KCSE Past Papers 2020 History and Government Paper 1 (311/1)

Kenya certificate of secondary education

2020 History and Government paper 1

SECTION A (25 marks)

1.Name two Eastern Cushitic communities who migrated into Kenya during the precolonial period. (2 marks)


  • Rendille
  • Burji
  • Borana
  • Somali
  • Gabbra
  • Galla/ Oromo2.Identify two forms of Oral Traditions used as sources of information in History and Government. (2 marks)


  • Songs
  • Riddles
  • Proverbs
  • Folk tales/ stories
  • Tongue twisters
  • Myths
  • Legends
  • Poems3.Give one reason for the coming of the Arabs to the Kenyan Coast before 1500 AD. ( 1 mark)


  • They came for trade
  • They were looking for settlement
  • They were escaping religious persecution/ conflicts/ civil wars
  • They came for adventure/ exploration
  • They came to spread Islam4.Give two commodities obtained from the Kenyan Coast during the Long Distance Trade. (2 marks)


  • Cloths/ silk
  • Beads
  • Iron ware/ tools
  • Utensils/ glass/ porcelain bowls
  • Cowrie shells
  • Spices
  • Weapons/ guns/swords/ daggers5.Apart from Fort Jesus, which other historical monument was built by the Portuguese in Kenya ? (1 mark)

    Vasco da Gama Pillar (in Malindi)

    6.Highlight two National Days celebrated in Kenya. (2 marks)


  • Madaraka
  • Mashujaa
  • Jamhuri7.State the main reason for the formation of the Inter-Party Parliamentary Group (IPPG) in 1997.(1 mark)

    To ensure a level playing ground for all political parties/ promote free and fair elections.

    8.Outline two ways through which African communities in Kenya responded to the British colonisation.(2 marks)

    i.They resisted

    ii. They collaborated

    iii. They offered mixed reaction

    9.Highlight two arms of the National Government of Kenya. (1 mark)

    i. The legislature

    ii. The executive

    iii. The judiciary

    10.Give two social functions of the Orkoiyot among the Nandi during the precolonial period.(2 marks)

    i. Foretelling the future

    ii. Presiding over religious funtions/ was a religious leader

    iii. Arbitrating disputes

    iv. Blessing warriors

    v. Rainmaker

    vi. Medicine man

    11.State two ways in which the rule of law is maintained in Kenya. (2 marks)

    i. All citizens/ people are treated equal before the law

    ii. An accused person is assumed/ treated as innocent until proved guilty/ taking suspects to court of law for trial

    iii. An accused person is given a fair hearing/ a chance to defend themselves/ right of appeal

    iv. By ensuring independence of the judiciary

    v. By guaranteeing legal representation of the accused

    12.Who authored the Sessional Paper No. 10 of 1965? ( 1 mark )

    Thomas Joseph Mboya/ Tom Mboya

    13.Identify the education commission which recommended the establishment of the 8-4-4 S system of education in Kenya. (1 mark)

    The Presidential Working Party on Second University in Kenya/ The Mackay Commission

    14.Give two types of government expenditure. (2 marks)

    i. Capital expenditure

    ii. Recurrent expenditure

    15.Identify the Chief Executive of a County Government in Kenya. (1 mark)

    The County Governor

    16.Outline the main grievance of the Ukamba Members Association against the colonial government in Kenya.(1 mark)

    The De-stocking policy

    17.Besides peace and love, name the other pillar of Nyayoism. (1 mark)


    SECTION B (45 marks)

    18. (a)Name five communities among the Plain Nilotes who settled in Kenya during the colonial period.(5 marks)

    i. The Maasai

    ii. The Samburu/ Burkeneji

    iii. The Njemps/ Ilchamus

    iv. Iteso

    v. The Turkana

    (b)Describe the political organisation of the Agikuyu during the precolonial period. (10 marks)

    i. The family was the basic unit of the society headed by a man/ the father

    ii. They had a decentralized form of government headed by a council of elders

    iii. They had clans which were formed by several related families

    iv. Each clan was ruled by a council of elders known as ‘kiama’/ headed by a Muramati

    v. They had a higher council of elders who acted as a court of appeal/ administered justice in the community/ settled disputes

    vi. They had an age-set system which comprised of boys who had undergone circumcision at the same time

    vii. They had warriors who defended the community against external attacks

    19. (a)State five reasons for the coming of the Portuguese to the Kenyan Coast. (5 marks)

    i. To trade with the Coastal towns / create a trading empire

    ii. To find a guide for the sea route to India

    iii. To look for the legendary Prester John

    iv. To explore the vast Kenyan Coast/ satisfy their spirit of adventure

    v. To spread Christianity/ counter the influence of Islam/ revenge against the Arabs

    vi. The Kenyan Coast was strategic for supplies/ prevent the control of the coast by the Turks / Arabs/ To control the East African Coast

    vii. Presence of natural harbors

    (b) Explain five challenges faced by early Christian missionaries in their work in Kenya. ( 10 marks)

    i. Tropical diseases such as Malaria claimed the lives of many missionaries/ slowed down their work

    ii. Islam posed stiff competition to Christianity at the Coast since Islam was already established in the region

    iii. Missionaries faced resistance/ hostility from Africans because Christian teaching condemned some African traditions/ practices like polygamy / female circumcision

    iv. Poor transport and communication network/ lack of roads hindered movement into the interior

    v. Missionaries lacked a common language of communication with Africans making it difficult to share the gospel

    vi. Rivalry among different missionary groups hindered cooperation among them

    vii. Christian Missionaries faced hostility from slave traders since they condemned it and wanted it abolished

    viii. Inadequate funds made it difficult for the missionaries to finance all their operations

    ix. They lacked enough personnel to spread Christianity over the vast/ expansive region

    x. Hostile African communities such as the Nandi/ Oromo vandalized mission stations/ installations/ facilities

    xi. Inadequate supplies of food/ medicines undermined their ability to carry out their work effectively.

    xii. Threat/ menance of wild animals such as lions, snakes which could attack/ harm them

    xiii. Sometimes, their guides/ porters deserted them robbing them thereby slowing their mission

    20. (a)Highlight five reasons why settler farming was encouraged in Kenya during the colonial period. (5 marks)

    i. To strengthen the colonial economy/ make Kenya a white man’s country

    ii. To finance the administrative costs of the colony

    iii. To recover the cost of construction of the Uganda railway

    iv. To utilize the fertile idle land/ Africans didn’t have technical knowhow in large scale farming

    v. To promote self-sufficiency in food production

    vi. To produce raw materials for industries

    vii. The white Highlands had suitable climate

    viii. To check the influence of Asian community in Kenya

    ix. To maintain the Uganda railway/ repair

    (b)Discuss five consequences of colonial land policies in Kenya. (10 marks)

    i. Large tracts of land were declared White Highlands leading to loss of land by Africans

    ii. Africans were restricted to the reserves which were characterized by overcrowding/ overstocking/ soil degradation

    iii. Africans became squatters on their own land leading to misery/ poverty

    iv. It led to introduction of a new system of land tenure/ individual land ownership

    v. Classes within African societies emerged as the few Africans to seek employment in the settler farms in order to raise money to pay the tax

    vi. It led to introduction of the Kipande system which limited/ restricted the movement of Africans

    vii. It led to the development of African nationalism to agitate for the plight of Africans

    viii. It led to forced labor whereby African Chiefs were required to recruit workers for the European farmers/ effects of the Northey circular

    ix. It led to the introduction of poll tax which forced Africans to seek wage employment in the settler farms in order to raise money to pay the tax.

    21.(a) State five factors that led to the re-introduction of multi-party democracy in Kenya.(5 marks)

    i. The alleged rigging of the 1988 general elections

    ii. Failure by K.A.N.U to accommodate divergent views/ KANU policies

    iii. Political reforms in the Soviet Union

    iv. Pressure by western countries to adopt multi-party democracy

    v. Introduction of multi-partism in other African Zambia/ Togo

    vi. Pressure from the multi-party activists / political prisoners/ clergy

    vii. Recommendation of the Saitoti Review Committee Report of 1990

    viii. Repeal of section 2A of the constitution

    ix. Rampant corruption in all sectors of government

    (b) Explain five challenges facing the provision of health services in Kenya.(10 marks)

    i. High cost of medical services which limits access by majority of the populace who c cannot afford

    ii. The high population which puts strain on the limited available health facilities/ equipment

    iii. High rate of HIV/ AIDS / other diseases which puts a huge burden on the health budget

    iv. Corruption in the health sector thereby hindering effective service delivery/ affecting procurement procedures/ provision of drugs/ equipment

    v. Kenya faces acute brain drains as many medical practitioners seek greener pastures outside the country

    vi. Ineffective National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) which makes it difficult for many people to access quality health service

    vii. Inadequate health practitioners/personnel which compromises the quality of health services

    viii. High rate of road accidents/ injuries has strained the available health facilities

    ix. High poverty levels among people renders them vulnerable to diseases/ malnutrition

    x. Eruption of new deadly diseases like Corona Virus that do not have cure has made all available resources to be channeled to it, thereby ignoring other diseases which still trouble the citizenry.

    xi. Frequent / industrial unrest by health workers has resulted into death/ suffering of many patients

    xii. Inadequate facilities/ equipment has made it difficult to access quality services

    xiii. Inadequate funding by the government which has resulted into provision of poor health services

    xiv. Retrogressive cultural/ religious practices have frustrated efforts to provide healthcare

    xv. Increased environmental pollution has led to higher incidences of ailments

    Section C (30 marks)

    Answer any two questions from this section.

    22.(a) Identify three peaceful methods of conflict resolution in Kenya. (3 marks)

    i. mediation

    ii. negotiation/ diplomacy

    iii. arbitration

    iv. legislation/ litigation

    v. alternative dispute resolution mechanisms/ elders/ use of religious leaders

    vi. community policing

    vii. reconciliation

    (b) Explain six factors which undermine national unity in Kenya. (12 marks)

    i. Unequal distribution of national resources creates disparity in terms of development leading to the feelings of exclusion

    ii. Tribalism which favors people from one’s ethnic group thereby creating animosity hatred among the people

    iii. Religious conflicts brought about by intolerance to other people’s faiths leading to division of people along religious lines

    iv. Discrimination on the basis of color creates antagonism among different races/ racism

    v. Affiliation to different political parties with different ideologies polarizes the country along political lines

    vi. Corruption / greed/ bribery leads to a few people amassing a lot of wealth at the expense of the others

    vii. Poverty among the people creates a state of lawlessness/ high rate of crime in the society

    viii. Terrorism/ radicalization creates a state of anarchy/ fear/ suspicion among people

    ix. Nepotism- this is the practice of favoring relatives

    x. Cultural conflicts- some diverse cultural aspects may be in conflicts among different communities.

    xi. Ignorance- leading to intolerance of other people’s views leading to failure to appreciate developments taking place around them.

    23. (a) Give three members of the Judicial Service Commission in Kenya. (3 marks)

    i. The chief justice

    ii. The Attorney General

    iii. One Supreme Court Judge

    iv. One Court of Appeal Judge

    v. High Court Judge

    vi. Chief Registrar of the Judiciary

    vii. Two advocates representing the Law Society of Kenya (LSK)

    viii. Two presidential nominees

    ix. One nominee by the Public Service Commission

    x. One Magistrate

    (b) Explain six reasons which can disqualify one from being elected as a Member of County Assembly. (12 marks)

    i. If one is not a registered voter in a constituency/ ward

    ii. If one does not have political nomination certificate and is not an independent candidate

    iii. If one is declared bankrupt by a competent court of law, for this puts to question the ability of such a person to guard public resources

    iv. If one has not lived in Lenya for at least ten years preceding the election date

    v. If one is of unsound mind and therefore will not be able to discharge duties required for a Member of the County Assembly

    vi. If one has violated Chapter six of the Kenyan constitution on integrity of leaders public servants

    vii. If one is serving a sentence exceeding six months by the time of election

    viii. If there is proof of involvement in electoral malpractice in the past such as rigging

    ix. If one is a holder of public office

    x. If one has been holding an office of IEBC for the last five years preceding elections

    24. (a) State three objectives of devolution of government in Kenya. (3 marks)

    i. To promote socio-economic development in the country

    ii. To facilitate decentralization of state organs/ functions/ services/ take services closer to people

    iii. To ensure equitable sharing of resources

    iv. To protect/ promote interests/ rights of minorities/ marginalized

    v. To foster national unity/ cohesion

    vi. To promote democratic/ accountable exercise of power

    vii. To recognize rights of communities to manage their own affairs

    viii. To promote citizens’ participation in governance

    ix. To enhance checks and balances / separation of powers

    (b) Discuss six reasons why the national government of Kenya prepares a budget.(12 marks)

    i. It enables the government to source for revenue to finance its activities / programs

    ii. To enable prudent use of resources/ avoid wastage

    iii. It enables the government to prioritize development according to the needs if the country

    iv. It creates confidence among donors/foreign countries/ World Bank/IMF who bridge budget deficit

    v. It helps the government to assess its performance based on set development targets/ the previous year’s performance

    vi. It enhances accountability/ transparency of the government in the eyes of the public / through parliamentary watchdog committees

    vii. It enhances balance in the country’s revenue and expenditure hence avoiding budget deficit

    viii. To enable the government explain to the public the tax structure/ set tax levels

    ix. The government is able to set aside some funds to be used in case of emergencies in the course of the financial year

    x. To ensure equitable share of resources and balanced development

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