CIA Activities in Kenya

The CIA-produced National Intelligence Estimate of October 7, 1971, stated that:

Kenya has for a decade ranked among the most stable and most prosperous countries in Africa, but tribal frictions—and the increasingly partisan performance of the national leaders—have created an atmosphere of tension and unrest...The Kikuyu establishment, with President Jomo Kenyatta's knowledge and support, is making a power play, blatant and unconcealed, to assure its pre-eminence after Kenyatta's death or incapacitation. This approach... ensures a difficult period of political adjustment after Kenyatta's death. The Kikuyu with only about 20 percent of the population would find it very difficult to govern without the acquiescence of other tribes. Opposition to Kenyatta's inner circle of southern Kikuyu politicians is found not only in the leadership of other major tribes (the Luo and Kamba) but also among clans of the northern Kikuyu, who have not gotten their share of the spoils of office.

The army is also jealous of the Kikuyu-dominated General Service Unit (GSU), a well-armed paramilitary police force. The Chief of the Defense Staff, a Kamba, was implicated with some Luo politicians and a few other Kambas in a recent coup plot and forced to resign...As long as Kenyatta is in power, however, there are many factors which militate against a military coup. The Kikuyus remain in possession of considerable assets with which to counter moves against their dominant position.

The GSU, unlike many other paramilitary outfits in Africa, is considered to be an effective force. And, even in the army, the Kikuyus are gaining strength, especially in the junior and middle grade officer ranks. But the old guard of Kikuyu politicians depends heavily on Kenyatta, who commands vast respect and power as father of his country... Though nearly 80 (no one knows for sure how old he is), Kenyatta continues to demonstrate vigor and authority. Yet, a few years ago, he had some mild strokes, and still complains of circulatory problems.

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