The local organizing committee for the August national congress was driven by private gain, abuse of rules set by the global Pan African Movement secretariat and proceeded contrary to the legitimate and moral expectations of Pan African ideals.
The Pan Africa movement is a powerful force in Africa and in the Diaspora seeking to engage in international real politics in order to neutralize the forces of neo-liberal globalization, which favor capital and markets. The movement opposes subordination of the development interests of African people and states to multinational businesses and foreign interests. But this global movement will have no meaning for Kenya if the Pan African Movement-Kenya is not re-organized and re- constituted as we work towards the 8th Pan African Congress according to the road map unanimously adopted at the emergency meeting of the Governing Council (GC) and International Preparatory Committee (IPC) in Ghana on the 28 February 2015.
GC and IPC proposed a process - not an event - which would culminate in the 8th Pan African Congress by ensuring adequate preparation and all-inclusive participation of African people in Africa and in Diaspora. The process was to be held in three phases.
In the first phase nations were to hold their national congresses, whereby interested participants were to be drawn from different platforms, which included governments, opposition political parties, intellectuals and academia, workers movements, youth movements, religious and ethnic leaders, artists and cultural expressionists, persons living with disabilities, and so on. Organizations and individuals involved in the Pan African movement were to discuss issues guided by the concept note, generate their own resolutions as per their specific situations to be implemented nationally, and as positions or proposals to be forwarded by their delegates to the regional congress. They had also to generate a list of delegates for the regional congress with at least one person representing each of the platforms constituting the congress.
In the second phase, regions were to hold their congresses, whereby all delegates and participants chosen from the first phase of national congress, based on their national congress as well as representative of the caucuses of the special interest groups, would be represented and present their report and resolutions to the regional congress about the meeting held at the national level. The delegates of each nation were to carry the general resolutions of their national congress. There was to be “no-delegate” participants who were to participate in their own capacities but were not to vote in the regional congress sessions.
The third phase was to be the great 8th global Pan African Congress which is scheduled to take place by 31 May 2016, whereby delegates will renew the momentum and mobilization towards integration, unity, solidarity within Africa and the Diaspora, consistent with Africa’s vision of building an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.
Kenya’s process towards the Eastern Africa Region Pan Africa Congress (EARPAC) that was held on 10 -12 August 2015 at Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi, was intertwined and defined by abuse of the processes spearheaded by the local organizing committee which was put in place to realize the success towards EARPAC. The Kenya delegates list was contentious. Those who went there purporting to represent Kenya were just a bunch of people who did not go through Kenya’s national congress selection. The local organizing committee was driven by private gain, abuse of rules set by global Pan African Movement secretariat and contrary to the legitimate and moral expectations of Pan African ideals.
Kenya’s local organizing committee with the backing of Pan African Governing Council chairman, who is also Uganda’s justice minister, displayed elitism, betrayal and impunity. The committee dismissed and belittled Bunge La Mwananchi [The Citizen’s Parliament">, Kenya’s only vibrant social movement, when Bunge tried to point out the impunity that was being bulldozed in the whole process.
Bunge La Mwananchi was the only Kenyan body that had spearheaded the implementation of Kenya national congress as guided by the concept note from the governing council during the EARPAC. The genuine Kenyan delegates who had followed the due process were excluded and discriminated against during the congress. Liars masqueraded as Kenyan delegates in order to use unfair means or process of accessing and controlling undeserved goods, positions and services.
The purported Kenyan delegates looted Pan African materials, cheated, lied, manipulated and threatened genuine Bunge La Mwananchi delegates for their selfish gains at the expense of those who were supposed to be genuine delegates.
The Global Pan Africa Movement should not recognize delegates who represented Kenya at the EARPAC. They were board-room delegates, chosen by selfish and egocentric political parties, and did not participate in the national processes. It is only the delegates who passed through Kenya’s process spearheaded by Bunge La Mwananchi who are better placed to articulate Kenyan social, cultural affairs, economics and politics.
The Bunge La Mwanachi-led national congress included a wide range of interested parties in the platform processes which gave Pan African movement more legitimacy in the eyes of African people in Africa and in Diaspora, because Bunge has Africa’s interest at heart.
Julius Okoth is a social justice advocate and member of Bunge La Mwananchi movement in Kenya.
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