From Egypt to Zambia, Africa’s independence parties’ graveyards are full to the brim. Kenya’s KANU is apparently threatening to fill the only vacancy in that crowded cemetery. But what plausible reason can be ascribed to these parties that ruled the newly-minted states and lorded over its populace like kings?
Those positing that that majority of African countries got independence when they were ill prepared cannot be dismissed with a wave of hands. The truth is that most ‘founding fathers’ of new African countries were opportunists who rode on the shoulders of their peasant and real freed fighters to secure personal aggrandisement at the expense of their country people. The gulf and tension between our local home guards and freedom fighters aptly drives this point home.
KANU, UNIP (Zambia) and all their derivatives may have been formed on firm foundation but suffered the curse of big brother syndrome. The Kenyattas and Kaundas of these continent were simply silent admirers of the imperialist whose lifestyles they cut-and-copied word for deeds. Their disdain for challengers remains unparalleled. But that is not the problem neither the excuse for failure of these parties. The people who inherited them took over and perfected the game with all their respective warts and thus the speedy roll to oblivion.
African countries are smarting from the collective failures of their independence parties because even the ‘cleverly’ crafted alternatives are nothing but dysfunctional mutants of these failed edifices. And the electorate have not done themselves any favour to demand accountability and issue-based politics. Instead we have been roped into these politicians’ selfish schemes by offering them our back to ride on for political office. The busk stops with us and until we stop and re-evaluate the future of our politics, Kanu and its present OWNERS will replicate the demise of civilized politics in our continent in general and country in particular. But do we care? You guess is as good as mine.