It is a fact that Kenyan political parties are not driven by any political ideology, something which can only be challenged by the hireling ruffians seeking to propagate their self-interests and those of their political gods. Political parties in Kenya are outfits pegged on ethnic orientations and inclinations which suppresses the tenets of patriotism and nationalism as outlined in the Nationalist Covenant.
These political parties are conglomerates and amalgams of ethnic barons who seek to champion for their individual prospects at the expense of promoting national unity. These are the ‘political capitalists’ who have hijacked the political ideals of the Founding Fathers of our republic. They have held Kenya at ransom and continue to do so and this outrightly endangers the would-be prosperity of our posterity.
For the political parties that are extant, none conforms and affirms to any definite political ideology but are instead driven by individualistic agenda shared only by their very close associates. Due to this, the coalitions that are formed in the pretence of depicting and promoting national unity even worsen the situation as they are political marriages of convenience, to wrestle power and if possible retain it through the political recycling of failed political leaders.
One may however argue that the main aim of political competition is to attain power by forming the government but I instead put forth the argument that the attainment of political power should be on the basis of the presentation of well-defined political ideologies among the political competitors. This is because definite political ideologies tie the masses to the political leadership which is key in not just enhancing national unity but achieving it as well.
This is what has eluded Kenya for close to fifty decades since the attainment of our independence. The first republic took-off on a good note with the independence party, Kenya African National Union(KANU), premising its political activities and operations on a definite ideology. This was not to last for long as some of the ‘nationalists’ transformed into ‘political capitalists’. They discovered that being in power was the perfect time to amass wealth and this greed for public resources shifted the focus from political ideologies to selfishness. The 1980s saw a weakened economic trajectory largely occasioned by some of the KANU stalwarts who perfected the art and act of kleptocracy.
The emergence of the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy(FORD) was a critical juncture that reinvigorated the foundation of political movements and political parties on solid ideologies for the collective good of the Kenyan state, then reeling from the political and economic misdeeds of the cockerel party. FORD itself was driven by a political ideology anchored on the fundamental ideals of social democracy. This was touted as the moment in which Kenya’s political history would be re-written which only turned out to be a pipe dream.
The disintegration of FORD into several factions justified the existence of the ‘political capitalists’ keen to promote their personal ambitions. The ideology of social democracy that had flamed up certainly flickered out and worst of all the re-introduction of multi-partyism gave room for the ethnic barons to be able to thrive and survive in equal measure.
The dawn of coalition-based politics has proven not to be the solution to the challenges posed by negative ethnicity. In my opinion, these coalitions are not the ultimate answer in our quest to attain absolute national unity because these entities are agglomerations of ethnic political units.
Let’s face the reality here. What will happen to the political parties in CORD if the coalition breaks up? Similarly, what will be the exact turn of events in case the Jubilee coalition disintegrates that is if the Jubilee Party of Kenya isn’t formed? The respective parties will retreat to their ethnic bases as they ponder their next political moves.
The formation of these two coalitions wasn’t just coincidental but accidental as well. In as much as there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics, sometimes it’s accidental for some politicians to pretend to unite in the name of forming political coalitions. I term such events as political accidents because normally, the carving out of a political union must be underpinned by similarity in the political ideologies. So what is the precise ideology that led to the uniting of Orange Democratic Movement, FORD-Kenya and the Wiper Democratic Party? What is the ideology that binds The National Alliance and the United Republican Party? Or what ideology informed the formation of the now defunct Amani Coalition by the United Democratic Front and KANU? No ideology at all.
Having blurred political ideologies has often led to party hopping and the subsequent formation of many political parties. If politicians had the same or similar ideologies, they would have opted to be members of parties that they share their vision and mission. Such has not been the case because of the agenda of ‘political capitalism’ that fashions individualistic gains instead of nationalistic ideals.
It is the lack of definite political ideologies by the parties that have translated into a not-so-clear ideology on nationalism and a punctured and patched-up national economic ideology. Someone might mention the Vision 2030 as a justification to counter the latter statement but it has already been hijacked and trampled on by the chief priests of corruption as well as the lords of poverty and their voracious angels and agents who are the ‘political capitalists’.
Until our politics will be defined by workable political ideologies we should only dream about national unity. The concept of having many political parties has been overtaken by events based on negative ethnicity. Parties have turned out to be avenues and mechanisms for ethnic barons and patrons. This is what is ailing Kenya and the young people should be able to confront the challenges head-on and chart a new path that this beautiful country should take.