Citizenship and Land Rights in Postcolonial Kenya

in Worries of the Heart

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226554198
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226554228 | DOI:
Citizenship and Land Rights in Postcolonial Kenya

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter explains citizenship and land rights in postcolonial Kenya. Many new citizens, especially widows, discovered that their rights were not as secure as promised; and in at least in one respect, many even saw their individual rights as citizens violated. Women, in particular, were filled with a solemn desire to contribute their own good deeds to such strikingly universal causes. Widows had come to believe that the new politicized language, rather than that of the worries of the heart, would oblige the new leaders to live up to their promises and fulfill their rights as citizens. Corruption in land consolidation and registration was not unique to western Kenya; peasants in other parts of Kenya, particularly in Central, Eastern, and Nyanza provinces, faced problems similar to those of Maragoli widows. By the end of the 1980s, many widows still did not have their land registered.

Keywords: citizenship; land rights; postcolonial Kenya; Maragoli widows; land consolidation; land registration

Chapter.  7008 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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