Prof. James Ole Kiyiapi who is the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education is planning to run for president on a party he apparently recently registered by proxy. Upon learning this, I posted the following blog in another forum:
I was once a very strong proponent of a one party state; I did not think it was necessarily a bad thing, if you had transparency and accountability. When the country was clamoring for multi-partysm, I was not all that gang-ho precisely for what happened in 1992, namely, having a fragmented opposition that failed to defeat Moi who remained in office having only garnered 36.4%, or 26% if you exclude the stuffed boxes with fake votes.
Thanks to improved vote fixing techniques and an opposition that was adamant in refusing to learn from its mistakes from 1992, Moi improved his margin of victory in 1997 from 36.4% to 40% of the vote, or 30% if you exclude the stuffed boxes with fake votes.
Ten per cent (10%) is the vote fixing percentage required of the Commission on Vote Fixing (CVF) each president apparently has operating under the table.
I am still of the same view that we do not need more parties registered in the country; what we need are leaders who can strengthen and work within the existing party structures.
My reasons for opposing multi parties are (1) multi parties do perpetuate tribalism and division and (2) there are only two sides to an issue: right or wrong, depending on what side you are on. If you are in neither, you’ll fall somewhere in the middle therefore we only need 3 parties in Kenya.
By my formula, we should ODM, PNU and everyone else in a one party in opposition to either.
Very healthy for our still growing democracy.
In response to my posting, a reader had the following response:
You have good grounds for your position. I hope that very soon we will be able to parties with clear cut ideologies and probably reduced to 3 strong parties instead of hundreds of parties we now have. Most of the parties are briefcase outfits, many selling tickets to rejects and political prostitutes.
Another reader was equally supportive of the idea:
ONE PARTY CONCEPT IN KENYA?
I think we need to vote you as the head of Government administration.
YOU ARE ON POINT.
I support you totally. Although i did not understand at the beginning
you started with one party then you ended wtih three. Could you elaborate a little more. And whichever one to me is still worthy exploration. … Why i support that concept is because we are so much inclined to be
entrenched in tribal sectionalism so much so that it is Impossible to
think beyond our tribal boarders. When parties were registered in
Kenya in 92 we had over three hundred parties. Three hundred parties.
Some parties were led by people who could not read and who have never left their home section geographically. Such personalities even for good will sake would not be in a position to advocate more universal and inclusive issues. Hence instead of Kenya promoting progressive ideologies we just preached saga of limited thinking which undermined sense of harmonious outcome.
Therefore I would support you totally. I would think and I have come to believe that we might not have been politically mature enough to articulate our Ideals on national democratic philosophies due to our tribal nonproductive believes. I have always suggested that we should just have two parties that carries diverse approach in political issues.
Another contributor on this debate chose to differ:
Mr. Omwenga, sir!
I can’t buy what you have said in a million years! Not in Kenya not in ODM not in PNU et al!!
Nominations in kenyan political parties are known to be the most undemocratic what with what happenned with ODM nominations in makandara a few months ago? Wasnt Ndolo given a direct nomination? was that democratic? with the kind of hero worshipping in ODM PNU and other parties, I can bet Kingame/ Kiyiapi did the right thing.I know somebody is getting scared somewhere but this is a new Kenya . Hecko bro kingame- educate them.
I agree with you the nomination process for all parties often leaves a lot to be desired but that’s not a reason for one to bolt and form his or her own party. If you want to nominate yourself for a presidential run, the Constitution allows you to do so; you don’t need to register a party just so you can so nominate yourself. This is one of the reasons I do not like the idea of multi-parties and intend to push for a 1 or 2 party state, a move which I think will go a long way to end tribal and other divisive politics.
The new party Pro. Kiyapi plans to use to run for president has now published its manifesto. I have not had time to review the manifesto but I doubt there is anything in there new or that has otherwise not been addressed by the existing parties: ODM, PNU and the Rest.
I, however, do not ascribe to the proposition espoused by others that the new party has been formed at the instigation and sponsorship of PNU to muddy the waters in RV.
The party could be formed with all the legitimacy and good intentions to provide a platform for Prof. Kiyiapi to run for president but I still maintain it was not necessary to register the party. Professor Kiyiapi should have worked within existing party structures to pursue his wish to be president and, as I have stated before, if he cannot secure the nomination from whichever party he chooses, there is always another time. There is no short-cut to the presidency; one must earn their stripes, so to speak and if that includes slogging out with the ladies and gentlemen of the leading parties to get there, then that’s what the Professor has to do to prove he is ready for the big time.
P.S. I will soon post a blog more fully making the case why Kenya should be a 1 or 2 party state and urge my readers to support a move to make it a reality through enactment of a new law to that effect.
Peace, Love and Unity.