I would openly confess my lack of expertise in writing tributes, especially barely a week after Kenya lost one of the forefront people in the struggle for multiparty in Kenya: Kenneth Matiba, what a man!
As one of the local dailies ran a bio of the late Matiba with a title, Man of many firsts. The article described vividly how Matiba holds a record of being the first Kenyan to venture in various fields among them being appointed the first black director of Kenya Breweries, one of the biggest tax contributors based on their market share.
Matiba is famously known for the saba saba revolution that shook the former president Moi government to the core, resulting to the beginning of Matiba woes.
Any Kenyan living today and witnessed the single party state can talk of the relief that has come along with the multi-party democracy.
The death of Matiba should be a call to every Kenyan to recognize the purpose and the benefits of several parties. Over years, we the electorate have been playing the piper’s tune to political theatrics that have led us in the gutter every time we cast votes.
We have embraced a culture of tribalism as politicians play the divide and rule game repeatedly .Every time there are government appointments every Kenyan is keen and concerned if their tribesman is appointment for a state job, poor we!
The role of a multiparty is to ensure people with diverse ideologies are given a chance to take part in national building through representing the people.
Last general elections saw the parties with big financial muscle sweep votes in accordance with tribal blocs backing. The excitement brought about by the rise of independent parties before the election was not felt after the elections, it is a recurring trend of seasonal politicians re-branding the parties and making a comeback despite the fact that they have nothing to offer after long stints milking the public coffer.
It may sound like a reckless statement if we openly agree that we the voters have turned our country into a monarch being run by the elite group families that date back to the country independence days.
This sorry state of things runs from the highest institutions that consist of the Executive, Judiciary and the Legistrature.
Presidential appointments say it all, revisiting the past administrations, individual appointments for PSs, CSs and even parastatal boards consist of bloodlines whose surnames are familiar in the Kenyan history.
Barely a year after elections and a scenario regarding the 2022 election is already taking shape. The most insane thing is that the picture frame consists of the same faces that have failed to bring out Kenya as a superior country among its peers like Rwanda.
This line of thought may have come 4 years earlier before the next general election but we need to see a clear picture of how we are duped by a class that is not losing its grasp in looting and making Kenya a failed state.
It is the high time we thought about multi-party as a clean slate where we can vote National and county leaders based on their zeal and servant ship towards the interest of every common man.
Parting Shot: Political parties are formed to reflect the spectrum of the people’s views, interests, and needs, from their highest ideals to their basest instincts. As the 19th-century British philosopher John Stuart Mill suggests, political parties in electoral democracies generally act together to create a balance or compromise between opposing and differing views.
Just as importantly, political parties have been the means for inspiring and mobilizing voters to support fundamental political change when it is needed. Even in today’s age of dispersed social communications, idealistic citizens seeking change turn to political parties to carry it out.
By Victor Von Njagi