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In the study of prisons, new patterns of interest to historians tend to emerge especially in the context of the colonial and post colonial states.
Within the colonial context, state punishment was predominantly exclusionary within the metropole and throughout most of the twentieth century as the dominant penal discourse.
It is within this context that this study examined the concept of political domination in context to Manyani prison.
The institution was started as a holding camp for “hard core” Mau Mau fighters.
Manyani held Mau Mau fighters from 1952 to 1959.
It was also used to detain political figures who opposed both Kenyatta and Moi governments.
The colonial government preferred Manyani prison because of its harsh environment that was expected to exert maximum physical torture on the detainees so that they could plead guilty and assist in ending the Mau Mau uprising.
The study accounted for the place of crime and punishment during the pre-colonial and colonial period.
It examined prison conditions and established the rationale for the continued use of the institution long after independence.
John Ndungu Kungu is a Phd Student from the Faculty of Political History at Laikipia University Kenya.
Faculty member Maasai Mara University School of Arts and Social Sciences Department of social studies - Lecturer of History.
He has widely published in different fields of study.
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