Church and state in Kenya, 1986-1992: The churches' involvement in the 'game of change'

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the stages by which the Church in Kenya offered a primary challenge to the closed political system of Daniel Arap Moi's regime, yet without establishing a political party. More specifically, this article reviews the role of the Church between 1986-1992 in generating and sustaining a public discourse on democracy and change in Kenya as well as its organizational grass-root political activities prior to the holding of the first multi-party elections in 1992. Finally, it is argued that the debate between officialdom and the Church - mainly its leading clergy - over the very definition of politics, not only sustained the national discourse on democracy but also spawned demands for the democratization of Church structures themselves. This study is neither chronological nor purely narrative. Rather it is structured around three central foci: first the Churches' critique of the structure of power in Kenya - a structure whose core was the one-party system; second their involvement in local or sproadic controversies and upheavals; and third their active political involvement and information-dissemination campaign prior to the 1992 elections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-52
Number of pages28
JournalAfrican Affairs
Issue number382
StatePublished - Jan 1997


Dive into the research topics of 'Church and state in Kenya, 1986-1992: The churches' involvement in the 'game of change''. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this