By Bedah Mengo
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s political
landscape is set to change radically following the merger of
several parties to form one homogenous outfit known as Jubilee,
on which President Uhuru Kenyatta will seek re-election in next
About 12 small parties agreed to dissolve this week to form
Jubilee Party, which the President launched Saturday.
President Kenyatta, while speaking at the event to formalize
the new party in Nairobi, said Kenya has no choice but to unite
to avoid tragic consequences.
"We have in the past fallen prey to divisions based on
ethnicity and religion to serve the interest of a few. Ethnic
differences in Africa become political differences, with poverty
and hatred being the consequences," he said, adding Kenya nearly
disintegrated in 2008 due to ethnicity.
He said the Jubilee Party has one sole purpose in the East
African country, which is to bring people together for
development of the nation.
"We will grow as a party to embrace all and bring the nation
"We will promote internal democracy; every shed of opinion
will have space in the party and everyone despite their
ethnicity, colour and shape will call it home," he said, noting
Kenyans are tired of tribal political enclaves.
Following the launch of President Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party,
the East African nation would now have two major outfits namely
Jubilee and Cord, an alliance of small parties that form the
Opposition under leader Raila Odinga.
The two major parties, according to analysts, would dominate
the politics of the two nations in the coming years, with one
forming the government and the other Opposition.
Kenyans are, therefore, going to coalesce under the stronger
outfits based on the leaders they love and which party is in
"Politics is no longer going to be the same in Kenya, it is
either one is in the ruling Jubilee Party or Opposition Cord.
"This would be clear as the country heads towards the
"There would be little or no small parties," said Henry
Wandera, an economics lecturer and political analyst in Nairobi.
According to him, only candidates that would be nominated
under Cord and Jubilee in regions that they command support
would stand a chance to be elected governor, MPs, senators and
"Once elected, there would be little chance for leaders to
differ with their parties and associate with others and still
remain in Parliament under the same ticket as it has been the
"That means Kenyans will see some discipline in parties as it
were years ago.
"The recent passage of law to bar party hopping would help
entrench this," he said.
While this may be good for the bigger parties, Wandera
believes in the long-run it may stifle democracy and kill
"Smaller parties have in the past been the biggest
beneficiaries of fallout in bigger parties by some candidates
defecting once they lose nominations.
"But this would no longer be the case as candidates are
barred from decamping last-minute to other parties.
"With their resources, the bigger parties, therefore, would
dominate politics killing smaller parties and even independent
Jubilee Party leaders, however, insist that their outfit is
going to unite the country, which is currently deeply divided.
"We have started the journey to unite the country.
"We have brought together different political parties and
Kenyans from all across the country to unite.
"This event is a culmination of many years of nationalist and
social transformative agenda for our country," said Deputy
President William Ruto.
Some critics, however, have dismissed the political
developments in the country, particularly the formation of
Jubilee Party, noting a similar thing happened in 2008, where
former President Mwai Kibaki formed the Party of National Unity,
which collapsed soon as he ascended to power.
"To me nothing has changed.
"This is akin to wildebeests temporary migration stampede to
eat fresh grass across the river before return with many
"The bedrock of Kenya politics should be inclusive economy
and strengthening of devolution," said Ndung’u Wainaina, a human