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Jubilee Party will redefine Kenyan politics

COMMENTARY
By Dennis Waweru | January 3rd 2016

NAIROBI: They say you cannot stop an idea whose time has come. They also say a good idea births a better idea. The birth of Jubilee Alliance in 2012 was a good idea in so far as it shored up Kenyans’ resolve to unite in perilous times and forge ahead.

The last two times Kenyans had been coerced into unity was during pre-independence period and the pre-2002 election when they crushed the Kanu behemoth after nearly 40 years of ineptitude. The parallels of pre-independence period and pre-Jubilee formation are undeniably stark. In both situations, imperial forces sought to wrest Kenyans from control of their own destiny. In both situations, the unity of Kenyans was tested to its limits.

In both instances, the will of Kenyans triumphed against great odds and ashamed those who sought to impose choices on Kenyans. They were utterly disappointed.

In the 2002 situation as well, the fury of Kenyans with a small coterie denied President Uhuru Kenyatta the chance to ascend to the presidency at his prime. He would later ascend to the presidency 10 years later in 2013 through Jubilee Alliance.

If the Jubilee Alliance was a good idea, Jubilee Party is the better idea. For the first time in independent Kenya, formidable political parties which are firmly in power are offering to fold themselves up into one.
They are offering to do so in good times and for a good cause.

There is no pressure from external forces and the leadership for the idea is born from the very top of the alliance’s leadership. For the first time since promulgation of the 2010 Constitution, a mass political party is being formed to promote Article 91 on national unity.

Ideally, political parties are supposed to be key engines of national integration. In practice however, parties have served as engines of divisiveness, ethnicisation and balkanisation of our country.
You can tell owners of a party by merely looking at its top composition and its elected membership.

The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report underscored the import of national cohesion and integration. A derivative of the commission’s report is that a nation built on false reality of togetherness cannot stand up to sporadic and periodic tumults that come with its growth. Kenya will certainly crash for good, at some point, if we do not integrate as a people sharing a common destiny. The dissolution of the Jubilee parties into one will enhance political party culture and discipline. 

Our political party culture has at best stunted or at worse regressed over the years. We still have briefcase parties despite our best efforts as Parliament to knock them out through legislation. Every day we witness open defiance of political party machinery by people who accessed political power through those parties. 

The country cannot run on this mode forever. The time has come when we will have to shut the door on false pretence to democratic values and ideals.

Our brothers on the other side, CORD must also fold their individual parties and form one strong party. The dissolution will no doubt put paid to personalisation of political power.  Happy New Year!

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