Jubilee looks abroad to strengthen power grip
The ruling Jubilee is in contact with established parties across the world with the aim of increasing membership and tightening its grip on power.
The latest show of this intent is the visit of South African Deputy President David Mabuza who also serves deputy leader of the African National Congress.
State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu told the Nation that Mr Mabuza held party to party talks.
Once declared a terrorist organisation, ANC which was established in 1912, has ruled South Africa since 1994 following the fall of Apartheid.
With its strong youth and women leagues, it has remained in power despite largely by banking on its grassroots support.
Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju said the new found relationship is focused, as a beginning, on how the other parties carry out political education on state programmes.
“Like housing in the Big Four agenda, we need people to understand how this can stimulate the economy by provide jobs for masons, contractors and carpenters. When you say housing and people do not understand that kind of detail, then it is just another slogan. We do not want that,” he said.
On the relationship with the established parties around the world, Mr Tuju said there are a lot of consultations going on.
“We are learning their systems. They have experience in having strong structures on the ground. We are not necessarily taking everything,” Mr Tuju said.
Last Friday, President Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and Mr Tuju held talks with Mr Mabuza.
In a country where coalitions or political parties hardly survive after an election, Jubilee sees strong political movements as lessons.
Formed by merging the United Republican Party and The National Alliance, Jubilee included smaller parties.
Though critics saw this as dilution of alternative voices, the party’s leadership has intensified its plans to make it a long-lasting outfit.
Jubilee wants to entrench itself as a powerful political force in Kenya as is happening in China, Cuba, South Africa, Tanzania and Rwanda.
Since last year, ahead of the August 8 election, the Jubilee leadership has visited and studied the Communist Party of China, the ANC, the Rwanda Patriotic Front and the Communist Party of Cuba.
“The longevity of these organisations is important, given the high mortality rate of parties in Kenya,” Mr Tuju told the Nation in March.
“We are looking at their structures, organising principles, financing, accountability to members and the country and their succession planning.”
With the majority of the members and having produced presidents for years, the parties in these countries have become synonymous with the State.
Some of their officials are more powerful that government ministers.
In South Africa, they may even yield more power than the country’s president.
After the Cuba visit, Mr Tuju said, the Jubilee officials would visit Tanzania to learn from Chama Cha Mapinduzi and later Europe, where some parties have dominated the political fold.
“Instability in the political space results in an unstable country. When the country is in turmoil, we know the results. Joblessness, an economic downturn, insecurity and hopelessness,” he said.