They went, they saw they were awed. Will Kenyan politics be any better now?
By Yvonne Okwara | August 1st 2016
My take this week comes all the way from Philadelphia. Well, the subject at least. In the last few days the world has focused its attention to the Wells Fargo Centre where the Democratic National Convention was taking place.
There is obviously a lot to say about what went on there with Hillary Clinton getting the historic nomination of her party and the great speeches from Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama and the whole lot of heavy weight democrats.
I choose to focus on the Kenyan leaders who attended this important event in the US electoral calendar. It is gratifying to note that at least four Kenyans who play important roles in political parties witnessed the weeklong political extravaganza. There was ODM Leader Raila Odinga, Martha Karua of Narc Kenya, Musalia Mudavadi of Amani National Congress and the Chair of TNA, Johnson Sakaja.
The politicians almost in a chorus were all praises for the great things the US political party system has to offer. But that is where the optimism ends. This is not the first time Kenyan politicians have graced such conventions; and they always make sure their departure to this jamboree is a big story here in Kenya.
Granted, these trips are not funded by the Kenyan taxpayer, but as we have noted here before, political parties are no longer private entities and their leaders are ultimately accountable to every Kenyan. That is why the question must be asked, why is it that after all these years of attending such meetings, the lofty ideas are yet to be transferred to Kenya’s political parties?
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi appeared completely awed by the big say members of the Democratic Party have in the affairs of their party. Will he now engage his party members more or will he still expect someone to hand over the presidential ticket to him?
Is Johnson Sakaja coming back with a more enlightened vision of ensuring that the much-publicised Jubilee merger does not kill the spirit of political pluralism?
Will Raila Odinga return with a new formula that takes his party beyond ethnic arithmetic to the politics of ideology?
Just what will Martha Karua do differently?
These are the questions dogging the country’s politics with only a year to the next General Election.
With such high profile exposure none of these politicians can tell us they don’t know a better way. It is only a matter of choice!
That’s my take _ @YvonneOkwara
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