Kenya: Without Kenyatta

Following the death last year of its patriarchal leader ,Kenya seems to he reaching out to a new, more activist role in Africa.


The crowd of tens of thousands assembled in Jamhuri Park on the outskirts of Nairobi could swing either way, toward jubilation or anger. It is a classic post-colonial African crowd: modern, Westernized folks stand elbow-to-elbow with traditionals whose ears have been elongated or cheeks scarred in tribal rituals. Some look proud and others hungry; many are in tattered clothes and wear no shoes; others, in suits and elegant dresses, seem vaguely frightened. On the fringes are a few whites and Asians, human souvenirs of another era, now hanging on as proof that Kenya can work as a multi-racial society.

It is December 12, 1978, Jamhuri (Swahili for “republic”) Day, the fifteenth anniversary of Kenya’s uhuru (“freedom”) from British rule. As a commemorative postage stamp ingenuously puts it, these have been “15 great years” for Kenya. The country has ostensibly made a smooth transition from a bloody rebellion to a stable and moderately prosperous developing nation.

But recent events have also made this independence day an occasion of uncertainty and tension. For it was late in Kenya’s fifteenth year that Jomo Kenyatta, the father of the nation and one of Africa’s revered elder statesmen, died in his mid-eighties. To Kenyans, the absence of “Mzee” (“old man,” a term of respect) is almost a violation of the natural order of the universe. Admittedly, in Kenyatta’s last years the dream of uhuru had seemed to fade, if not quite go sour. Yet he was a steady symbol, and no one knows what to expect of his successor, a former schoolteacher named Daniel arap Moi, who, during twelve years as Mzee’s vice president, built no clear public image of himself.

The ceremonies are replete with symbols of the old and the new. The military and police marching units are composed of blacks, yet their style is thoroughly British. But the colonial flashback is mitigated by traditional dancers, dressed in monkey skins and carrying spears, who alternate with school choirs before the reviewing stand. Old-fashioned military transports fly slowly overhead, creating a vapor trail of Kenya’s red, green, and black flag. They are followed by a squadron of American-supplied F-5E fighter jets, which do acrobatic twists and turns and screech out notice of Kenya’s growing military might.

After a moment of silence in memory of Mzee, Moi, now in office barely three months, delivers an address, stilted in tone but packed with surprises and gifts for the citizens: a program to eliminate illiteracy within five years, an instant increase of wage employment by 10 percent in the private and the public sectors, free milk daily to all primary school children beginning in mid-1979, and an additional year of universal free primary education (bringing it up through the sixth grade).

Moi saves the bombshell for last: the release of all twenty-six political detainees held by Kenya, including Ngugi wa Thiong’o (once James Ngugi), a literature professor and internationally recognized novelist, and several politicians who had dared to challenge or disparage Kenyatta’s leadership. The crowd explodes into thunderous cheers, hardly noticing the president’s warning that “my government will not hesitate in taking immediate and firm action against anyone whose activities threaten our peace, unity, and stability.”

The joke around town is, “Today Kenya is the only country in the world without political prisoners. We’ll see about tomorrow.” At the University of Nairobi, students pour into the streets to demonstrate in favor of the government—a first in Kenyan history. When Ngugi appears on campus in his car, they lift him, car and all, on their shoulders and parade him around in celebration.

It is doubtful that anyone could fully replace Jomo Kenyatta, and it is probably best that no one try. For the position of charismatic, untouchable leader that he occupied is simply not transferrable in the ordinary sense. Anthropologist, freedom fighter, pragmatic politician, and for nine years a detainee accused of running the Mau Mau organization, Kenyatta commanded an extraordinary following among the common people. Both inside and outside his country, he was given credit for putting Kenya on the Western side of the geopolitical map, building it into a mecca for tourists and multinational corporations alike. Toward the end, Kenyatta was vain, greedy, arbitrary, and often wrongheaded, but he was excused these faults by most of his blindly loyal countrymen; such excuses would not easily be granted to any successor.

Mzee’s death last August put Kenya’s stability to a little-publicized test that few nations in Africa could survive. Moi was immediately sworn in as acting president for ninety days, but then he had to win the designation for a full five-year term from the country’s single party, the Kenya African National Union (KANU). Within KANU there was q strong faction —the “Kenyatta family,” some qf whom were related fo Mzee less by blood than by geographic, tribal, and business ties—that wanted to push Moi aside in favor of someone who would protect their interests more reliably. But by the time of the vote within KANU, Moi had obtained the loyalty of enough other factiops to win easily and start out in the presidency with his own national political coalition.

Many Kenyans frankly expected Moi to be a dullard, an unimaginative and malleable man who would be easy prey for the devious Kenyatta courtiers. At fifty-five, he is a stolid-looking, rather uncharismatic figure, with none of the fire in the eyes that so automatically attracted people to Mzee. His speech pattern—slow, methodical, and unemotional-does nothing to enhance the image. On the stump, as likely as not, Moi will launch into a homily on the virtues of milk as compared to alcohol, or he will attempt to shed light on a crisis by quoting Bible passages that he memorized in early childhood.

Perhaps Moi’s most important quality, according to those who know him well, is his humility. As one astute observer of Kenyan politics put it, “No one could survive as vice president for twelve years under a powerful figure like Kenyatta without being pretty humble.” Unlike Kenyatta, Moi does not require that all things good or hopeful be ascribed to him and all things had or threatening to dangerous forces seeking to destroy the presidency, if not the Kenyan nation. There is around him none of the royal-family aura that Kenyatta cultivated. (In fact, Moi is separated from his wife and rarely exposes his children to the public glare.) By all accounts, Moi is well aware of his limitations. He is willing to acknowledge, for example, that his vice president, Mwai Kibaki, far surpasses him in knowledge of economic matters. Thus Kibaki has retained his portfolio as minister of finance, and it is no secret that he—and not the new presidentruns Kenya’s economy.

But, in his brief tenure, Moi has surprised his detractors by developing a style and a set of policies all his own. One of his first deeds was to demote a key member of Kenyatta’s inner circle, Mbiyu Koinange, from minister of state to minister of natural resources. Even Kenyatta’s fourth wife and widow, forty-eight-year-old Mama Ngina, is now said to be vulnerable to investigation for corruption. (Mama Ngina, according to one Western diplomat in Nairobi, is “a very broadly invested businesswoman”; she owns many gasoline stations in Kenya’s Central Province and is also alleged to be involved in the illicit ivory trade.) Moi quickly developed a kind of brain trust of his own, composed of young politicians who owe their allegiance to no one else and will offer him fresh ideas. One of those ideas (buttressed, apparently, by pressure from the American Embassy) was the Jamhuri Day release of all the political prisoners at one time, a move reportedly opposed by Attorney General Charles Njonjo, a slick Kenyatta intimate who is also close to Moi.

What confuses the old Kenyatta guard the most is Moi’s populism. “This guy is confounding everyone,” said one jaundiced academic who finds himself an unanticipated admirer of the new president. “He accepts advice from the little people from his own constituency in the Rift Valley. He receives them when they come to Nairobi or when he is traveling, and he actually listens to what they have to say.”

Ironically, the very factor that has long complicated and bedeviled the politics of independent Africa—tribalism—makes Moi’s task somewhat easier. Kenyatta came from Kenya’s largest tribe, the Kikuyu, who make up some 20 percent of the people. He appointed so many of his fellow tribesmen {and members of closely related tribes) to important positions and he so concentrated the benefits of nationhood in Kikuyu areas of the country that other large groups, such as the Luo and the Luhya, with about 14 percent each, were always potential sources of opposition. But Moi comes from the tiny Tugen tribe in the Kalenjin ethnic group, and thus he has very few of his own people to take care of in order to give them a sense of power. He succeeded in splitting and outsmarting the Kikuyu establishment in order to come to power. Now, if Moi is shrewd and lucky, he will balance tribal rivalries in a manner that strengthens his own position and also creates genuine domestic stability for Kenya, at least until the question of succession arises again.

To be sure, stability came in recent times only at the cost of grave abuses, especially during Kenyatta’s declining years. Some members of Parliament who were thought to have stepped too far out of line—including, at one point, the deputy speaker and the chief whip—were simply arrested and detained without formal charges or trial. A few others, including J. M. Kariuki, a spokesman for the poor who openly broke with Kenyatta, were simply kidnapped and murdered. And there were times when journalists, domestic and foreign, were silenced or expelled from Kenya with only a few hours’ notice.

The most recent cause celebre was not a politician but Ngugi, Kenya’s best-known writer, who was carted off to jail on December 31, 1977, after he had converted his popular novel, Petals of Blood, into a Kikuyu-language play and presented it before ordinary working people in Kenyatta’s home district. Apparently the government considered his subject matter—a collusion between the newly rich black elite and white business interests to deny the black masses their economic and political rights—too dangerous for general consumption. The entire Ngugi affair was particularly embarrassing for the power structure because Petals of Blood had originally been launched with the patronage of none other than Mwai Kibaki, the minister of finance who was later to become vice president.

Although Kenya has been a oneparty state ever since Kenyatta eliminated one opposition party after another, its system provides for and fosters a greater degree of real democracy than most Western observers imagine. In Kenyatta’s last years, admittedly, KANU had become essentially a rubber stamp for presidential attitudes and preferences, but it remains the single national institution that cuts through the labyrinthine network of tribes and socio-economic groups, and Moi is apparently sincere in his desire to revive it as a forum for genuine debate on the most basic policy issues facing Kenya.

Another fundamental part of Kenya’s intricate political process is its English-language press, one of the freest in Africa. Perhaps because the largest newspaper, the Daily Nation, is still owned by the Aga Khan, leader of the Isma’ili sect of Moslems, it often gets away with publishing articles that disparage the political leadership. There and elsewhere in the pressincluding the prosperous publications of Kenya’s leading political commentator, American-trained Hilary Ng’weno—a surface idiom of adulation often blurs frankness between the lines.

The Kenyans who are usually most visible to outsiders and to temporary residents of Nairobi are the black power elite—wealthy and refined gentlemen, mostly graduates of the prestigious Alliance High School and foreign universities, some of them married to English or American women. But there is also in Kenya today an emergent, upwardly mobile middle class that is less noticeable, yet may have a significant role in the future leadership of the country. These Kenyans are struggling to balance their traditional, conservative tribal upbringing in the countryside with the modern ideas and habits they have learned in school and at work in the city. The process is something of a microcosm of the country’s effort to find its way in the world.

One couple in their early twenties, he a bank officer and she a secretary in a government ministry, illustrate the point. They had a long courtship, but were finally married, according to Kikuyu custom, only after she had demonstrated that she would be able to bear a child. Their wedding was an elaborate affair, and the festivities lasted for days; some friends presented them with cows and goats, others with a television set and furniture. They bought a house in Nairobi, but before they had even moved in, it was decided by the families that they were rushing things a bit. The husband is the oldest son, and he was said to be needed at home to help control and give guidance to his siblings, so a tiny cabin was constructed for the newlyweds and their infant daughter on his father’s large farm about thirty miles from the city.

The young wife was assigned a shamba, a small plot where she could grow vegetables, as her traditional role dictates she do. But the land is actually tended by someone else, because she goes to work in the city every weekday—a requirement to pay back the government for her secretarial education. On the weekends she must do laundry and other traditional women’s work, and this routine, plus nursing her baby, has so exhausted her that she is now looking for a teenage girl to work as a servant.

Eventually the couple will move to their house in the city, or to another one they may build on a plot of ground some ten miles away, a wedding gift. But in the meantime, true to the strong family ties of the Kikuyu, they are preoccupied with helping various sisters and brothers find secondary schools or jobs.

The couple’s political beliefs fall well within Kenya’s mainstream, and they shared the widespread sadness and fear when Kenyatta died. They read the newspapers and watch the news on the Voice of Kenya television network. They greatly admire the United States, and their double income makes their hope of traveling there one day reasonable.

The official line among the more socialist-oriented countries of Africa is that Kenya is a typical example of how and why capitalism is doomed to failure on the continent, that the gap between the rich and the poor is growing, and that an explosion leading to revolution is inevitable. But returning to a Kikuyu village in the highlands north of Nairobi for the first time in ten years, one finds evidence for at least a tentative refutation of the conventional wisdom.

This village, like many in the area, was originally populated mostly by refugees resettled after the Mau Mau emergency of the 1950s. Ten years ago, it seemed a thousand miles away from the bustle of the capital. It was poor in almost every respect, and its people were, for the most part, discouraged and gloomy about the future. Individual progress seemed to come only through luck or good connections, and many of the local harambee (“self-help”) projects—to which the villagers were constantly being asked to contribute— were poor substitutes for genuine development.

Although it has a long way to go, the same village today is a study in rural African prosperity. Many of those who lived in oneor two-room huts made of mud, wattle, and thatch have moved into larger wooden dwellings with tin roofs. Some have even built stone houses or erected fences. Most families now have running water in their homes, and many who were once virtually cut off from the world outside the village now have radios. The village church was finished last year, right down to the stained glass windows. The harambee high school has not yet been taken over by the Ministry of Education (a step that would assure village children better teachers, free secondary education, and a remote chance for a place at the university), but a science lab is being added that could improve its accreditation prospects. The children playing in the village streets are better clothed and look better fed and healthier than they used to be, and even the livestock appear to be less scrawny than before.

Village commerce is booming. There are many shops and cafés, a few additional drunks in the streets, and even a local branch office of KANU. Statistics are elusive and unreliable, because much of the economic activity here and in other rural areas is carried on by self-employed entrepreneurs who are not necessarily taken into account in the official reckoning; but it is clear that more money is in circulation, and ordinary people are doing relatively well. One man with a large family, who came home only rarely from his job as a servant at a foreign embassy ten years ago, now keeps hundreds of chickens on his small property. He runs a booming egg business of his own, making daily runs in his car to supply hotels and restaurants in Nairobi. Soon he will construct bigger, better chicken coops and a more comfortable house. Capitalism is surely not. good for everyone, admits one Kenyan professor at the university grudgingly, but “it’s not doing badly here. No one can understand exactly how this happened.”

For all the optimism in rural Kikuyuland, one can make a case that Nairobi is a powder keg. Beneath the capital’s glitter, opulence, and Western veneer, far from its skyscrapers and chic shops, is a stratum of society that aches with poverty and violence. Here the gap between the haves and havenots sometimes seems impossible to bridge. Some of the have-nots seem almost to be on display to the visitor. Cripples and amputees of all ages lurk outside every office building, movie theater, and restaurant, begging for a few shillings. The “parking boys,” teenagers with no idea who or where their families are, emerge at dusk to badger the wealthy and the tourists, demanding money to dust off and protect cars parked in public spaces along the street. Their sisters, it is said, eke out a living as prostitutes. These young people are a great embarrassment, but repeated schemes to round them up into halfway houses or other welfare institutions have had little effect.

The vast majority of the hard-core urban poor of this country are better shielded from public view—in the slums of Nairobi, such as Kariobangi and Muthare Valley, where many live in tar-paper shacks with only the most elemental social services. The slums are where Nairobi grows (with a birthrate of more than 3 percent a year) and where new arrivals from the countryside (an estimated inward migration of 4 percent annually) generally go while looking and waiting for jobs. Their wait will be a long one indeed, for among Kenya’s 14 million people are now about a million unemployed, a fact that makes the approximately 94,000 jobs created by Moi’s Jamhuri Day proclamation seem desperately inadequate.

The government can pull off small successes from time to time. But the widely accepted view now is that these armies of unemployed will never be accommodated in the city, even if there is an explosion of industrial development; that the only way for them to fit satisfactorily into the economy is to return to the countryside. Thus the reference by Moi on Jamhuri Day to those who “loiter in the cities while farmers in the country are looking for workers,” and his threat that “we may eventually have to use force like other countries.” Privately, and less subtly, cabinet, ministers speculate on the feasibility of creating work camps to clear vast new areas for agricultural development and of employing other methods of coercion borrowed from quite different economic and political systems.

The biggest social problem of all in Kenya, one that affects and aggravates every other one, may be the pervasiveness of the corruption that developed under Kenyatta. It extends from the policeman who accepts a twentyshilling bribe when he stops a motorist to the members of the black elite who have private arrangements with bank officials for unsecured loans and illegal overdrafts. One reason for corruption among government officials is that they are permitted, even encouraged, to engage in private business. The rationale is that these public officials, with their education and know-how, are among the few blacks in a position to reclaim economic power from the numerous Asian shopkeepers and the white-run multinational corporations. It too often happens, however, that subcabinet officials spend more time at making money than at performing their government duties.

Moi himself holds the East African distributorship for International Harvester, and while he talks often about the need to deal with corruption, he has rejected the idea of appointing an ombudsman with broad investigative powers. Instead, the attack on corruption is beginning at the lower levels, and the Nairobi newspapers are full of stories about minor officials caught taking payoffs for work permits or trading licenses. How high up the campaign will reach remains to be seen.

Kenya’s economy is healthier than many in black Africa, but its health comes more from lucky breaks and loyal tourists than from steady, methodical exploitation of natural resources. Next to Nigeria’s oil, Zaire’s copper, and Rhodesia’s chrome, in fact, Kenya has little to sell, although there are occasional flurries of excitement about discoveries of gemstones, graphite, and other minerals in remote areas of the country. Its largest producer of income is still agriculture, which was responsible for more than 38 percent of the gross domestic product of $4,115 billion in 1977, the year of a boom in coffee prices—remembered now as a year of plenty for Kenya.

Agriculture is fundamentally unreliable, especially since only about 15 percent of Kenya’s land is arable and a third of that has only moderate potential. Kenya’s fourth development plan, for the years 1979-1983, gives highest priority to improving agriculture and developing a more sturdy, self-reliant industrial base, while counting on continuing tourist business: some half a million traveled to Kenya in 1978, spending $13 million while there and comprising the second largest source of income. Industrial development and the improvement of export earnings are essential, because Kenyans’ modern tastes have run far ahead of the current capacity to satisfy them at home. The balance-of-payments deficit for 1978 shot up to 2.4 billion shillings (about $300 million), prompting calls for new emergency measures to protect the fragile economy.

A parallel problem is how to put this modern Kenyan economy more in the hands of the occasionally restless wananchi (“ordinary people”). “People have shouted uhuru long enough,” said one educated young man from a small tribe near Mount Kenya; “now they want the goods delivered.” There has been great progress in this area since independence, but a disproportionate share of business is still owned by whites and Asians (who sometimes employ African managers) and in some cases controlled from London or the United States. Only about fifty of the largest farms are still owned by whites (as against 1400 at independence), but in many instances they have simply moved into the hands of a few wealthy black men. The challenge for Moi and Kibaki is to make necessary changes without scaring off the foreign investment that has fueled Kenya’s prosperity.

No country could have a tourist industry on the scale of Kenya’s and escape profound effects on the landscape and the society. The impact has been obvious in Nairobi for many years, and busloads of touring Japanese no longer attract special attention in the big city. Game hunts and poaching have hastened the destruction of Kenya’s storied wildlife. Now the tourist influx is reaching to Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast. The visitors there are a new breed for Kenya—mostly Germans, who fly on cheap jumbo-jet charters from Frankfurt to Mombasa. Although a few go on safaris into the countryside, most stay put on the relatively unspoiled, temperate beaches of the coast, where the strong buying power of their deutschmarks purchases first-class accommodations and European-style food about as cheaply as anywhere else in the world. In the village of Watamu, which has been virtually taken over by tourism, hardly a sign remains in English or Swahili. The advertisements for almost everything from souvenirs to laundry service are in German, with some translations into French and Italian.

Late last year, a group of Kenyan physicians had an idea: they would include South African experts on the invitation list for a pediatrics conference in Nairobi. To Americans and Europeans who are accustomed to relatively free and open international exchange among colleagues, even across East-West ideological barriers, that might not seem like a particularly daring move; but in the African context, it was heresy. Kenya has already been frequently and bitterly criticized for permitting European airlines to stop in Nairobi to refuel and pick up and discharge passengers on their flights to and from Johannesburg; that, argue the more radical black African governments, helps the white minority regime in South Africa maintain its commercial and cultural links to the outside world. Nonetheless, the Kenyan Foreign Ministry granted the necessary visas to the South African doctors, apparently agreeing with the Kenyan sponsors of the conference that more was to be gained from showing the South Africans a black-ruled country that functioned successfully than from being morally pure.

It is with just such decisions that the Kenyan government has earned its reputation as a bastion of pragmatism on an ideologically charged continent—a reputation that admittedly serves it better with the West than with the Organization of African Unity or with influential African states such as Nigeria and Tanzania. Indeed, ever since the disintegration in the mid-1970s of the East African Community, which once grouped Kenya with Tanzania and Uganda, the Kenyans have worried less about being popular in Africa and more about strengthening their relationship with the United States.

One reason is a fear of isolation. The Kenyans were disturbed by the violent flamboyance of Idi Amin in Uganda and are made uncomfortable by what they consider to be the holier-thanthou attitude of Julius Nyerere in Tanzania. Largely for reasons of pragmatism, Kenyan trade with Uganda continued even in Amin’s most outrageous moments. The border with Tanzania has been closed for two years, because of Tanzanian complaints over how the property of the East African Community was divided up and the refusal of Kenyan tour operators to give Tanzania a fair share of tourist revenues from visits to game parks inside Tanzania. Except when they have special permission for charters, travelers wishing to go between the two neighbors must now divert themselves hundreds or thousands of miles via Rwanda, Zambia, or even the Seychelles. The recent hostilities between Tanzania and Uganda have greatly worried Kenya, since a spillover is always possible in Africa; but Moi has remained officially neutral (even sponsoring mediation talks while hoping that Amin could be overthrown in a way that would not strengthen Nyerere). So long as Kenya prospers under capitalism while Tanzania struggles under socialism, the rivalry between the two countries is bound to remain intense.

The United States, of course, admires and encourages Kenya’s pragmatism and moderation. Meanwhile, the Kenyans have developed a knack for working within and around the American system of government. Foreign Minister Munyua Waiyaki tells with great relish of how Kenya obtained its first F-5E jets in 1976. Notwithstanding his reputation for pro-Palestinian sympathies, Waiyaki says, an Israeli diplomatic friend in New York advised him that he would have to lobby on Capitol Hill if Kenya was to have any serious chance of success with its request for the planes. According to Waiyaki, the Israeli set up his first appointment for him, with Senator Jacob Javits, Republican of New York. Then the foreign minister saw several other influential members of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees. “By the end of the day,” recalls Waiyaki, “Henry Kissinger was looking for me. He called and said, ‘Okay, I got your message. You can have the planes. What else do you want?’ ”

Kissinger may have been joking with his open-ended offer, but the Kenyans have gotten plenty more. The American instinct to aid them militarily, as well as economically, has been bipartisan. The Carter Administration, in fact, has proposed increasing foreign military sales to Kenya from $10 million in fiscal year 1979 to $26 million (more than half of all U.S. military aid in Africa) in fiscal year 1980. This figure includes money for thirty-two Hughes helicopters equipped with sophisticated air-to-ground antitank missiles, which the Kenyans argue would be necessary to defend themselves against an invasion from Somalia or Uganda. No decision has yet been made in Washington, however, about whether to give the Kenyans the kind of aid and training that will enable them to use the F-5Es in combat rather than just as symbols.

With all this support, the United States has won perhaps its staunchest friend in Africa (and one that is somewhat less embarrassing to Washington than, say, Mobutu Sese Seko’s regime in Zaire). Kenya has welcomed an ever larger American presence, including routine use of the port at Mombasa by ships of the U.S. Navy, which do not have many other places to call in the Indian Ocean these days. At the same time, the Kenyans have held to the kind of moderate line that Washington tries to encourage in the Third World: they do not automatically vote against the West on every issue at the United Nations, and they have generally avoided entanglements with the Soviet Union (although Waiyaki is said to have personal ties with the Russians, dating from his earlier days on the left wing of Kenyan politics). Ironically, they have built close ties with the Marxist regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam in Ethiopia, but that is largely because the Kenyans fear Somali irredentism in Kenya’s Northeast Province, which still appears on maps in Mogadishu as part of “Greater Somalia.”

“You know,” said one young professional in Nairobi, “there are times when Kenya seems like a pro-Western island surrounded by more radical states. . . . The connection with the U.S. can be an embarrassment for us, especially when the West has done so little to support the liberation struggles to the south. If Kenya becomes more committed on those issues—as we hope it will under Moi —this could cause some problems.”

Indeed, there is talk in Nairobi now of charting a new, more activist role in Africa. For one thing, Moi has a vague “French connection,” a relationship with some of the leaders of francophone West Africa that Kenyatta never encouraged or cultivated himself. And unlike Mzee, who did not like to fly and in his last years rare|y left home, Moi enjoys attending OAU and Commonwealth summit meetings and other conferences. Already, say officials in the foreign ministry, most African statesmen—whatever their politics—quietly respect Kenyan realism more than radical rhetoric. Kenyans point out proudly that when President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia felt it was necessary for economic reasons to reopen his country’s rail link with Rhodesia, he consulted with Kenya before Tanzania. Kenya approved and Tanzania disapproved. As Waiyaki recalls it, “We told him we would do the same thing in his position. It is ridiculous for a man to fight other people’s wars when his own people are starving.”