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Jubilee Party will redefine party politics

COMMENTARY
By Kiraitu Murungi | September 19th 2016
Kiraitu Murungi

NAIROBI: When the Republic of Kenya transitioned from a one-party state to multi-party democracy, voting along ethnic patterns surfaced. However, what the second liberation commanders expected was a totally different outcome; a more prosperous nation and a more democratic country.

Disappointingly, with the adoption of multiparty democracy in Kenya, the retrogressive practices of ethnically driven politics, poor governance and corruption became the order of the day. Instead of being a blessing to Kenya, it became a curse as the fruits of multiparty democracy heightened ethnic nationalism that partly led to ethnic violence.

How did we lose the unity in this nation? How did we become balkanised and tribal? During the second liberation, it was all tribes that got involved in the last and final deliverance of this nation. Fellow Kenyans, an opportunity window doesn’t come along every day. But when it comes, we must grab it with both hands. The president and his deputy have charted a very brave path for us.

Jubilee, under the leadership of President Uhuru Kenyatta, vowed not to make the mistakes of the parties that came before it. The president committed to value every shade of opinion in the Jubilee party. He said that every member will get a fair hearing and it will always embrace internal party democracy.

We should however not be tied to historical narratives. In the past, instead of rising against the common demons that threatened Kenya as a whole; environmental degradation, diseases, poverty, among others, we instead expended our energies in tearing each other apart.

Abraham Lincoln said the best way to predict your future is to create it. The heartbreaking trend of cynicism that has been rooted in the hearts of a section of our people must be crushed. The demon of negativity must be exorcised.

In the last 3 years regardless of what the government does there is a small section of Kenyans that is hell bent on fault finding. They seem to be driven by a rich component of negativity. Of course like any other government in the world, even the best of them; the Jubilee government has made some mistakes but the honest truth is that Jubilee has also done some incredible things.

The devolution success story is especially outstanding. Not many countries would have transitioned into a new system of governance so successfully in just three years; certainly no one amongst the people who wanted to be President would have managed to do it better (and I know most of them well).

Kenya is actually getting accolades in the international community for how well it has established this new structure in such a short time!

Kenya is on the brink of greatness. However, for it to be realized, we must stop working from a place of fear and focus on where we want to be as a nation. We must learn from the lessons of the past and use them to make a better future. The challenge ahead is no longer physical slavery but mental slavery.

For example, if we want good leaders we must be good citizens. If we want to fight corruption we must stop corrupting government officers. We must also become active in political parties; contribute our time and resources, if we want to break the personality cult syndrome that bedevils them.

For us to change the narrative of our nation we must recreate, at whatever costs, the unity of the past — the unity of our fathers and mothers. This unity kept them going in the face of colonialism. This unity is what will take Kenya beyond personality cults, ethnic politics and bad governance.

As the president reiterated in his speech during the Jubilee Party launch at Kasarani Stadium, Kenyans are deeply tired of the type of political parties that are formed as special purpose vehicles for the short term objective of election of selfish leaders. Jubilee is setting the pace.

Even the naysayers who said the unity between Uhuru and Ruto would not last have had to take notice. Against all odds the coalition they formed has grown from strength to strength and now even given birth to one national party.

President Uhuru stated thus: “the party we launch here today is an expression of our unity, our oneness, and our togetherness. In launching it, we renew, and we strengthen, the ties that bind Kenyans together. We rise from the ashes of conflict to express the beauty of reconciliation and collective purpose.”

Unity is what will take us forward. The kind of unity that the Jubilee Party is offering to Kenyans.

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