Upon being declared the victor in 2017, President Uhuru had the power but not legitimacy to many in opposition strongholds. He consolidated various parties to form a coalition with his victory vehicle that too, was a coalition.
Handshaking with his protagonist and winning over all other opposition leaders ostensibly to ‘work together. We started witnessing the monopolization of politics: no political ideology or political activity could be permitted outside the known home guards and conformist ruling class agenda
This monopoly of politics is only witnessed in autocratic single state-party states. This is the killing of democracy.
In the media and social media any dissenting or contrarian view or autonomous articulation and expression got hushed with a barrage of attacks from CS’s, both the coopted & real government fanatics and their leaders of opposition turned government defenders or part of the government.
Obviously, different interests and the expression of those interests cannot be obliterated altogether but they certainly did a good job at suppressing and discouraging either by coercion or ideological intolerance, or both.
Although individualized, and supposedly harmless, expression of differences continues from most non-conformists, they are however discouraged by disparaging epithets like arm-chair critics, greedy for Ruto loot, tanga tanga, detractors, unpatriotic elements, anti-development, etc.
They are encouraging the development of a closed society. This is usually subtle. Imagine the intrigues and Proceedings of the most important handshake process, its decision-making Committees that almost amended our constitution and our lives and governance forever, were not known outside that inner circle even to government insiders.
It’s reminiscent of the one-party state of yesteryears when the right to know was not a right.
The monopoly of politics is ideological warfare and must not be encouraged as it generates a political culture of intolerance hellbent on soliciting a unanimity of views. This is most subtle yet profoundly prejudicial to democracy. This is the argument that centralizing ideologies and creating one umbrella of several parties in a one coalition monolith system to generate and help to ensure national unity.
Students of history and politics know the script and how it goes the full cycle. Upon killing opposition and ostracizing dissenting views, the amalgamation of political players, the establishment achieves conformity by nationalism and national unity calls. Sure enough, that is what ensued. Calls for national unity. Umoja.
National integrity is a definite population on a definite geographical space under the jurisdiction of a specific state.
National unity may thus be used to refer to the integrity of the country, i.e. a `National unity in this sense may be threatened by external aggression or civil war. We are a peaceful people and face no such serious threat other than few marauding gangs of terrorists and cattle rustlers, which, we credit our security forces for their ability to neutralize.
Clearly, therefore `national unity’ cannot mean the integrity of the country.
Unless they possibly mean that `national unity’ to be a nation without diversity and with divergent interests; that what they aspire for will help us to attain national unity by obliterating all-important differences and different interests. This is a myth as our nation is pleasantly vibrant with divergent interests and different views and will remain so.
Azimio la Umoja and `national unity’ calls during national days and presidential speeches on his legacy can only be but an aspiration for the continuation of the 2017 ‘project of unanimity’ and conglomeration of parties into one alliance. Our current preoccupation is mainly centered on the monopoly of political power not the monster monopoly of politics.
Why the monopoly of Politics and its beneficiaries
The rule of law and constitutional rules establishes the apparatus of the state, thereby setting up the governed and the governing class. Unbeknownst to the ruled and the rulers there arises a canning class from both classes that see an incentive to capture the government and use its redistributive powers to enrich themselves.
The state’s political choices have a distributional effect, and these participants in political markets have preferences about these effects and about public policy outcomes. These individuals expend resources to influence these public policy outcomes. They have organized themselves into special-interest groups in order to improve their ability to affect distributional outcomes.
These are cartels who irrespective of the people in power, hold sway in government. These are the deep state. The scheme to enrich themselves from the government as well as controlling the political narrative and influencing public policy outcome. In effect, they are the power behind the power.
The article was written by Yussuf.Mwinyi – Coast-based political commentator