Many will take time to come to terms with the political parties purge taking shape in Kenya. Some will even refer to it as dictatorship. But truth be said, political parties have since the advent of multiparty democracy in Kenya been toothless bulldogs not able to regulate their members. In essence, political parties should be powerful institutions with authority to regulate their members within the context of democracy.
And this power is derived from Section 14 (5) (e) of the Political Parties Act which provides that “a person who while being a member of a political party, promotes the ideology, interests or policies of another political party shall be deemed to have resigned from his or her Party.” True democracy demands that if you no longer agree with your party, you resign and seek s fresh mandate on another party. Raila resigned as a Ford-Kenya MP in 1994 and sought a fresh mandate on NDP in Langata Constituency.
In Britain, Theresa May was kicked out of power by her Conservative Party. The Party accorded her the option of stepping down. In South Africa, Presidents Thabo Mbeki and his successor Jacob Tsuma were sacked by their ANC Party. In US, it took the effort of Republicans in the Senate (equivalent of Jubilee’s a Parliamentary Group meeting) to save Donald Trump from impeachment.
Parties should be strong institutions to improve democracy and Governance not just special purpose vehicles for politicians to seek to acquire political power and dump once mission is accomplished. The strengthening of political parties in a work in progress for example since the new constitution the parties are now funded by the national treasury and also do raise some funds from the membership and thus should not be a kiosk of a multi-millionare to fund and control.
With the funding from National Treasury the parties should have a strong, professionally managed secretariat that should stand firm against bullying by the party leadership.
By Kiberenge Jnr