The politics of ideology and personality rivalry in Murang'a district, Kenya: a study of electoral competition
Wanjohi, N. Gatheru
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Kenya got independence in 1963 amidst a cloud of confusion about the ideological and development path she would follow. Such confusion led to an intensive political debate which tended to categorize the contestants into leftists and pro-western rightist. In Muranga District Kaggiah and Kiano represented the two camps respectively, though the latter was more interested in boosting his personal political hegemonies than in ideological victory. Since independence, therefore, elections in the District tended to revolve around Kiano's political personality. His ouster in 1979 seems to have led to a new type of political development where the very wealthy commercial group of people has taken over political leadership in the District, thus finally replacing the entire 1960's political leadership in the area. Political negligence and arrogance, as well as inadequate attention to the people's socio-economic needs and demands have been identified as the main factors behind the ouster of several MPs in Muranga and in Kangema particularly. The dominance of elite interests in an election has great influence on both the attitude and behaviour of the electorate towards the incumbent and his challengers, the party and the government, and the efficacy of elections in influencing governmental policy.