Kenya: A Different Direction

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Teetering between the rival factions in Kenya's one-party government, President Jomo Kenyatta for months let pro-Communist Vice President Oginga Odinga have his way more often than seemed wise. For one thing, Moscow had financed the Lumumba Institute seven miles outside Nairobi, providing two Russian instructors in the Leninist art of political action. Then Odinga negotiated a deal for a shipload of Soviet arms for Kenya, which the Russians seemed only too eager to provide absolutely free of charge. Odinga meanwhile hustled around making anti-Western speeches, and verbally sniping at the more moderate members of Kenyatta's Cabinet.

Last week Jomo decided that enough was enough. In a brisk series of actions, Kenyatta made it clear to Odinga and the Communists that his regime had a different direction in mind. Among them:

> Publication of a manifesto on African socialism, the first sober attempt to limn a realistic concept out of the woolly catch phrase so beloved of African speechmakers. Remarkably restrained and reasoned, it rejects 19th century capitalism and 20th century Communism as a model for emergent African society. Instead, the document points to a mixed economy very like modern Britain or Sweden, strongly emphasizes individual political freedoms. Though Kenyatta insisted that the paper, written by Economics Planning Minister Tom Mboya, was approved by all his Cabinet, it was clearly a bitter blow for Odinga.

> Outright rejection of the Soviet arms. Just before the freighter Fizik Lebedev was due to arrive last week, a vanguard of 17 Russian "technicians" flew in from Moscow. One was reportedly a general, and all seemed to have in mind a lengthy stay. Not so. Jomo called in the Soviet ambassador, told him to send back his tanks, guns and technicians. Later he explained to a press conference: "All the arms are old, secondhand, and would be of no use to the modern army of Kenya."

> Official takeover of the Lumumba Institute, thus frustrating its possible use as a Communist indoctrination center. Parliament resoundingly agreed as Mboya declared that Kenyatta's original plans for the Lumumba Institute had been "completely distorted," and that "we want to remove this impression that it is an ideological institute, because it is not."