MULTIPARTY DEMOCRACY OF KENYA

A multi-party system is a political system in which multiple political parties across the political spectrum run for national elections, and all have the capacity to gain control of government offices, separately or in coalition.

The multiparty democracy was moved by several factors which included:-

Following the breakup of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the United States as the sole superpower, many developing nations experienced intense pressure, internally and externally, to switch from single-party to multiparty rule. In November 1991, Western donors acting through the World Bank halted foreign aid while demanding government reform.  Multiparty administrations were perceived as better alternatives to single-party administrations, which were labeled dictatorial and tyrannical. Multipartyism was believed to provide more freedom of expression, in addition to checks and balances on officials in government.

During the 1990s, a wave of democratization swept across the African continent. The wave took many different shapes and forms, and sometimes (as in the case of Kenya) international pressure was pivotal in bringing about change.

The Moi government had since 1986 faced mounting criticism from Kenyan church groups, and there had also been a series of riots throughout the country in July 1990.  Several church leaders, among them Alexander Muge, Bishop Henry Okullu and Rev. Timothy Njoya called upon the government to create an environment in which Kenyans could participate in government.

 

Disunity in KANU. There was pressure from individuals who had been expelled from KANU without political alternatives like Jaramogi Oginga Odinga who later formed the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD) in May 1991. FORD was later officially announced in July 1991 and subsequently declared illegal by the Moi government. Several members of FORD were arrested in November 1991 prior to a pro-democracy rally, which despite having been banned by the government took place. The arrests caused the international community to react strongly with outrage and, more importantly, withdrawing of financial funds. On 26 November 1991 the West discontinued bilateral aid to Kenya.

These events later led to the legalization of opposition parties in December 1991. In a way this enabled Moi and KANU to control the legislative process by having seized the initiative for reform towards a multi-party system. Primarily because of international pressure, but due to domestic pressure as well, president Moi agreed to reforming the party system. A reform that would end the monopoly on political power that his party, KANU, held but also reforms that would address Kenya’s record on human rights that

had come under international scrutiny and increasing criticism. Furthermore, in December 1991, former vice-president Mwai Kibaki, then minister of health, resigned and founded the Democratic Party (DP).

Later in August 1992, FORD split into two factions, which were registered in October as two separate parties. First, the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy -Asili (FORD-Asili) led by Kenneth Matiba (today by Martin Shikuku) and also Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Kenya (FORD-Kenya) led by Oginga Odinga. Oginga Odinga died in 1994 and was replaced by Michael Kijana Wamalwa. In 1995, Raila Odinga (son of Oginga Odinga) claimed to have ousted Wamalwa as chairman of FORD-Kenya. Strife broke out within the party and as of December 1996 Odinga was reportedly expelled from FORD-Kenya. Odinga announced that he instead had joined the National Development Party and that he had voluntarily resigned from FORD-Kenya. In October 1997 Matiba’s faction of FORD-Asili registered as an independent party, Forum for the Restoration of Democracy for the people (FORD-People). Only FORD-Kenya gained enough votes in the two consecutive elections of 1992 and 1997 to qualify for study.

During the first half of 1992, around 2000 people were killed in tribal clashes in Western Kenya. Consequently, the government put a ban on political rallies, a ban that was later lifted after protests organized by FORD. In December 1992 both presidential and parliamentary elections were held, but because of the oppositions’ lack of cohesiveness and inability to form an alliance against KANU, Moi and KANU were able to remain in control. However, it is contested how free and fair these elections really were, and to what extent Moi and his political machine used their incumbent status to control the results.  In 1998 Moi was elected to a fourth term as president with 36.3% of the vote ahead of Kenneth Matiba (26.0%), Mwai Kibaki (19.5%) and Oginga Odinga (17.5%). Of the 188 seats in the National Assembly, KANU won 100, FORD- Asili and FORD-Kenya gained 31 seats each and Democratic Party got 23 seats.

After the 1992 elections tribal clashes continued. In May 1995 a new political party, SAFINA, was formed by opposition activists who claimed that the party intended to fight for human rights and against corruption. The chairman at the time was Mutari Kigano, a prominent human rights lawyer, and as secretary general SAFINA appointed Dr Richard Leakey, a prominent white Kenyan. Today SAFINA is led by Farah Maalim (chairman) and Mghanga Mwandawiro (secretary general).

The Kenya today is marked by increased tension between ethnic groups. Tension that goes back to the days when Jomo Kenyatta was president (1964-1978) and the Kikuyu dominated Kenyan politics. The extent of Kikuyu domination came to alienate the Luo and other ethnic groups within the country. The Kikuyu is the largest ethnic group in Kenya, followed in size by Luhya, Luo, Kamba, Kalenjin and a host of other smaller ethnic groups. Daniel Arap Moi belongs to the Kalenjin group. In Kenya, “Democratization has resulted in reaffirmation of ethnic identities, with political parties emerging along ethnoregional criteria rather than ideological ones.”

The 1992 multi-party election did not change who was in power, and neither the level of corruption within the government. As before, the international community used its weight to put pressure on Kenya to take action against official corruption. However, this time pressure came from the International Monetary Fund who suspended payments in August 1997 pending action on Kenya’s part. Kenya promptly inaugurated an anti-corruption body. However, in late August serious strife erupted in and around Mombasa, essentially along ethnic lines.

Factionalism among the opposition prevented them from presenting a unified front against Moi and KANU in the 1997 elections as was the case in the 1992 elections. Furthermore, again there were widespread allegations of fraud surrounding the election. The December 29, 1997 election reelected Daniel arap Moi as President. In the 1997 presidential election Moi gained 40.64% of the popular vote, Mwai Kibaki 31.49%, Raila Odinga 11.06%, Michael Wamalwa 8.40%, and Charity Kaluki Ngilu 7.81%. In the election to the National Assembly, KANU won 107 out of the now 210 available seats. Out of the opposition, DP gained 39 seats, National Development Party 21 seats, FORD-Kenya 17 seats, and SDP won 15 seats. After the election in 1997, ethnic groups clashed again, this time primarily in the Rift Valley. With the 1997 election Moi was elected to his fifth and final term as president.

Original Parties, from 1950-1962, still continuing to 2000

The Kenya African National Union (KANU) became the single party in the de facto one party state that emerged in Kenya after 1969, only to legally become the only party in 1982. KANU still remains in power, with president Daniel arap Moi as president and the head of state.

New Parties formed after 1962 and continuing to 2000

Democratic Party of Kenya (DP) was founded by Mwai Kibaki in December 1991. Kibaki being Kikuyu appealed greatly to this part of Kenyan society. DP is in general associated with big business and the Kikuyu power elite from the Kenyatta years. The formation of DP clearly undermined KANU’s power among the Kikuyu group when many of them defected to DP from KANU. In many ways therefore, the DP leaders represented the interests of Kenya’s indigenous bourgeoisie. DP favored economic liberalization and privatization of state-owned enterprises. Even though the DP claimed democracy as part of its party’s name, it did not pay much attention to democracy, but concentrated on the old Kikuyu oligarchy.

Forum for the Restoration of Democracy – Kenya (FORD-Kenya) originally was formed in May 1991 as FORD, but later became FORD-Kenya when FORD split up in two factions in August 1992, FORD-Asili and FORD-Kenya. However, only FORD-Kenya has been able to sustain somewhat of a political presence in the two elections 1992 and 1997. It is seen as a radical party, in clear opposition to KANU. Oginga Odinga had been the former KPU leader and one of the most prominent left-wingers in Kenya’s first government after independence. FORD-Kenya was by far the most nationally oriented and intellectual of the opposition parties in Kenya. However, this caused FORD-Kenya to concentrate on national issues and to conduct a Western style election campaign, in a country were grass roots mobilization and local issues are the key to success.

National Development Party (NDP) is led by Raila Odinga (President) and Dr. Charles Maranga (secretary general). The NDP was founded in 1994.

Social Democratic Party (SDP) was founded in 1992. The chairman is Mrs. Charity Kuluki Ngilu and the secretary general is Maurice Kamau Rubia.

Original Parties, from 1950-1962, terminating before 2000

The Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU), sought to safeguard the interests of the country’s minorities against the Kikuyu dominated KANU, dissolved voluntarily in 1964.

THE 2002 ELECTIONS

 

On 25 October 2002, President Daniel arap Moi officially announced the end of his 24-year rule of the country, dissolving Parliament and launching the electoral campaign for the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for 27 December 2002.

President Moi was constitutionally barred from running for a new term. The nomination of his successor, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s founding president Jomo Kenyatta, split the ruling party, the Kenyan African National Union (KANU), leading key party and government officials to resign and defect to the main broad-based opposition alliance, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC).

The elections marked the first time since the establishment of a multiparty system in 1991 that the opposition was able to offer a coherent challenge to the KANU party. Unlike in the two previous elections, when the opposition was fragmented, in 2002 the NARC was a strong alliance of opposition parties that had promised sweeping constitutional reforms and an end to corruption.

Two weeks before the polls, ten political parties signed an electoral code of conduct amid rising incidents of violence, foul language and claims of vote-buying.

Among the five candidates vying for the Presidency, the two main contenders were Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Mwai Kibaki, the leader of the NARC. Mr Kibaki, a former Vice-President, ran a campaign based on corruption-related issues and Mr. Kenyatta’s lack of political experience, as well as direct attacks on KANU and the country’s rulers for the last 39 years characterised by corruption and mismanagement. He further stressed the fact that the country’s economy was in the doldrums and that the IMF had suspended aid because of concerns about corruption.

Mr Kenyatta had to campaign hard to distance himself from his mentor, outgoing President Moi. Mr. Kenyatta had only entered Parliament in October 2001 as a member nominated by the President, after a failed electoral bid in 1997. During the campaign, he promised to clean up KANU and presented himself as a “fresh face” untainted by power, pointing out that the NARC was full of recent defectors from KANU and led by the “old generation”.

A total of 40,000 local and foreign observers were accredited by the Electoral Commission, making these the most closely scrutinised polls in the country’s history. Both the European Union and the Commonwealth election monitoring groups congratulated Kenyans on conducting free, fair and peaceful elections.

The opposition won an overwhelming majority in both the presidential and parliamentary elections. In Parliament, the NARC took 126 seats out of the 210 at stake, as against 64 for KANU.

On 29 December 2002, opposition leader, Mr. Kibaki was declared Kenya’s third President. He was sworn in on the following day.

Kenya was at a point of consolidating its democratic gains when a government with a reform agenda, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), came to power after winning the December 2002 general election. NARC had campaigned on a reform platform, promising to promote economic recovery and good governance reforms. The new government did then implement some good governance reforms, such as initiating the fight against corruption and setting up a semi-autonomous human rights agency. But the government abandoned the reform path halfway after the coalition collapsed due to internal disagreements over power and the distribution of spoils in particular. After the collapse, NARC, like the previous governments, began to secure power for those in leadership positions. A small group of ethnic elites close to President Mwai Kibaki pulled the government out of the reform agenda. They started to consolidate political power by manipulating the political environment and reneging on some of the promises made before coming to power. They manipulated the constitutional review process to come up with a draft that reflected their political interests. They preferred a constitution that favoured their desire to secure a hold on power. This contradiction, in which gains are made through struggles for democracy, but are then reversed through state actions and the practice of politics, has considerably undermined the concrete realisation of participatory democracy. The dispute over the presidential election resulted in unprecedented violence, which divided the country into two major ethno-regional blocs that were fiercely opposed to each other. The post-2007 election violence reversed many of the democratic and economic gains made since the return of multi-party democracy in 1991. The space for the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms contracted. Society became more polarised. Ironically, the post-2007 election crisis paved the way for a greater gain: the promulgation of a new constitution. The crisis revealed a number of fundamental weaknesses in Kenya’s political system that required addressing to prevent future conflicts over contestation for political power. The international mediation resolved that constitutional and institutional reforms were a requisite in this respect. The parties signed a National Accord that outlined the steps towards a new constitution and institutional reforms. A new constitution was promulgated in August 2010.

Kenyans enthusiastically participated in a referendum on August 4, 2010, choosing to ratify a new Constitution that was subsequently adopted on August 27. For Kenyans, this signaled a new era in which norms, beliefs, and principles would be established in order to fulfill their deepest aspirations for equality and inclusive citizenship.

The constitution also offered a wide-ranging framework and a platform for youth engagement, representation, and participation. Now that the 2010 constitution has been in effect for ten years, we may look back on the successes and difficulties that have come with its implementation regards to the youth

The constitution made a guarantee about youth engagement,  but haven’t been completely involved despite having a lot of potential to guide national growth.

Youth leaders have pushed for these places in support of democracy and governance yet some of the youth are not even aware of their rights. The negotiations on the National Accord revealed that constitutional review, among other reforms, was urgently required to prevent a recurrence of violence.

A new constitution had remained elusive until a National Accord provided a framework and timelines for the review, under a bipartisan leadership, of the parties in the coalition government.

 

Before the coming into force of the 2010 Constitution, the youth were a highly neglected part of the Kenyan society in terms of the laws put in place to ensure their protection and representation. For instance, the most notorious clause in this law was the anti-discrimination clause, Section 82, which excluded age as a ground for discrimination. In this law, age was only mentioned as a cap for retiring from and qualifying for certain positions or as a justification for the limitation of certain rights.

In addition, there were gaps in legislative protection for the youth. The most notable youth organisation under the former dispensation, before its transformation in the 90’s, was the dreaded National Youth Service, the bridge students had to pass through to qualify for admittance into varsity education. Needless to say, the then NYS did not contribute to the wholesome development of the whole cohort of the youth in Kenya. The 2010 Constitution was therefore a breath of fresh air for the youth in Kenya as it acknowledges the distinctive role of the youth in the development of the country and provides avenues for their support and inclusion.

The current Constitution has extensive sections relating to youth. Notably, the term “youth” is spoken nine times in actual sentences. Article 21 of the Constitution recognizes youth as a socially vulnerable category. Age is one of the criteria on which discrimination by the state or a person is prohibited, according to Article 27. This represents a change from the prior Constitution, which excluded age from its anti-discrimination language as previously indicated. In addition to children, people with disabilities, older members of society, and minority/marginalized groups, the adolescents are recognized as a special interest group. Each of these groups has a specific legal article addressing their concerns. The state is required by Article 55 to take action on behalf of the youth, including creating affirmative action programs, to ensure that they have access to relevant education and training, are shielded from harmful cultural practices and exploitation, and have opportunities to associate, be represented, and participate in political, social, and economic spheres of life as well as find employment. The law also designates special seats for youth in the national assembly, senate, and county assemblies to ensure diversity and youth representation.

 

Constitutionally, youth are well-protected. Drafters included youth in the country’s development plan. These hard law provisions are vital, but their actualization transforms systems and lives in favor of the targeted group. In the previous 12 years, youth constitutional provisions have been implemented. The systems designed to assure execution of these clauses have advanced significantly since the Constitution’s adoption.

The government and civil society organizations have established policies, institutions, and legislation to implement the constitution. Young policies foster youth participation in community and civic affairs and assure youth-centered programs. The policy sets rules and initiatives for young participation in national development. In 2018, the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender formed the State Department for Youth to administer youth policy, youth empowerment, and mainstreaming youth in national development.

The Kenya Youth Development Policy aims to improve the quality of life for Kenyan youth through their participation in economic, democratic, community, and civic issues. The National Youth Council advises, researches, and sets policy on youth affairs in the country. Constitutional special seats have increased the number of young politicians. The Youth Enterprise Development Fund and the Uwezo Fund were created for affirmative action.From the foregoing, it’s clear that the government has tried to advance constitutional goals for Kenyan youth. Despite these efforts, gaps remain between the expectations of laws and policies and the reality of youth in the country.

 

Unemployment, lack of skills, drug addiction, poverty, and a general decline in the youth’s quality of life are the main threats they are still facing. Weak transparency and accountability mechanisms, insufficient funding, a disjointed approach and a lack of coordination are all to blame for the systems’ flaws, as are inadequate research and analysis of youth issues, insufficient youth participation, a shaky institutional framework, and a lackluster monitoring, reporting, and evaluation system. In addition, young people who are elected to parliament often join the political elite and forget about youth issues.

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that today’s leaders are young people. The efforts of young people in Kenya, such as  Boniface Mwangi, Janet Mbugua, Denis Nzioka, and countless others, bear that out. Millennials are maturing into nimble protagonists, shaping their own futures and the kind of society they want to live in. Obviously, including the youth demographic in the development process is no longer optional. For Kenya to start fully reaping the benefits of its youthful population, it is critical that the constitutional gaps relating to young people be closed.

. The 2010 constitution consolidated democracy. It’s governed nationally and locally. Appointments should reflect Kenya’s diversity. Counties get development grants. Parliament must approve presidential appointments. The constitution guarantees the independence of the court and Parliament, therefore the administration can’t coerce them. Keep gains

The new constitution protects rights and freedoms. The Bill of Rights is fundamental and radical: the state must promote rights and freedoms, and the courts must interpret the law. New law stresses accountability and engagement. How democratic is the new constitution? Ethnic politics threaten Kenya’s democracy and lawfulness. Ethnicity used well and poorly. It’s sometimes utilized to thwart law enforcement, furthering impunity. Ethnicity, other challenges, and Kenya’s voting system hinder democracy.

The new constitution sparked institutional reforms. Some institutions began reforms and others were founded. Short-term youth unemployment programs were created after the National Accord. No major measures or political commitments against corruption or efforts to reconcile the country were made. Kenya’s transformation has been rocky. Democrats must consolidate gains. In all spheres, citizens promote change. Political realm is also pluralized. Many individuals vote in elections and join political parties. Media freedom and free speech are respected. Despite the pluralized space, leaders rarely answer for their acts. Ethnicity and the election system combine to impede democratic transition. The new constitution addresses development and democracy challenges.

The new constitution addresses long-standing issues. Decentralized government is anticipated to foster regional development. A fund will help marginalized communities catch up to others. The constitution emphasizes a diverse government. No coherent approach to ethnic distinctions exists. Formation and reorganization of ethno-regional parties remains a difficulty. The new constitution identifies democracy and people’s engagement as national values and governing principles. It strives to encourage accountability by privileging honesty and leadership as fundamental pillars of governance; it demands public officers to conform to public service standards.

 

MULTIPARTY DEMOCRACY OF KENYA BETWEEN 1991 AND 2010

A multi-party system is a political system in which multiple political parties across the political spectrum run for national elections, and all have the capacity to gain control of government offices, separately or in coalition.

The multiparty democracy was moved by several factors which included:-

Following the breakup of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the United States as the sole superpower, many developing nations experienced intense pressure, internally and externally, to switch from single-party to multiparty rule. In November 1991, Western donors acting through the World Bank halted foreign aid while demanding government reform.  Multiparty administrations were perceived as better alternatives to single-party administrations, which were labeled dictatorial and tyrannical. Multipartyism was believed to provide more freedom of expression, in addition to checks and balances on officials in government.

During the 1990s, a wave of democratization swept across the African continent. The wave took many different shapes and forms, and sometimes (as in the case of Kenya) international pressure was pivotal in bringing about change.

The Moi government had since 1986 faced mounting criticism from Kenyan church groups, and there had also been a series of riots throughout the country in July 1990.  Several church leaders, among them Alexander Muge, Bishop Henry Okullu and Rev. Timothy Njoya called upon the government to create an environment in which Kenyans could participate in government.

 

Disunity in KANU. There was pressure from individuals who had been expelled from KANU without political alternatives like Jaramogi Oginga Odinga who later formed the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD) in May 1991. FORD was later officially announced in July 1991 and subsequently declared illegal by the Moi government. Several members of FORD were arrested in November 1991 prior to a pro-democracy rally, which despite having been banned by the government took place. The arrests caused the international community to react strongly with outrage and, more importantly, withdrawing of financial funds. On 26 November 1991 the West discontinued bilateral aid to Kenya.

These events later led to the legalization of opposition parties in December 1991. In a way this enabled Moi and KANU to control the legislative process by having seized the initiative for reform towards a multi-party system. Primarily because of international pressure, but due to domestic pressure as well, president Moi agreed to reforming the party system. A reform that would end the monopoly on political power that his party, KANU, held but also reforms that would address Kenya’s record on human rights that

had come under international scrutiny and increasing criticism. Furthermore, in December 1991, former vice-president Mwai Kibaki, then minister of health, resigned and founded the Democratic Party (DP).

Later in August 1992, FORD split into two factions, which were registered in October as two separate parties. First, the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy -Asili (FORD-Asili) led by Kenneth Matiba (today by Martin Shikuku) and also Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Kenya (FORD-Kenya) led by Oginga Odinga. Oginga Odinga died in 1994 and was replaced by Michael Kijana Wamalwa. In 1995, Raila Odinga (son of Oginga Odinga) claimed to have ousted Wamalwa as chairman of FORD-Kenya. Strife broke out within the party and as of December 1996 Odinga was reportedly expelled from FORD-Kenya. Odinga announced that he instead had joined the National Development Party and that he had voluntarily resigned from FORD-Kenya. In October 1997 Matiba’s faction of FORD-Asili registered as an independent party, Forum for the Restoration of Democracy for the people (FORD-People). Only FORD-Kenya gained enough votes in the two consecutive elections of 1992 and 1997 to qualify for study.

During the first half of 1992, around 2000 people were killed in tribal clashes in Western Kenya. Consequently, the government put a ban on political rallies, a ban that was later lifted after protests organized by FORD. In December 1992 both presidential and parliamentary elections were held, but because of the oppositions’ lack of cohesiveness and inability to form an alliance against KANU, Moi and KANU were able to remain in control. However, it is contested how free and fair these elections really were, and to what extent Moi and his political machine used their incumbent status to control the results.  In 1998 Moi was elected to a fourth term as president with 36.3% of the vote ahead of Kenneth Matiba (26.0%), Mwai Kibaki (19.5%) and Oginga Odinga (17.5%). Of the 188 seats in the National Assembly, KANU won 100, FORD- Asili and FORD-Kenya gained 31 seats each and Democratic Party got 23 seats.

After the 1992 elections tribal clashes continued. In May 1995 a new political party, SAFINA, was formed by opposition activists who claimed that the party intended to fight for human rights and against corruption. The chairman at the time was Mutari Kigano, a prominent human rights lawyer, and as secretary general SAFINA appointed Dr Richard Leakey, a prominent white Kenyan. Today SAFINA is led by Farah Maalim (chairman) and Mghanga Mwandawiro (secretary general).

The Kenya today is marked by increased tension between ethnic groups. Tension that goes back to the days when Jomo Kenyatta was president (1964-1978) and the Kikuyu dominated Kenyan politics. The extent of Kikuyu domination came to alienate the Luo and other ethnic groups within the country. The Kikuyu is the largest ethnic group in Kenya, followed in size by Luhya, Luo, Kamba, Kalenjin and a host of other smaller ethnic groups. Daniel Arap Moi belongs to the Kalenjin group. In Kenya, “Democratization has resulted in reaffirmation of ethnic identities, with political parties emerging along ethnoregional criteria rather than ideological ones.”

The 1992 multi-party election did not change who was in power, and neither the level of corruption within the government. As before, the international community used its weight to put pressure on Kenya to take action against official corruption. However, this time pressure came from the International Monetary Fund who suspended payments in August 1997 pending action on Kenya’s part. Kenya promptly inaugurated an anti-corruption body. However, in late August serious strife erupted in and around Mombasa, essentially along ethnic lines.

Factionalism among the opposition prevented them from presenting a unified front against Moi and KANU in the 1997 elections as was the case in the 1992 elections. Furthermore, again there were widespread allegations of fraud surrounding the election. The December 29, 1997 election reelected Daniel arap Moi as President. In the 1997 presidential election Moi gained 40.64% of the popular vote, Mwai Kibaki 31.49%, Raila Odinga 11.06%, Michael Wamalwa 8.40%, and Charity Kaluki Ngilu 7.81%. In the election to the National Assembly, KANU won 107 out of the now 210 available seats. Out of the opposition, DP gained 39 seats, National Development Party 21 seats, FORD-Kenya 17 seats, and SDP won 15 seats. After the election in 1997, ethnic groups clashed again, this time primarily in the Rift Valley. With the 1997 election Moi was elected to his fifth and final term as president.

Original Parties, from 1950-1962, still continuing to 2000

The Kenya African National Union (KANU) became the single party in the de facto one party state that emerged in Kenya after 1969, only to legally become the only party in 1982. KANU still remains in power, with president Daniel arap Moi as president and the head of state.

New Parties formed after 1962 and continuing to 2000

Democratic Party of Kenya (DP) was founded by Mwai Kibaki in December 1991. Kibaki being Kikuyu appealed greatly to this part of Kenyan society. DP is in general associated with big business and the Kikuyu power elite from the Kenyatta years. The formation of DP clearly undermined KANU’s power among the Kikuyu group when many of them defected to DP from KANU. In many ways therefore, the DP leaders represented the interests of Kenya’s indigenous bourgeoisie. DP favored economic liberalization and privatization of state-owned enterprises. Even though the DP claimed democracy as part of its party’s name, it did not pay much attention to democracy, but concentrated on the old Kikuyu oligarchy.

Forum for the Restoration of Democracy – Kenya (FORD-Kenya) originally was formed in May 1991 as FORD, but later became FORD-Kenya when FORD split up in two factions in August 1992, FORD-Asili and FORD-Kenya. However, only FORD-Kenya has been able to sustain somewhat of a political presence in the two elections 1992 and 1997. It is seen as a radical party, in clear opposition to KANU. Oginga Odinga had been the former KPU leader and one of the most prominent left-wingers in Kenya’s first government after independence. FORD-Kenya was by far the most nationally oriented and intellectual of the opposition parties in Kenya. However, this caused FORD-Kenya to concentrate on national issues and to conduct a Western style election campaign, in a country were grass roots mobilization and local issues are the key to success.

National Development Party (NDP) is led by Raila Odinga (President) and Dr. Charles Maranga (secretary general). The NDP was founded in 1994.

Social Democratic Party (SDP) was founded in 1992. The chairman is Mrs. Charity Kuluki Ngilu and the secretary general is Maurice Kamau Rubia.

Original Parties, from 1950-1962, terminating before 2000

The Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU), sought to safeguard the interests of the country’s minorities against the Kikuyu dominated KANU, dissolved voluntarily in 1964.

THE 2002 ELECTIONS

 

On 25 October 2002, President Daniel arap Moi officially announced the end of his 24-year rule of the country, dissolving Parliament and launching the electoral campaign for the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for 27 December 2002.

President Moi was constitutionally barred from running for a new term. The nomination of his successor, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s founding president Jomo Kenyatta, split the ruling party, the Kenyan African National Union (KANU), leading key party and government officials to resign and defect to the main broad-based opposition alliance, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC).

The elections marked the first time since the establishment of a multiparty system in 1991 that the opposition was able to offer a coherent challenge to the KANU party. Unlike in the two previous elections, when the opposition was fragmented, in 2002 the NARC was a strong alliance of opposition parties that had promised sweeping constitutional reforms and an end to corruption.

Two weeks before the polls, ten political parties signed an electoral code of conduct amid rising incidents of violence, foul language and claims of vote-buying.

Among the five candidates vying for the Presidency, the two main contenders were Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Mwai Kibaki, the leader of the NARC. Mr Kibaki, a former Vice-President, ran a campaign based on corruption-related issues and Mr. Kenyatta’s lack of political experience, as well as direct attacks on KANU and the country’s rulers for the last 39 years characterised by corruption and mismanagement. He further stressed the fact that the country’s economy was in the doldrums and that the IMF had suspended aid because of concerns about corruption.

Mr Kenyatta had to campaign hard to distance himself from his mentor, outgoing President Moi. Mr. Kenyatta had only entered Parliament in October 2001 as a member nominated by the President, after a failed electoral bid in 1997. During the campaign, he promised to clean up KANU and presented himself as a “fresh face” untainted by power, pointing out that the NARC was full of recent defectors from KANU and led by the “old generation”.

A total of 40,000 local and foreign observers were accredited by the Electoral Commission, making these the most closely scrutinised polls in the country’s history. Both the European Union and the Commonwealth election monitoring groups congratulated Kenyans on conducting free, fair and peaceful elections.

The opposition won an overwhelming majority in both the presidential and parliamentary elections. In Parliament, the NARC took 126 seats out of the 210 at stake, as against 64 for KANU.

On 29 December 2002, opposition leader, Mr. Kibaki was declared Kenya’s third President. He was sworn in on the following day.

Kenya was at a point of consolidating its democratic gains when a government with a reform agenda, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), came to power after winning the December 2002 general election. NARC had campaigned on a reform platform, promising to promote economic recovery and good governance reforms. The new government did then implement some good governance reforms, such as initiating the fight against corruption and setting up a semi-autonomous human rights agency. But the government abandoned the reform path halfway after the coalition collapsed due to internal disagreements over power and the distribution of spoils in particular. After the collapse, NARC, like the previous governments, began to secure power for those in leadership positions. A small group of ethnic elites close to President Mwai Kibaki pulled the government out of the reform agenda. They started to consolidate political power by manipulating the political environment and reneging on some of the promises made before coming to power. They manipulated the constitutional review process to come up with a draft that reflected their political interests. They preferred a constitution that favoured their desire to secure a hold on power. This contradiction, in which gains are made through struggles for democracy, but are then reversed through state actions and the practice of politics, has considerably undermined the concrete realisation of participatory democracy. The dispute over the presidential election resulted in unprecedented violence, which divided the country into two major ethno-regional blocs that were fiercely opposed to each other. The post-2007 election violence reversed many of the democratic and economic gains made since the return of multi-party democracy in 1991. The space for the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms contracted. Society became more polarised. Ironically, the post-2007 election crisis paved the way for a greater gain: the promulgation of a new constitution. The crisis revealed a number of fundamental weaknesses in Kenya’s political system that required addressing to prevent future conflicts over contestation for political power. The international mediation resolved that constitutional and institutional reforms were a requisite in this respect. The parties signed a National Accord that outlined the steps towards a new constitution and institutional reforms. A new constitution was promulgated in August 2010.

 

 

3DEMOCRACY DAY 2

MULTIPARTY DEMOCRACY OF KENYA BETWEEN 1991 AND 2010.

A multi-party system is a political system in which multiple political parties across the political spectrum run for national elections, and all have the capacity to gain control of government offices, separately or in coalition.

The multiparty democracy was moved by several factors which included:-

Following the breakup of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the United States as the sole superpower, many developing nations experienced intense pressure, internally and externally, to switch from single-party to multiparty rule. In November 1991, Western donors acting through the World Bank halted foreign aid while demanding government reform.  Multiparty administrations were perceived as better alternatives to single-party administrations, which were labeled dictatorial and tyrannical. Multipartyism was believed to provide more freedom of expression, in addition to checks and balances on officials in government.

During the 1990s, a wave of democratization swept across the African continent. The wave took many different shapes and forms, and sometimes (as in the case of Kenya) international pressure was pivotal in bringing about change.

The Moi government had since 1986 faced mounting criticism from Kenyan church groups, and there had also been a series of riots throughout the country in July 1990.  Several church leaders, among them Alexander Muge, Bishop Henry Okullu and Rev. Timothy Njoya called upon the government to create an environment in which Kenyans could participate in government.

 

Disunity in KANU. There was pressure from individuals who had been expelled from KANU without political alternatives like Jaramogi Oginga Odinga who later formed the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD) in May 1991. FORD was later officially announced in July 1991 and subsequently declared illegal by the Moi government. Several members of FORD were arrested in November 1991 prior to a pro-democracy rally, which despite having been banned by the government took place. The arrests caused the international community to react strongly with outrage and, more importantly, withdrawing of financial funds. On 26 November 1991 the West discontinued bilateral aid to Kenya.

These events later led to the legalization of opposition parties in December 1991. In a way this enabled Moi and KANU to control the legislative process by having seized the initiative for reform towards a multi-party system. Primarily because of international pressure, but due to domestic pressure as well, president Moi agreed to reforming the party system. A reform that would end the monopoly on political power that his party, KANU, held but also reforms that would address Kenya’s record on human rights that

had come under international scrutiny and increasing criticism. Furthermore, in December 1991, former vice-president Mwai Kibaki, then minister of health, resigned and founded the Democratic Party (DP).

Later in August 1992, FORD split into two factions, which were registered in October as two separate parties. First, the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy -Asili (FORD-Asili) led by Kenneth Matiba (today by Martin Shikuku) and also Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Kenya (FORD-Kenya) led by Oginga Odinga. Oginga Odinga died in 1994 and was replaced by Michael Kijana Wamalwa. In 1995, Raila Odinga (son of Oginga Odinga) claimed to have ousted Wamalwa as chairman of FORD-Kenya. Strife broke out within the party and as of December 1996 Odinga was reportedly expelled from FORD-Kenya. Odinga announced that he instead had joined the National Development Party and that he had voluntarily resigned from FORD-Kenya. In October 1997 Matiba’s faction of FORD-Asili registered as an independent party, Forum for the Restoration of Democracy for the people (FORD-People). Only FORD-Kenya gained enough votes in the two consecutive elections of 1992 and 1997 to qualify for study.

During the first half of 1992, around 2000 people were killed in tribal clashes in Western Kenya. Consequently, the government put a ban on political rallies, a ban that was later lifted after protests organized by FORD. In December 1992 both presidential and parliamentary elections were held, but because of the oppositions’ lack of cohesiveness and inability to form an alliance against KANU, Moi and KANU were able to remain in control. However, it is contested how free and fair these elections really were, and to what extent Moi and his political machine used their incumbent status to control the results.  In 1998 Moi was elected to a fourth term as president with 36.3% of the vote ahead of Kenneth Matiba (26.0%), Mwai Kibaki (19.5%) and Oginga Odinga (17.5%). Of the 188 seats in the National Assembly, KANU won 100, FORD- Asili and FORD-Kenya gained 31 seats each and Democratic Party got 23 seats.

After the 1992 elections tribal clashes continued. In May 1995 a new political party, SAFINA, was formed by opposition activists who claimed that the party intended to fight for human rights and against corruption. The chairman at the time was Mutari Kigano, a prominent human rights lawyer, and as secretary general SAFINA appointed Dr Richard Leakey, a prominent white Kenyan. Today SAFINA is led by Farah Maalim (chairman) and Mghanga Mwandawiro (secretary general).

The Kenya today is marked by increased tension between ethnic groups. Tension that goes back to the days when Jomo Kenyatta was president (1964-1978) and the Kikuyu dominated Kenyan politics. The extent of Kikuyu domination came to alienate the Luo and other ethnic groups within the country. The Kikuyu is the largest ethnic group in Kenya, followed in size by Luhya, Luo, Kamba, Kalenjin and a host of other smaller ethnic groups. Daniel Arap Moi belongs to the Kalenjin group. In Kenya, “Democratization has resulted in reaffirmation of ethnic identities, with political parties emerging along ethnoregional criteria rather than ideological ones.”

The 1992 multi-party election did not change who was in power, and neither the level of corruption within the government. As before, the international community used its weight to put pressure on Kenya to take action against official corruption. However, this time pressure came from the International Monetary Fund who suspended payments in August 1997 pending action on Kenya’s part. Kenya promptly inaugurated an anti-corruption body. However, in late August serious strife erupted in and around Mombasa, essentially along ethnic lines.

Factionalism among the opposition prevented them from presenting a unified front against Moi and KANU in the 1997 elections as was the case in the 1992 elections. Furthermore, again there were widespread allegations of fraud surrounding the election. The December 29, 1997 election reelected Daniel arap Moi as President. In the 1997 presidential election Moi gained 40.64% of the popular vote, Mwai Kibaki 31.49%, Raila Odinga 11.06%, Michael Wamalwa 8.40%, and Charity Kaluki Ngilu 7.81%. In the election to the National Assembly, KANU won 107 out of the now 210 available seats. Out of the opposition, DP gained 39 seats, National Development Party 21 seats, FORD-Kenya 17 seats, and SDP won 15 seats. After the election in 1997, ethnic groups clashed again, this time primarily in the Rift Valley. With the 1997 election Moi was elected to his fifth and final term as president.

Original Parties, from 1950-1962, still continuing to 2000

The Kenya African National Union (KANU) became the single party in the de facto one party state that emerged in Kenya after 1969, only to legally become the only party in 1982. KANU still remains in power, with president Daniel arap Moi as president and the head of state.

New Parties formed after 1962 and continuing to 2000

Democratic Party of Kenya (DP) was founded by Mwai Kibaki in December 1991. Kibaki being Kikuyu appealed greatly to this part of Kenyan society. DP is in general associated with big business and the Kikuyu power elite from the Kenyatta years. The formation of DP clearly undermined KANU’s power among the Kikuyu group when many of them defected to DP from KANU. In many ways therefore, the DP leaders represented the interests of Kenya’s indigenous bourgeoisie. DP favored economic liberalization and privatization of state-owned enterprises. Even though the DP claimed democracy as part of its party’s name, it did not pay much attention to democracy, but concentrated on the old Kikuyu oligarchy.

Forum for the Restoration of Democracy – Kenya (FORD-Kenya) originally was formed in May 1991 as FORD, but later became FORD-Kenya when FORD split up in two factions in August 1992, FORD-Asili and FORD-Kenya. However, only FORD-Kenya has been able to sustain somewhat of a political presence in the two elections 1992 and 1997. It is seen as a radical party, in clear opposition to KANU. Oginga Odinga had been the former KPU leader and one of the most prominent left-wingers in Kenya’s first government after independence. FORD-Kenya was by far the most nationally oriented and intellectual of the opposition parties in Kenya. However, this caused FORD-Kenya to concentrate on national issues and to conduct a Western style election campaign, in a country were grass roots mobilization and local issues are the key to success.

National Development Party (NDP) is led by Raila Odinga (President) and Dr. Charles Maranga (secretary general). The NDP was founded in 1994.

Social Democratic Party (SDP) was founded in 1992. The chairman is Mrs. Charity Kuluki Ngilu and the secretary general is Maurice Kamau Rubia.

Original Parties, from 1950-1962, terminating before 2000

The Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU), sought to safeguard the interests of the country’s minorities against the Kikuyu dominated KANU, dissolved voluntarily in 1964.

THE 2002 ELECTIONS

 

On 25 October 2002, President Daniel arap Moi officially announced the end of his 24-year rule of the country, dissolving Parliament and launching the electoral campaign for the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for 27 December 2002.

President Moi was constitutionally barred from running for a new term. The nomination of his successor, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s founding president Jomo Kenyatta, split the ruling party, the Kenyan African National Union (KANU), leading key party and government officials to resign and defect to the main broad-based opposition alliance, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC).

The elections marked the first time since the establishment of a multiparty system in 1991 that the opposition was able to offer a coherent challenge to the KANU party. Unlike in the two previous elections, when the opposition was fragmented, in 2002 the NARC was a strong alliance of opposition parties that had promised sweeping constitutional reforms and an end to corruption.

Two weeks before the polls, ten political parties signed an electoral code of conduct amid rising incidents of violence, foul language and claims of vote-buying.

Among the five candidates vying for the Presidency, the two main contenders were Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Mwai Kibaki, the leader of the NARC. Mr Kibaki, a former Vice-President, ran a campaign based on corruption-related issues and Mr. Kenyatta’s lack of political experience, as well as direct attacks on KANU and the country’s rulers for the last 39 years characterised by corruption and mismanagement. He further stressed the fact that the country’s economy was in the doldrums and that the IMF had suspended aid because of concerns about corruption.

Mr Kenyatta had to campaign hard to distance himself from his mentor, outgoing President Moi. Mr. Kenyatta had only entered Parliament in October 2001 as a member nominated by the President, after a failed electoral bid in 1997. During the campaign, he promised to clean up KANU and presented himself as a “fresh face” untainted by power, pointing out that the NARC was full of recent defectors from KANU and led by the “old generation”.

A total of 40,000 local and foreign observers were accredited by the Electoral Commission, making these the most closely scrutinised polls in the country’s history. Both the European Union and the Commonwealth election monitoring groups congratulated Kenyans on conducting free, fair and peaceful elections.

The opposition won an overwhelming majority in both the presidential and parliamentary elections. In Parliament, the NARC took 126 seats out of the 210 at stake, as against 64 for KANU.

On 29 December 2002, opposition leader, Mr. Kibaki was declared Kenya’s third President. He was sworn in on the following day.

Kenya was at a point of consolidating its democratic gains when a government with a reform agenda, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), came to power after winning the December 2002 general election. NARC had campaigned on a reform platform, promising to promote economic recovery and good governance reforms. The new government did then implement some good governance reforms, such as initiating the fight against corruption and setting up a semi-autonomous human rights agency. But the government abandoned the reform path halfway after the coalition collapsed due to internal disagreements over power and the distribution of spoils in particular. After the collapse, NARC, like the previous governments, began to secure power for those in leadership positions. A small group of ethnic elites close to President Mwai Kibaki pulled the government out of the reform agenda. They started to consolidate political power by manipulating the political environment and reneging on some of the promises made before coming to power. They manipulated the constitutional review process to come up with a draft that reflected their political interests. They preferred a constitution that favoured their desire to secure a hold on power. This contradiction, in which gains are made through struggles for democracy, but are then reversed through state actions and the practice of politics, has considerably undermined the concrete realisation of participatory democracy. The dispute over the presidential election resulted in unprecedented violence, which divided the country into two major ethno-regional blocs that were fiercely opposed to each other. The post-2007 election violence reversed many of the democratic and economic gains made since the return of multi-party democracy in 1991. The space for the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms contracted. Society became more polarised. Ironically, the post-2007 election crisis paved the way for a greater gain: the promulgation of a new constitution. The crisis revealed a number of fundamental weaknesses in Kenya’s political system that required addressing to prevent future conflicts over contestation for political power. The international mediation resolved that constitutional and institutional reforms were a requisite in this respect. The parties signed a National Accord that outlined the steps towards a new constitution and institutional reforms. A new constitution was promulgated in August 2010.

 

 

1 DAY OF DEMOCRACY

KENYAN YOUTH AND DEMOCRACY

Almost everything that is great has been done by a youth. The same can be said of Kenyan youth since colonial to post 2010 constitution.do you know how and who pushed for reforms towards democratic Kenya?.

History of Democracy in Kenya (1957-1963)

  • 1920-1957

The history of democracy in Kenya can be traced back to the formation of Kenya as a British protectorate in 1920. Through these years in our history, there have been youth at the forefront of these struggles. Leading up to independence in 1964, there were a total of 9 general elections. These were “democratic elections” despite the fact that they were racist in the composition of the Legislative Council (LegCo.). The first general election was in 1920 where 11 Europeans were elected, 2 Indians and 1 Arab. After these elections, African nationalists began forming political associations e.g.  Young Kikuyu Association, Young Kavirondo Association and the East Africa Association (EAA). The EAA held a meeting where it was decided that Harry Thuku (26 years) should send a letter to the British government in London addressing the challenges that Africans were facing in Kenya. This led to Harry Thuku being arrested and accused of illegal political activities and disturbances. He was then deported to Kismayu, Somalia where he remained prisoner until 1931. This however, did not deter the efforts of other Africans to achieve a democratic society that was equitable for everyone. 

 

1957 was a significant year for the journey to democracy in Kenya. This is because these were the first elections where Africans contested for the first time and were able to represent their interests as opposed to previous years where they were represented by white settlers. This is of course with the exception of Eliud Mathu who became the first African member of the Legislative Council in 1944 at 34 years old. The 1957 elections, though having African representation, were marred by undemocratic processes and were not based on the principles of universal suffrage where one man is entitled to one vote. Africans were locked out of the democratic process through a set of standards that, if not met, would mean that one could not vote. Voting was limited to Africans who had a certain level of education, those who earned a certain income, their level of loyalty to the government of the day etc. Consequently, a significant number of African voters could not participate. The conclusion of these elections saw 8 Africans elected as Members of the LegCo. This was not sufficient to represent the interests of Africans who constituted the majority of the population. This led to protests organised by Tom Mboya who was 27 years old at the time. The protests subsequently led to the formation of African Elected Members Organisation (AEMO). The 1957 elections were a historical landmark in the road to Kenya’s democracy. Despite the means the colonial government used to try to keep Africans from the ballot, those who met the standards turned up to vote with 78.5% of those who registered casting their vote. This signified a growing level of political consciousness among the Africans. 

  • 1957-1963 

The next general elections were held in 1961. This election saw an increase in the African voter turnout which increased to 84% from 78.5%. This signified an increase in the levels of political consciousness of Africans. This was also a period that saw unity among African politicians through the formation of national political parties as opposed to the former political parties that were tribal-based. The two prominent political parties at the time were The Kenya African National Union (KANU) and The Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU). During these elections, KANU secured 19 parliamentary seats while KADU had 11 parliamentary seats. This election saw a majority of parliamentary seats being occupied by Africans. In 1962, the Lancaster House Conference was held which culminated in the Lancaster Constitution which stipulated the LegCo. was to be a bicameral parliament which would comprise members of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Lancaster House Constitution was reworked as Kenya prepared for a new era of self-determination. 

  • 1963-1992 

On the 1st of June 1963, Kenya attained self-government (Madaraka) with Jomo Kenyatta becoming the first Prime Minister and subsequently the first President of an independent Kenya on 12th of December 1964 with Oginga Odinga as the Vice-President. The attainment of independence did not mean there were no setbacks in our democracy. During this period, the country experienced a myriad of challenges. This period is characterized by corruption, detention without trial, torture of political prisoners, dictatorships, single-party systems among others. In the early years of our independent democracy, there was a fall out between the President and his deputy which led to the deputy’s resignation and subsequent formation of an opposition party. There were also a number of political assassinations during this time most notably of Tom Mboya, an outspoken parliamentarian. 

In 1982, Section 2A was added to the constitution which turned Kenya into a single-party state. The ruling party, KANU, was the only political party legally allowed to operate in the country. This ensured that the government of the day would operate without opposition. In February of 1988, a new voting system was introduced dubbed “Mlolongo System” where the voter would line-up behind the candidate of their choice. In the same year, elections were held with the sitting President being the only candidate which ensured he was voted in. There were political battles fought against this undemocratic system. Raila Odinga, Kenneth Matiba, Timothy Njoya among others were routinely harassed, detained without trial and tortured. Their efforts, however, bore fruit when in December of 1991, section 2A of the constitution was repealed taking Kenya into the age of multi-partism. 

 

Resources: 

Consolidating Democracy in the Colonial Kenya (1920-1963) by Julius Gathogo 

 

#IDD2022

#KenyanDemocracy

#YouthInDemocracy

THE NATIONAL ELECTION CONFERENCE

The National Election Conference was held for two days at the Kenya International Convention Centre (KICC) Kenya in collaboration with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commision  and among various stakeholders from 11th to 12th July 2022. The event aimed at moving Kenya into a stronger democracy.

The conference highlighted significant advancements made by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Kenya towards the 2022 general elections.

“Youth are more likely to trust the electoral process as a result. Therefore, on August 9th, we should cast a huge number of votes for the leaders of our choosing, ” said Mr Roy Sasaka Telewa.

The National Youth Council focused on the role of youth in a democracy, particularly in the electoral process and which can not be underestimated. Therefore, together with other youth serving organizations we were committed towards increasing youth participation in the upcoming 2022 general elections.

AFRICAN PEER REVIEW MECHANISM

The 3rd African Peer Review Mechanism Youth symposium took place in Kampala, Uganda from 4th to 9th July 2022. The symposium attracted over 400 youths across Africa that would resonate around developing recommendations for empowering youth participation in governance.

The theme  was repositioning the youth agenda for a transformative continent that seeks to empower the Youth to participate in governance, leadership & development.

Among the representatives was CEO of the National Youth Council Mr Roy Sasaka Telewa, the Secretary of Youth Affairsof the State Department of Youth ,Mr Raymond Ochieng, the Prime Minister of Uganda Rt. Hon Robinnah Nabbanja and among other key delegates.

In his remarks, Mr Roy Sasaka Telewa said efforts to connect African traders across countries should deliberately include youth-led businesses.Opportunity exists for the emergence of youth-focused cooperatives to aggregate demand and lower costs of trade through economies of scale.

The symposium aimed at African youths to take up spaces that would challenge unemployment and also participate in decision making processes.

JOBS NOW AFRICA CAMPAIGN

In line with the National Youth Council key policy advocacy development mandate and commitment, NYC joined ONE Campaign during their #JobsNowAfrica Campaign launch (Kenya Chapter) on 5th July 2022.

Since the pandemic, more young Africans have been laid off than ever before. To address the pressing and growing issue of unemployment, the launch of Jobs Now Africa, with the goal of creating 15 million decent jobs in Africa each year by 2025.

The #JobsNowAfrica reflected on the available opportunities and that there’s strength in working together. All Employers, job seekers and the government must come together to create decent job opportunities.

Among the representatives during the launch were the National Youth Council, Mr Peter Quest from the Kenya School of Government and keynote speakers from One Campaign.

YOUTH FORUM FOR PEACEFUL ELECTIONS FREE FROM ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE

The National Youth Council has collaborated with National Authority for Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) to commence the #SautiYetu initiative at Mombasa Polytechnic.

Among the keynote speakers were CEO of National Youth Council Mr Roy Sasaka Telewa, members of the National Youth Council Advisory Board; Ms Angel Mbuthia and Ms Aisha Mohammed and Youth Fund Kenya delegates.

Mr Roy Sasaka Telewa urged young people to turn out in huge numbers and elect officials who will put their interests first. In particular, during 2022 general elections , he underlined the necessity for youth to complete their generational course of championing peace.

NATIONAL YOUTH PRAYER AND PEACE FESTIVAL

The Kenyatta International Conference Center hosted the National Youth Prayer and Peace Festival. The Conference Center on 7th of August 2022 was the culmination of various efforts.

The interventions were taken to increase meaningful youth participation in the election process. The National Youth Council, in collaboration with the IEBC Youth Coordinating Committee, Committee and the Youth Serving Organizations Consortium had undertaken activities in ten counties across the country to achieve the goals outlined below; contributing to a peaceful election by mobilizing young people: keep the peace during and after the general election, and increasing youth participation in electoral processes as potential candidates or as conscientious voters capable of electing the right leaders.

The event targeted and hosted multiple stakeholders including Kenyan youth, electoral management body leaders from 3 countries, development partners, youth serving organizations, political party youth leagues and young leaders in government and ministries and development agencies (MDAs).

Esha Mohammed, NYC Board Member, took a minute to take the audience through a documentary that showed victims of the 2007/08 post-election violence. Reminding young people why they would never want to be a part of violence ever again and how we should always treasure peace.

NYC CEO Roy Sasaka spoke about how the National Youth Council is actively working to create a culture of peace, and how they have collaborated with various stakeholders to improve peace in the country. They have also collaborated with Spread Truth Africa to lead the restoration of peace in Kerio Valley, which has recently experienced intertribal conflict. Finally, they talked about the youth policy dialogue and how they got various national leaders to commit to maintaining and promoting peace and unity during and after the elections.

Finally, Ms. Nadia Abdalla, Cabinet Assistant Secretary, shared that as young people, our main priority should be to seek change. “There is a Kenya beyond the ballot box, so let us focus our efforts on building a better Kenya,” and that youth are the driving force behind the economy. “There is Kenya beyond the ballot,” she shared, adding that it is our responsibility to maintain peace, inclusion, and diversity in Kenya. “Kenya is love,” she said, encouraging peace. She read her peace pledge for peaceful elections.

The festival proceeded with artists Size 8, Avril, Wyre, Trio Mio, and Mercy Masika being present and performing peace songs. There were also presentations made by upcoming artists.

AFRICA AND CLIMATE CHANGE FORUM

Globally, our financial systems are being fundamentally altered by climate change. According to experts, investors can optimize their impact on the transition to a net-zero economy and increase profits for both people and the environment.

The need for a better understanding of Climate Change and sustainable investment in this sector has led to the Africa and Climate Change Forum – Road map to COP27 being held at Boma Inn Hotel, in Nairobi, Kenya from 21st – 22nd July 2022.

The overall objective of the conference is to address the loopholes facing the mitigation and adaptation in tackling climate change in Kenya and Africa ahead of the 27th session of the Conference of Parties (COP27). COP27 is a historical event in Africa, as the world heads toward the next UN Climate Change Conference, which will take place in November in Sharma El-Sheikh, Egypt  – the fourth African country to host the annual event since 1995.

Among the representatives will be from the National Youth Council in partnership with Switch Media, Climate Change experts, decision-makers, climate and social scientists, development economists, policymakers, ambassadors, negotiators, and advocates.

The event will provide a variety of panel discussions, keynote addresses and presentations from keynote speakers.

This forum has emerged as a powerful tool in the fight against climate change, enabling transformative change to safeguard the planet and eco-systems restoration. It presents a great opportunity for Africa’s cooperation and global sharing of experience on climate change mitigation and adaptation.