Kenya: We Will Crush You

Tribalism is a distasteful word to educated Africans. It suggests that atavistic fears play a disproportionate role in the politics of new African nations. Distasteful or not, tribalism is a key to many African problems—a point that was made all too emphatically in Kenya last week. President Jomo Kenyatta, who with his fellow Kikuyu has ruled the country since independence in 1963, threw Opposition Leader Oginga Odinga in prison and banned his Luo-dominated party.

Kikuyu and Luo, first and second largest of Kenya's 46 main tribes, have long controlled the country's politics. Initially, neither Kenyatta's Kenya African

National Union (KANU) nor...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!