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[I’m in Uppsala, Sweden speaking at a conference so posting will be light]

I’ve been spending the last week or two trying to revisit Kenya’s political history from an academic perspective (and trying to get back in to the habit of reading voraciously) with the help of a bunch of mailing lists that I subscribe to.

With Mungiki back in the news (I’m not even going to belabour the point about the government’s curious inability to deal with Mungiki protests when other guys don’t even make it into CBD), I thought it might be appropriate to link to academic pieces which try to understand Mungiki’s background. Unfortunately, I can only link to abstracts in first two cases, but those of you who have access to Jstor (it’s free in African partner institutions) should be able to read the full versions. [Um, whatever happened to Open Access?]

The first looks at Mungiki’s genesis from a generational perspective. The second, makes a more traditionalist argument. The third is a critique of the first.

: Here are some articles. Hat tip O!

1. Wamue on Mungiki (traditionalist perspective).

2. Kagawanja looks at the intersection of Mungiki with politics, here and here.

2 comments to Mungiki

  • Anon

    Ory, yet again I applaud you for having the guts to bring these issues to the fore front. These conversations are difficult to digest yet NECESSARY for us to move forward as it were. I am no scholar by any stretch of the imagination however I dabble here and there with history/anthropology/politics. I don’t want to put a damper on your efforts but please take this purely as a suggestion. In reaching back at our collective past (a process referred to as SANKOFA in the Akan tradition) it has helped me to follow trends and fads (and by follow I mean BE AWARE OF not get consumed by it). The issue of ancestral rights with regards to choosing a religion or right to land is not a new phenomenon. Cases such as Rwanda, N. Uganda, Sudan just in our East Africa Region sum it up well.
    Now we have similar situations from a spiritual/ancestral perspective happening in Colombia South America http://www.tradeandwar.org/ and yet another Ugandan issue http://www.petitiononline.com/ADNAGU/petition.html this kind of falls in step with the Saboat Defense and/or Mungiki; they are approaching their governments and trying to negotiate BEFORE the stand off gets out of hand and spirals into violence. If these negotiations are not brought out to the general public/community to have a say in the outcome of their destiny. These groups are willing to stay put at any cost yet the governments’ in question want to use the land for economic gains without the peoples’ blessings and without sharing the “wealth” this has been going on for Centuries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Caribbean!!! Even before the Europeans, there were the Arab elite traders and greedy chiefs who wanted to satisfy their own personal agendas. However, there are more cases that are not in main stream media that we may or may not have heard about. So as you delve deeper into your research please:
    • Identify good sources because from a spiritual/non-academic perspective there are those who can misinterpret info to utilize it as propaganda. Please note that from a spiritual perspective as this information is SACRED and can’t be shared and/or may be too complex to be put down on paper (hence the early European anthropologists doing a shoddy job and lumping up different ethnic groups into one category when that was not the case)
    • Groups popping up WORLDWIDE seeking autonomy much like Europe did during the WWI & WWII may have alterior motives. We don’t want to end up with Kony’s of the LRA on our hand who pillage their own people at any cost!
    • Many of these indigenous communities HONESTLY don’t want to be part of the economic system; they just want to be left in peace and not disturbed aware that they can sustain themselves without government “assistance”. They feel that their lives were better off when they didn’t have to wait for a centralized government system to provide, food, shelter, water etc. Basically they had better Human Rights under non-centralized governments with religious freedoms.
    • Beware that in densely populated areas of urban centers that have been in existence for several years that have their own mechanism of commerce and territorial e.g the Favela’s of Rio (watch Favela Rising if you can) or Eastleigh (Somali/Ethiopian) Kibera (Peoples from the Nubia region) where a lot of communities were “resettled” in by former colonial powers and have for a long time been ostracized by the government. These communities often include their militia VERY FEW compared to the total population of women, children and old people.


    Your journey in search of the Truth and Light will be VERY fruitful for you:)


  • […] has been around for a while (for some background information please read Kenyan Pundit’s post which links articles on Mungiki) and the group has been influential for a while. For example you […]