DEMOCRACY

Don’t just be a number in political parties

Participation is crucial.

In Summary
  • Awareness and taking individual initiative are essential.
  • Granting consent to be recruited out of a conviction to ascribe to ideologies and ideals of a party certainly should be the starting point.
CRP receives its certificate after registration at the Registrar of Political Parties offices on Monday, June 24, 2019.
CRP receives its certificate after registration at the Registrar of Political Parties offices on Monday, June 24, 2019.
Image: COURTESY

Wananchi are in their millions in the books of various duly registered political parties. The number may be a necessity rather than valuable critical mass involved in the propagating the foundational tenets of the party.

This is also dependent on the degree of enlightenment of these members or the structures in place. In some instances, reportedly, the enlisting of members boarders on unorthodox means in a rush to meet the legal requirement for political parties to attain and maintain at least 1,000 members in not less than half of the counties.

A sizeable number of these members may or may not be aware of their standing despite mechanisms to check and authenticate membership. One of the key mechanisms is now in place; Integrated Political Parties System, a web-based solution developed and managed by the political parties’ regulator—the Office of Registrar of Political Parties.

The system allows holders of access rights to upload membership lists as well as check against duplications, as one is required to belong to only one political party at any given time.

Mindful of Kenya’s political terrain, members of political parties may need to actively take up the mantle in ensuring the ideologies assumed by their party take shape and sharpen the objective for which they were formed.

Awareness and taking individual initiative are essential. Granting consent to be recruited out of a conviction to ascribe to ideologies and ideals of a party certainly should be the starting point.

Consequent to the duly undertaken recruitment process, a member becomes a key stakeholder in the political party they belong to. In principle then, the recruit is entitled to full participation and involvement in the affairs of the party within stipulated codes and procedures.

Mindful of Kenya’s political terrain, members of political parties may need to actively take up the mantle in ensuring the ideologies assumed by their party take shape and sharpen the objective for which they were formed.

This means a member can make a demand concerning an issue. Taking this route, much as it appears that there is little price to bear, is a sure way for collegiate responsibility between the founders of the party and its membership. This will allow them to read from the same script as well as take informed positions on matters of national and public good.

The shaping and institutionalising of political parties is in the impermeable bond that exists between the party proponents and its members which should always be established and nurtured.

In the Kenyan context, political parties, now 68 fully registered ones, have jointly made progressive inroads in respect to according the people avenues for constitutionally-granted political participation. It is only in a well-structured running of political parties, size notwithstanding, that democracy flourishes and society progresses.