‘’History of the Kenya African Civil Servants Association, 1927-1963’’
Alfayo, Samuel Nyanchogah
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This is a study of the evolution and activities of the Kenya African Civil Servants Association (K.A.C.S.A:) from 1927 - 1963. It is based on primary and secondary sources in archives and libraries in Kenya and on oral interviews with some informants. The study investigates the factors that contributed to the formatjon of K.A.C.S.A; aims, success and failures composition of the Association to determine whether that Association was elitist. Finally, it investigates the Association's role in the nationalist struggle for independence. The study uses theoretical approaches. These include challenge and response, the elitist theory, the theory of equal oppprtunity, and the labour theory of social unrest. These approaches assist in explaining the formative stage of K.A.C.S.A. and its subsequent role in the independent transition period. The study has been set in the context of colonial Kenya. Preliminary chapters provide a potrait of colonial society by reviewing the labour conditions and problems. These problems provided an impetus for the rise of African associations, among others Kikuyu Central Association and Young Kavirondo Association. These associations help in analysing what the various African responses to pressures and abuses perpetrated by the colonial government were. The thesis examines the aims and structure of the colonial civil service. The colonial civil service offered different terms of service for Europeans, Asians and Africans. The Europeans and Asians supported, by the government, held dominant positions in the service. When Africans were hired, they took surbodinate positions. Racial discrimination was also reflected in housing arrangements, salaries, and other terms and conditions of service. Salaries and other conditions of service for Europeans and Asians continued to improve while those of Africans deteriorated. In 1927, Africans, in the colonial civil service, formed, K.A.C.S.A. to fight for better terms and conditions of service. K.A.C.S.A. set its headquarters in Nairohi, in 1927, and slowly established branches in major towns in the colony such as, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Kitale, Nakuru, Nyeri and Kisii. Similarly, Europeans and Asians had early, in 1918 formed their Associations, namely, Europeah Civil Servants Association and Asian Civil Servant Association. These associations were always antagonistic to each other. By 1933, K.A.C.S.A. begun to assert itself taking up complaints of various kinds on behalf of its members. These complaints were about, poor salaries, poor housing, poor medical facilities, victimisation and dismissal from the service. To fight for better terms of service, for its members, the K.A.C.S.A. sought audience with the Office of the Chief Secretary, the Governor, Director of Establishment and the Chief Native Commissioner. Sometimes, K.A.C.S.A. would send memoranda, to the colonial office seeking an 'impartial' royal commission to review their terms and conditions of service. Other methods of expressing dissafection with the colonial government was through boycotts and protests over poor terms of service. It had limited success before 1960s. Consequently, K.A.C.S.A. merged its interests with that of a wider labour movement (Kenya Federation of Labour - K.F.L.), African politicians, some whom had been members of the Association, and helped to Africanize the civil service in the independent transition period. The desire, among the K.A.C.S.A's members, (later Kenya Civil Servants Union - K.C.S.U), and some African politicians, to increase African opportunity in the civil service and decrease external influence was (seen as) a 'natural' extension of African nationalism. In pursuing such ends, K.A.C.S.A. later K.C.S.U., participated in promoting a situation where Africans would have greater control over their destiny. Consequently, African Civil Servants contributed to the preparation for Kenya's transition from a colony to an independent State.
CitationMasters thesis University of Nairobi 1990
University of NairobiDepartment of Arts