By Samuel Ndalusia
November 15th, 2017
A Kiambu County social study text book for class four pupils portraying kikuyu community as superior tribe in the county has made rounds in the internet most recently, eliciting a wave of criticism and accusations of ethnic bias on social media from Kenyans all over the country. The book teaches the children at an early age that other tribes are only casual labourers in the flower farms and makes the “young leaders of tomorrow” view other tribes as less of Kenyans who shouldn’t even be living in the county of Kiambu.
The textbook labelled Comprehensive Social Studies – Kiambu County, poked Kenyans, wrongly profiling certain Kenyan tribes by describing their job functions in the county. This textbook is the first county book to come to the limelight and is now raising eyebrows with most Kenyans asking how the existence of such a book in the curriculum is being justified by the relevant authorities.
Page 36 of the Comprehensive Social Studies textbook for Standard 4 pupils generated the much publicized controversy which has been tweeted by most Kenyans for its definition of the occupations of other ethnic groups in the county. For instance, the page reads; “Cushites in Kiambu County include the Somali and the Borana. Most of them moved to Kiambu from other counties to work in offices and trading centres.”
“The Luo, the Kalenjin, the Turkana, and the Maasai belong to this group. They are mostly found in towns such as Thika, Juja, Ruiru, Kikuyu, Limuru and Kiambu,” it reads. What mostly got netizens riled up was the sentence, “Most of them work in large flower farms, tea farms and coffee farms,” continues the book in page 36.
Speaking during the People and Politics’ segment of the NTV’s AM Live morning talk show hosted by Trevor Ombija on Tuesday November 14, 2017 the self-declared NASA’s National Resistance Movement General, Miguna Miguna put to task the Kiambu senator Kimani Wamatangi to clarify to Kenyans the justification of the existence of such an ethnic biased primary school textbook in his county.
“In present day Kenya, with the kind of leadership we have in the country & in Kiambu county, that kind of a book can’t be in the curriculum,” responded Kiambu senator Kimani Wamatangi denying the existence of the text book even as Miguna Miguna tried unsuccessfully to show him the soft version of the book circulating on the internet.
A twitter user Mohamud J blamed the education authorities saying: “It’s important to note that KICD is mandated with reviewing and evaluating such curriculum material. So who is sleeping on the job for such biases and incorrect info. It’s something to do with KICD and not Govn Waititu.”
Another twitter user Carie @erica_kakile said: This is a social studies book for kiambu county (I do not even know why we have a texbook for a county). Now, the sickest part, read that last paragraph written about nilotes. Lord have mercy. So will KCPE be different for different counties? This is wrong pic.twitter.com/yW5cGRuXC5
The angry uproar of Kenyans on social media about this textbook has ignited the debate about Kenya’s ethnic division which has reinforced the existence of a political divide observed during the hotly contested presidential election of August 8 and subsequently the repeat presidential poll of October 26.