‘invincibility’ of the white Man was pumped into the African mindset. Africans were made to hate themselves and feel as third rate citizens or at worst leftovers of creation. The Caucasoid and Hamitic theories ruled the school curriculum. In a word, Africans in Kenya were made to accept the colonial state as divinely ordained and the white masters as the quintessential civilizers of the black race.
The twin European ethnic wars dubbed World War I and II
More than any other event the conscription of African forces to fight alongside the Colonial forces in the World War I and II by default accentuated the African consciousness, sense of Nationhood and accelerated the spirit of self-determination. No longer was the white Man invincible as had been portrayed. To the utter shock, flabbergast and dismay of the Africans on the war front the white Man also exhibited, fear, suffered from hunger, could be killed and was no different if not weaker than the African.
Encounter with other combatants rom Asia and the Indian subcontinent fueled the flames of freedom the more. Indian had been promised self-government if they fought alongside the British. Now the Indian troops asked the African forces what they were promised for their role. Back home the returnees gave glossy tales of life outside Africa and accounts of their adventures. Many became sudden heroes and saw themselves as too important no longer ready to be subjected to retrogressive colonial laws. Facing imminent hardships wrought by joblessness and unwilling to be subjected to colonial domination anymore, the returnee soldiers aided by the missionary school graduates started associations calling for the emancipation of the Africans from white domination. Before long the movement grew tentacles taking the form of armed rebellion.
In 1952 the colonial government responded by proscribing all associations and declaring a state of emergency. Many of the perceived leaders of the call for independence were rounded up, detained and others jailed on spurious counts. Kenya was slowly and steadily getting on fire Jaramogi Oginga Odinga joined fellow Nationalists in the struggle for Independence (UHURU).The struggle brought together Kenyans of all backgrounds irrespective of ethnic, educational, religious or economic backgrounds. The clarion call was UHURU spreading as bushfire to all parts of the Country. The independence dream of our forefathers was a just, truly integrated, prosperous, functional and cohesive republic called Kenya.
Exit the colonial masters and enter Kenyatta and the Kikuyu elite
The Lancaster conference provided the first constitutional framework for the independent Kenya. Unknown to many, Kenyatta and his team were not interested at all in the document. Mutilation and prevarication was to follow. Taking over the reins of power in 1963 Kenyatta quickly transformed the Country into a very ethnically polarized one with his Kikuyu elite occupying virtually all major state appointments and grabbing all the colonial land meant for resettlement. The first six years of Independent Kenya were marked by a struggle between the forces that wanted an all-inclusive and just Country against those that wanted a black colony headed by Kenyatta. The progressivists led by Jaramogi were soon outwitted by the Status quo led by the maverick point man Tom Mboya who was soon felled by the status quo machinery.
Watching the events painfully as they unfolded, reading betrayal of the Kenyan masses, unwilling to sit back and commitment to the ideal, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga peened his famous book NOT YET UHURU. Kenya in his very view and painful experience was far from being free. The struggle had to continue. Rallying together the few remaining true believers in the Nationalist cause, Jaramogi resigned from KANU and formed KPU necessitating the little by election of 1969. All were never well Jaramogi was quickly sent to house arrest and many of his followers hunted down. Kenya quickly descended into intolerance, political assassinations, tribal exclusion, marginalization and state brutality. Such remained the case till Kenyatta’s death in August 21st 1978.
The two and a half decades of Nyayo era (errors)
Backed by a constitutional provision allowing the vice president to take over during the 90 day interregnum, Moi with the help of Charles Njonjo soon outwitted the change the constitution movement crusaders led by Kihika Kimani. With his gentle mien Moi confounded both friends and foes with a promise of following on the footsteps of Kenyatta (NYAYO). This soon became the clarion call all over the Country. To the Kikuyu elite it meant everything will remain unchanged. No need to panic. To the Kalenjin it was their turn. To the rest of Kenyans ‘just be as you have been (Mukae hivyo hivyo Mungu atawabariki)
If Moi desperately needed an excuse to bring out his true colours then the foiled coup staged by sections of junior Air force officers provided Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi with the much needed raison de entre to unleash 20 years of terror and untold suffering upon Kenyans. Detention without trials were re-introduced, torture chambers similar to those of Yugoslavia were all over the place, one could be arrested and jailed for not flashing the one finger salute or being in possession of seditious publication even if the said publication was a daily newspaper (sedition was defined by the arresting officer).
Religious leaders, University lecturers ,University students civil society and political leaders led by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Raila Odinga, George Anyona, James Orengo, Anyang’ Nyong’o ,several University students Adungosi, Lumumba Lutunya, Ndigiriri, Mwandawiro Mghanga ,Wafula Buke , Oduor Ong’wen ,Israel Kodiaga …the list is endless paid the ultimate price. As the sages of history tell us, the tree of liberation must be watered by the blood of patriots so it was.
The fall of communism in Eastern Europe and the new wave sweeping across the world at the turn of 1990 provided the much needed impetus. Jaramogi Oginga Odinga in his characteristic frame and in a New Year’s message (greetings) to President Daniel Arap Moi cautioned him to read the signs of the time. That, an unstoppable wind of change was blowing all over the world and Moi was warned to brace for the changes. Jaramogi was soon joined by Charles Rubia, Kenneth Matiba and many more. A rally dubbed Saba Saba was called in Kamkunji. Brutality followed the crackdown on the rally and the organisers.Todate; nobody knows how many lives were lost during the rally. Many of the dead were secretly buried by the police in unmarked graves.
Unable to contain the pressure Moi reluctantly did away with the famous section 2a which effectively had made Kenya a single party de jure. Finally in 1992 Kenyans went for the first multi-party elections since 1969. But unknown to many, Moi had succeeded in fracturing the opposition reducing them to small ethnic outfits. With a simple majority Moi was re-elected as president of Kenya for a further 5 Year term and the same was repeated in 1997.
The Post-Moi Kenya
United in their disappointment with Moi the opposition, however, could not agree on who amongst them was better placed to face the Kanu candidate. It took Raila Odinga with his Kibaki tosha to finally send Kanu home. That the second liberation got still born during the 1992,97,2002 and 2013 elections cannot be gainsaid if the back and forth movements are anything to go by. Charlatans, wheeler-dealers, land grabbers, corruption cartels, vestiges of Kanu regime and tribal barons, drug dealers are all over in the government. The youth are swayed by quick rich, Ponzi schemes and Sonkonisation of the Country is the norm.
Raila Amolo Odinga
Against all expectations and weathering all the storms Raila Amolo Odinga stands tall as the remaining solid relic of the struggle for true liberation. Detained for a whopping nine years, an unrepentant Nationalist and committed Social democrat Raila calls upon all to shun tribal and destructive politics of exclusion and embrace one Kenya. Vilified for his beliefs and loved in equal measure Raila Odinga represents the hope, the inspiration and the reason for many of us to stay on course in the struggle for a better and truly cohesive Country.