JP begs ques­tions of ide­o­log­i­cal lean­ings A

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - WILLIS OTIENO

num­ber of of­fi­cials of the newly launched Ju­bilee Party are fly­ing out to China, where they are ex­pected to re­ceive crit­i­cal lessons on po­lit­i­cal party man­age­ment from the Com­mu­nist Party.

The pur­pose of the trip, it is al­leged by those push­ing it, is largely to en­sure that JP rules Kenya for many years to come. They com­pare their in­ten­tions to those of the Chama Cha Mapin­duzi in Tan­za­nia, the African Na­tional Congress in South Africa, the Na­tional Re­sis­tance Move­ment in Uganda and the Com­mu­nist Party of China it­self – all of which have had a long pe­riod in gov­ern­ment.

Much as the idea looks good, the real­ity is harder and lit­tle is as sim­ple as it seems.

The afore­men­tioned par­ties have a very long, if not treach­er­ous, his­tory that ex­plains their longevity in gov­ern­ment at a time when JP has to seek its first re­elec­tion.

First, these par­ties have very strong ide­o­log­i­cal an­chor­age. The ide­o­log­i­cal lean­ings of the CCM, ANC or even the CPC is never in doubt. At its un­veil­ing lit­tle over a month ago, the founders of JP did not give the coun­try as much as a glimpse of its ide­o­log­i­cal stand­ing. In any case, all the par­ties that dis­solved to form JP are, by and large, cap­i­tal­ist in ori­en­ta­tion.

That would au­to­mat­i­cally make the Ju­bilee Party a cap­i­tal­ist party! As far as I am con­cerned, I did not hear of a pos­si­ble ide­o­log­i­cal shift that would make JP a Com­mu­nist party.

In fact, these par­ties have a long his­tory and are prod­ucts of the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle of their re­spec­tive coun­tries. They are ves­sels for so­cial change, which res­onated well with the peo­ple. The CPC is a prod­uct of the long march to Bei­jing un­der Mao Ze­dong. The same can be said of the CCM, ANC, and Zanu.

In fact, you can add Kanu to this group be­cause it re­mains a core en­gine in the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle, which is why it re­mains an im­por­tant el­e­ment in Kenya’s po­lit­i­cal his­tory.

It is not just that JP has not ar­tic­u­lated its ide­o­log­i­cal lean­ing. It is yet to in­cul­cate its val­ues at the grass­roots. You can­not eas­ily say what it stands for.

For now, all in­di­ca­tions are that JP is a ve­hi­cle to cap­ture power, not for so­cial change: The same as Narc

(2002-2007), PNU (2007-2013) and TNA (2013-2016).

Otieno is an ad­vo­cate of the High Court of Kenya and an ex­pert in elec­toral law

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.