Colonial system of administration in Kenya
In their administration of Kenya, the British employed both central government and local government as the basic administrative framework.
The protectorate was divided into provinces headed by Provincial commissioners, who acted as representatives of the Governor. The governor was answerable to the colonial secretary in Britain.
Hierarchy of colonial administration in Kenya.
They were established in 1922 after the passing of the Native Authority Ordinance.
In 1924, the District Advisory Councils (DACs) were renamed Local Native Councils (LNCs)
Objectives of the LNCs.
Impact of Local government.
Factors that undermined the local Government.
The methods mainly used by the British to administer their colonies were
This was a policy advanced by Fredrick Lugard, the British High Commissioner in the protectorate of Northern Nigeria from 1900 to 1906. To Lugard, as summed up in his book, The Dual Mandate in the Tropical Africa (1922),”the resident acts as a sympathetic adviser to the native chief, on matters of general policy. But the native ruler issues his instructions to the subordinate chiefs and district heads, not as orders of the resident but as his own”. Such a system was applied in Kenya and in West Africa.
Why Britain used indirect rule in Kenya and Nigeria.
British rule in Kenya.
In Kenya, the British lacked both funds and experienced personnel to facilitate their administration. Kenya also did not have a reference model of an administrative system –like that in Buganda Kingdom. It was only among the Wanga section of the Abaluhyia and the Maasai where traditional chiefs that were recognized by the British existed.
Where the institution of chieftainship did not exist as the case of the Agikuyu, the British appointed chiefs (men with ability to communicate in Kiswahili and organize porters) like Kinyanjui wa Gathirimu in Kiambu, Karuri wa Gakure in Murang’a and Wang’ombe wa Ihura in Nyeri.
The passing of the Village Headman Act in 1902 gave the chiefs the responsibilities of maintaining public order, hearing of petty cases and clearing of roads and footpaths.
The 1912 0rdinance increased the powers of the chiefs and their assistants (headmen); they were now allowed to employ other persons to assist them, such as messengers and retainers. They were to assist the District officers in Tax collection and control brewing of illegal liquor and cultivation of poisonous plants like Cannabis sativa. They were to control carrying of weapons and mobilize African labour for public works.
The selected colonial chiefs however faced two problems;
The British in Nigeria.
Nigeria comprised the Lagos colony and protectorate, the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and the Northern Nigeria Protectorate. These regions were later amalgamated into the Nigerian protectorate in 1914.
In Northern Nigeria, Fredrick Lugard employed indirect rule.
Reasons for the use of indirect rule by the British in northern Nigeria.
This system was mainly used in regions with large white settler population such as Algeria , south Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
Direct rule in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe was colonized by the British South African Company under John Cecil Rhodes. Rhodes used his resources to sponsor a group of South African Europeans who set out to establish in Southern Rhodesia, a satellite of South African System. They began off by engaging the Ndebele in a series of wars from 1893 before finally occupying the fertile land in Mashonaland and Matabeleland.
Characteristics of direct rule in Zimbabwe.
The government was headed by a resident Commissioner who was appointed by the Company stationed at Salisbury. Below him were various commissioners in charge of the Districts (all Europeans). Below them were African Chiefs whose duty included collecting tax, recruiting labour and maintaining law and order. In 1898, a LEGCO was established –heavily dominated by the European settlers. An Executive Council, consisting of the Resident Commissioner and 4 nominees of BSA.Co was also established. In 1902, a Native Affairs Department, headed by a European Native Commissioner was created thus entrenching the dominance of Europeans in Zimbabwe. The duty of the commissioner was to allocate land to Africans, collect taxes and recruit labour.
For lack of enough valuable minerals in Zimbabwe as expected, the Europeans compensated by acquiring large tracts of land from African communities with some having grants of upto 3000 acre pieces of land.( Europeans occupied 21 million acres while Africans despite their majority were confined to 24 million acre reserves.)
The Company relinquished control in 1923 to for Zimbabwe to become a crown colony.
Crown colony Rule (1923-1953)
Why the settlers favoured crown colony over merger with South Africa.
To legitimize the two pyramids policy were two Acts that were passed in 1930 and 1934. a) Land Apportionment Act of 1930.
The Act introduced rigid territorial segregation with land being divided into white’s and Africans’ portions. No African was allowed to acquire land outside their segregated portion. The minority whites acquired over half of the best arable land. Africans were given the semi arid areas infested by mosquitoes.
Land was categorized into four;
The Central African Federation.
The federation was organized as follows;
In 1970, UDI declared itself a republic under a new constitution that entrenched white's’ position in Zimbabwe by spelling the following;
Effects of British rule in Zimbabwe.
This was a system of administration in which French colonies were given a culture and civilization similar to that of France. This system was influenced by the French revolution of 1789, which emphasized the equality of all men.
In Africa, it was perfected by Lewis Faidherbe in Senegal when he was governor from 1854 to 1865.
To many historians Assimilation was a deliberate French policy to help them destroy African Chieftaincies and Kingdoms that were thriving at the time of their arrival. Under the system, Africans had to;
French administration in West Africa.
The French system of administration was highly centralized.
The eight French colonies were grouped into the confederation of French West Africa. They were governed from one capital, Dakar, Senegal.
The federation was headed by a Governor-General answerable to the French Minister for colonies in Paris. Each colony was headed by a lieutenant- Governor answerable to the Governor-General in Dakar.
Each colony was divided into cercles (provinces), each headed by a commandant de cercle. Each cercle was further divided into small districts each headed by a chef de sub-division below whom were African chiefs (chefs de cantons in charge of locations). At the base were chefs de village in charge of the sub-locations.
All the French overseas colonies were seen as overseas provinces and each elected a deputy to the French Chamber of Deputies in Paris (lower House). However the French administrators appointed lacked high standards of education and some were military officers simply rewarded with senior administrative positions. This led to inefficiency.
French administration in Senegal.
In Senegal, the policy of assimilation was only applied in the four communes of St.Louis, Goree, Rufisque and Dakar. In the rest of the country, African chiefs who ruled were put I three grades namely;
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Characteristics of assimilation.
Under this system, the French colonial government was to respect the cultures of her colonial peoples and allow them to develop independently rather than force them to adopt French civilization and culture.
Unlike the assimilated Africans, subjects retained their cultural practices e.g polygamy and Islam. The subject came under a system of law known as indigenat where the subject could suffer arbitrary arrest or be forced to serve a longer period in the army than assimilated citizens.
Why the French government replaced the policy of assimilation with that of association in 1945.
a) The French had realized that assimilation would lead to equality between them and the colonized people.
b) Assimilation was too expensive especially because West African colonies were not self-supporting yet.
c) The method clashed with the commercial interests. The French businesspersons and their friends in the colonial administration saw Africans as source of cheap labour. They therefore disapproved the idea of uplifting them.
d) The French had realized that not all the colonial people could be assimilated. Only the elite ones among them could. Association aimed at transforming the Native elites into Frenchmen while allowing the other masses to learn enough French for communication purposes.
e) They had realized that there was need to allow the colonies to enjoy the freedom of
developing according to existing traditional political and social structure. / respect for the culture of her colonies.
The similarities between the French and the British colonial administrations
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