Kenya is still a neocolonial state. The economy is largely in the hands of foreign imperial interests with pockets of individual “national’ capital left in the hands of national baronial elites. These barons, agents of foreign imperial forces, are strategically located at the top echelons of government, and at higher levels of management in the private sector, make policies for personal and foreign imperial interests compromising our politics and the independence of the country. Primitive accumulation, state capture and the control of security forces is covered up by a narrative carefully crafted by foreign public relations companies hired by these barons, painting the illusion of Kenya as a young, peaceful and vibrant democracy in a troubled region.
Manifestos of most parties are similar, with very little to distinguish them. Many promise to foster economic growth; improve education, health, and infrastructure; create employment; and, significantly, fight corruption without any clear roadmap on how to achieve this. Without any clear ideological and policy agenda, the electorate is left without much of a choice. It is no wonder that people revert to type and vote on the basis of the candidates’ personalities or their ethnicity, or the region they come from, or religion and clan they come from rather than unite to fight the main scourge which is imperialism and neo-colonialism by foreign and local agents.
A “messianic” approach to leadership, littered with broken Memoranda of Understanding has been at the centre since independence. Mobilisation of ethnic barons who use the voting numbers of their political bases to negotiate for positions has traditionally been the organising principle around presidential elections. And yet, once political power is attained, individualistic leadership becomes the order of the day. The coalition seeks a fundamental shift in how we organise for political power and how we put together the leadership team. It advocates a shift from a “messianic” to “collective” leadership. The emphasis is on a leadership team, rather than one heroic individual.
The coalition’s ideological grounding seeks to unify the national agenda and lead the fight against the imperialism, all forms of fascism and neo-colonialism.
The unifying ideology of Kongamano La Mapinduzi is based on a socialist democratic platform whereby all citizens are legally entitled to full rights and freedoms. These rights include universal access to public goods and services such as food, water, sanitation, clean environment, the right to work, housing, education, health care, workers’ compensation, and other services, including childcare and care for the elderly. The social democracy platform also advocates the human right of all persons to freedom from discrimination in all areas. This is towards an alternative system based on the social ownership and democratic control of the means of the production, exchange, and distribution – a fair, just and equitable system. This ideology is in part reflected in the 2010 Constitution, but the Coalition seeks to consolidate its fundamental pillars, rescue its weaknesses so as to establish a society that can imagine and think of an even better society.
The key issues are land rights and justice; employment and decent livelihoods, growth of our industries, resolution of the national debt crisis, dealing a death blow to corruption and the networks and conditions that sustain it; electoral justice, equality and equity, transformation of the security and defense services into authentic public interest and citizen protection services, human rights and social justice, environmental justice; and tax justice.
Kongamano la Mapinduzi’s radical positions on these key issues, among others, encompass the Coalition’s trajectory of struggle. When we talk of TEKELEZA KATIBA it is because the 2010 Constitution has mitigating and progressive provisions on these issues. The right ideology and politics at this historical juncture in Kenya is a radical Socialist democracy in which the interventions of the state in the economy must put “we the people” at the centre of development. This is the crux of state interventions under radical social democracy. But in a country where the state has been captured by the barons, we must first free the state. We must remove the barons from government and state power first.
When the Constitution of Kenya provides for the equitable distribution of national resources (captured by provisions on devolution, economic, social, and cultural rights, protection of the marginalised communities and individuals, checks on finance and the incurring of national debts, and the centrality and supremacy of the people of Kenya in all societal matters) state intervention is seriously implicated in that responsibility.
The Constitution provides for various state interventions to ground the paradigm of radical social democracy. These state interventions will politically serve the purpose of the creation of a fundamental basis for the overthrow of baronial politics, end to colonialism and the building of a better society. This is the basis of the argument that Kongamano la Mapinduzi is engaged in a struggle in the short-term, medium-term, and long-term. TELEKEZA KATIBA encompasses the first two stages with a deep focus on the last.
The material conditions of our people are so bad to not want a radical revolution. What is lacking is the people’s consciousness and its organisation and inspiration into formidable capacities to bring change. Coupled with this is the fear of the state, given the heavy-handedness of the security forces against dissenting voices.
Kongamano La Mapinduzi is therefore a unity of forces that place the interests of the people and the nation’s political agenda towards the radical transformation of the country.