RE: [LandCafe] A Kenyan perspective on land tax
At the 1912 Royal Commission on the Shortage of Native Labor they didnt
know anything about PR or maybe they were simply too arrogant to care. So,
Delamere was able to say that though the solution confining the natives
- would not be quick, it would be permanent.
Some 40 years later Koinage and Oneko came from Kenya to see the Home
Secretary. They were protesting the alienation of tribal land by whites.
The Home Secretary refused to see them.
Perhaps the Mau-Mau was an inevitability
What interested me was the pattern of landholding. The whites were landless
too and were stealing tribal land. Yet, the best land in Kenya the
temperate zone was known as the White Highlands for obvious reasons.
Meantime, while whites and blacks were fighting each other for land, some
84% of the White Highlands was unused but owned.
A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then and I havent followed
this aspect of Kenyan history. I wonder who owns the temperate zone now
maybe its now called the Black Highlands!
From: cobden [mailto:cobden@...]
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 10:32 AM
To: Land Café; Mark Porthouse
Subject: Re: [LandCafe] A Kenyan perspective on land tax
Many people will remember the film "Out of Africa". It featured Lord
(played by Esmond Knight, I believe).
In 1912, Delamere petitioned the British Government to reduce the Kikuyu
land holdings by 25% because the natives were able to work for 4 or 5 days a
month to live a reasonable life. This meant that white farmers could not
employ enough native labour.
Thank goodness there was a Liberal government and the Delamere Petition was
refused. But, after the First World War, one of the first things a
Conservative government did was to reduce the Kikuyu land by 25% AND made
the natives pay a poll tax of £1 a year.
Used to barter, the natives could not pay the poll tax unless they worked
for the white farmers. Problem solved for Delamere and colleagues.
It is no wonder that present day Kenyans take matters into their own hands.
We know the answer these days, but you have to have some sympathy for the
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