Monday, February 04, 2008

Politics of Poverty

A commentary on the recent events in Kenya by a comrade in Zambia

It is tragic that poor Africans end up killing themselves each other whenever a political leader they support loses an election.

This was the case in Kenya where hundreds died after President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of the presidential election. The defeated opposition politician Raila Odinga cried foul and his tribal supporters went on the rampage, burning 300 innocent children who had taken refuge in a church. It is the case that in Kenya and Zambia, politics are strongly influenced by ethnic and tribal loyalties. In Kenya the Kikuyu and Luo ended up killing each other because of unexplained ethnic and tribal paroxysms. Odinga believes that the elections were rigged. It is the case that the so-called Western observers help to fuel political instability in Africa through their seemingly innocuous pronouncements—they are always unsatisfied with the electoral procedures that take place in Africa.

What took place in Kenya is more like what took place in Zambia during the 2006 general election. President Levy Mwangwasa won the elections on a slim margin and most members of the opposition PF felt that the elections were rigged. In any event, the defeated Orange Democratic Movement does not have a credible political vision for the poor workers and peasants of Kenya—that is to say, the economic status quo would not have changed even if Odinga had become the President.

Tribalism speaks hard against political transparency in Africa—it defeats the concept of political multi-partyism that exists on paper.

It is mostly political hooligans and thugs who benefit from ethnic and tribal conflicts.

Disparities in income and wealth distribution exist across the broad ethnic and tribal divide.

To infer that the ruling political elites in Africa cannot accept a political defeat (constitutional transparency) is beyond our theoretical jurisdiction. The WSM does not support any political movement that aims to reform capitalism. We believe that racial, religious economic, political and ecological disasters that confront Mankind cannot be resolved from within the political and economic arrangement that prevails under capitalism. We are hereby appealing to the workers in Kenya and elsewhere to become class conscious and rally behind the banner of WORLD SOCIALISM.


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