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Reenergizing the Youth League

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We, the ANC Interim Youth Leaders from a Tour the Country met here at our Party Headquarters today Wednesday 08 August 2018, under the aegis of our Party and the Centre for Multiparty Democracy in Kenya (CMD).

The purpose of the meeting was to explore ways and means of reenergizing the Youth League and how we, the young people, can engage more constructively in decision making in our Party and through it in our country.

We hail CMD for the role it has played in the expansion of democratic space in our country since its inception in the early 1990s. We may have been too young then, but our history traces us that those were truly hard times when the one party mentality and its vestiges ravaged our country.

We note with due concern that there are emerging trends and appetites in sections of the political class to drag back the country to the one party rule days. Talk of formation of a government of national unity (GNU) has been rife and rampant – even in the Press.

We wish to caution against the desire by some people to diffuse the borders that separate political parties, through these GNU machinations. Let us remind ourselves that one party schemes killed centres of diverse political opinion when Kenya dissolved Opposition parties soon after independence to form a GNU under KANU. This sinister move led to the death of devolved government in 1965 when the Senate and Regional Assemblies were abolished.

We also want to remind ourselves that when the Senate was abolished in 1965 Senators crossed over to the National Assembly, to complete what was left of their terms. And with this, the doors of one party dictatorship were opened.

We see that the present GNU talk wants to take Kenya back to that darkness. As Young Democrats, we will resist all ploys to kill political parties as centres of alternative voices. The Opposition must never die again. In this regard, we hail the firm stand that our Party Leader, H. E. Musalia Mudavadi, has taken as Kenya’s new paragon of democracy.

We are pleased to note that the topmost leadership of ANC has rejected to be cajoled or hoodwinked into a GNU. The country has no need for a GNU. A GNU should never be formed to feed the appetites of individuals for power, or to kill democracy. After the now famous March 9 handshake, we recognize that there exists a legitimate government under President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Jubilee Government has enough numbers to enable it legislate. It does not, therefore, need a GNU. On the other hand, to govern the country, Jubilee needs the goodwill of all Kenyans. Such goodwill can be enjoyed without Opposition parties and leaders scrambling into government. We associate our Party Leader’s stand that good government policies and programs can be supported from outside the government.

Equally important, we the ANC Youth League leaders rededicate ourselves to active peaceful resistance of bad policies and bad government. ANC has always believed in peaceful conduct of public affairs – as manifested by our name AMANI, Peace. As a National Congress of the peaceful, we remind Kenyans that the absence of violence does not mean the absence of Opposition. When those who employ violence are no longer active, it is wrong to conclude that there is now no Opposition. For avoidance of doubt, we are the Opposition, together with all those other 63 political parties outside government, with ANC – now the biggest Opposition Party in the country – in the saddle.

Going forward, we will continue to participate actively in keeping the government on its toes. We are enjoined to the top party leadership in eternal vigilance against misrule. We oppose Cabinet reshuffles that seek to kill democracy. We are pleased that our Party will not join any such Cabinet if one is formed.

We also oppose constitutional amendments that only seek to meet the power pursuits of individuals. Any amendments to the Constitution must be in the interest of the people of Kenya.

We call for redress of electoral injustices and justice for victims of electoral violence in successive elections. It is exactly one year today, to the day since the last general election. Kenyans must know why they lost family members, property and blood in the election. The citizen’s casting of the ballot must have dignified democratic meaning.

We will pursue the cause of justice, as ANC Youth. Injustice must never be swept under carpets of handshakes, no matter how well meaning they may be. Issues that have plagued the country must be openly discussed in all inclusive forums.

It is ironic that while the Building Bridges Nine Point proposal has inclusivity as one of the points of focus, the process is itself so far not inclusive. It is therefore a flawed process from the start. It’s owners – and especially President Kenyatta – must wake up to this glaring contradiction. He must dissolve the lame duck team and prepare the way for a constructive, all inclusive democratic national dialogue.

We will be soon addressing many other things that are not right in our country. But we limit ourselves to the foregoing for now. But not without warning two truant ANC legislators who have been hell bent on undermining the Party that we are watching them. Their goose is cooking and we will very soon be on their case, as the ANC Youth League. Their political damnation is not far.