A political organization that involves itself in the political process includes political parties, non-governmental organizations, advocacy groups and special interest groups. But political parties are one type of political organization that may engage in some or all of these activities.
Traditionally, the basic unit of political organization among the Kalenjin was koret or parish. This was a collection of 20 to 100 scattered homesteads. It was administered by a council of adult males known collectively as the Kokwet and was led by a spokesman called poiyot ap kokwet. This spokesman was someone recognized for his speaking abilities and social position.
At public proceedings, although the leader was the first to speak, all of the elders were given an opportunity to state their opinions. Rather than making decisions himself, the elder expressed the groups’ opinion, always phrased in terms of a group decision.
Today, this system has been replaced with a system imposed by the British colonial government. Several villages from a sub-location which is part of a location form a division, divisions from districts and districts are included in a province.
Each village has a village elder who settles minor disputes and handles routine affairs. Assistant chiefs, chiefs, district officers and commissioners and provincial administrators, the latter directly under the President.
Political administration is a dichotomy that constructs the boundaries of public administration and asserts the narrative relationship between the leaders and the people in a society. Although politics set tasks for administration, it should not be suffered to manipulate its offices.
The Kalenjin groups actually drew together in response to British colonial administration. The British related to each group individually. The Nandi were virtually the last ethnic group to be dominated militarily by the British. It is from this colonial experience that the Kalenjin community consciously united to advocate their interests.
Among the Kalenjin there were no chiefs of any form. Each village or kok, usually had a headman, celebrated for his wisdom or his wealth or both. Some were inherited from their forefathers; therefore, no women were given a chance to lead.
Since the introduction of democratically elected leaders, there are a number of central issues here; one is the nature of the institution of traditional leadership and its compatibility with democracy – the relationship between traditional leaders and elected leaders.
Traditional administration did not have a place for the youth and women in the institution and the notion of inherited political office. This seemed biased in a way that not everyone was given equal opportunities to lead.