The political organization of the Wanga in the pre-colonial period

.The Wanga are of special interest because of their centralized system of government, which no other Luhyia or Bantu group in Kenya had.

  • They were headed by a king (Nabongo).
  • The office of Nabongo was hereditary.
  • Nabongo was assisted by a chief minister and an army commander.
  • Nabongo levied taxes on the conquered communities and controlled trade in his kingdom.
  • Nabongo mainly appointed members of the royal family as officials to administer the provinces.

Apart from the Wanga, all other Kenya Bantu had no centralized authority. Some Western Bantu communities such as the Luhyia were affected by the spread of warfare in the

Western Kenya region, so the political set-up among some communities had to be reorganized. The centralized system of government such as that of the Wanga was most reliable.