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Strengthen parties before forming coalitions

By Paul Nabiswa | April 30th 2021
KANU Chairman and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi with Kanu Secretary General Nick Salat addressing residents of Longisa in Bomet East during a Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) sensitisation rally on March 12, 2021. [Kipsang Joseph,Standard]

As Kenyans gear towards the 2022 polls there are deliberate efforts from political players to form alliances.

Many other political parties are carrying out house cleaning, kicking out non-loyal members. Jubilee and UDA though partners in the coalition are on each other’s necks.

There is a general talk within political circles that coalitions are the sure path to victory in 2022. This probably explains why they are in short supply. Some of them have already tested the waters so to speak.

For example, One Kenya Alliance of Ford Kenya, Wiper, Amani National Congress and Kanu was instrumental in securing Kabuchai and Matungu parliamentary seats. There have been talks of Orange Democratic Movement party and Jubilee forming a coalition ahead of 2022.

However, it is paramount to understand that the strength of coalitions should emanate from the muscles of political affiliates in the union. Are political parties structured in an organised manner in line with the Political Parties Act? Are these political parties found and operating on a guided ideology? The answer is no.

In Ford–Kenya, Moses Wetang’ula and Wafula Wamunyinyi are fighting for leadership. The wrangles are deep-seated and counterproductive, which is an affront to democracy within the party.

ANC should also move beyond its Western frontiers and develop a national outlook.  Its officials need not come from one region. Their political opponents will only use this to discredit Musalia Mudavadi who is eying the country’s top seat.

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Kanu and Wiper that have a fair share of representation in both Senate and National assembly must marshal grassroots support countrywide. ODM, presumed to be the largest single party in the country, might have its flaws in terms of management and nominations but are more national than many others. 

ODM must fight off perceptions that what matters is favour with party leader Raila Odinga for one to get a ticket to vie on its ticket. These parties should endeavour their strata to understand their manifestos and ideologies. For example, youth and women leagues should not only be thought of during the electioneering period.

Parties have forgotten youth and women in the running of their affairs and their budget allocation is meagre if any. We need the spirit of Nelson Chamisa who shaped the politics and changed the perception of people in the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe.

Similarly, women league must have a voice in the party structure and their position must be respected by the leadership.  How I wish we could have a zeal of Winnie Mandela of ANC in South Africa during her heydays. She brought unmeasured vibrancy in ANC politics. We need a Winnie at our parties.   

Nabiswa is Programmes Editor, KTN News

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