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Founding Father presidencies and the rise of authoritarianism - Kenya: a case study

Ahluwalia, Pal (1996) Founding Father presidencies and the rise of authoritarianism - Kenya: a case study. Africa Quarterly, 36 (4). pp. 45-72. ISSN 0001-9828

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The challenge to colonial authority in Africa, the definition of national being, and the transition to political independence and beyond, all focused attention on the charismatic leader. Such an individual attained mythical status and Africa's 'founding father' presidents came to embody the nation-State. The 'founding father' phenomenon and its continuing legacy have marked the process of political succession in sub-Saharan Africa and inhibited the emergence of a new style of politics with the coming to power of a new ruler. Kenya is a case in point. President Daniel arap Moi's electoral victory in the 1992 multiparty elections was ensured by constitutional amendments, election rigging and the repression of the opposition. Opposition disunity, coupled with the resumption of foreign aid in 1993, allowed the government to continue to rule just as it had done before the elections. Alternative forums, such as Mwangaza and Safina, set up to challenge KANU's dominance, were severely repressed. Moi's retention of power and the continuing authoritarianism of his rule need to be contextualized in the light of his inheritance of the Kenyatta presidency. Moi's ideological programme of 'nyayo' (following in the footsteps) means that Kenya has continued to endure the legacy of its founding father president as well as all the trappings which were inherited from the colonial masters at independence.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Office of the VC
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2022 03:36
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2022 03:36

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