Kenya’s youngest president, Uhuru Kenyatta, had his 8th August, 2017 re-election to a new presidential term recently nullified by Kenya’s Supreme Court. This was unprecedented in the annals of justice in Africa. Kenyatta, (popularly called Kamwana, meaning “young man”) now faces a re-run on 26th October, 2017. Though, this is now uncertain, due to opposition party fears and that of the Kenyan section of the International Commission of Jurists over the Kenyatta government’s undue meddling with and undermining of Kenya’s electoral commission.
According to John Githongo, the respected anti-corruption campaigner, Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration was “the most corrupt in Kenya’s history”. Kenyatta, however, calls himself “the digital president” and refers to his main and formidable contender, Raila Odinga, as an “analogue politician”. But whether we accept Kenyatta’s description of himself as accurate, the fact is that in most societies today, there are just two types of political parties. One is the Analogue party: the other is the Digital.
The characteristics of the Analogue party are recognizable and familiar to all Belizeans. It contains some, if not all, of the following 30 remarkably distinctive and destructive features, which are namely:-
2. Obsessed with accessing and retaining power, by any means necessary.
6. Inefficient and thus ineffectual.
13. A captive of powerful, pernicious, manipulative individuals or groups.
14. Unpatriotic – placing individual, family, group, or/and party interests above those of the nation.
15. Subverting/Manipulating the Constitution and government agencies on behalf of criminal, personal, pecuniary, political and foreign agendas.
16. Catering primarily to elite concerns and those of party financiers..
17. Indifferent to the needs of young people and minorities, thus totally failing to protect, provide, and invest in their future.
18. Ignorant, uncaring and unresponsive to the needs of the underclass – the most disadvantaged in society.
19. Planless, with limited, short term goals.
20. Lacking in capacity to mobilize the citizenry to positive action when national interests are endangered.
21. Mediocre and intellectually vacuous leadership, at “bargain-basement” level.
22.Hostility to the independence, originality, sagacity and brilliance of other stakeholders, thus ridiculing, excluding and even hounding them into silence.
23. Discouraging and suppressing dissent by intimidating and repressive means.
24. Hatred for independent and objective media organizations.
25. Disinterested in leaving behind a noble legacy.
26. Arrogant. This is manifested in barely concealed contempt for the electorate.
28. Morally empty.
29. Ideologically bankrupt.
When Analogue parties fail to reform, adapt and transform themselves into Digital parties, which are the direct opposite of all the features listed here, their fate will be exactly like that of the dinosaur. Such political parties will atrophy, die and eventually be swept away into the dustbin of history. More to the point, they will become a cautionary footnote, rather than a key chapter in their nation’s political history.
Thérèse Belisle Nweke