I am on record stating that Kenya should be at most a 3-party state, meaning, we should have no more than 3 registered political parties in the country. This is because I believe having more parties simply entrenches tribalism or otherwise encourages continued division in the country along the unhealthy, counterproductive and undesirable tribal, ethnic and status lines. I intend to blog more about this in the near future.
For now, a few things can be said about this so called G47 or Third Force group, that claims it represents 80% of Kenyans living outside of the country who belong to “organized global associations” and one of the things that can be said is you have to treat with suspicion any group that makes such a claim of representation of the Diaspora because having 80% of “organized global associations” is a staggering feat, that is just not possible, if at all.
The fact is, there is no group out there representing more than a tiny fraction of Kenyans living abroad, let alone even tinier fraction of “organized global associations.” This group is therefore trying to pull a fast one on us.
To be sure, there is nothing wrong to attempt to form an umbrella organization that represents the interests of, and is representative of Kenyans living abroad; indeed, this is what I and about 15 other Kenyans were invited a few years ago by the World Bank to, and in fact, formed the Kenya Diaspora Network (KDN). Ideal and as non-partisan and neutral this group was, it not uncharacteristically succumbed to the same old Kenyan politics forcing some of us to abandon it and ultimately its failure to reach these ideal objectives.
The Kenya Community Abroad (KCA) was initially formed also for the same purpose, namely, representing the interests all Kenyans in the Diaspora. As one of KCA’s early members who was actively involved in the organization’s activities in its formative years until I left for reasons I don’t have to get to here, I know and appreciate the need for such organization.
However, having ideals such as those under which KCA or KDN was formed and those this G47 or Third Force group espouses is one thing, bringing them to fruition in a non-partisan, non-aligned manner, which is totally necessary if such grand ideals are to be realized, is quite another thing. I am not even sure whether this G47 or Third Force is non-partisan or non-aligned but reading just their Press Release on Ikolomani by-elections, I do not have any doubts it is as partisan as any is in Kenya.
The prospects of this group’s success in fielding a presidential candidate and/or the success of its preferred candidate is therefore no different, worse or better than that of the hundreds of parties we have registered or even active in Kenyan politics.
That being the case, I would repeat my position Kenya does not need more parties but strengthening of 2 or 3 of those we already have in existence and working within them to bring about the necessary changes both in the parties and the country as a whole through the political process.
I do not buy the propaganda that none of the parties we currently have in Kenya can produce an effective, reform driven president; a number of them have and can and neither do I buy the propaganda that all leaders in the country are not worth electing president.
I think we can all agree that our country has not met its development objectives and progress due to poor management, corruption and apathy for the general welfare of ordinary Kenyans. I think we can all also agree in order to turn things around, we have to have new management at the top come next year’s elections.
Where I and others differ with those who claim that no current leader can be elected president to spearhead in efforts to turn the country around, is the incongruousness self-evident in this proposition. Those making this claim of no current leader should be elected president have been and continue to make the case that we should get rid of everyone in government and bring in new people. They also at times talk about getting rid of “old” people in government or that we don’t need “old” people running for president which they essentially define in such a manner to include Raila among the “old” people because he is in reality the only person they are obsessed to “blocking” from becoming president.
Their rationale for a solution makes no sense at all. Essentially what they are saying from a business perspective is, you have a large company, say Safaricom that is poorly performing and not profitable at all because of poor management, rampant embezzlement, poor morale and shafting of shareholders.
As a solution to turn this company around and make it profitable again, you propose that you get rid of all management and bring in a new crop of senior managers, including a CEO who have never run a large company and further require that none of these new managers or CEO can be “old” which you essentially define to be anyone over 50 years old.
This is absurd and anyone who knows anything about business will tell you so. Much as it makes no sense to rational and objective minds to propose such a solution, it can only make sense to those proposing it for reasons that have nothing to do with a genuine desire to turn the company around other than creating an easy pathway if not entry through the backdoor to senior management for themselves which in turn will surely sink the company even more than it has by the time they take over.
Prudent business advice or common sense would tell you what you need in a situation like this is, yes, a new CEO and senior management but one with proven success and experience running a company of this size; getting rid of poorly performing employees and managers, sending the embezzlers packing and off to jail and doing a top to bottom analysis of the company to identify ways to make it profitable again.
We need precisely the same solution if we are to turn out country around and point it in the direction of economic growth and prosperity, namely, electing a president with proven success and experience running a country; overhauling the entire government workforce and retraining or otherwise getting rid of non-performing civil servants and personnel, definitely taking head on and having heads rolling for those engaged in corruption and doing a top to bottom analysis of the country to determine, and implementing whatever else is needed to put the country on track to meet its development objectives as outlined under Vision 2030 and more.
My point is, Kenyans living abroad are as divided as Kenyans living inside Kenya and to the extent one can succeed in uniting them, the better just the same as uniting Kenyans at home. However, I just don’t think this can be accomplished by essentially forming another partisan party or organization such as this G47 or Third Force appears to be and neither is it a good or desirable idea to have yet another party in Kenya in any case.
The next president of Kenya is going to come from among the household names of today in the country and among them, it is my humble submission that only Raila espouses and has proven he believes in, and can more believably deliver the progressive ideals expressed by this G47 or Third Force group, among others and therefore I encourage the group to at least work with Raila in his presidential bid.
If on the other hand this group believes it has what it takes to field its own candidate, then by all means let it do so or if it believes someone other than RAO among those who have expressed interest in seeking the office is better suited to be elected president, then let the group make the case for that person and Kenyans will decide come election day.