The frequency in which political parties are formed then deserted, fade into oblivion or die, is both mind boggling and hilarious. Political parties in Kenya are visibly short lived, seasonal, fragile, comical and colourless.
It appears as if there is a political parties’ plague that does not allow parties to thrive in Kenya, and like butterflies, must die once their purpose is realised.
Thus the political parties are obviously not formed as institutions for posterity but as vehicles to propel politicians to power. Like nappies, are quickly discarded once they have performed their function.
At the moment, one cannot tell the number of parties we have in Kenya since they keep popping up like popcorn. Again, you cannot know which parties house specific politicians because akin to grasshoppers, politicians hop from one party to another, adorning different colours, confusing the electorate all the more. Kenya African National Union (Kanu), the oldest political party in Kenya is on its deathbed, and can only survive by some miraculous act. It is now a shadow of its former self and chances of it surviving the turbulent and treacherous political path are slim. The few remaining party’s orphans have been crying miserably, demanding back the red flock, but it seems no one really cares.
The party stewards have never been serious and forthright in managing the affairs of such a great party making ordinary citizens hate the party with a passion. With Kanu’s imminent death, Kenya’s oldest political party might soon be gone, and with it the end of a party that we owe our independence and more to. In comparison, on January 8, 2012, Africa’s largest, oldest and most vibrant political party, the African National Congress (ANC), held her centenary celebrations.
Evidently, political parties in Kenya cannot be placed in the same league with the ANC. But it will amaze many that some prominent Kenyan leaders graced ANC’s occasion. Many would have thought that ANC’s centenary celebrations would provide our politicians with the opportunity to reflect on the significance of political parties in shaping the country’s political, economic and social landscape through posterity. Unfortunately, it seems that no fundamental lessons were learnt by those who attended the celebration.
In Tanzania, CCM has been active since February 1977, and there is no indication the party stewards are about to close shop. As we form political parties, let us think of posterity and not just short-term political gains. They are a reflection of our long term and short-term goals as a nation.
David Sonye, Rarieda
Time to curb gross misconduct in police force
It is nearly five years since the police were indicted for their role in the 2007/08 post-election violence. The force is once again in the news for the wrong reasons: increased cases of indiscipline among its officers. There have been incidents where police mandated with the responsibility of providing security have turned their weapons against innocent Kenyans. Ironically for them, the firearm seems to be their choice weapon when sorting out personal disputes at home and in social places. In addition, the police have been named in theft and rape cases. A number of reasons have been advanced to explain cases of indiscipline – long working hours, poor pay, poor living conditions, poor training, weak disciplinary laws: and, in some cases, the laxity to fully enforce the existing ones. Lax enforcement of the arms-movement is also to blame. It is crucial that a programme is put in place to manage the situation.
Hillary Mageka, Nairobi reasons
Unordered religion is opium of the people