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" Majimboism " was a philosophy that emerged in the 1950s, meaning federalism or regionalism in Swahili, and it was intended to protect local rights, especially regarding land ownership.
Today " majimboism " is code for certain areas of the country to be reserved for specific ethnic groups, fueling the kind of ethnic cleansing that has swept the country since the election.
Majimboism has always had a strong following in the Rift Valley, the epicenter of the recent violence, where many locals have long believed that their land was stolen by outsiders.
The December 2007 election was in part a referendum on majimboism.
It pitted today ’ s majimboists, represented by Odinga, who campaigned for regionalism, against Kibaki, who stood for the status quo of a highly centralized government that has delivered considerable economic growth but has repeatedly displayed the problems of too much power concentrated in too few hands — corruption, aloofness, favoritism and its flip side, marginalization.
In the town of Londiani in the Rift Valley, Kikuyu traders settled decades ago.
In February, 2008, hundreds of Kalenjin raiders poured down from the nearby scruffy hills and burned a Kikuyu school.
Three hundred thousand members of the Kikuyu community were displaced from Rift Valley province.
Kikuyus quickly took revenge, organizing into gangs armed with iron bars and table legs and hunting down Luos and Kalenjins in Kikuyu-dominated areas like Nakuru.
" We are achieving our own perverse version of majimboism ," wrote one of Kenya ’ s leading columnists, Macharia Gaitho.

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