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Lowering the Sultan's Flag: Sovereignty and Decolonization in Coastal Kenya

  • James R. Brennan (a1)

On 17 December 1961, Ronald Ngala faced an audience of some five hundred supporters in Malindi, a town on the East African coast of the Indian Ocean. The crowd had come to watch Ngala lower the flag that symbolized colonial rule along the coast. This was not the Union flag of Great Britain, but the red flag of the Sultan of Zanzibar. It flew over a number of towns located along the ten-mile coastal strip “Protectorate” of what was then Kenya Colony and Protectorate. The flag symbolized this latter legal distinction, representing the sovereignty that the Sultan of Zanzibar retained over the coastal strip of Kenya after leasing its administration to Britain in a treaty signed in 1895. The flag's lowering was an act of political theatre—Ngala's supporters had hastily arranged the flag and flagpole, while the Sultan's real flag flew over the Malindi courts office nearby. The crowd celebrated its lowering with loud and wild cheers. Anxious onlookers later complained that Ngala had performed an act of treason. In Zanzibar, tense with the specter of racial violence, local press expressed outrage at this insult to the Sultan.

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1 Mombasa Times, 18 Oct. 1961, and subsequent letters.

2 Acting British Resident, Zanzibar to Maudling, 20 Dec. 1961, Colonial Office, British National Archives, Kew [hereafter CO] 822/2046/200. An investigation was later launched against Ngala, but no charges were brought. Deputy Governor Kenya to Maudling, 18 Dec. 1961, CO 822/2150/178.

3 The terms “Arab” and “Swahili” raise thorny issues of coastal identity. To abbreviate an interminable debate, the identity of “Arab” in coastal East Africa may indicate ancestral origins in Arabia, but certainly marks a claim to high social status. “Swahili” is predominantly an “etic” term that classifies (however problematically) people who have adopted coastal culture, including not only Swahili language and Islam, but also plausible membership in local lineages. In identifying with coastal culture, “Arab” and “Swahili” categorically differentiate themselves from mainland Africans.

4 Salim, A. I., The Swahili-Speaking Peoples of Kenya's Coast (Nairobi: East African Publishing House, 1973), 220–46; idem., “The Movement for ‘Mwambao’ or Coast Autonomy in Kenya, 1956–1963,” Hadith 2 (1970): 212–28; Stren, Richard, Housing the Urban Poor in Africa: Policy, Politics and Bureaucracy in Mombasa (Berkeley: Institute of International Relations, 1978), 7487; and Kindy, Hyder, Life and Politics in Mombasa (Nairobi: East African Publishing House, 1972), 184–91.

5 The authoritative study in this vein remains Hinsley, F. H., Sovereignty (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2d ed., 1986). Also working within a European framework but alive to sovereignty's instability is Sheehan, James J., “The Problem of Sovereignty in European History,” American Historical Review 111 (2006): 115.

6 These typologies, as well as “domestic” sovereignty (the exercise of control within borders) and “interdependence” sovereignty (the control of borders), are from Steven Krasner's influential Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999). Krasner admits that “Westphalian” sovereignty relates little to the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, and emerges only in the late eighteenth century; he adopts the term because of its common usage. Ibid., 20.

7 Radhika Mongia, “Historicizing State Sovereignty: Inequality and the Form of Equivalence,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 49 (2007): 384–411; and Antony Anghie, “Finding the Peripheries: Sovereignty and Colonialism in Nineteenth-Century International Law,” Harvard International Law Journal 40 (1999): 1–81.

8 Teschke, Benno, The Myth of 1648: Class, Geopolitics, and the Making of Modern International Relations (London: Verso, 2003), 245. For Teschke, sovereignty was literally the family business of rentier royals; its modern transformation only came about with the international domination of the Hanoverian British state controlled by capitalist landed classes.

9 This paradoxical quality of sovereignty emerges in Krasner's historical realist account (“organized hypocrisy”), and more explicitly in Schmitt's metaphysical tract Political Theology, which asserts that the sovereign is “he who decides on the exception,” for “the legal order rests on a decision and not on a norm.” Schmitt, Carl, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), 5, 10. Agamben elaborates: “The sovereign is, at the same time, outside and inside the juridical order.” Agamben, Giorgio, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998), 15. Agamben's paradox is illuminated in Rasch, William, Sovereignty and Its Discontents (London: Birkbeck Law Press, 2004), ch. 5.

10 Bose, Sugata, A Hundred Horizons: The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2006), 25. He quotes from Gupta, Ashin Das and Pearson, M. N., India and the Indian Ocean, 1500–1800 (Calcutta: Oxford University Press, 1987), 13.

11 For useful overviews, see Pouwels, Randall, Horn and Crescent: Cultural Change and Traditional Islam on the East African Coast, 800–1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Horton, Mark and Middleton, John, The Swahili: The Social Landscape of a Mercantile Society (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000); and Nurse, Derek and Spear, Thomas, The Swahili: Reconstructing the History and Language of an African Society, 800–1500 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985).

12 See, inter alia, Freeman-Grenville, G.S.P., The Mombasa Rising against the Portuguese 1631 (London: Oxford University Press, 1980), xxiixxv.

13 For an overview, see Glassman, Jonathon, Feasts and Riot: Revelry, Rebellion, and Popular Consciousness on the Swahili Coast, 1856–1888 (Portsmouth: Heinemann, 1995); for Mombasa, see F. J. Berg, “Mombasa under the Busaidi Sultanate: The City and Its Hinterland in the 19th Century” (Ph.D. diss., University of Wisconsin, 1975).

14 See Horton and Middleton, The Swahili, ch. 4.

15 Berg, F. J., “The Swahili Community of Mombasa,” Journal of African History 9 (1968), 54.

16 Cf. Mongia, op. cit.

17 Islamic notions of sovereignty begin with recognition of the sovereignty of God (Al-Malik) over man, expressed in the tellingly redundant name Al-Malik-ul-Mulk, while man's deputized sovereignty on earth is Al-Hakimiyya or “governorship.” Khan, M. A. Muqtedar, “Sovereignty in Islam as Human Agency,” Ijtihad 1, 10 (1999), at

18 Ahmed, Ilyas, Sovereignty in Islam (Karachi: Allies Book Corporation, 1963), 11, 20, 23.

19 Lewis, Bernard, The Political Language of Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), 4353.

20 Jackson, Robert, Quasi-States: Sovereignty, International Relations, and the Third World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), esp. 2331, 86–91. Jackson's “positive” and “negative” sovereignty roughly equate to Krasner's “domestic” and “international legal” sovereignty, respectively. Critics of Jackson decry the hypocrisy, manipulation, and inequality that infuse the post-war sovereignty system, but do little to refute his core arguments. See Grovogui, Siba N'Zatioula, Sovereigns, Quasi-Sovereigns, and Africans: Race and Self-Determination in International Law (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996).

21 Jackson, Quasi-States, 85.

22 Ibid., 24.

23 Cooper, Frederick, Decolonization and African Society: The Labor Question in French and British Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 468.

24 Khalifa bin Harub died on 9 October 1960 at age eighty-one, succeeded by his less popular son Abdallah bin Khalifa. He in turn died on 1 July 1963, succeeded by his still less popular son Jamshid bin Abdallah, who was overthrown on 12 January 1964 and fled to exile in Britain.

25 An 1886 Anglo-German agreement delineated the Sultan's sovereignty from the coastline to ten miles into the interior.

26 The text of the 1895 treaty is in The Kenya Coastal Strip: Report of the Commissioner, Cmnd. 1585 (London: HMSO, 1961). Unlike Germany, which purchased outright the Sultan's rights to the coast of modern Tanzania, Britain leased Kenya's coast from the Sultan. £200,000 was Germany's purchase price and therefore estimated to be the Sultan's interest in IBEAC. Britain theoretically “borrowed” this sum—quite literally the same £200,000 paid to the Sultan by Germany—in a loan repayable at 3 percent interest, without reference to principle repayment. Rent was reduced to £10,000 per annum in 1924 after the Sultan ceded Jubaland to Italian Somalia. Salim, Swahili-Speaking Peoples, 73; Annexe II of EAC(57)3 entitled “Zanzibar and the Kenya Protectorate,” Sept. 1957, CO 822/1810/3.

27 Cashmore, T.H.R., “Sheikh Mbaruk bin Rashid bin Salim el Mazrui,” in Bennett, Norman, ed., Leadership in Eastern Africa (Boston: Boston University Press, 1968), 109–37.

28 Salim, Swahili-Speaking Peoples, 73.

29 Britain brought its Malaya protectorate model to Zanzibar, where the British Resident ran the government in the name of the prince. Metcalf, Thomas, Imperial Connections: India in the Indian Ocean Arena, 1860–1920 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), 42.

30 Cooper, Frederick, From Slaves to Squatters: Plantation Labor and Agriculture in Zanzibar and Coastal Kenya, 1890–1925 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981).

31 Note of Bronney[?] to Buist, 24 Oct. 1960, CO 822/2163/42.

32 “Note on Sovereignty of the Sultan of Zanzibar in the Protectorate of Kenya,” 21 Jan. 1953, by EJAL/JEA [Kenya Attorney General], KNA GH/32/62/28; Annexe II of EAC(57)3, Sept. 1957, CO 822/1810/3.

33 “A Short Description of the Twelve Tribes” by Hyder Mohammed, n.d. [c. Dec. 1944], KNA DC/MSA/2/1/172/77. In fact, these customs allowances had ended by 1900, though certain recipients retained grants until their death, and a few mistakenly paid after death, until the liwali advised ending all payments in 1921. Minute, 16 Aug. 1934, CO 533/442/13.

34 Photographs of treaties in KNA DC/MSA/2/1/172/78. On this conflict, see Salim, Swahili-Speaking Peoples, ch. 5.

35 Mijikenda, literally “nine towns,” refers to the nine ethnic groups (Chonyi, Digo, Duruma, Giriama, Jibana, Kambe, Kauma, Rabai, Riba) that live near the Kenyan coast, maintain ceremonial shrines or kayas, and share a common descent myth. Mijikenda far outnumber Swahili and Arabs, who had pejoratively termed Mijikenda as “Nyika.”

36 Willis, Justin, Mombasa, the Swahili, and the Making of the Mijikenda (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), 7476, 109–12; Strobel, Margaret, Muslim Women in Mombasa 1890–1975 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979), 41. Whereas Willis maintains that ‘Mijikenda’ identities were largely products of colonial-era patronage networks confronting state power, Spear argues they have a deeper pre-colonial history. Spear, Thomas, The Kaya Complex: A History of the Mijikenda Peoples of the Kenya Coast to 1900 (Nairobi: Kenya Literature Bureau, 1978).

37 President, Central Arab Association to Kenya Governor, 5 Mar. 1950, KNA OP/1/546/43/1. Representation in Kenya's Legislative Council was defined racially, with Arabs holding one elected seat and one appointed. The colonial administration felt Arab elected representatives functioned badly in office because of their poor English, and preferred to retain the appointed position.

38 Provincial Commissioner [hereafter PC] Coast to Chief Secretary, 10 Mar. 1951, KNA OP/1/546/151.

39 Minute of Mitchell, 24 Mar. 1951, KNA OP/1/546/155.

40 Acting PC Coast to all District Commissioners, 21 Feb. 1946, KNA DC/Lamu/2/11/19/49. Small flags were flown over all district headquarters on the coast. Acting PC Coast to District Commissioner [hereafter DC] Kilifi and Lamu, 10 Mar. 1947, KNA DC/Lamu/2/11/19/59.

41 See correspondence in KNA DC/Lamu/2/11/19.

42 PC Coast to DC Lamu, 14 Nov. 1952, KNA DC/Lamu/2/11/19/158.

43 “Note on Sovereignty,” loc. cit.

44 British Resident, Zanzibar to Governor Kenya, 21 Jan. 1953, KNA GH/32/62/22.

45 Ag. Solicitor General to Chief Native Commissioner, 26 June 1951, KNA OP/1/546/167.

46 Opinion of Sydney Abrahams, January 1951, Annexe III of EAC(57)3, entitled “Zanzibar and the Kenya Protectorate,” Sept. 1957, CO 822/1810/3.

47 “East African Conference,” Colonial Office, Dec. 1960, CO 822/2163/49.

48 KPNP to Robertson, 25 Sept. 1961, CO 894/12/20.

49 Ahmed Mohammad Ahmed Al-Jahadhmy, Tarekhe ya Amu (written 1968, self-published 1985), 24; my emphasis, author's translation. I thank Jamal Mahfoud Al-Jahadhmy and Andy Eisenberg for providing access to this work.

50 A year later, a reporter wrote, “It took some effort to be cognizant of the ties attaching this coast to the Sultanate,” but noted that the seventieth-birthday celebration “drove home to those who had been ignorant the fact that Mombasa still holds on its shores a community cherishing an affectionate regard for the Sultan of Zanzibar.” Mombasa Times, 29 Sept. 1950.

51 Azzan to DC Mombasa, 6 Sept. 1949, KNA CA/16/63/11.

52 Glassman, Feasts and Riot, 202.

53 Ibid., ch. 7.

54 KANU Kwale Branch to Robertson, n.d. [c. Oct. 1961], CO 894/13/15.

55 Coast Broadcasting Advisory Sub-Committee minutes, 14 June 1957, KNA AHC/30/8/3.

56 Question and Answers, Mombasa Social Survey, G. M. Wilson, 7 Nov. 1958, KNA DC/MSA/2/1/3/p. 12.

57 Mombasa Times, 11 Aug. 1954.

58 al-Barwani, Ali Muhsin, Conflict and Harmony in Zanzibar (Memoirs) (Dubai: self-published, 2000), 106.

59 Zanzibar Intelligence Report, June 1958, CO 822/1377/52.

60 Strobel, Muslim Women in Mombasa, 189.

61 See Mombasa Times, 8 Sept. 1954, and 27 Aug. 1957.

62 Kenya Coastal Strip, 13.

63 The best political history for Zanzibar remains Lofchie, Michael, Zanzibar: Background to Revolution (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966); for mwambao, Salim, “The Movement for ‘Mwambao.’”

64 Hughes, A. J., East Africa: The Search for Unity (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963), 123; Kyle, Keith, The Politics of the Independence of Kenya (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999), 70.

65 Kindy, Life and Politics, 188–89.

66 Mirza, Sarah and Strobel, Margaret, eds., Three Swahili Women: Life Histories from Mombasa, Kenya (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989), 111.

67 Nassir's most articulate expression of political leadership is captured in his cyclostyled petition to the Coast Provincial Commissioner that attacks the elitism of Mombasa's Arab bureaucratic and political leadership, entitled “Pwani ya Kenya,” 4 Feb. 1960, in KNA CA/10/126/11. The Kenya Government had in 1952 ‘promoted’ the Twelve Tribes to Arab status.

68 See minutes of Malindi European Association, 27 Sept. 1961, in Malindi European Association Papers, Rhodes House (Oxford University), Mss.Afr.s.564, vol. II.

69 Liwalis, Mudirs, and Kadhis of Kenya Protectorate to Maudling, n.d. [c. Feb. 1962], CO 822/2151/84. Hyder Kindy, for example, did not publicly express his views on mwambao and later dismissed it as a “fiasco” in his memoir Life and Politics in Mombasa, written while employed by Kenyatta's government. But in fact he was a staunch supporter of autonomy; see his petition to Robertson Commission, 19 Oct. 1961, CO 894/13/10.

70 S.L.O. Intelligence Survey for period ending 10 Nov. 1948, CO 537/4340/1. Before this trip, Hinawy had requested official papers documenting the relationship between the Sultan and Britain. Glenday to Cohen, 16 July 1948, CO 537/4706A/1.

71 See, inter alia, letter of “Four-Of-A-Kind,” Mwongozi, 30 Jan. 1953.

72 Mombasa Times, 29 Dec. 1953; 1953 Mombasa District Annual Report, KNA DC/MSA/1/5.

73 Saut el-Arab broadcast, 30 June 1956, Foreign Office [Kew] 371/119222/E1433/76.

74 On Radio Cairo's Swahili-language broadcasts, see James Brennan, “Radio Cairo and the Decolonization of East Africa, 1953–1964,” in Christopher Lee, ed., Bandung and Beyond (forthcoming).

75 Mombasa Times, 28 May 1956; Salim, “Mwambao,” 216–17.

76 Sauti ya MADU, 10 Aug. 1958.

77 Scotsman, 16 June 1960, in CO 822/2163/28.

78 On KANU-KADU competition, see Kyle, Politics, ch. 7; and David Anderson, “‘Yours in the Struggle for Majimbo’: Nationalism and the Party Politics of Decolonisation in Kenya, 1955 to 1964,” Journal of Contemporary History 39 (2005): 547–64.

79 Mooring to Macleod, 27 Apr. 1960, CO 822/2163/18.

80 Note on visit to Sultan of Zanzibar by W. T. Hull, Robertson Commission Secretary, 7 Oct. 1961, CO 894/3/7. Hull found “that Zanzibaris of all kinds are fearful of taking any line which will antagonize up-country African opinion.” Hull to Kitcatt, 25 Oct. 1961, CO 894/1/125.

81 Petition enclosed in Mooring to Webber, 19 May 1960, CO 822/2163/20.

82 Sheikh Ali bin Mohamed bin Yunus, Tamin of “Three Tribes” to Sultan of Zanzibar, 7 Oct. 1961, KNA CA/26/5/1; Muhamed Shamte to Sheikh Ali bin Mohamed bin Yunus, 26 Aug. 1963, in private collection of Abdulkarim Yunus, Mombasa. I thank Jeremy Prestholdt for providing a copy of this document.

83 Even Philip Mitchell, Kenya's most pro-Arab governor since Hardinge, had admitted the coastal strip had “no political future” detached from mainland Kenya. Mitchell to Creech Jones, 24 Feb. 1948, CO 537/5911/8.

84 Nye, Joseph, Pan Africanism and East African Integration (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967), 133. Nyerere had founded the Pan-African Freedom Movement of East and Central Africa (PAFMECA) in 1958, and worked to establish the East African Common Services Organization in June 1961. Ibid.

85 Renison to Webber, 10 June 1960, CO 822/2163/27. The Robertson Commission later found a £955,000 shortfall between revenue and expenditure on the coastal strip. Kenya Coastal Strip, 10.

86 At an East African Governors' meeting held on 16 June 1961, consensus emerged that it would be best to establish the strip as a High Commission territory, so that it could later become a federal territory after Kenya reached internal self-government. Extract note at CO 822/2164/70. The East African High Commission was renamed the East African Common Services Organisation that same year.

87 MacLeod to Mooring, 4 July 1961, CO 822/2149/9.

88 Mooring to MacLeod, 7 July 1961, CO 822/2149/11.

89 Renison to MacLeod, 15 July 1961, CO 822/2149/15.

90 Renison to MacLeod, 8 Sept. 1961, CO 822/2149/52.

91 Provincial Information Office, Mombasa, 10 Oct. 1961, KNA CQ/9/3/7; Saleh Omar Salmeen [President, Arab Traders Association] to DC Mombasa, 11 Oct. 1961, KNA CQ/9/3/9.

92 These public threats are chronicled in Memorandum of Coastal League to Robertson, App. E, 7 Oct. 1961, CO 894/12/6.

93 Petitions are in CO 894 series.

94 Sheehan, “The Problem of Sovereignty,” 2–3.

95 These norms color the historiography of the Swahili Coast. See Salim, Swahili-Speaking Peoples; and Pouwels, Horn and Crescent. For a critical perspective on the meaning and contestation of these norms along the nineteenth-century coast, see Glassman, Feasts and Riot.

96 Salim, Swahili-Speaking Peoples, 73.

97 Hassan Abdulrahman Mwakimako, “Politics, Ethnicity and Jostling for Power: The Evolution of Institutions of Muslim Leadership and Kadhiship in Colonial Kenya, 1895–1963” (Ph.D. diss., University of Cape Town, 2003), ch. 5.

98 Translation of letter of F. Athman and O. B. Basheikh [Lamu] to Governor's Private Secretary, 22 Aug. 1963, CO 822/3073/E17(ii).

99 Memorandum of Womens' Section of CPP, by Mwanawangu Mzee and Somoe Bausi to Robertson, 20 Oct. 1961, CO 894/13/8.

100 Petition of Mohamed Husein Jongoo [President, KPNP] to Zanzibar Sultan, encl. in Husein to Zanzibar Sultan, 29 Aug. 1963, CO 822/3073/E17(iii).

101 EAC(57)3, CO 822/1810/3.

102 A rough 1961 coastal strip census found (by race): 300,000 Africans; 48,000 Asians; 37,000 Arabs, Swahilis, and Bajunis; and 7,000 Europeans. Kenya Coastal Strip, 7.

103 Enrollment form for Coastal League, CO 894/2.

104 Memorandum of CPP to Robertson, 20 Oct. 1961, CO 894/13/2.

105 Note of meeting between Robertson and CPP delegation, Mombasa, 20 Oct. 1961, CO 894/2. Robertson deemed it impossible to expect a mwambao state to “be able to prevent infiltration and invasion by further and successive waves of up-country tribes-people in search of work, land and facilities.” Moreover, “if a hostile up-country Kenya Government wished to excite agitation and disorder, the new State would not be in a position to defend itself from attack,” creating a situation that would jeopardize “the safety and the peaceful development not only of the new State itself, but of the whole of East Africa.” Kenya Coastal Strip, 23.

106 See Cooper, From Slaves to Squatters, ch. 5.

107 Hamidin Abd Hamid, “Unfinished Business: The Implementation of the Land Titles Ordinance in Coastal Kenya, 1908–1940s,” (Ph.D. diss., University of London, 2000), 57.

108 Ibid., 47, 34–37.

109 In 1957, nearly half of the protectorate land was Crown land, a third “native land units,” a fifth alienated land, and the remainder settlement and communal lands. EAC(57)3, CO 822/1810/3.

110 In one such case, a public rent strike meeting among African squatters was followed by an “assault by squatters of an Arab family following agitation to refuse to pay rent,” which “caused great alarm and resulted in a deputation from local Arab landowners.” Malindi Intelligence Report, Mar. 1959, KNA CB/18/18/28.

111 Malindi Intelligence Report, Dec. 1959, KNA CB/18/18/37.

112 Memorandum of Yuda Komora to Robertson, 14 Oct. 1961, CO 894/1/94.

113 Note of meeting between Robertson and Sheikh Salim Mohamed Muhashamy, Coast Liwali, 9 Oct. 1961, CO 894/2; note of meeting between Robertson and Hall, PC Coast, 21 Oct. 1961, CO 894/2.

114 Jan. 1961 Report, encl. in District Officer Malindi to PC Coast, 8 Feb. 1961, KNA CB/18/18/49.

115 Stren, Housing the Urban Poor, 163.

116 Petition of KPNP to Sultan of Zanzibar, n.d. [c. 29 Aug. 1963], encl. in Husein to Sultan, 29 Aug. 1963, CO 822/3073/E17(iii).

117 Memorandum of Coastal League to Robertson Commission, App. C, 7 Oct. 1961, CO 894/12/6.

118 Memorandum of Central Bajun Association [Mombasa] to Kenya Boundaries Commission, 7 Aug. 1962, CO 897/1/28.

119 Mirza and Strobel, Three Swahili Women, 112.

120 Memorandum from Kilifi District [Mijikenda Union] to Robertson, 5 Oct. 1961, CO 894/14/2.

121 Memorandum of Chief Johnson Mwero of Kalaloni, Mariakani Location, Kwale District to Hull, 14 Oct. 1961, CO 894/3/6.

122 R. Mbwana Marachangoma [Digo National Union] to Robertson, 4 Oct. 1961, CO 894/12/11; Secretary, KANU Kwale Branch to Robertson, n.d. [c. Oct. 1961], CO 894/13/15; and memorandum of Wadigo (Shimba Location) to Robertson, 18 Oct. 1961, CO 894/12/59.

123 See, inter alia, CPP memorandum to Robertson, 20 Oct. 1961, CO 894/13/2.

124 J.S.J. Mambo, S.R.D. Msechu, and J. J. Mugalla [KADU Mombasa Branch] to Robertson, 9 Oct. 1961, CO 894/1/35.

125 Memorandum of Wanjohi wa Waciuma to Colonial Office, 24 Sept. 1961, encl. in Fry to Hull, 17 Oct. 1961, CO 894/11/3.

126 Rashid Mbwana Mwachangoma to Governor's Private Secretary, 24 Aug. 1963, CO 822/3073/E17(iv).

127 On rhetorical violence and racial thought in Zanzibar, see Jonathon Glassman, “Sorting Out the Tribes: The Creation of Racial Identities in Colonial Zanzibar's Newspaper Wars,” Journal of African History 41 (2000): 395–428.

128 Msanifu Kombo, Organising Secretary, KANU Mombasa Branch to Chairman, CPP, Mombasa, 3 June 1961, KNA DC/MSA/2/1/93/9/A.

129 Sheehan, “The Problem of Sovereignty,” 4. Krasner similarly distinguishes authority from control. Krasner, Sovereignty, 10.

130 “Coast Region: Autonomous/Secessionist Trends,” by Deputy Director of Intelligence, 25 June 1963, KNA GO/3/1/12/8. On the KANU's 1963 electoral victories, see Kyle, 171–78.

131 See minutes of F. D. Webber, 22 Mar. 1962, and W.B.L. Monson, 26 Mar. 1962, in CO 822/2157. Records of the four Lancaster House meetings held on 8, 9, and 12 March and 7 April 1962 are in CO 822/2159 and CAB 133/198 (National Archives, Kew).

132 Statement of Mwambao United Front, 17 Mar. 1962, CO 822/2158/7.

133 CO 822/3111/23–25, printed as Kenya Coastal Strip: Joint Statement, Cmnd. 1971 (London: HMSO, 1963).

134 See Thomas Wolf, “Contemporary Politics,” in Jan Hoorweg et al., eds., Kenya Coast Handbook (Hamburg: Lit Verlag, 2000), 129–55; and Lisa Misol, Playing with Fire: Weapons Proliferation, Political Violence, and Human Rights in Kenya (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2002). Two of the five safeguards—provisions for Muslim Administrative Officers and Arabic education—have largely not been met since independence; the remaining three largely have.

135 Karuti Kanyinga, “The Land Question in Kenya: Struggles, Accumulation and Changing Politics,” (Ph.D. diss., Roskilde University, 1998), 119, 154–56.

136 Ali Muhsin al-Barwani, Conflict and Harmony, 287–88.

137 Interview with Abdalla Mbwana, Mombasa, 20 July 2006.

138 Interview with Abdullahi Nassir by Stambuli Abdillahi Nassir and Hoka wa Mwahoka entitled, “Mkataba ina Mwambao wa Pwani Mnamo 1962–1963 Lancaster House,” Pwani FM (Mombasa), 8 Apr. 2004, tape recording in author's possession. On Nassir's role in mwambao, see Kresse, Kai, Philosophising in Mombasa: Knowledge, Islam, and Intellectual Practice on the Swahili Coast (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007), 186–87.

139 Letter of Seif Mohammed Seif, Daily Nation (Nairobi), 14 Feb. 2004.

140 The Standard (Nairobi), 8 Apr. 2004. For a recent account, see Rüdiger Seesemann, “Kenyan Muslims, the Aftermath of 9/11, and the ‘War on Terror,’” in Soares, Benjamin and Otayek, René, eds., Islam and Muslim Politics in Africa (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 163–68.

141 The Standard (Nairobi), 16 May 2005.

142 Bakari, Mohamed and Yahya, Saad, eds., Islam in Kenya (Nairobi: Mewa Publications, 1995), 238.

143 Daily Nation (Nairobi), 20 June 2007. This “council” is led by Omar Mwamndwazi and is comprised principally of young Digo men seeking to establish local land rights against “upcountry” expropriation. It springs from the “Kaya Bombo” group which—then in the name of majimbo—raided Likoni police station in Mombasa in August 1997, killed six police officers, and stole over forty guns. They then turned their violence to “upcountry” people and businesses, killing over a hundred and displacing some one hundred thousand people. Noel Mwakugu, “Kenya's Coastal Rebels,” BBC News, 8 Apr. 2005; Amos Kareithi, “Revisiting Ten-Mile Strip Controversy,” Sunday Standard (Nairobi), 30 Sept. 2007; Misol, 24–64.

144 Allman, Jean, The Quills of the Porcupine: Asante Nationalism in an Emergent Ghana (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993); White, Luise, The Assassination of Herbert Chitepo: Texts and Politics in Zimbabwe (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003). For East Africa, see Anderson, op. cit.; Maddox, Gregory and Giblin, James, eds., In Search of a Nation: Histories of Authority and Dissidence in Tanzania (Oxford: James Currey, 2005); and Barwani, Sauda et al. , eds., Unser Leben vor der Revolution und Danach: Autobiographische Documentartexte Sansibarischer Zeitzeugen (Cologne: Köppe, 2003).

Acknowledgments: Earlier versions of this article were presented at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Johns Hopkins University, and Zentrum für Moderner Orient (ZMO), Berlin. I thank Mohamed Bakari, Sara Berry, Jeffrey Brooks, Andy Eisenberg, Bruce Hall, Kai Kresse, Pier Larson, Lisa Lindsay, Christopher Lee, Hassan Mwakimako, Jeremy Prestholdt, Abdul Sheriff, Farouk Topan, Justin Willis, and four anonymous CSSH reviewers for their comments. I also thank the British Academy for its Small Research Grant (SG-41863) that funded research visits to Kenya in 2006–2007, and Kenya National Archives staff for their invaluable assistance.

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