Factors that undermined British efforts to establish a good system of administration in Kenya up to 1914

After subduing indigenous Kenyan communities, the British embarked on establishing a Central and local government for efficient and effective administration.

The subjection of Kenyan Africans to British rule was accomplished when the seat of colonial administration was shifted from Zanzibar to Nairobi in 1905.

The following are factors that undermined British efforts to establish a good system of administration in Kenya up to 1914

  • They lacked both funds and experts to facilitate colonial administration in Africa, let alone Kenya.
  • They lacked a Reference model of an administrative system like that of the traditional Buganda that could be emulated by Kenyan communities for the purpose of administration.
  • Most of the chiefs selected by the British lacked legitimacy, for they were rejected by the African elders, who regarded them as nonentities as well as the young generations, who saw them as instruments of colonial exploitation and oppression.
  • Many chiefs used their power to acquire riches in terms of tracts of land, Livestock and wives.
  • British-appointed African leaders depended on the British for military support, which the Africans disliked and which was difficult for the British to provide.

Because of these problems, the British used the Indirect system of administration wherever and whenever possible. In communities with traditional chiefs such as the Wanga and the Maasai, the existing chiefs were recognized by the British.