against the party system

Every class struggle is a political struggle. Marx

Don’t shoot the messenger.

I have just began reading from Qaddafi’s Green Book. I take it this was one of his intellectual contribution to accumulated knowledge and wisdom of the race. In the first chapters that I have read, he critiques parliament and party rule, arguing they are but dictatorships of the party and cannot be called democratic.

He saw the book as, and here, I will let him speak for himself

THE GREEN BOOK presents the ultimate solution to the problem of the instrument of government, and indicates for the masses the path upon which they can advance from the age of dictatorship to that of genuine democracy.(emphasis mine)

About parliaments he writes

The parliament of the winning party is indeed a parliament of the party, for the executive power formed by this parliament is the power of the party over the people. Party power, which is supposedly for the good of the whole people, is actually the arch-enemy of a fraction of the people, namely, the opposition
party or parties and their supporters. The opposition is, therefore, not a popular check on the ruling party but, rather, is itself opportunistically seeking to replace the ruling party.

take a look at our situation, where as Dr. Ndii rightly said, our politicians are morally bankrupt and if they represent anything, their stomachs must be high on the list. The majority of parliamentarians come from the ruling/ controlling party. How can they be a check on a government of which they form the majority?

According to modern democracy, the legitimate check on the ruling party is the parliament, the majority of whose members are from that ruling party. That is to say, control is in the hands of the ruling party, and power is in the hands of the controlling party.

When he writes about the party, his argument is even more pointed than he would be given credit for. This may not be true for all places, but for a Kenyan, it rings closer to home

The party system is the modern equivalent of the tribal or sectarian system. A society governed by one party is similar to one which is governed by one tribe or one sect. The party, as shown, represents the perception of a certain group of people, or the interests of one group in society, or one belief, or one region.

Look at the composition of the parties, and they are almost all of them an extension of the tribe.

Anyone who listened to Muraithe or other Jubilee honchos speak, wouldn’t find truth in what he says next

Such a party is a minority compared with the whole people, just as the tribe and the sect are. The minority has narrow, common sectarian interests and beliefs, from which a common outlook is
formed. Only the blood-relationship distinguishes a tribe from a party, and, indeed, a tribe might also be the basis for the foundation of a party. There is no difference between party struggle and tribal or sectarian struggles for power.

Up to this point, I think he makes quite valid points.

Advertisements

on politicians

and bad governance or something.

When we in the global south complain about our politicians, the usual refrain is that we vote them in so we deserve them. This refrain, among other things, ignores electoral manipulation by the political class, use of violence by the incumbent and generally, a political class that is morally bankrupt, bankrupt on ideas and if public choice theorists are correct, are only concerned about their own individual needs and only do something for the general public if they benefit.

Looking at the USA, I can’t seem but recall the ending in George Orwell’s Animal Farm,

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say

and this must be so when they look at their representatives across the political divide. And add tRumpsky’s election to the mix, it is all interesting and so we in the global south must ask, why does it seem that to most Americans, the salvation lies with one man, Robert Mueller, whose work seems everyday to hang on the balance.

So, while I agree wholly, that systems are important, these systems have been overrun by lobbyists, special interest groups, big money and there is need therefore to rethink the whole system and find ways to address these gaps or whatever is left in democracy will be gone through the window.

Maybe I am not making sense.

On capitalism, democracy & the Catholic church

Slavoj zizek in his book first as tragedy then as farce, writes

Those who claim a natural link between capitalism and democracy are cheating with the facts in the same way the Catholic church cheats when it presents itself as the “natural” advocate of democracy and human rights against the threat of totalitarianism- as if it were not the case that the church accepted democracy only at the end of the nineteenth century, and even then with clenched teeth, as a desperate compromise, making it clear that it preferred monarchy, and that it was making a reluctant concession to new times.

Moving on

When I last wrote about politics, a case had been filed in the Supreme Court of Kenya challenging the election of the Uhuro duo as the president and vice president. The case has since been decided and the ruling was delivered Saturday and we have a president who will be sworn in a few days from now. My friends who are worried for my safety shouldn’t, at least we are not trying to kill each other.

The jury is still out and it will be for a long time to come whether the decision by the SCOK was to safeguard constitutionalism. Here and here are just a few of the articles I have laid my eyes on concerning the ruling. I will let jurists, political scientists and other pundits to talk about this for generations to come. That notwithstanding, I will say my two cents on the matter. To start with, in as much as I support universal suffrage where everyone eligible to vote should, I have some qualms with such a system. It allows anyone  to participate and this to me is it’s greatest weakness. I don’t know a better solution to this problem but I think there ought to be a way of determining who can or can’t vote.

We are not a democracy neither are we a united nation. No, that is a sham and you are a fool to believe it. We are a group of tribal nations forced to live together by the colonialists within a randomly drawn border making a country called Kenya. Anyone who believes differently is an idiot of the first degree.

When the matter of the election was taken to court, it soon came to [at least following what I observed on social media] a contest between the two ethnic groups at the centre of this matter viz the Luo and the Kikuyu. Very few people took time to consider the merits of the case, the impact it has on the future conduct of elections and whatever democracy we are trying to build. Insults and invective was the order of the day. Any time an issue was raised concerning the conduct of the election, people could reduce it to a tribal matter regardless of how far removed it was from any ethnic consideration and it is a shame that the people involved in this exchange are those we would want, for a lack of a better word, call the elite and the future of the country. What future are we talking about? We behave like savages, the only thing that stops us is the state control on arms but in essence we aren’t any better than the Syrians or the Somalis indeed we could even be worse!

I am proudly Luo. Am a humanist to the core but at the same time am proud of my heritage as a Luo. I will not hesitate to speak out against Luos, no, am an equal opportunity basher and no one is exempt. You can call me tribal if you will but remember I didn’t choose to be born along the Lake Victoria basin and I have not treated anyone as being different or less a person than I am because she is of a different tribe. Acknowledging my Luo heritage doesn’t make me tribal. I have written that I stand for equal treatment of all, regardless of religion, race, gender or status in the society. I have said strongly that I abhor all forms of slavery and am equally against any forms of favoritism that disenfranchises an individual[s] based on factors out of their control.

Having said this, I must now say what I think [ the Kibunja’s commission that is busy arresting people for hate speech-what does this even mean- please listen]. It was wrong for the high court judges that heard to the case challenging the eligibility of Uhuru and Ruto to run for president to not find a problem with their candidature. Anyone having a court case in future has every right to refer to this case when they are running for office and their eligibility is questioned. It is to me a failure to discharge their duties as they swore to do  when they took the oath of office. Anyone who for a moment thinks we have an independent judiciary is deluded. I am not asking anyone to agree with me, but if you are going to disagree you will have to show cause why you think am wrong. It is not lost on me that some judges have acted to assert their independence, but please tell me how many these are and how many cases of national importance they have dealt with.

It was a failure by the media to point out that it was wrong to allow Uhuru and Ruto to run. Please don’t give me the line of benefit of doubt. I have neither the time nor the patience to grant them that. If you have please do but I don’t want to hear it. I have said in several posts that we have the second most useless media anywhere in the world [I don’t know the first]. Many Kenyans have a false aura of superiority. To get a small glimpse of what I mean, one need only need use the twitter hashtag #someonetellBotswana to get a picture. If there are any areas we have excelled, they are not so grand that we have bragging rights to insult our neighbors whenever we feel slighted. It is stupid and cheap and guys have to grow up or sooner you will have eggs on your faces.

I will say here that I am a supporter of candidate Dida. His only failure at least to me was his thinking we need to pray to god whenever we are faced with problems and I will say am a great fan of Raila Odinga, yes I am, go ahead and call me tribal. He stands for something so dear to me. He is our connection to the fight for democracy and constitutionalism, a journey began by among other Jaramogi, Oneko, Rubia, Pio Gama Pinto, J.M Kariuki, Anyona among others. It is also not lost to me that  he has many faults which I pointed out in my open letter to Raila. He is a great statesman. His losing the petition is not only a personal lose to himself but it is a loss to anyone who cares about rule of law and constitutionalism.  And those who take offense, the tribal bigots when I call you fools take note that neither a Raila or Uhuru or any other person’s presidency for that matter brings food to my table, no, I still have to work for it. But you must know that a Raila presidency is a step towards national cohesion, constitutionalism and a semblance of progress.

The SCOK failed in its mandate to uphold the constitution. It is indeed strange that people like the chief justice, Willy Mutunga, who claim independence of mind, would make such a ruling. That all of them agreed that the election was free and fair in the face of evidence to the contrary citing late filing of evidence, shortage of time and I don’t know what else is a sign of the careless that I think is unparalleled anywhere in the Commonwealth of nations. It is one institution that I can’t trust to defend my rights and freedoms should I be aggrieved by the state. Many of you will hail the decision, many have already done so, calling it Solomonic [whether Solomon was the best judge, the jury is out] and adding that it will be an example to other countries in the region and beyond. What lesson is this they will learn from it? That the supreme court of the land will not consider evidence because they are short of time? Someone please tell me that there was a dissenting opinion. Am beyond shocked that someone in their right minds would think there wasn’t evidence to show that the election wasn’t credible. It is indeed abdication of duty to make such a ruling and the judges must remember they failed in their mandate. I will say again that this court is useless and is to me a sham.

The parliamentarians who were recently sworn in have as their first order of the day a desire to increase their salaries. As you can recall in the open letter I wrote to the MPigs last year, I did ask that their first duty be reduction of their salaries, those of PSes and other state officials earning obscene amounts. It appears to me and to those who have eyes that we are going to be fucked from the ass by this house. It is indeed worrying that both houses are controlled by the government, many of them people who give a rat ass about constitutionalism. I allow those celebrating to do so now, but in a few short weeks we will be together when things come to ahead. There are those of you who think those of us raising such matters are doomsday prophets, but ask Americans what happens when you elect a not so intelligent guy for president, you end up fighting wars you don’t need and budget deficits only shallower than a black hole.

As I finish therefore, a word of advice to all of us. If this country is to move beyond tribal enclaves, then we must do something about our institutions. We must look ourselves in the mirror and ask hard questions of where we want to go and how we will get there. We can’t bury our heads in the sand and hope that tribalism will go away, nepotism will go away and corruption will go away. We also must be concerned with party politics not just as organs for getting state power but as drivers of opinion, good governance, democracy and constitutionalism. We must put our elected leaders to task. We are their paymasters not the other way round. The media has to examine itself critically and ask themselves whether the independence they claim is real or just a mirage.

Lastly, though am not sure he will read it, I advice Raila to go for holiday in the Bahamas, take up some job in some country where ideas are valued and send his greetings every once in a while when we are fucked just as a reminder that we need to be smarter in future.

Here is Raila’s concession speech

This dear Kenyans is my rant.

Kenya at 50

Friends since my last post we have had elections which as you remember I had talked about so passionately a while ago for two reasons; one regarding the choice of president and the second reason was to do with the conduct of the general populace after the voting and consequently after the tallying. On the first we tentatively have a president and I don’t like him [on that on a another post] and two you know things are really bad when friends call to congratulate for having a peaceful election not a credible one, as the one we had had been far from credible and I will at least attempt to show why.

With that introduction, I want first to educate you my friends about the history of our country as briefly as can be allowed in one post to where we are now. I ask you bear with me.

I will not cover much of the very early forages into the coastal areas by the Portuguese then the Arabs then Germans in the period of the slave trade since this I think did not affect the mainland in a big way but I felt I should mention it. We have a fort, Fort Jesus, built by the Portuguese in Mombasa in the late 1400s and is one of the attractions at the coast. When you come to visit, please find time and visit.

The history am more concerned with and that is relevant to our topic of today begins with the British protectorate. The British initially had not so much interest in Kenya since the railway line they were building from Mombasa was to take them to Uganda. Things must have changed along the way since when by the time they got to the highlands they must have decided to make it a home. What happened next was the annexation of land owned by natives who were moved to reserves and these fertile highland areas became known as white highlands. The few communities that put up resistance were ruthlessly dealt with. As you all are aware, a time comes when even the slave says to his master and this is what happened in the events leading to the declaration of emergency by the then governor. The different communities [especially the major ones] had different grievances against the colonial government and were united in fighting the good fight. Many lost their lives, others were maimed and others were jailed.

In the history books used in lower and upper primary school [at least at the time when I was in school] presented a picture that I have come to know is different from the facts as they were. It was taught that Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of the republic and prime minister was a member of the Mau Mau and that he fought alongside the greats like Dedan Kimathi and other long forgotten heroes. Well this is as far from the truth as things can get. There was a fallout immediately by those who felt that he had betrayed the reasons why independence was sought. The divisions, who seeds were planted then, seem not to have left us and they have pitched two families, the Odinga’s and the Kenyatta’s,  in a long battle that is where we are now. The difference between the families as it seems to me has always been ideological. When Jaramogi resigned from his post as first vice president, it was on matters of principle. He could not stand the replacement of the white colonialist with a black one. We are at an ideological divide again, we have a fight for constitutionalism and democracy one hand and on another the maintenance of the status quo. Which know which side either family stands.

Sometime ago, I wrote a post where I said human beings as a race are stupid. Today I want to modify it to say that Kenyans are doubly stupid.  I will show you a few tweets from a group of Kenyans who occupy a class called the educated middle class.

image002

These ladies and gentlemen sending these tweets feel themselves as highly educated and progressive and are for all intents and purposes are as tribal as their grandmothers in the village who does not any better! What kind of generation is this. What do they do in the various universities or colleges you attend. Are you able to think beyond your tribe? Or is every issue to you to be reduced to tribe?

The election rules allow for petition for any aggrieved party, what is your problem if he goes to court? Why do you want him to concede if he can show the electoral process was flawed and was not free and fair. What is wrong with him exploring avenues allowed him by the constitution? Why does it seem to heart you so much that you lose all civility and engage in ad hominem attacks?

It is time you grew up from stupidity! If your can’t think for yourselves, let those among you who can think talk for the group but please spare us this level of stupidity and insults!

Unless you didn’t know, the courts exist for one reason, to help in resolving disputes. So while you take high ground insulting one guy who is asking that the electoral body answer as to why there were irregularities you are insulting him. Who is worse?

Look at yourselves, think about what you have written. Does it make you feel intelligent? Do you think you are ahead of him because you can write such invective? You are idiots of the first degree. You want to see more of your stupidity, I will show you and am not going to black out your names, no I want you to always remember when you come here that I called you idiots of the first degree.

Faces of idiots

Faces of idiots

Am still not done with you, those who so call themselves #KOT. You are idiots, you don’t read, you behave like sheep. You saw a friend tweet #someonetellObama and you joined the bandwagon making foolish idiots of yourselves, insulting a gentlemen whose only mistake was to make a wrong comparison while addressing a group of American journalists. Am not saying what he said was in order, am saying your responses were idiotic and does only to show how uninformed you are. I will show you a sample and judge for yourselves whether there was any sense in the vitriol you keep tweeting!

More stupid faces

More stupid faces

The media house kept telling us to keep peace. The question am asking and that must be answered, keep peace at what price? Is peace so important that you media personalities find it so hard to point out election malpractice? You have as a bunch failed in your duty as a public watchdog. You signed contracts to keep your mouth shut no matter what! Well, you forgot that there is electronic media and you don’t control that! While you kept your mouth shut, others were vigilant in ensuring that we do not botch this election. Well, it appears the powers that be may have had other plans. When this is finally over, please look yourselves in the mirror and ask yourself some hard questions, could you have done better? Was the best you could do? And while you are it, ask yourselves why did the BVR kits fail after the massive investment the country put in it. What is the size in bytes of a sms text that would jam a dedicated network? You who have asked us to keep peace must answer us to the price we are going to pay for the peace. You must tell us if integrity, credibility, fairness are also important. How is this peace you want us to keep to be fostered? Are these not the elements that make peace a default?

As I finish this post, I will quote from the speech Raila made on Saturday after the results were announced and I hope those of you who think you win by incivility and insults are deluded!

Those who say he should keep quiet, do you have an explanation for this?

What Kenyans witnessed instead was the failure of virtually every instrument the IEBC had deployed for the election, The poll books, the servers, the telephonic transmission, the BVR – they all failed despite the billions spent on acquiring them. Two days after the vote, the electronic tallying was discarded and fresh counting begun afresh via a manual count.

And for this

In Laikipia North constituency, on Friday the IEBC announced the results of the Presidential vote there – I had 11,908, and the Jubilee candidate had 11,361. But the Laikipia North results had already been announced by the IEBC the day before! The result then was different – I had 11,596 votes while my opponent had 9,707. Where did these extra votes come from? This is not the time to point to other examples of rampant illegality.

And please show some respect for the gentleman. Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if winning by any means is what is important or should fairness and credibility be part of it?

But this time we have a new independent judiciary in which I and most Kenyans have faith. It will uphold the rule of law, and I will abide by its decisions. I will therefore shortly move to court to challenge the outcome that the IEBC announced a few hours ago.

And while you think about that, maybe this video will help you understand how flawed the process was and if you still have a conscience after this you will shut the fuck up! This is just one polling station in Nairobi. What do you think happened in the out stations? Please for the umpteenth time, I ask you use your brains this once!