Kenya

1964: British troops put down mutinies in post-colonial Kenya, Tanganyika and Uganda

Just one month following Kenya's official independence, Jomo Kenyatta invited British troops to put down a mutiny of soldiers who were conducting a sit-down protest against the continued presence of British officers in the army and low pay. In the same week, the British also put down mutinies with similar demands in Julius Nyerere's Tanzania and Milton Obote's Uganda, also at invitation. All three armies had originated in the King's African Rifles.

Reflections on the Kisumu Massacre, 1969

In October 1969 Jomo Kenyatta visited the Russia-built Nyanza Provincial General Hospital in Kisumu. During a protest against the visit, the presidential escort and paramilitary forces opened fire on the crowd, killing more than 11 and injuring hundreds. The piece was written following several police killings in the wake of the 2017 Kenyan presidential elections.

Wartime strikes in Kenya - Makhan Singh

Makhan Singh on wartime strikes in Kenya, including struggles against conscript labour, railway strikes, and a general strike in Uganda in January 1945.

Singh, Makhan (1913 – 1973)

Biography of Makhan Singh, who translated Marx's Capital while in detention in India, was a central figure in Kenya's early trade union movement in the 1940s, was imprisoned for 16 years, then sidelined by Jomo Kenyatta's post-colonial government.

The post-war strike wave in East, West, and Southern Africa

From the end of the Second World War until the mid-'60s there was a wave of strikes in British East and West Africa, French West Africa, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The history of this class struggle has been neglected by both mainstream historians and most revolutionary tendencies based in Europe and the US.

The Nairobi General Strike, 1950: From Protest to Insurgency

Government Road, Nairobi, 1950

The Nairobi General Strike [1950] was the culmination of Kenya’s post war strike wave and urban upheaval. An unprecedented upsurge occurred with the general strikes in Mombasa [1947] led by the African Workers Federation [A.W.F.] and in Nairobi by the East African Trades Union Congress [E.A.T.U.C.]. While this has been termed and treated as a city wide strike, there is enough evidence to suggest a movement that went some way beyond Nairobi. The extent of the cohesion and reciprocal impacts amongst urban and rural Africans involved in the strike were underplayed by the colonial government and the media that followed it.

The East African Railway Strike, 1959-60: labour’s challenge of inter-territorialism

David Hyde examines a pivotal working-class struggle which erupted within East Africa’s transport system near the end of the colonial period. Though this was arguably the most important working-class struggle to occur during the decolonisation process within Britain’s African colonies, it has been rarely acknowledged and barely attended to.

The Mau Mau uprising, 1952-1956

Mau Mau fighters, 1954

A short overview of the Mau Mau rebellion against the British Empire in Kenya, which was brutally suppressed by the colonial administration.

Uber drivers in Kenya on indefinite strike

Drivers on strike

Drivers for Uber, Taxify, Little and Mondo-Ride have been on indefinite strike since 11th September over working conditions and high commission rates.

Interview: 100 days of the Kenya nurses strike

Nurses on strike in Kenya

Nurses in Kenya have been on strike for more than 100 days. The government has declared the strike illegal and started sacking nurses. Nurses have continued their action despite this, with an almost total shutdown of public hospitals across Kenya and demonstrations weekly. Mike Harman interviewed Nahashon, one of the nurses on strike, for libcom.org.