Organisational Approaches To The Kenyan Political Crisis

One of the political solutions offered by Kenyan parliamentary parties,  to the country’s protracted class based social and political conflicts, is for the formation of a federal state; or splitting the country in two. Another is the formation of a government of national unity. These ideas originate from the mainstream political parties in tandem with the mainstream media which acts as an echo chamber for them. Are these practical solutions for the millions of Kenyans who have to bear the onslaught of a state hell-bent on protecting minority interests?

The neo-colonial political heritage brought in its wake the effective creation of Bantustan entities in Kenya; of certain regions being associated with certain ethnic groups. Hence we find the Mount Kenya region, the Rift Valley region, the Mombassa/Coastal region and the North-eastern region being the main ones. As such, the development of a national political outlook was always a problematic one for progressives involved in Kenyan liberation politics. One initiative that started in the 1990s was the creation of Bunga la Mwananchi (the People’s Parliament) as an inclusive, loosely structured forum aimed at debating and discussing Kenya’s political-economy. It aimed at combatting the ethnic exclusivity that arose in the country’s politics, especially during election times. The emergence and operations of the World and African Social Forums during the early 2000s dovetailed with this organisation’s very broad “un-hierarchial” and “grassroots” orientation. The eventual demise of the Social Forums raised the question as to which gains African resistance struggles have made at the time, and how a much needed continuity in coordinated struggle could be organised. Campaigns and struggles of the People’s Parliament in conjunction with NGOs over time focussed on the 2010 constitutional reforms as well as attempts at raising the level of struggle to a more overt political level.

There have been recent calls from activists in Kenya, as well as academics and media workers for, amongst other things, the formation of a united front to oppose the repressive policies of the government. Other calls have been for “a people’s revolution” and for “socialism”. These calls represent a challenge to all progressives on the continent to forge closer organisational links with their Kenyan comrades.

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