By Dr. Nana Busia
Nope, NASA and Jubilee Manifesto are not the same. Let’s break this down together.
1. NASA’s point of departure from Jubilee in their manifesto is that one needs a nation before you even start state building. Seek ye first a nation state and all things shall be added unto it.
Without A sense of a nation all economic development efforts will crumble on any slight shock. That is why NASA is very focused on national reconciliation and de-tribalizing Kenya’s political economy.
NASA therefore distinguishes state building as institution and legal architecture, from nation building as building an inclusive society. This is very important and only a Stateman can weave these. It’s when this is done that you get a nation state. In Kenya today, there is a disconnect between state and nation.
2. Both parties believe in the market or private sector. However Jubilee’s ideology of the market is called primitive capitalism. This Simply means one uses the state to accumulate wealth and become rich, its styled primitive because it is an unbridled form of capitalism. It aims at super profits. It stops at nothing during accumulation, not excluding killing persons that in the mind of such capitalist class those they see as obstacle to individual accumulation. Hence a lot of what is called political killings in Kenya’s political history: eg JM, Mboya, Pio G pinto, Ouko, Juma, Saitoti, Mumias sugar legal officer etc
In this case of capitalism the government breaks its own laws. What some scholars called rogue state. A government that breaks or openly undermine its own laws allows for mega corruption. Githongo has really educated us all on this with Kenyan case study.
This group always hold on tenaciously to state power lest others get a share of the loot or accumulation. They do everything to retain state power, any means. That’s primitive capitalism.
NASA on the other hand believes as social democrats in regulated capitalism. Market, private sector all have to adhere to some rules. Profit yes but not super profits from mega corruption at the expense of National Values, National Cohesion and National Wealth and Resources.
3. NASA has an approach of people centred development. Big infrastructure should all be people oriented. Some of jubilee infrastructure has no social linkages. But look for example at NASA’s pastoralist program (PALIMAP). Economic development under NASA is congruent with the social justice and national building project. That’s when you get what the UN and our constitution in article 10 calls Sustainable development.
4. NASA is consistent ideologically on the form of government Kenya needs. There is a marked difference between the two: Jubilee and NASA. One is for concentration of power at the centre and again there is a reason why:
Centralization of power is the sin qua non for primitive capitalist accumulation. It allows the party to control the resources and thus the political power. This is the reason that in Jubilee government, devolved functions still have 80% of the line ministry budget being spent by Central government on behalf of the counties.
A case in point is Medical equipment at the Ministry of Health. This birthed what’s now Mafya scandal and high debts per county without the requisite Human resource to even properly put to good use the equipment.
NASA wants decentralisation of political power and resource distribution. This has been well articulated by The PM for ages now.
NASA and Jubilee are very different. In summary; The People and The Process are as important if not even more important than the Projects.