Politics is a dirty game; so we have been made to believe. In Kenya, and Africa as a whole, power politics is a preoccupation for those with money to manipulate the gullible masses. Majority of our so-called leaders are not in it for the people.
No wonder that we are ruled by despots and other people of extremely dubious character. Our leaders are predominantly selfish people who get into high office to make money by exploiting their lofty positions.
It has not always been this way. Many of the post-colonial political parties had the right attitude. Even where it was difficult to walk the talk, at least the parties were genuine about their intentions of emancipating citizens from poverty and ignorance.
For instance, the Kenya African National Union (Kanu) started on the right footing. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta spoke of the need to ensure that the country’s resources are shared equitably among all people and communities.
Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, the party was overtaken by avarice. Its leaders lost the vision of everyone “pulling together”, and started a systematic pillage of the country’s resources.
Moreover, in the beginning, a party’s determination to fight is strong. But as time goes by, and the political party is in power, it relaxes, and its drive to fight to serve citizens decreases.
To cut a long story short, Kenyan electoral politics has been a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire; same forest, different monkeys. No party has come up with an authentic and compelling vision capable of moving the country to the next level.
Now, there are growing fears that liberal democracy, with its sister capitalist ideology, is set to crash. The type of democracy being practised today is a far cry from what the American presidents of yore envisioned about two centuries ago.
Indeed, the cradle of democracy is on its knees, falling under its own sword. Therefore, we need to seriously think of how we are going to govern ourselves. Contrary to popular belief, the world is not short of viable options.
The first place to start is to re-educate ourselves on the role of political parties in a nation and the impact they are supposed to have. What if we thought of adopting the social capitalism model, like that espoused and practiced by the Communist Party of China (CPC)?
The ruling CPC, which has a current membership of over 90 million members, out of a population of 1.4 billion people, marked its 90th anniversary on July 1.
The CPC has survived for all these years in power by adhering to, and re-inventing the cardinal principles of its founding members as stated in its Constitution.
One of the major reasons why we will not achieve Vision 2030 is because it was not based on inalienable social-cultural underpinnings. This is the same with many of our national endeavours.
Earlier, Kanu educated Kenyans with political ideologies. Unfortunately, it got drunk with power as it demanded that the rest of us take water!
But we can start all over again. We must remain true to our original aspirations of creating a country where all of us enjoy equal rights and prosperity. —The writer is a communication expert, and public policy analyst —[email protected]