Speech at the Official Launch of CCM At Korogocho
Football Field on 2nd March, 2007
First, we thank all who came for this official launch of Chama cha Mwananchi, a party that Honorable Kivutha Kibwana and Danson Mungatana and like minded money bags have ridiculed as “Chama cha Maskini” or “Party of the Poor”. Yes, they have called us “Chama cha Maskini.” We accept. Majority of Kenyan people are poor. They have also called CCM Chama cha Mapinduzi or “Party of the Revolution” and we accept. We need a democratic revolution to overthrow our poverty and its mother system.
Whose party is CCM?
CCM is a party of ordinary Kenyans that suffer discrimination, oppression and exploitation, increasing the number of our poor by the day and the year. CCM is a party of the poor that need and don’t have a voice in the higher ranks of our current parties and government. CCM is a party of all ordinary Kenyans and not that of a particular tribe or tribes.
Why have we formed CCM when there are other parties already?
We formed CCM for the following reasons: Give voice to poor wananchi who need and don’t have one to fight for them. Fight for the poor whose number is increasing daily because parties of the rich and intellectuals only pay lip service to the eradication of poverty. Fight poverty that is the biggest foe of our people and country. Rescue our economy from foreign ownership and control. Since independence, all our parties, governments and good life have belonged to the rich. We have formed CCM as an instrument of reversing the unfair order of things. We believe time has come for ordinary people to have their own party that will some day soon form a government whose primary goal will be to solve crippling problems of poor people and not help the wealthy get richer.
Why have we come to Korogocho to launch CCM?
Rather than go to Grand Regency, Safari Park or Bomas of Kenya to launch Chama cha Mwananchi, we have come to Korogocho because CCM is a party of the poorest of the poor who live in the slums of Korogocho, Kibera, Mathare, Bondeni, Kawangware, Kiamaina, Land Panya and other slums and rural villages of our country. As a party of the people, it would have been laughable to launch CCM at Muthaiga or Lavington where the stinking rich live. Members of CCM live live in Korogocho not Muthaiga. CCM could only be launched at Korogocho.
And why do we launch CCM on 2nd March, the J.M Kariuki Day?
We are launching CCM on J.M. Kariuki Day because JM is our patron saint and CCM’s only task will be to complete JM’s dream of liberating the poor. We still remember that JM was killed for saying no to a Kenya of ten millionaires and ten million beggars. Were he alive today, he would say to a Kenya of 34 billionaires and 34 million beggars. In fighting to eradicate poverty, CCM will also be fighting to fulfill the dream of Mau Mau, Elijah Masinde, Mekatilili wa Menza, Koitalel arap Samoe, Pio Gama Pinto, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Bishop Muge, Karimi Nduthu, Titus Adungosi, Bildad Kaggia and all our other heroes and heroines that died that we be free and live well.
Who is welcome to own and build CCM?
The 27 million Kenyans who are poor and destitute or middle class but live on the edge and fear of slipping over precipice and plunging into the abyss of poverty. 17 million Kenyans who depend on chance for their daily bread. All those to whom clean water remains a dream. All those who live with treatable diseases for lack of money to buy medicine. Workers that are paid less than 200 shillings a day. Parents whose children miss secondary school education for lack of school fees. Unemployed who lack both work and land. All who dwell in our miserable slums. Hawkers, shoe shiners, market women and all who have no freedom to do their small businesses. Unsettled victims of ethnic clashes. Those who suffer discrimination because they live in our internal diasporas and are not identifiable as this or that ethnic community. Mau Mau and other freedom fighters that live in poverty like the family of Dedan Kimathi. And Kenyans who live in areas of little or no development at all. But as CCM welcomes so many, it bars as members or candidates those who are thieves, corrupt, dictators, torturers, violators of human rights and propagators of ethnic hate.
What kinds of poverty will CCM fight?
We shall fight poverty that afflicts the body like lack of food, clothing, medicine, water and decent shelter. We shall fight the poverty of lacking human values that make us human beings that respect and not seek to oppress others. Above all we shall fight mental blindness and slavery of the mind that makes the poor tolerate poverty, some fight their own emancipation and deny the poor the will to remove the noose of poverty from their own necks. What is the mission of CCM? We proclaim the mission of CCM is to remove the chains of slavery, break the yokes of oppression and let the downtrodden poor go free. When CCM comes to power, rather than the police arrest people who have lost the way or are drunk, they shall show them the way and escort them home. Once in power, CCM government shall reduce salaries that are too high like those of MPs, government ministers, presidents, managing directors of state and private companies and CEOs of NGOs in order to raise money for the support of those who cannot afford a meal a day. CCM government shall also restore price control for among others essential commodities like maize flour, milk, medicine, bread, paraffin, fares and reduce huge farms of a few individuals and families, foreign and Kenyan in order to find land for the landless squatters and slum dwellers to build homes, grow food and bury their dead. Finally CCM shall not hesitate to arrest, prosecute and jail the corrupt, big and small, that we see crisscrossing our cities and countryside seeking votes to become our presidents, MPs and councilors, God help us.
What shall be CCM’s primary duty?
CCM’s primary duty shall be to fight against the biggest enemies of our people and country which are the ever increasing corruption that kills poor people daily, exploitation of paying people salaries that buy nothing, prices that are forever going up, poor pay for agricultural products, negative ethnicity that pits the poor one against another and poverty that breeds hunger, disease and mental blindness for the poor.
Why does CCM want the poor to wage their own struggle?
If the poor are the backbone of rich man’s political parties, why can’t they be the backbone of their own party? If it is the sweat of the poor that creates wealth for the rich, why can’t it create wealth for the poor? If it is the votes of the poor that enthrone the rich into government, why can’t the poor vote their own government into power? If the poor have been so good at dying for the interests of their ethnic leaders, why can’t they use their superior numbers to champion their own interests?
And is it true that saving the poor is a pipe dream and a utopia that will never be?
Liberation of the poor is not a pipe dream. In Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, people have achieved the dream of liberating the poor. We too can if we can begin to punish corruption. In the small island of Cuba, no more endowed with natural resources than Kenya, people have achieved the dream of liberating the poor. We too can if vote out of power our corrupt leaders. In China, the country with the biggest population in the world, people have achieved the dream of saving the poor. We too can if we can first liberate our minds from slavery. In Britain, our yesteryear colonizers, people have achieved the dream of feeding the families of the unemployed. We too can if we can end foreign ownership of our economy. In Japan and Malaysia, people have achieved the dream of employing and instilling patriotism in nearly everyone. We too can if we can stop relying on our very exploiters for our development.
What must the poor do to self-liberate?
To self-liberate the poor must have faith and confidence they can self-liberate. The poor must stop believing in the emasculating propaganda of those that want to enslave them perpetually. The sheep must not look up to the lion, the hyena and the fox to save him. The poor must think more about their own problems than those of their leaders. The poor must think hard of solutions to their problems and not take futile refuge in religion, sport, music and alcohol. What is our enemy society? Unfortunately ours has become a jungle society. The strong eat the weak.Grass eaters are meals of meat eaters. A brutish system has created a society of brutes. We look after our own. No one looks after the other. The exploiter eats the exploited. The poor is food for the rich. Ours is no longer a society of humans but wildlife. We survive by the sharpness of our teeth and length of our claws. CCM urges we create a human society. To survive, the weak must unite. We must replace the system of exploitation with a system that liberates. Ours must be a system of democracy and socialism. We must be our brother’s keeper. The rich must not again eat the poor. Every one must be a brother not the food of the other. What patriotism does CCM believe in? CCM believes Kenya is one. Kenyans are one people. To preserve Kenya, CCM believes it must fight tribalism with all its might. To keep Kenya from disintegrating, CCM opposes majimboism with all its might. Kenya must not be allowed to go up in flames like Rwanda, Somalia, Liberia or Yugoslavia.
Why must the rich embrace the liberation of the poor?
Ultimately security of the rich depends upon salvation of the poor. If the rich puts the poor in the prison of hunger, The poor will put the rich in the prison of terror. We must heed the advice of the American President John F. Kennedy: A government unwilling to help the poor cannot protect the rich. A poor man’s freedom from hunger is a rich man’s security. Is CCM not a communist party? By preaching equality, some will say CCM is propagating communism. But the equality of CCM is nothing but pure humanism, pure Godliness. God created humans to share his bounty. However much the economy grows, If it does not eliminate poverty, It will not be people’s economy, It will be an economy of hyenas. The challenge is not in catching “numbi”, but sharing him out. Kenya needs new people, To give our country a new beginning, That will create a new Kenya, without dirt, greed or mental slavery. The poor of all tribes must unite. Their needs are the same. Their problems are the same. Indeed their tribe is one, the tribe of the poor. In CCM, the poor join hands, In unity there will be nothing to lose, but the chains that bind you. Hon. Koigi wa Wamwere MP.
Published by the editorial board CCM june 2007.