Let us for a moment entertain the claim by Hon. Raila Odinga that Jubilee is KANU reincarnate that aims at taking the country back to a monolithic one party state. Let us even assume this is not just another dishonest political gimmick. Let us then consider how free will legal decision by twelve or more parties to merge into one threatens the democratic space and how it inflicts the multiparty political dispensation guaranteed in the constitution.
The truth is, if the merging of parties that agree on ideology and the way forward is backward; then the shaky union of convenience by ODM, FORD-Kenya and Wiper to form CORD is worse because they lack the capacity to merge and trust internal party democracy to manage healthy democratic political competition. They prefer to remain separate private property whose owners can recall at will. That is certainly not what the 2010 constitution envisioned in a democratic multiparty political environment.
While Jubilee has the challenge of proving that indeed the party shall belong to the people and that it is the people who shall endorse candidates for all elective positions, CORD on the other hand is still hanging on to tribal outfits that pretend to be national for narrow personal political interest.
I have personally paid the ultimate political prize for refusing to join any of the available tribal outfits in the 2013 general elections. As a young Kenyan patriot full of hope and faith in my fellow countrymen and women, I couldn’t bring my conscience to being part of such a political dispensation and therefore I presented myself to my beloved fellow patriots of Naivasha as an Independent MP Candidate to represent all the people from all corners of our great Nation. I believed then, like I do now with an even stronger conviction that our country can only be one when we cast-off tribal demagogic political outfits and create a hygienic political environment with national parties that complete purely on policy and ideology.
Instead of panicking and mourning the long overdue demise of primitive empty tribal politics, I encourage all other party leaders to rise to the occasion and elevate themselves above personal tribal outfits by moving to a more dignified consciousness and embrace the promise of ideological, policy based political parties.
For Jubilee, you have made the first step by merging the smaller outfits, now be brave enough to dismantle the walls between and embrace the millions of young Kenyans who have never belonged to any political party; because none was Kenyan enough to deserve our sincere conviction that Kenya is one and tribalism is utter foolishness and too shameful to be associated with. Those are the millions you should aim at reaching out to because they are the only ones who can eventually rehabilitate those who may still struggle with the hangover of the past.
The litmus test for Jubilee, if it becomes merely a party of former URP, TNA, APK and all others members, it will be dead on arrival because the conflicting interests and mentality baggage of these outfits will tear it apart into even smaller more confused useless pieces. But if it acquires a new face of Kenya, a new mindset, a new toolset and most importantly robust party democracy, it shall indeed be an idea whose time has come. All other political players will have no choice but to style up because in the words of Victor Hugo “No force on earth can stop an idea whose time has come.”
When this happens the Jubilee Administration will have played a pivotal role in achieving the political pillar of the vision 2030 and ensuring election periods will no longer be a season for Kenyans to recoil into tribal cocoons and precipitate instability. Other nations of the world have struggled with permittivity of different forms and shades such as racism, religious intolerance cultural/lifestyle prejudices but history has shown us over and over again that such shallowness has always been defeated by the insurmountable spirit and faith in the oneness of humanity that is so well captured in the preamble of our constitution: “proud of our ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, and determined to live in peace and unity as one indivisible sovereign nation.”
Dan Mahiri is a Management and Leadership Consultant
Contact: [email protected]