DRAFT Programme of the Communist Party of Kenya
The following draft programme of the Kenya Communist Party is the outcome of an ongoing process of discussion, debate and reflection which has often elicited feisty, robust and frank comradely fisticuffs among a group of Kenyans who are united by their vision of a new Kenya that is more just, egalitarian, equitable and politically progressive. They do not share ideological beliefs on each and every subject under the sun. On the contrary some of deep theoretical and ideological cleaves rise to the surface from time. The glue that binds this core group of the revamped Kenya Communist Party is their abhorrence for the twin evils of sectarianism and unprincipled populist opportunism and demagoguery.
In its present form, the draft itself will no doubt become a locus for collective reflection and struggle as the Kenya Communist Party endeavours to forge a common vision for all its militants, cadres and followers.
The following draft takes as its starting point that the ideological identity of the Kenya Communist Party of Kenya must be anchored in an unequivocal identification and embrace of the socialist path. This is by no means a view that is unanimous. There are valuable members and veteran allies of the KCP who are of the firm belief that any flirtations with “socialism” is inherently adventuristic, anarchical and political dangerous. A counterpoint to this position is the proposition by some of the more radical and militant elements within the KCP who aver that the MINIMUM basis of unity is a commitment to socialism.
It is our hope that the vuta-nikuvute between these two apparent poles will be determined DEMOCRATICALLY through collective study, debate, reflection and discussion.
Some cautionary words froma world-renowned revolutionary about the challenges of compiling a history of a revolutionary movement: Here is the Italian Marxist-Leninist leader Antonio Gramsci writing in the Prison Notebooks eons ago:
To write the history of a political party, it is necessary in reality to confront a whole series of problems... In what will the history of a party consist of? Will it be a simple narrative of the internal life of a political organization? How it comes into existence, the first groups which constitute it, the ideological controversies through which its programme and its conception of the world and of life are formed? In such a case, one would merely have the history of certain intellectual groups, or even sometimes the political biography of a single personality. The study will therefore have to have a vaster and more comprehensive framework.
The history will have to be written of a particular mass of men who have followed the founders of the party, sustained them with their trust, loyalty and discipline or criticised them realistically by dispersing or remaining passive before certain initiatives. The history of a party, in other words, can only be the history of a particular social group. But this group is not isolated; it has friends, kindred groups, opponents, enemies. The history of any given party can only emerge from the complex portrayal of the totality of society and State (often with international ramifications too). Hence it may be said that to write the history of a party means nothing less than to write the general history of a country from a monographic viewpoint, in order to highlight a particular aspect of it. A party will have greater or less significance and weight precisely to the extent to which its particular activity has been more or less decisive in determining a country’s history.
We may thus see that from the way in which the history of a party is written there emerges the author’s conception of what a party is and should be. The sectarian will become excited over petty internal matters, which will have esoteric significance for him, and fill him with mystical enthusiasm. The historian, though giving everything its due importance in the overall picture, will emphasise above all the real effectiveness of the party, its determining force, positive and negative, in having contributed to bringing certain events about and in having prevented other events from taking place.
In keeping with the above Gramcian observations, although the underground political formations and movements had diverse ideological orientation and tendencies, and certainly less successful in Kenya; the history of these formations was not only intricately interlinked with the history of the rise of an authoritarian neo-colonial state in Kenya, but also with broader ideological and intellectual currents of resistance during the Cold War era.
Kenya Communist Party INTERIM MEMBER
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Whatever else one may say about the Kenyan state, there are certain things that it is NOT.
Whether one lives in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Limuru, Garissa, Malindi or any of the major urban areas of Kenya, it would be difficult to deny the fact that not all Kenyans are the “same”. And here, one is NOT referring to variegated ethnic backgrounds or diverse religious callings.
Thus what emerged over time and was consolidated in the years immediately following formal flag independence were not capitalists as such but local agents of transnational corporations. This was an experience which had been first observed in pre-revolutionary
Today the term still applies to local agents of imperialism who by themselves cannot develop into a proper bourgeois. Many of them are from the petit-bourgeois elements of society. Their chief conduit to economic prosperity and personal wealth is the neo-colonial STATE which mediates the interests of world monopoly capitalism via the agency of the comprador bourgeoisie.
Is it a mystery why Nominated Senator Beth Mugo is the second richest woman in Kenya after Mama Ngina Kenyatta? Is it a mystery why Uhuru Kenyatta and his siblings have extensive holdings in land, real estate and the dairy industry? Is it a mystery why Simeon Nyachae is both a powerful cabinet minister and very prosperous business magnate?
..1. The Ndegwa family-key players Andrew and James Ndegwa. Ruth and Alison Ndegwa; flagships: First Chartered Securities and Lion Place; interests: insurance, real estate development and marketing; manufacturing; shipping, banking; agriculture, horticulture, international investments;
2. The Kenyatta family- key players Muhoho and Uhuru Kenyatta. Flagships: Enke Management; prominent investments: Heritage Hotel and
3. The Moi family- key players: Daniel arap Moi and Gideon Moi; Joshua Kulei. Interests: banking, insurance, large-scale farming, real estate, tourism, ranching, communications, aviation, international investments;
4. The Nyachae family. Key players: Simeon Nyachae, Charles Nyachae and Lee Nyachae. Flagship: Sansora Group through which family has substantial interests in banking, insurance, large scale wheat farming, food processing, transport, printing, real estate, construction, aviation, coffee and tea farming, horticulture, etc; most prominent business partner: Daniel arap Moi;
5. Chris Kirubi. Flagship- International Life House. Most prominent business partner: President Mwai Kibaki. Interests: real estate, manufacturing, agro-chem, pharmaceuticals, supermarkets, insurance, investment, banking, international courier service, media etc;
6. The Njonjo family. Business interests: banking insurance, real estate, manufacturing, communications, tourism, agriculture, horticulture, motor industry, aviation etc; key players: Charles Njonjo and his wife Margaret Nisbet; Key partners: Daniel arap Moi, Joshua Kulei, Jeremiah Kiereini, the Philip Ndegwa family, PK Jani and the late Bruce McKenzie;
7. James Kanyotu. Interests: tourism and hotel industry, large-scale coffee and tea farming, real estate, banking, insurance, manufacturing, motor industry etc; key partners: Daniel arap Moi, Charles Njonjo, Jeremiah Kiereini, GK Kareithi, Naushad Merali, the Kenyatta family and Kamlesh Pattni;
8. Nicholas Biwott. Interests:”Biwott is a secretive in his business operations as he has been in his politics. He is reputed to be one of the wealthiest Kenyans with substantial interests in petroleum, real estate, insurance, banking, manufacturing, agriculture etc. Biwott’s interests are said to spread in the region and abroad. Friends in high places: Daniel arap Moi";
9. George Saitoti. Interests: like Biwott, equally secretive. Among richest Kenyans with interests in horticulture, manufacturing, mining, real estate, agriculture, etc. Substantial investments outside the country;
10. Dick Evans: interests: through Homegrown, Dick Evans is the leading Kenyan player in the horticulture business.
11. Allesandro Torriani: interests-Swiss born,
12. Joe Wanjui. Interests: insurance, supermarkets, banking and manufacturing, real estate, large-scale agriculture and ranching, horticulture, energy etc; Flagship: UAP Provincial Insurance; Close friend: President Mwai Kibaki.
13. Manu Chandaria. Interests: manufacturing, banking, insurance; Companies: Comcraft Group operates in six continents as holding company for almost 100 other companies like Mabati Rolling Mills, Galsheet Kenya and Kaluworks;
14. Naushad Merali. Business empire: The Sameer Group with interests in manufacturing, banking, insurance, construction, heavy steel manufacturing, motor assembly, large-scale coffee and tea farming, ranching, real estate, telecommunications, IT, overseas investments etc. Latest acquisitions- Kencell Communications. Partners: Daniel arap Moi, James Kanyotu, the Kenyatta family, the Ndegwa family, Horacious Da Gama Rose etc;
15. The Bayusuf Family. The brothers M.O. and A.M. Bayusuf have one of the largest heavy commercial transportation fleets in East and
16. Rashid Sajjad. Interests: owns Milly Grain Millers, Milly Glass Works, Milly Fruit Processors, import company Fehmi, a tannery in Athi River and prime properties in Mombasa and Nairobi. Biggest strength: high level political connections during the KANU regime.
17. The Zubedis. The brothers Mohamed (MP, East African Legislative Assembly) and Hakim own Gulf Electronics, a major importer of leading electronic brands like Samsung, LG and Aristo. Headquartered in
18. The Bawazirs. Interests: used to be a partner of Rashid Sajjad. Mohamed Bawazir keeps a low profile. Involved in the international commodity trade and has substantial investments in prime properties and land.
19. John Harun Mwau. Interests: many but shrouded in mystery but included the fast expanding Nakumatt Holdings, Wines of the World, Green Corner Restaurant Ltd and the Pepe container freight station.
20. Njenga Karume. Interests: tourism and hotels, transport, large-scale coffee and tea farming, real estate. Friend in high places: President Mwai Kibaki.
(Source: Sunday Nation, November 16, 2003)
…1. Sex Roles and Gender Roles
In understanding triple oppression, it is first important to situate the debate within an understanding of how gender is constructed. In other words, gender is not a natural phenomenon, but is created by societies to order the roles of men and women, and it is bound up with political and economic objectives.
There is a difference between sex and gender. Sex identifies the biological make up and difference between the male and the female.
Gender is constructed socially and identifies the relationship between men and women in the context of power relations. Gender is not natural or god-given, but is created by society through socialization using institutions such as the family, the church and religion, school and education and the state and laws. Gender relations can therefore be changed by the very society that created them.
Gender roles exist in all spheres of society starting with the division of labour in the family. For example, in the family, women are allocated the role of being child rearers and are given the duties of cleaning and cooking. In fact, women are allocated the tasks of domestic chores as if it were natural for them to have to do this. This work is hidden and not paid for. It is not registered as work within the tools that we use to analyse the working of the economy such as in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures. What this hidden, unpaid labour serves to do is prop up the capitalist economy. Workers can be paid less if they do not themselves have to pay for domestic work. For most women in this country, domestic chores are additional to the work that they do outside the house. This means that women have very little spare time. This is known as the "double bind".
These socially determined roles for men and women are culturally or socially created and are given the status of being natural and normal as if they "have always been" and "will always be". From these gender roles, certain characteristics are expected of men that are a reflection of what it means to be male or to be masculine while other characteristics are attributed to women as a reflection of their femininity. The notions of masculinity and femininity define how men and women must behave and how they must look. They refer to physical appearance, psychological states, sexual orientations, intellectual capability and emotional states. For example, men are supposed to be natural leaders, decision makers and providers in society beginning within the family while women are the caregivers, supporters and followers of men.
2. Gender Relations
Gender and gender roles define the way women and men behave in society and in relation to each other, the way in which they perceive themselves and their attitudes. Gender relations affect the unequal power relations in society. The essence of unequal power relations is the domination of men and the subordination of women. These gender relations shape the ideas, knowledge, values, culture, attitudes, the structure of society and, in essence, social life itself. Gender roles and the stereotypes that structure the roles of men and women are reinforced in books, history, stories, songs and the media.
Patriarchy is the system of male domination and control at all levels of society based on these socially constructed notions of gender, gender roles and gender relations that we have discussed above.
Not all patriarchal societies are the same and the oppression of women in various formations differs based on the economic and political differences of those societies. For example, patriarchy will manifest differently in advanced capitalist societies to traditional rural societies where economies are structured differently. Patriarchy has not always existed, and can also be dismantled. In addition, patriarchal control is linked up with the type of economy, political system and cultural objectives of particular societies.
Patriarchy is reproduced through a web of laws and private and public institutions such as the family, religious and traditional beliefs, practices and norms. It is also reproduced through ideological apparatuses such as the school, education in general and the media. Violence against women is an expression of an extreme form of reinforcing patriarchal control of women.
SOURCE: Towards a Gendered Perspective, ANC policy document
…Globalization at a minimum involves the creation of a world economy that is not merely the sum of its national economies, but rather a powerful independent reality, created by the international division of labour and the world market which, in the present epoch, predominates over national markets. Large scale, long term flows of capital, commodities, technology and labor across national boundaries define the process of globalization…Contemporary globalization retains many of the key features of the earlier phases of globalization: the driving forces are centred in the imperial state and the multi-national corporation and banks, backed by the international financial institutions. What is significantly different are the scale, scope and speed of the circulation of capital and commodities, particularly financial flows between deregulated economies. The technological changes, especially in communications (computers, fax, etc.), have been a prime factor in shaping the high velocity of movements of capital.
The scope and scale of movement of capital and commodities however, are due less to technological than to political changes.
A historical analysis of the phases of globalization allows one to refute some of the ideological claims of its proponents. A retrospective analysis reveals that globalization has been cyclical in world historical development. There were periods of high globalization, moments of crises and periods in which economic flows turned inward. There is no universal inevitable tendency toward globalization. Inter-imperial wars resulting from global competition, internal crises of overproduction and more important social and political revolutions have all affected the trajectory of globalist nations and classes. The cyclical nature of globalization allows analysts to identify the internal/external weaknesses of the globalist project and identify the alternative strategies that emerged from the crises of global projects in earlier times.
The very idea of globalization as a historical necessity is questioned by its cyclical history. The notion that we enter a new period is also dubious: foreign trade and overseas income were a greater percentage of GNP in
The globalization idea is itself suspect. In its most widely expressed usage, it argues for a universal incorporation to the world marketplace and the spread of benefits throughout the world. The empirical reality is neither universal incorporation nor the spread of benefits: there are wealthy creditors and bankrupt debtors, super-rich speculators and impoverished unemployed workers, imperial states that direct international financial institutions and subordinate states that submit to their dictates.
All the imperial powers throughout history were never globalized; they became globalizers (imperialists) precisely through the development of the home market. Globalization was an instrument to expand and deepen the home market and develop the forces of production. Globalization was given a universal, virtuous character in each epoch of outward expansion, either in terms of moral values (extending Western civilization) or as an opportunity (to become modem). To the degree that contemporary globalization leads to the internal exploitation of labour and state resources within the imperial centres, it has awakened a labour opposition that creates an objective and subjective basis for internationalist working-class action.
The history of globalization is fraught with inter-imperial rivalries that struggle to displace competitors and impose the rule of particular national multi-nationals and state rule. The selective anti-imperialism of local clients facilitates the entry of imperial latecomers. The reconstruction of the Left cannot be rooted in becoming the plaything of rivalries between ascending and declining imperial powers. In the present context, there are several issues: the
The temptation among some Leftists is to defend "state-centred capitalism against" neo-liberalism; for others, the alternative is to accept the harsh prescriptions of adjustment from the IMF in exchange for employment, etc…
The basic facts are that capitalism cannot sustain growth and rising income levels: that welfare and capitalism are a product of a special balance of class forces that no longer exists. The existence of a revolutionary socialist alternative was the basic reason forcing capital to make reformist concessions in Europe and
Only the re-emergence of credible revolutionary alternatives might allow reformist and state-centred technocrats to negotiate concessions. As matters stand today, the real choices are between a capitalism that strips labour of all its social attributes, monopolizes public revenues and appropriate public enterprises and minerals and the socialist alternative--that needs to be reconstructed….
Crucial to the task of constructing the socialist alternative is to recognize the globalization parabola in the current period: the ascendancy in the seventies, its consolidation in the eighties and early nineties and its decline over the last several years, beginning in Asia, Latin America and spreading to North America and Western Europe. The second-biggest capitalist economy,
Globalization works in reverse. The extraordinary profits based on capitals appropriation of speculative returns no longer fuel the American and European stock market and giant financial monopolies. The worldwide bankruptcy of capitalism--its inability to reproduce itself-poses a major opportunity to argue for a socialist transformation and against strategies focused on adaptation and merely defensive struggles. Adaptation to austerity leads to new, regressive policies. The argument for one more adjustment is an unending melody. There is only more pain, not prosperity, in this never-ending tunnel. Defensive struggles, while necessary for sustaining elementary living conditions in the face of the economic collapse, provide short-term victories yet prepare strategic defeats, given the non-viability of the historic capital-labor partnership under present circumstances.
SOURCE: James Petras, Globalization: A Socialist Perspective, 1999
Sad to say but the reality that in
for the whole of
“... A revolution is not a coup d’etat; it is not the outcome of plots. It is the work of the masses. Hence, the mobilization and rallying of the mass forces... is a fundamental and decisive problem. This task must be approached in a vigorous and sustained way both throughout the period when a revolutionary situation has not yet appeared and the period when such a situation has arisen and matured. To realize this task, one must mingle and be active with the masses in everyday life, even within enemy organizations. One must keep abreast of the situation in the enemy’s camp as well as ours, correctly appraise all schemes, moves and capabilities of the enemy, accurately assess all changes developing in his ranks, and at the same time be fully aware of the state of mind, wishes and potential power of the masses. In this way one can put forward appropriately incisive and timely slogans which will arouse the broad masses to action, direct them from lower to higher forms of struggle, ceaselessly heighten their political consciousness and help expand the army of the revolution both in scope and in depth. On the road to the seizure of power, the only weapon available to the revolutionary masses is ORGANIZATION. The hallmark of the revolutionary movement...is its high organizational standards....”
- Le Duan, The Vietnamese Revolution: Fundamental Problems and Essential Tasks, New World Paperbacks,
“.....Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living. And just when they seem engaged in revolutionizing themselves and things, in creating something that has never yet existed, precisely in such periods of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service and borrow from them names, battle-cries and costumes in order to present the new scene of world history in this time-honoured disguise and this borrowed language....”
Karl Marx: The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon
“...The more powerful enemy can be conquered only by exerting the utmost effort, and by necessarily, thoroughly, carefully, attentively and skilfully taking advantage of any, even the smallest, ‘rift’ among the enemies...by taking advantage of every, even the smallest, opportunity of gaining a mass ally, even though this ally be temporary, vacillating, unstable, unreliable and conditional...”
- Vladimir Lenin, Left-Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder, International Publishers,
“... Far from pinning our hopes on antagonisms within the ranks of the enemy, we are fully aware that the development of these contradictions and the extent to which they be capitalized upon are in the last analysis determined by the strength of the revolution. The experience of all genuine popular revolutions shows that the stronger the revolutionary forces become and the higher the revolutionary tide rises, the more the enemy’s ranks are torn by contradictions and are likely to split Ultimately the time comes when these conflicts have grown so exacerbated as to render impossible all compromise between the various enemy factions. This constitutes one of the unmistakable signs of the maturity of the revolutionary situation. The revolution then breaks out and the enemy’s rule is overthrown in decisive battles....The victory of the revolution depends primarily on a correct determination of the general orientation and strategic objective, as well as the specific orientation and objective for each period. But just as important as defining the orientation and objective is the problem of how to carry them into effect once such decisions are made. What road should be followed? What forms should be adopted? What measures should be used? Experience has shown that a revolutionary movement may mark time, or even fail, not for lack of clearly defined orientations and objectives, but essentially because there have been no appropriate principles and methods of revolutionary action. Methods of revolutionary action are devised to defeat the enemy of the revolution, and in the most advantageous way, so that the revolution may attain its ends as quickly as possible. Here one also needs wisdom as well as courage; it is not only a science, but also an art. Decisions over methods of revolutionary action require, more than in any other field, that the revolutionary maintain the highest creative spirit. Revolution is creation; it cannot succeed without imagination and ingenuity. There has never been nor will there ever be a unique formula for making a revolution that is suited to all situations. One given method may be adaptable to a certain country but unsuitable in another. A correct method in certain times and circumstances may be erroneous in other situations. Everything depends on the concrete historical conditions..... It is a matter of principle that either in the daily policies or in the practice of revolutionary struggle... a revolutionary should never lose sight of the final goal. If one considers the fight for small daily gains and immediate targets as ‘everything’ and views the final goal as ‘nothing’... then one displays the worst kind of opportunism which can only result in keeping the popular masses in eternal servitude. However, it is by no means sufficient to comprehend only the final objective. While keeping in mind the revolutionary goal, the art of revolutionary leadership lies in knowing how to win judiciously step by step. Revolution is the work of millions of popular masses standing up to overthrow the ruling classes, which command powerful means of violence together with other material and spiritual forces. That is why a revolution is always a long-term process. From the initial steps to the final victory, a revolution necessarily goes through many difficult and complex stages of struggle full of twists and bends, clearing one obstacle after another and gradually changing the relation of forces between the revolution and the counter-revolution until overwhelming superiority is achieved over the ruling classes...”
Le Duan, The Vietnamese Revolution: Fundamental Problems and Essential Tasks, New World Paperbacks,