- We have tried a two-party system, a one-party system with autocratic leadership, a multi-party system and a grand coalition.
- Corruption has now reached epidemic proportions and seems to have been institutionalised across the board.
- The time has now come to make radical changes to our system of governance based on fair play and inclusivity.
Since Kenya’s independence in 1963, we have tried almost all democratic systems of governance.
We have tried a two-party system, a one-party system with autocratic leadership, a multiparty system and a grand coalition.
Now, it is back to a two-party system based on tribal groupings and tyranny of numbers.
The nation seems divided into two because of deep-rooted tribal affiliations, a personality cult and a winner-takes-all mentality with exclusivity of the Opposition.
Since 1992, when we adopted the multiparty system, six out of seven presidential elections have been disputed on grounds of electoral fraud.
The one held on August 8 was nullified through a petition.
As a result, a repeat presidential election was held on October 26 but opposition leader Raila Odinga withdrew from the race.
In the past 54 years since independence, we have elected just four presidents from only two tribes with enormous power and wealth centered on the presidency.
All the ruling parties and their senior members primarily have one motto: “It is our right to eat.”
Even leaders in opposition parties are not much different.
They are also tied to a few personalities and tribal chiefs, waiting for “their turn to eat” if elected, with very little ideological differences from the ruling parties of which they were once senior members.
Corruption has now reached epidemic proportions and seems to have been institutionalised across the board, both in the public as well as the private sector.
We have created an unequal society of ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ with the top 0.5 per cent of the population having more wealth than the bottom 50 per cent.
The average GDP growth for the past 10 years since Vision 2030 was launched has remained around five per cent.
Due to our culture of dependency on outsiders and our appetite for foreign goods, we have created an import oriented consumer economy, with our import bill almost three times that of our exports.
The time has now come to make radical changes to our system of governance based on fair play and inclusivity for the entire country rather than loosely keep talking of civil disobedience, secession plans, and drumming up war cries.
Having tried almost all democratic systems of governance, maybe we should try a home-grown no-party hybrid parliamentary system, where people will elect leaders of their choice, not imposed upon them by tribal chiefs or party hawks.
In this system, MPs will be democratically elected as individuals by their constituencies, without any party affiliations and without the patronage of any godfathers and future presidential candidates.
The 290 MPs will then group themselves into nine provinces (the old eight and Rift Valley split into two), with 12 MPs nominated from each of the nine provinces, to form an electoral college of 108 MPs.
The top-ranking individual from each province will become the leader of that province.
The electoral college will then elect the president and his deputy, and maybe a prime minister and his deputy, from the top nine provincial leaders, through a secret electronic balloting system based on ranking order for each position.
This system will work broadly on the following lines, and shown in the accompanying chart.
1. Each of the current 290 constituencies will elect their own MPs through a normal democratic election process as ‘independents’ without any party affiliations or patronage of any godfather.
Their election will be solely based on their past track record and their vision for the future.
Any number of candidates can, of course, vie for the seat in each constituency.
However, only those who garner over 25 per cent of votes cast in each constituency will be eligible for State funding.