It is a New World Order in East Africa. Soon the borders of the neighboring countries will be near obliteration as they unite as one .Yet Geographers and Historians are revisiting their books and finding out how certain Geographical Issues are definite points of History. We look at each of them today.


Mt Kilimanjaro was not a Tanzanian Mountain but a Kenyan Mountain .The region where it lies was part of Kenya under the British Territories against the German Territories of East Africa .This is evidenced by the tribes found there such as the Maasai and some Luo .Moreover other tribes like Kamba and Taita were just from Tanzania.

However when Colonialism and the Scramble for Africa took centre stage in East Africa , the European brothers had to share their loot of land -the Germans and British . Their method of sharing was drawing borders which was akin to cutting a cake.

Now it happened that Queen Victoria the Empress  of  British East Africa offered Mount Kilimanjaro to the German Emperor/Kaiser  as a birthday present.

This is significant as it shows you how the territories of the colonialists were nothing but toys .They really saw it has their property and thus could call it anything , discard the local names and put in place their own names.Like Lake Victoria disposed the local name Nam Lolwe.

Yet, what is more interesting to show the Mountain’s  “Kenyaness” is the name Kilimanjaro.

Kilimanjaro means Mountain that shines . Yet the name Kenya comes from Mount Kenya, which was pronounced Kinya by the Europeans, is actually Mount Kirinyaga. Kirinyaga means mountain that shines .

Now when you look at the two mountain names you find a striking resemblance

  1. Kiri – nyaga
  2. Kilima-njaro —Kilima morphs or turns into Kirima as L and R are related sounds.

So you have Kiri nyaga and Kiri –njaro . they connection is the word nya or nja ..which forms the basis of the word shine.

This is because both Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro are snow capped mountains , white and white means bright , shining.

In linguistics , j can morph to g like we write ginger but pronounce it as jinja.

So njaro is ngaro which is near the word ng’ara which means to shine.

Thus it could be that Queen Victoria just gave Germany Mt Kilmanjaro because the British had two shining snow mountains and Germans had none.


So should Tanzania give it back to Kenya ? It does not have to but can Kenya have a right to claim it ? Well if it was taken when Kenya existed , it has a right but since it was not , it cannot because present Kenya fully existed in 1926.

Thus the name of Kenya is actually in turn Kirinyaga .In fact  Jomo Kenyatta was not born with that name. He was called Johnstone  Kamau Muigai.

Kenya however also is said to mean the place of the Ostrich in Kikamba ..Kinyaa.

Though some say he got the name Kenyatta because of the beaded belt he wore , being called Kenyatta in Maasai language I think there is more than meets the eye.

The British planned to have him as President of Kenya to the extent of having his name changed to be similar with Kenya’s name. Remember , he started using this name in Britain and not Kenya, while writing his book facing Mount Kenya.

The name Kenyatta  is only different from that of Kenya by adding – tta.

Now this is used by some to claim that Kenya belongs to them since the founding president bears its name .It is a justification for Monarchy in Kenya, one rule , one family, one tribe.

Anyway , back to Geography .It is not just Mount Kilimanjaro that can be claimed by Kenya.We have Migingo Island.


As we have explained in this article found here , how Migingo was actually Uganda’s territory and so was Western Kenya and Rift Valley , before 1926.

Uganda can only claim the region if Uganda existed before the transfer of the same regions. Yet when Uganda became independent it did not claim the regions thus a sign of acceptance of the transfer of the regions.

Yet it is a tense bone of contention not because of the land but because of the waters .Fish Exporting is big business in Europe and the East African Elite want evry ounce of water os as to gain from the big fish business .

This is why the argument is ensuing and will be solved by the East African Community .Yet , jus because East Africa is created does not mean there will be no tensions amongst people .


The Coastal strip did not belong to Kenya but to the Sultan of Zanzibar and this proved by the agreement signed with the British Government. Now , this region wants to secede back to the Sultan or have their own authority on the basis that the current Kenyan Government is not the same British Government.

Well, the British push the argument that they transferred all their rights to the independent government and thus the Kenyan government is  standing in place of the British Government.

Yet the coastal region lost autonomy. This is because even though the Sultan gave the coastal strip to the British , the region still had Kadhi’s courts as the main system of justice .

With many Muslims staying in the coastal region they want that autonomy.

Like the MRC group that seeks to secede from Kenya is making a big point .Yet what is strange is that their matters are not being solved by the Kadhi’s courts but the Kenyan high courts , when the coastal strip , formerly was not affected by those courts.

Thus the court sessions for MRC are just another joy ride because in reality they  do not respect their authority.

Will the East African Community solve this crisis ? It seems even if the East African Community comes into being , it will still deal with such different views of opinion.

The only difference whereas it was only Kenya to deal with its issues , it will now include Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi , South Sudan dealing with Kenyan issues.

Arthur Owiti