- Party politics is about discipline and members are expected to adhere to state philosophies and principles.
- Those who have yearned for true democracy are going back to the drawing board to find out what can be done to restore the rule of law.
The decision to remove Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki was more of a political contest than a legislative agenda.
It was the manifestation of Jubilee Party rivalry rather than the practice of parliamentary democracy. Unless checked, this country is sliding fast into dictatorship.
Party leaders, who are individuals with a single vote, are the determinants of what happens in Parliament and define national politics. This is dangerous and anachronistic to the practice of democracy and independence of Parliament.
Two weeks ago, the Senate voted to defrock Kipchumba Murkomen and Susan Kihika as majority leader and majority chief whip, respectively.
Their greatest fault, like Prof Kindiki’s, is to align to the Jubilee wing that coalesces around Deputy President William Ruto, who, for all intents and purposes, has fallen out with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
When Kenyans ratified the 2010 Constitution that created a distinct division among the three arms of government – the Legislature, Judiciary and Executive – the objective was to establish independent institutions and depart from the previous one-man show.
Before then, the President determined everything and other arms of government acquiesced. It seems we have not made progress in enforcing that demarcation.
Even so, the prevailing situation is a reality check. Jubilee is in itself a vehicle pieced together to win an election but without any underpinning political ideology.
Those who won the elections used it purely as a vehicle to power. And even those who were subsequently appointed to positions of responsibility in Parliament were thrust there courtesy of the party leaders.
On reflection, it would be argued that some of those holding crucial positions in Parliament never merited them.
But the concern now is that the Jubilee administration is acting ruthlessly and in disregard of even its own rules. Decisions are made elsewhere and imposed on Parliament and by implication, the entire nation.
The game is not over yet and the country is going to witness more bloodbath in the Senate and the National Assembly, with plans to oust chairs of various parliamentary committees essentially because of their political leanings.
Those who have yearned for true democracy are going back to the drawing board to find out what can be done to restore the rule of law and civility in politics.
Party politics is about discipline and members are expected to adhere to state philosophies and principles.
But that does not preclude divergence of opinions, because that is what democracy is all about. The call we are making is that we need to democratise parties and create institutions where members have a say.
It is only then that parties can promote democratic governance.