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Title:Language and Multiparty Democracy in Multiethnic Kenya
Author:Kiarie, Wa'Njogu J.
Periodical:Africa Today
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:freedom of speech
mass communication
language policy
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:This article provides a historical overview of language use in Kenya before and after independence. It argues that the language policy adopted by Kenyan administrations was aimed at sidelining most people from active participation in making decisions and ordering their own lives. The paper argues that the mere adoption of multiparty democracy did not guarantee freedom of expression, especially where a change in administration did not take place. Even though multipartyism saw an increase in the number of newspapers and radio and TV programmes in different languages, the authorities continued to limit freedom of expression, through legislation and the misuse of police forces. The paper concludes with suggestions for ensuring freedom of expression and the empowerment of local languages. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]