Alliance building should be for the good of the country

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By Machel Waikenda

As the clock ticks towards March 4 General Election and in line with strict constitutional timelines, the hottest political item today is the building of alliances.

Indeed by the time you are done reading this article you will be bombarded with news of yet another group of like-minded politicians seeking to form alliances, coalitions, partnerships, or whichever fancy names they give to these unions.

Political coalitions have been built since time immemorial and have been used to overcome political challenges. Kenya is not new to political coalitions and the most memorable but which had the most spectacular collapse was the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) that removed KANU from its 24 year stranglehold on power.

Touted as the best coalition ever and a case study for Africa, the collapse of the NARC coalition was a blot on Kenya’s image, political maturity and confidence as a country. It was solely blamed on ethnic and personal ambition of power of some key players. It set a bad precedent and any attempt to build an alliance has been met with suspicion because of the Narc experience.

While NARC may have been ten years ago, the fall out with Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) where the Pentagon members had formed an alliance based on power sharing is still fresh. NARC had given Kenyans so much hope and its collapse crushed their hopes.

These are events in the country’s history that has made coalition building become a sensitive almost secretive affair and this what the law is trying to cure by providing an avenue where parties seeking to form an alliance can deposit an agreement with the Registrar of Political Parties and which becomes a legal binding document.

The dramatic collapse of political alliances in Kenya and the resultant cries of betrayal have happened because the alliances were not based on a common ideology, shared vision for the country, healing and unifying the nation – but simply for the sole purpose of pursuit of power.

When the pursuit of power is the only reason for consummating a union, then the minute the power is achieved the alliance collapses because there is nothing more that binds it. The pursuit of power becomes an end rather than a means to an end. It is for this reason that The National Alliance (TNA) has adopted a different strategy in its coalition building.

The alliances TNA is building and continues to build are aimed at uniting communities, healing and reconciliation and more importantly peace building. As a country emerging from post conflict, alliance building is the best strategy to hasten healing especially among communities that have been involved in conflict.

The alliances TNA is pursuing are not just aimed at acquiring power as some have alleged, but instead they are aimed at unifying communities, bringing them together to ensure they tackle their problems together because they have a shared destiny.

TNA will continue to pursue coalitions that are beneficial to Kenyans and is keen at alliances that are likely to foster peace and tranquility in the country. The country is in dire need of healing and the best way is to bring communities together in one grand alliance so that Kenya can move as one and united.
We have noted that some of the individuals who are busy rubbishing alliances and negatively referring them as tribal are the same ones behind the fall of previous coalitions that had brought so much hope to Kenyans.

TNA’s approach to alliances is that they must be beneficial to Kenyans and are not based on personal ambitions for power but for the good of the country.

Political parties must play their role in creating unity in Kenya and should not be the source of divisions. Kenyans must be able to embrace each other despite a difficult past and forge ahead as a united nation.

As a party TNA is committed to the transformation of this country and is ready and willing to work with like minded individuals and parties that subscribe to our ideologies. Our vision is to form an all inclusive government that reflects the face of all 42 tribes of our country and our union will be a national one. We seek to form a united, strong and committed team that will carry the collective dream of Kenyans and one which we can truly call a National Alliance.

(The writer is the Director of Communications of The National Alliance – TNA. [email protected])

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  • Mine

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  • Lets_Be_Real

    are u kidding me?? do we live in the same country??? with ruto saying the coalition “will bring kikuyu’s and kalenjins together”, how is that uniting kenyans? why can’t TNA see the writing on the wall and leave kenyans in peace!!!!!!

    • @Lets_Be_Real: Sickening reasoning pervades our guys in central Kenya. Uhuru, with his little knowledge in politics, is certainly driving a whole community in to the wild. However, before he is soundly defeated, he wont understand that politics is not done in tribal numbers. In 2005, Kibaki was still the president but failed to use that tribal card to get things done. And dont forget he was still then a veteran politician. Would Uhuru superpass him? I truly hugely doubt it!

  • jj

    Besides building a coalition what’s your agenda for the country, where’s your manifesto that captures how the country will be governed in the next five years. Is this a coalition of the accused with hidden agenda?

  • Boiyot

    ‘The dramatic collapse of political alliances in Kenya and the resultant cries of betrayal have happened because the alliances were not based on a common ideology, shared vision for the country, healing and unifying the nation – but simply for the sole purpose of pursuit of power.’

    I quote you above because that is exactly what will happen if TNA and URP get into power… UK is big headed, Ruto is big headed…. And both of them are lying to each other that they can split the running of government in the middle!
    We know the president will call the shots, the deputy will cry he wasn’t consulted, and all of a sudden history will most probably be repeating itself.

  • Mutwa

    Great article. We know well that some leaders came into the NARC coalition were looking for power through the back door, remember Prime Minister with executive power but appointed by the elected President! The TNA and URP pact I believe well prepared and now that we have a law where alliances agreements have to be deposited with the Political Parties registrar they will have to work together once they get into power.

  • shoemay kagio

    This alliances can never be a cure to criminal activities. Let the government go for those who maimed, killed destroyed property etc during PEV. It is quite strange TNA/URP wants to benefit from the proceeds of PEV through facile concepts like reconciliation. I declare it a deceiption of the decade!

  • Alliance building is NOT raw tribalism marked by desperation and fear. It can never be about crippling the country to protect criminals wanted by the highest criminal court in the world. You dont just crown yourself prince on account of tribal numbers and imagine that you are going to force all other people in to such tribal outfits. Kenyans have had enough of tribalism that has been deliberately allowed to grow in order to create space for tribal appointments. Any attempt that has potential to be anti-Kenyan MUST be nibbed in the bud. Thats how Uhuru’s selfish enterprise is being seen by majority of Kenyans. Compared to PM Raila, Uhuru becomes the worse off choice. His cant even be called alliance. Its something close to treasonable venture. Any politician aligning himself to him is likely to disappear forever from poltical screen only a while later. Brother Ruto took that risk because of sackfuls of money handed over to him. The ICC matter was also proving too stressful to call.

    Uhuru and Ruto are bereft of conventional wisdom. Nevertheless, thats understandable since they are desperate after their crimes against humanity cases were confirmed by ICC. Needless to say, their charges are the most serious that can be prefered against anyone by ICC. Whats not understandable is their desire to drag the country along in their personal problems. That they deliberately created a tribal deceptive situation that afforded them opportunity to lie about their cases is not in doubt indeed. Infact, Kenyans need to ask themselves what their intentions are! Are they really going to coperate with ICC when eternity of imprisonment in cold places is definitely in the offing? And these trips in the neighboring bushes, where they not meant to escape that hard unkind reality?

    Honest coalitions cant be equated with criminal gangs hellbent on self-preservation.
    Gangs that would stir tribal feelings to attempt usurp power cant be termed as coalitions at whatever guise. People driven by desire to use their kinsmen to ascend to power to try to escape justice cant be truly equated with political aliances. NARC, ODM and others were truly alliances with discernable objectives. They were not tribal outfits driven by mere raw insulting tribalism. TNA/URP are maliciously united by mere logic of tribal numbers that has little or no consideration for other communities in the Republic. Its actually treachery of the highest order! Thats because the country is currently about to collapse under the weight of tribalism. And anyone attempting to add further weight on that, can only be seen not to mean well for all of us.

    Ruto and his bunch of Mps were actually paid to sing songs that sound plausible. But they should be told that Kenyans have suffered alot in the past under such twisted selfish arrangements. Thus, that plausibility will be a too hard sale indeed. They should prepare themselves for defeat marked by disgrace. Furthermore, leaders are supposed to be people who love their country. Not individuals who would sell their motherland for 3 pieces of silver! Supposed leaders cant be scavengers who feast on whatever come their way. You cant pretend to be for the good of this country, when your actions are geared at causing misery to citizens. That in other words, is called treason! How Kenyans are expected to elect such treasonable characters already with ICC chains on their hands remains to be seen!!!!

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