Let True Democracy Flourish In Parties.
|By the end of the year, Kenyans will go to the polls to elect leaders to run the country’s numerous civic bodies, Parliament and State House. The leaders forthcoming General Election will accord the voters an opportunity to pick those leaders they trust will take charge of the affairs of State and meet their aspirations. Unfortunately, political parties, which are viewed as the vehicles to power are yet to give Kenyans a clear direction on what issues they are supposed to base their decisions on come the Election Day.
From Narc- Kenya to the Orange Democratic Movement of Kenya (ODM-K) the story is the same. Democracy is defined by a few individuals who hold the destiny of the parties in their hands. Though, for the first time Kenyans have witnessed a series of visions being launched by presidential hopefuls, specifically from the ODM-K, these visions stand to be lost because of the way the parties that the candidates hope to propel them to power are being handled.
Democracy dictates that party members are given the opportunity to decide the fate of their parties. But this is one concept that has been misused by political leaders who view the parties as personal fiefdoms in which members must sing to their tune. The obtaining scenario has led to the nauseating situation in which leaders are elected on the basis of their tribal affiliations and not party manifestos.
In Narc-Kenya, wrangling has become the order of the day simply because a few individuals do not want decisions on the future of the party to be made by members. This is why several months after Narc-Kenya sold itself as a national party, they are yet to conduct grassroots elections. The best that came from Narc-Kenya, which is largely viewed as President Mwai Kibaki’s springboard to a second term in State House, was a list of officials prepared in a boardroom without any due consideration to party members.
In ODM-K the emerging scenario paints even a gloomier picture to multiparty democracy which Kenyans fought so hard for to be entrenched in the Constitution. Whereas pretenders to the ODM-K throne wants Kenyans to believe the party belongs to members, their actions suggest that it is a property that individual politicians are fighting to control.
With only six months to the General Election, Kenyans are yet to understand what Narc-Kenya, ODM-K, Narc and other parties stand for. What Kenyans know are positions taken by individuals in the parties on various issues of national interest. Many of these positions are based on tribal and regional sentiments that cannot drive Kenya to the next level of socio-economic and political development. This is both a tragedy and the paradox of Kenya’s nascent democracy.
This is why the nation must begin to reflect and retrospect on how democracy can be natured from the basic level of political parties. The first step to creating an ideal environment where democracy can thrive is for the self-styled leaders of various political parties to allow members of those entities to own them and infuse ideology in them.
The country will only be a better place to live in when Kenyans go to the polls to decide on future leaders based on the visions of the parties that will sponsor them and not on tribal or regional considerations. It is true that a number of visions have been launched, each promising a better future for the 33 million Kenyans, but the wrangling within the parties where the pretenders to the seat of power come from is certainly going to cloud these bright suggestions.
The paralysis that is inflicted on the political parties through battles for supremacy shouldn’t be allowed to infect and kill our democracy. Political parties must therefore open their doors to every member and not a few selected individuals who want to use them as the platform to power and control.
By: Kenya times reporter. Lifted by Jamii.
Note: The above situation can be reflected in Kenya political parties and “branches” in Sweden. Dictatorship, Tribalism and nepotism have taken control of the so called “party branches” in Sweden. What is democracy?
Munala Wa Munala.
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