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The So Called G47 or Third Force Should Support Existing Party Structures In Kenya; We Don’t Need Another New Party In Kenya

30 May

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.

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8 Comments

Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Siasa

 

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8 responses to “The So Called G47 or Third Force Should Support Existing Party Structures In Kenya; We Don’t Need Another New Party In Kenya

  1. kombo elijah

    June 13, 2011 at 7:39 AM

    i have taken this article to http://www.newfaceofkenya,org after a request from Lee Makwiny

     
  2. tegi obanda

    August 1, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    If you want to discuss G47, we are ready to debate. What we are not ready to debate, however, is the right of Kenyans to form political parties. Who are you to tell Kenyans how many parties are to be formed? Are you scared of competition in a free and fair election? Secondly, the majority of diasporans are either apolitical or are tribalists who think just like villagers back home. If a meeting is called to discuss genuine progressive diaspora engagement in kenyan politics, how many will turn up? 2? 20? 200? 2000? 20,000? A meeting will be called soon. Those who attend will have gained the right to talk to for the silent majority.

     
  3. Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

    August 1, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Nd. Tegi Obanda,

    The question is not who am I to tell Kenyans how many parties we should have, rather, why we don’t need any more parties registered in Kenya and I have provided my reasons in the blog.

    I am soon starting a movement to amend the constitution to limit the number of registered political parties in Kenya and this campaign will go into full gear after the next general elections.

    My proposal has nothing to do with being scared of competition in any elections. The US is a de facto two party state and it’s done just fine over the centuries and so have many other countries in the world.

    I neither see the logic nor the purpose of having hundreds of parties in a country such as ours, other than having them for shortsighted and personal political gain.

    The new constitution will render many of these irrelevant but I would prefer a more far reaching solution such as an express limitation of the number of parties that can be registered and even more stricter rules as to how many can remain registered.

    Let’s do away with these brief-case parties, which most of them are.

    Regarding Kenyans in the Diaspora, this is one Kenyan who is neither apolitical nor tribalist and so are many that I know.

    I agree with you, however, that Kenyans in the Diaspora are generally apathetic when it comes to meetings of any kind, other than, perhaps church gatherings.

    Peace, Love and Unity

    Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

     
  4. tegi obanda

    August 1, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    Ndugu Omwenga, yours are the sort of nonsensical online diatribe I loathe to waste my time on. I thought you had something serious to say. I guess you just lack something useful to do. Before you talk of forming movements, don’t you think you need to take some civic education classes? As I said earlier, I am ready to debate the misconceptions and misrepresentations you have raised regarding G47 and its intentions. What I do not have time for though, is the archaic and strange idea that the right of Kenyan people to form political parties should be a subject of debate. Either Kenya is a democracy or it is not.
    Kenyans have defeated dictatorship. You cannot turn back the clock. Please read section 36 of the constitution of Kenya below:
    Freedom of association
    36. (1) Every person NOT JUST OMWENGA AND HIS THREE PARTIES has the right to freedom of association, which includes the right to form, join or participate in the activities
    of an association of any kind.
    (2) A person shall not be compelled to join an association of any Kind—LEAST OF ALL, OMWENGA’S THREE PARTIES
    (3) Any legislation that requires registration of an association of any kind shall provide that—
    (a) registration may not be withheld or withdrawn unreasonably; and

    Political rights
    38. (1) Every citizen NOT JUST OMWENGA AND HIS THREE PARTIES is free to make political choices, which includesthe right—
    (a) to form, or participate in forming, a political party;
    (b) to participate in the activities of, or recruit members for,
    a political party; or
    (c) to campaign for a political party or cause.
    2. Every citizen NOT JUST OMWENGA AND HIS THREE PARTIES has the right to free, fair and regular elections
    based on universal suffrage and the free expression of the will of the electors for—
    (a) any elective public body or office established under this Constitution; or
    (b) any office of any political party of which the citizen is a member.

    (3) Every adult citizen NOT JUST OMWENGA AND HIS THREE PARTIES has the right, without unreasonable restrictions, —
    (a) to be registered as a voter;
    (b) to vote by secret ballot in any election or referendum; and
    (c) to be a candidate for public office, or office within a
    political party of which the citizen is a member and, if
    elected, to hold office.
    To back you nefarious thought process, you erroneously state that the US is a two-party state. Please find a partial list of US Political Parties and Year founded. Count them and tell me how many they are: American Nazi Party 1959 World Union of Free Enterprise National Socialists

    American Party 1969 American Populist Party 2009 American Reform Party 1997 American Third Position Party 2010 America’s Independent Party 2008 Boston Tea Party 2006 Christian Liberty Party 1996 American Heritage Party Citizens Party of the United States 2004 New American Independent Party Constitution Party 1992 U.S. Taxpayers’ Party Com America First Party 2002 American Nazi Party 1959 World Union of Free Enterprise National Socialists American Party 1969 American Populist Party 2009 American Reform Party 1997 American Third Position Party 2010 America’s Independent Party 2008 Boston Tea Party 2006 Christian Liberty Party 1996 American Heritage Party Citizens Party of the United States 2004 New American Independent Party Constitution Party 1992 U.S. Taxpayers’ Party Communist Party of the United States of America 1919 Democratic Party 1828 Alliance of Democrats Freedom Road Socialist Organization (freedomroad.org faction) 1985 Freedom Road Socialist Organization (frso.org faction) 1985 Freedom Socialist Party 1966 Green Party of the United States 2001 Global Greens Independence Party of America 2007 Independent American Party 1998 Jefferson Republican Party 2006 Labor Party 1996 Libertarian National Socialist Green Party 1997 Libertarian Party 1971 Modern Whig Party 2008 National Socialist Movement 1974 New Union Party 1974 Objectivist Party 2008 Party for Socialism and Liberation 2004 Peace and Freedom Party 1967 Populist Party of America 2002 Progressive Labor Party 1961 Progressive Labor Movement * Prohibition Party 1869 Raza Unida Party 1970 Reform Party of the United States of America 1995 Republican Party 1854 International Democrat Union Revolutionary Communist Party, USA 1975 Socialist Action 1983 Fourth International Socialist Alternative 1986 Committee for a Workers’ International Socialist Equality Party 1966 Workers League International Committee of the Fourth International Socialist Labor Party of America* 1876 Workingmen’s Party Socialist Party USA 1973 Socialist Workers Party 1938 Pathfinder tendency (unofficial) U.S. Marxist–Leninist Organization 1981 United States Marijuana Party 2002 United States Pirate Party 2006 Pirate Parties International Unity Party of America 2004 Workers Party 2003 Workers World Party 1959 Working Families Party 1998 World Socialist Party of the United States 1916, Communist Party of the United States of America 1919 Democratic Party 1828 Alliance of Democrats Freedom Road Socialist Organization (freedomroad.org faction) 1985 Freedom Road Socialist Organization (frso.org faction) 1985 Freedom Socialist Party 1966 Green Party of the United States 2001 Global Greens Independence Party of America 2007 Independent American Party 1998 Jefferson Republican Party 2006 Labor Party 1996 Libertarian National Socialist Green Party 1997 Libertarian Party 1971 Modern Whig Party 2008 National Socialist Movement 1974 New Union Party 1974 Objectivist Party 2008 Party for Socialism and Liberation 2004 Peace and Freedom Party 1967 Populist Party of America 2002 Progressive Labor Party 1961 Progressive Labor Movement * Prohibition Party 1869 Raza Unida Party 1970 Reform Party of the United States of America 1995 Republican Party 1854 International Democrat Union Revolutionary Communist Party, USA 1975 Socialist Action 1983 Fourth International Socialist Alternative 1986 Committee for a Workers’ International Socialist Equality Party 1966 Workers League International Committee of the Fourth International Socialist Labor Party of America* 1876 Workingmen’s Party Socialist Party USA 1973 Socialist Workers Party 1938 Pathfinder tendency (unofficial) U.S. Marxist–Leninist Organization 1981 United States Marijuana Party 2002 United States Pirate Party 2006 Pirate Parties International Unity Party of America 2004 Workers Party 2003 Workers World Party 1959 Working Families Party 1998 World Socialist Party of the United States 1916.

     
  5. Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

    August 1, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    Nd. Tegi Obanda,

    You say, “yours are the sort of nonsensical online diatribe I loathe to waste my time on.”

    No one is forcing you to read any of my “nonsensical online diatribe” or otherwise known as my blog, so, if you can’t handle the content of my blog, just surf on to more comfortable zones.

    You say, “I thought you had something serious to say.”

    Always do.

    You say, “I guess you just lack something useful to do.”

    Whether I have anything useful to do with my time or not, is none of your business. My advise to you is, respond to the issues I raise or do not but leave my person out of it.

    As to your reciting Article 36 of our constitution and attempting to make your point my proposal is unconstitutional, I suppose you missed what I stated and that is, I am soon starting a movement to AMEND the constitution to limit the number of registered parties in the country.

    BTW, civics education is primary school education requirement. Beyond that, if you are interested in understanding more about the relationship between the government and its citizens in any society, you progress to the study of government and politics at college level, which I did and obtained by degree in the field as a returning student more than 15 years ago before proceeding to law school so no but no thanks I don’t need to study civics again before proposing whatever I propose or say whatever I say about government or politics.

    Regarding my proposal to limit political parties in Kenya, you have provided a long list of purported registered political parties in the US which is not necessary as it neither refutes what I said nor makes any point you are trying to make.

    I said the US is a DE FACTO two party state and has done just fine with that arrangement; I did not say that the US is a DE JURE two party state which is what you obviously assumed.

    I know these are legal terms but a simple google search should have enlightened you as such and therefore avoiding the unnecessary spillage of ink.

    Peace, Love and Unity

    Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

     
  6. Victor Majani

    January 4, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Well done Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq . I admire your calmness and clear train of thought. Honestly Political Parties in Kenya are fast eroding into pure tribal outfits. Some are today already clear tribal outfits. I agree that we need to limit the number of Political Parties to 2 / 3 or so in order will reflect a National Image and save our politics to grinding down to pure tribal concentration and nothing else.

     
  7. Samuel N. Omwenga

    January 4, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Thank you brother Majani and Happy New Year!

     
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