Political revolution calls for party after party
SUNDAY MAGAZINE | By Kirsten Kanja | July 11th 2021
Political Parties After Political Parties, a newly released book by writer Tony Mochama approaches the subject of legislation in Kenya, explaining, in simple terms the powers at play when leaders rise to the top historically.
It is a gripping description of how leaders behave in their race for power, leaning on political parties as a crutch, eventually yielding success. True to the writer’s known poetic prowess, the detailing of the history of political parties is rhythmic and lyrical.
“These elected representatives sometimes, but seldom, ascend to sit on the Table of Democracy, or sit in the House of Representatives/National Assembly, on their own steam. For just as it is arduous to arrive at a faraway destination on foot, using one’s own pedestrian power, so it is with power.
Strategy to challenge
It is far easier to get there by hitching a ride on a Political Vehicle – which is what we call a ‘Political Party’,” the writer states in introduction to the first chapter.
The book is also witty and funny, challenging policies and processes in the political space boldly yet humorously. “So strong the government may be, but like the unstable isotopes (individuals) of some elements (political parties), the binding energy (interests) may not be strong enough to hold the nucleus (of the party) together, as in the case of uranium,” writes Mochama.
Political Parties After Political Parties explains how Kenya attained a multi-party system and democracy in Chapter Five, revealing the role of religion in politics in the country, and vividly describing the conversations and push for reforms that unfolded in the early 1990s.
“Following Kenneth Matiba’s resignation from the Cabinet and his expulsion from the ruling Kanu party in January 1989, the ex-minister had developed a strategy to challenge Kanu’s monopoly on political power.
Despite his expulsion, Matiba and his allies continued to control the Murangá Kanu branch, harassing the Secretary General Joseph Kamotho, his long-time rival,” writes Mochama.
Mochama’s book has been described as explosive, revealing and captivating, with the writer being praised for his fresh writing style.
“The book displays novelty of language use, power of liberal thought in neology and the value of intellectual audacity in writing and performing poetry, the poetry that enjoys freedom from snobbish tethers often extended by bourgeoisie trappings in institutions that suffer from big-man syndrome,” reads in part a review of the book by Creative Writing News, a literary news blog.
A reading was held at the residence of Ambassador of Morocco, El Mokhtar Ghambou, who praised the culture of reading and writing books in order to tell stories and keep records of our history.
“The first duty that African writers have is to re-write the Western narrative that is already well known,” said Ghambou at the event.
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