n Law, Democracy & Development - Litigating socio-economic rights in domestic courts : the Kenyan experience

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 1028-1053
  • E-ISSN: 2077-4907



Bethwell A Ogot argues that the pursuit of development without incorporation of a socio-economic agenda is bound to be counter-productive. During the colonial period, the white minority rulers pursued a development agendathat involved the exclusion as well as exploitation of the native population. Colonial laws and policies excluded Africans from active participation in the economic as well as political life of their communities. The most productive parcels of land were expropriated by the state and given to the white settlers and the natives were excluded from the productive sectors of the economy to avoid competition and conflicts with the white settlers. This resulted in the aggravation of social tensions and generated disharmonies, gross inequalities, poverty and social conflicts and precipitated a very vicious struggle for independence. For this reason, one would have expected the pursuit of socio-economic rights to have been chosen as the primary objective of the independent state, but this was not to be.

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