This article attempts to situate the recent power struggle between President Daniel arap Moi and the ex-Minister for Constitutional Affairs, Charles Njonjo, in the context of class antagonisms in the Kenyan state. Over the past few years, Moi survived a number of crises partly as a result of the consistent support he has received from Njonjo. During the run-up to the general election of 26 September 1983, however, Moi was hoping that he could mobilise sufficient support amongst Kenya's political élite to be able to dispense with Njonjo, and thereby remove the only politician powerful enough to pose any threat to his leadership. SinceJomo Kenyatta's death in 1978, Njonjo had been regarded as the third member of a ruling triumvirate, with Moi and Vice-President Mwai Kibaki. In the following analysis, we examine the class context for conflict with the figure most closely associated with the conservative, capitalistic, and pro-British tendency in Kenyan nationalism.