This system of economic relationship endured colonial times, but the perceived injustices and deprivations manifested themselves in recurring cycles of violence throughout the country. Economic and business practices from years past persist today and continue to deprive many communities. Much of the organized violence in the Rift Valley province stemmed from the land dispute because Rift Valley was occupied by Kalenjin and Maasai, while the central highlands were occupied by the Kikuyu and other communities involved in agricultural activities. Further, the allocation of land by the authorities after independence marginalizes certain ethnic groups. The Kalenjin’s, in particular, felt that they had been cheated out of the land redistribution program and reacted violently displacing many Kikuyus. The Kalenjin’s thought the Kikuyus were allocated some of the lands which were theirs, to begin with. In the search for reparation, the Kalenjins then assured to return to the old set of rules based the Majimbo constitution in order to relocate the Kikuyu and repossess their ancestral lands. However, the above problem account seems an oversimplification of the recent crisis.
The chronological of 2007 election violence has been politically manifested and exploited for a long time and it again fuelled this is due to competing for inter-ethnic interest and claim to land that could not be accommodated or resolved by political elites. It has been argued that since 1990s certain leaders have exploited ethnic grievances over alleged historical injustices in Kenya and the 2007 episode was just another magnitude of such intrigues (Bayne, 2008). The struggle over land in Kenya has always been the center of political violence life (Landau et al 2007). The land dispute also reflected in 1992 and the 1997 violence, this specifies that the quest for land control is fundamental to the political life of Kenya. During the violence, homes were burned and Kikuyus families forced to grab their belongings and flee Oosterom, M. 2016. Within a day, nearly all business was closed, and the typically busy streets of Nairobi were empty. During January and February 2008, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced from their homes. Crime exploded in densely populated areas, such as Luo lands, settlements in the Rift valley, and intra-urban slums in Mombasa. In Nyanza province and parts of Nairobi, the streets saw constant rioting until the end of January. Firms were looted, and the road was barricaded, leaving people unable to work, farmers and commuters alike. Many members of large ethnic groups attacked anyone whom felt didn’t belong, minorities and people that had come from other countries were common targets. Some people even fled to Uganda and other nearby countries to escape the social unrest, one sector greatly affected by the political unrest was tourism, fights and tours were canceled, companies withdrew from Kenya, and many people lost their job due to layoffs. The international media covered the tragedies extensively, giving the outside world the impression that the entire country was amidst a bloody battle when truly, parts of Kenya were untouched by violence. The fragile state of economy affected surrounding countries as well