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Internal reflections.

By the Interim Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kenya

Published on October 9, 2022.

 

'The crisis in the party cannot be understood simply at the level of the apparent splits and squabbling among communists.

Instead, these struggles reflect the emergence of opportunist lines in the party–and Marxist-Leninists' opposition to such lines and practices.

What value is it to the working class when the "communists" are united around an opportunist line?' 

1       Introduction

The Communist Party of Kenya (CPK) seeks to understand the source of the current crisis within the Party. The membership needs to learn from the crisis and reflect upon the experience to help find solutions to build a stronger Party that is ideologically driven and stands firmly on the Marxist-Leninist line.

The Party came under attack when two of its senior officials joined one of the two leading political coalitions during the 2022 elections campaigns, which went against Party regulations and the 2022 CPK election guidelines. Mghanga and Wachira broke off to join the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, the coalition that thrust President William Ruto into power.

The move shook the Party because (a) the Party had taken a non-partisan position and promised its members that it would not align with any of the bourgeois coalitions. This promise was broken without recourse as it was too late for candidates to appeal, and the breakaway members presented fabricated documents to the Kenyan authorities declaring they had the mandate to make such far-reaching decisions unilaterally. (b), the Party had already stated its position on the upcoming election: signed off by Mghanga, it had been agreed that members and candidates would 'think outside the box', and such thinking included an understanding that there was nothing of value or any difference between either of the leading coalitions. Meaning there was no need to seek out any coalitions or enter into any alliances in the first place.

As is the norm for any communist party, the CPK conducted its analysis of the 2022 elections. The Party's pre-election analysis concluded that both principal leading candidates: Ruto with Kenya Kwanza and Raila with Azimio, were comprador bourgeoisie and had nothing to offer the working class and the poor. In them, corruption, nepotism, tribalism and all the backward ideas of the old society reign.

Following the split, Mghanga and Wachira justified their decision to join the openly Right-Wing, Christian fundamentalist coalition. They called it the natural flow of things as they went where the people were. In a most fantastical tale responding to a member's demand for an explanation, they exalted the move as one of those enemies-to-lovers’ tropes. Wachira explained how he would use his presence to swoop in and save the masses from under Ruto and bring them to the Left!

Wachira, drunk from his successful coup to splinter the Party with impunity, swatted attempts to reason out the other more obvious reason why this split was bad for the Party, the Left and progressives in general. The fact that joining such a populist, right-wing coalition was most likely an attempt by the Christian fundamentalists to kill the Kenyan Left. He was a pawn who had been targeted because he was a senior official of the CPK. The KK alliance wanted to kill one of the few remaining political revolutionary movements and, as of now, the only known ideologically driven political party.

For a communist, the amoral justification for joining the coalition headed by the man who oversaw the broadest and fastest-growing rates of inequality in the history of independent Kenya - when he was the Deputy president - is an indigestible serving of irony.

After the dust settled, the truth rose above the minorities' dramatics, political theatre, and posturing during the campaign. It was simple, straightforward; none of that complicated, saviour-hero complex narrative Mghanga and Wachira had been weaving during the heat of the campaign. Clearly, their excuses had been nothing but word salad: using big words to hide their shame and soothe their public conscience from the clear guilt that they split out of self-interest. These former CPK officials were nothing but reactionary opportunists who saw the chance to gather material wealth and possibly get State appointments if Ruto won and took it. They were no longer interested in the class struggle. Lured by the glittering power and the wealth of the primitive wealth accumulator, Ruto, they took the easy way and split from the Party: splitting the Party along the way.

What cuts about this split is that, more than anyone, the duo understood just how bad things would get for the masses. The writing was on the wall: analysed and published by Mghanga, from the time Ruto emerged as the clear leading candidate, the clock on democracy started ticking. The question of his brutal past, corrupt legacy and imperialistic tendencies, coupled with the state corruption and mismanagement he had overseen as the deputy president, clearly indicated that class warfare would intensify – worse for Ruto, who seems to have no limit. It was natural that they would betray the cause, the poor and the Party. The talk of the poor was only rhetoric to win the masses on their side.

If nothing else sticks, this is the one thing that everyone in the Party, everyone in the struggle and those in solidarity with the Kenyan working class must understand. The temptation is real: William Ruto, a graduate of the brutal YK92, the brutal youth under the dictator Moi, and the immediate Deputy President who presided over the same problems he is purporting to solve, will potentially be a worse manager for the country than any other president before him.

That is why, in preparation to face and fight the battles ahead, we must reflect upon this split, so we learn and strengthen ourselves and others who will be looking for a home: be they progressives, leftists or fellow Communists that have a firm belief in the class struggle. Our reflections will take three lenses: an internal examination of why it happened, an external review of what happened, and a reflection on what this all means for the Party by looking at what happens now and next.

 

2       Internal reflections: why the party split.

We are not unique: what Mghanga and Wachira did was neither exceptional nor extraordinary. Senior members sometimes leave their parties, and life-long fighters tire or become traitors to the struggle. Their decision to split from the Party is an average and potentially accounted for as a cost of the struggle.

What concerns the Party, and is therefore cause for reflection, is not that they split but the fact that despite splitting and being unable to drag the majority of the Party with them, the duo and their supporters still think they have a right to demand the rest of the Party goes along with them. In fact, they have been engaging in active sabotage to derail the Party. Why?

Is this just arrogance borne of a power-drunk euphoria of the promises made to the minority by Ruto, or is it a sign of something more profound: a more sinister reason, perhaps? If they had just up and left the Party, there would be no articles about them. We would probably reflect on the departure of senior members, but it would neither be urgent nor with such concern. However, their continued conduct after leaving, particularly efforts to sabotage the Party and the decision to cling to the 'struggle', indicates there are more significant forces at play than simple sour grapes.

Therefore, the Party reasons that Mghanga and Wachira's departure is a sign of a deeper crisis: the first omen of the bad things to come and the direction of the struggle will take, both within the Party and for all Kenyans in general.

What William Ruto did in his search for power was expected, nothing out of the ordinary. He followed his nature. He acted according to his character and conditioning. It is the nature of the beast that the Kenyan neo-colonial system elevates the worst in our midst to the most powerful positions. It's a conspiracy of criminal gangs against the people. The poor are nothing but their pawns. We are voting machines to be manipulated by dirty money and lies. We are put in constant trauma and suffering, and any attempt to overthrow them is 'illegal'. What a silly democracy in which we are forced to accept murderers, robbers, and grabbers as our leaders. Nothing will change until the system is broken and built.

The elections in Kenya are polarised between two reactionary camps, trying to outwit one another through politics of lies, deception, outright bribery and using corporate media to drive certain narratives that are not anchored on truth. It is also essential to know that the leaders of those reactionary camps, Ruto and Raila, are firmly in one class: that of the billionaires. They represent the old society, the degenerating class of the capitalist and not the class of the future- the proletariat.

That is why the CPK choose to take a neutral stand in the presidential race. It was a concerted decision, and we refused to be dragged into the dog fight or to force our members – and candidates - to choose one group of thieves over the other.

Wachira’s view of Ruto was at par with the universally held view and was in line with analysis and opinion held by the Party. His pre-alliance sentiments were reflected on his Twitter post:         

                  @WachiraBW

Concerning the economy: William Ruto is rooting for an approach which will informalise the economy even further, and allow for the worst LOOTING of public funds. Musalia Mudavadi thinks NEO-LIBERALISM on steroids is the answer. Raila Odinga seems quiet.

From his Tweet, Wachira took the issue further making it clear that, while the two reactionary camps had nothing to offer Kenyans, Ruto’s rhetoric and campaign proposal would be worse for Kenyans than the other. Ruto would be more dangerous and more damaging for the poor and the Kenyan economy in general.

However, when Ruto’s people came knocking in their desire to kill ideology driven-parties and destroy the few leftist Parties remaining, Mwandawiro and Wachira saw their moment and in the most opportunistic of moves, betrayed the Party. Using fabricated resolutions – that even if valid had been overtaken by the published directives of the CPK 2022 election guidelines – the duo joined the new Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

In his response to the Party Youth League, Mwandawiro Mghanga was less fantastical than his student Wachira. His hastily composed reply was like the flick you give to a worrying child – as if the members of the Youth League could never comprehend the depth of his understanding and therefore did not deserve the respect of an explanation. Using the imagined authority of his former position as the National Chairperson (he was no longer the chairperson, for he had resigned in 2019 following the Political Party's regulatory directives that no Party official could hold Public Offices – and had never been reinstated) he wove lies in a word-salad of response not worth reading except to marvel at the intended insult. Below is Mghanga's reply to the Youth League dated April 11, 2022.

Dear comrades

Greetings! Thanks for your email. I am writing to assure you that the steps we are taking to enter into alliances with other political parties is in the ontrest of the party and also constitutional. It could not be otherwise and I as the chairperson can and will never do anything contrary to the in ntetest of the party of rebolution which does not come out of our subjective wishes but on concrete material and historial conditions.

In the present material conditions it is demanded that we enter into principles alliances with other Kenyan political parties and other formations of CPK has to move forward. Remember rebolution does not in a straight line but on zigzags but ways forward.

Comrades I will elaborate this when we meet on the course of the present striggles and future.

Long live CPK!

Long live socialism!

Mwandawiro Mghanga.

It is important to note that any attempts to meet the membership in form of the National Congress has been frustrated by duo with the help of the Kenyan state. For two senior leaders in the party to decide unilaterally to join one camp and only to start to justify that position after is a mockery of the Party processes. The position goes against the spirit and the letter of the party's official position. It is a hostile move: beyond petty betrayal or any other emotion, one may wish to assign to their grievous acts. Even after their split, the rest (and the majority) of the Party's position remains unwavering today as it was when it was signed and published on the party's official website and the party's official magazine - Itikadi. With this divergence, the Party dispassionately interprets the split in a number of ways:

  1. By joining Kenya Kwanza, the minority is now known as CPK Kenya Kwanza (CPK-KK). We have assigned them this name to distance ourselves from their activities because they refuse to leave the Party alone. They will keep dragging the CPK name along with them in the hopes of wringing out every last bit of advantage they can trade for their fortunes. So, we have to set them aside and move on, or the Party will be stuck in the mud-fight and forced to split its focus, which we have seen cannot be allowed to happen.
  2. CPK-KK is now an appendage of the neo-colonial Kenyan state by their alliance with the Kenya Kwanza Alliance. They are apologists for Mr Ruto's political rhetoric that flip-flops among three phrases: the hustlers versus the dynasty, the bottom-up economic model and Kenya first, rally call. Their attempts to pervert the people's struggle using these phrases do not reflect the class struggle. They are not an alternative because Ruto is an unapologetic turbo-capitalist and an imperialist stooge.
  3. We call their bluff: the fantastical declaration that CPK-KK will use their new clout as a State appendage to build the party through class collaboration. Because of the second reason stated above, we believe this will be their weapon of choice: a play on words by the saboteurs who deploy them as weapons to infiltrate and then silence the Leftist Progressive Movement. After all, why bother clinging to these labels if they are already with the people: the duo and their followers are now full puppets of Ruto and the capitalist State and exist to serve the right-wing fundamentalist movement to its ends.

With the three reflections above, a picture begins to emerge for we can see why Mghanga and Wachira 'had to' make such risky, fraudulent moves to join the coalition and their subsequent conduct, why they were willing to burn the Party – with the majority of its membership – to the ground in their fervour to join with Ruto.

  1. It is why, despite leaving of their own volition, these former senior officials feel it was necessary to keep pulling on to the Party.
  2. It is why they felt they had a right to drag the rest of the membership to the right – and did so with enthusiasm and righteous indignation – because that was their trade-off and value to Ruto and the State, whether they knew it or not.
  3. It is why, most of all, they feel like they are still Communists despite being beholden to the State and deliberately sabotaging the organising and administration activities of the Party.

Clearly, Mghanga and Wachira were nothing but puppets dancing to William Ruto's infamous MO. Ruto’s modus operandi is well known. When he was the Deputy President, he pulled in the poor whose poverty he was perpetuating using his now-perfected rags (chicken farmer) to billionaire narrative. He spoke of his sudden 'riches' as blessings and collected televangelists and other religious leaders who preached the US-grown prosperity gospel narrative sold his story as the path to prosperity – and blessings. In other words, by supporting and believing in Ruto, poor Kenyans – the hustlers – would jump from their current poverty levels to join the billionaire class. If nothing else, he knew the tricks the 'others' in government used to steal from Kenyans, and they should elect him because he was now a Christian like them and would go in there and stop it from happening.

His tears at the prospect of facing legal consequences and his weekly donations to churches and other humble brags went a long way to appeal to the poor, who saw him as a victim. He elevated himself from a man riddled with state corruption and a brutal past and called himself a God-given saviour to the Kenyan poor. This struck a deep chord leading to the same populist airs that swept Donald Trump's followers in America.

Now that Ruto is the president, he needs more than preachers speaking of miracles and new places to shed tears to remain 'humble' and connected with the poor. After cannibalising the Christians, he needs to wear a different skin, which is why the new patchwork of progressives and Leftists he has collected will give him the cover he needs as he builds and strengthens his cover image so he can move about and do as he pleases. That is why he pursued Wachira and Mghanga: they bought him cover during the campaigns and will likely be called again and again to shed political tears the more time he has to advance his cause.

 

3       External reflections: what happens now that the Party is split?

The pitiful explanations about joining the 'other side' to 'convert them from within' was a sad attempt for a man who once stood as a bastion of dictator Moi and refused to bow to the capitalist, dictatorship powers no matter how strong they were. Every revolutionary, especially one seasoned as Mghanga, understands better than others the dark allure of this corrupt power. They also know they are the perfect targets for recruitment as double agents or, in the case where the State, like in Kenya, is as corrupt as it is shameless, as impotent symbols of democracy or other theatres the ruling class play on the majority poor.

Mghanga and Wachira fell for this trope or agreed to it. But considering they are no blushing revolutionary and idealistic young looking to imprint on the next populist movement that just happened to walk by, what happens next is on them. Whatever price they will pay is on them, for there is always a price to pay for joining their side. So far, they are still making basic moves intended to drag the rest of the Party screaming to the KK alliance. This has been met with resistance, but we must admit it has been costly to the Party. All the same, we can expect they will do more or be required to make sacrifices to prove they are fully converted and part of the hustler movement.

In a ritualised move, Wachira and Mghanga did precisely what our colonial collaborators did to justify siding with the British colonialists. Like the colonial collaborators, they were selected because of their position of influence. After buying into the idea, they repeated the same words all collaborators have spoken before them: they spoke of how, by being with the power, they would learn the wicked ways of the sausage-making of the colonial masters and use that knowledge to lead a revolution from within. Sounds familiar? Mghanga's analysis of Ruto explains why it was so easy for them to fall for his charm:

'Ruto is a known kleptocrat who is nothing but corrupt, greedy, capitalist dictators who will only increase inequality: fixing Kenyans within the boxes they want to endure. The system of the capitalist political parties in power today is for the interests of the class of the rich few and not for that of you the majority of Kenyans who are poor, marginalised, and desperate.' (Mwandawiro Mghanga, 2022). 

For someone with such strong – and clear understanding – to make such an about-turn and become a Ruto apologist, Mghanga must have undergone either an intense re-education or rather sold his soul to preserve a system of robbery and racketeering. Whatever happened, it must have been powerful enough of re-education that he turned so fast and so completely. From this side of the revolution, his turn was not unlike the vaulted mafia, where one is forced to kill or commit a capital crime to be accepted as a member of the 'family.' It is why the Party is neither surprised nor concerned that their mission since walking off has been to keep looking back and throwing as many obstacles to sabotage and distract the Party as they can. We believe this is the only way they can prove they are 'full-blooded hustlers' deep with Ruto.

Such intense and unrelenting attacks – coming after the campaigns are over - are why these reflections matter now more than ever. The battle had changed tactics, reverting to the days of dictator Moi when resistance and opposition were silenced by buying off the leaders. Ruto, a more polished version of the dictator Moi, will not be blunt enough to deploy the weapons himself. His 'coalition' was just the beginning. Expect things to get worse from here on, even when it appears that Mghanga and Wachira have 'proven' themselves by their incessant sabotage of the Party. Their mission is not accomplished.

What would make the most ultra-capitalist, corrupt president happier than sabotaging one of the few remaining ideologically opposed, progressive, leftist parties and power base in Kenya? And if he can use former insiders to do it, wouldn't it be sweeter? To the departed minority who joined the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, we are an obstacle: the thing standing on their path to whatever lofty promises they have been given. They are in limbo – caught between the pull of their old selves and the new promise of riches and life under the protection of the State. But the former is only a public pull for their actions speak of a total commitment to their new course. As such, we are a threat to their 'supremacy' and the promised land: every day we stand and resist, we symbolise their failure to complete their mission. We are an obstacle. We are now the enemy.

That is why they keep looking back and working so hard to sabotage and 'finish' us and why they will never stop because this is exactly how Uhuru Kenyatta managed to 'finish' Raila Odinga. If you recall, Odinga was the voice of opposition following the contested 2017 general elections. He proved to the Court that the election was rigged and that Uhuru and Ruto – his rivals – had stolen the victory from him, and the Court ordered a repeat of the polls. Even then, Raila was already tired: being older and foolishly trusting his mystique appeal to carry him through to victory, he took his eye off the ball and lost for the third time to Uhuru and Ruto.

But what happened next shocked even his most loyal supporters. On the day Raila Odinga was supposed to be crowned the People's President by the people who truly believed he had won and had been rigged out of not one, not two, but three elections, Raila changed his convoy and drove to State House, where we were treated to the now, infamous handshake with Uhuru Kenyatta. That was his downfall and the loss of his allure.

After joining the 'enemy' for the second time, Raila lost the teeth to fight against a corrupt regime, for there was no credible voice of opposition to question Ruto and Uhuru's rampant corruption and mismanagement of the country. Raila was done: he went into bed with the State, and there was no space for even thought of opposing it because how could he? The handshake was also reminiscent of what he did with the dictator Moi when he joined forces with Moi under the tinga tinga movement.

As with dictator Moi, Raila could not authentically call on true support during the elections. In 2002, he called out for President Kibaki and took a back seat to support him because Kibaki had remained firmly in the opposition and made an effort to remove the dictator Moi from power. In 2022, he looked up to his political partner Uhuru to support him back, but considering the disaster of Uhuru's presidency, there was no solid support. He had been declawed and blunted into a caricature of his worst nightmare.

This is the fate of revolutionaries who join their oppressors and the people they have spent their lives fighting. They are never let free: they can be released to wreak havoc and to become political fodder in heated battles, but breaking the faith and collaborating with the former enemies leaves a bad taste in the people because nobody will ever be sure for whom you speak.

It is not just in Kenya that the resistance has been betrayed by its leaders. 'Communists', too, have a long and sordid history of betrayal and selling out. For example, Mghanga's bold claims that he would be going in to convert the masses is a reminder of the self-proclaimed Marxist Bill Warren of the United Kingdom.

Bill, holding his 'Leninist' lenses, held a strong opinion that capitalism or imperialism in the form of direct colonial rule played a revolutionary role in the southern hemisphere. According to him, colonialism performed a historic role in those non-European, economically, culturally, and politically: through capital exports and improving the productive forces in those colonies and whitewashing the savagery of colonialism and making it look revolutionary. In the history of the global communist movements, even in Lenin's time the opportunist crusaders of the second international published a heap of garbage to justify their opportunistic line.

This is what Mghanga and Wachira have done, and it rings of the very words used by Raila – twice – to join with his fellow capitalist stooges. We can deny that, yes, we are in class politics. However, out rightly joining one faction of the capitalist class to deceive the masses is not class struggle but class collaboration. Kenya Kwanza means Kenya First; this is a slogan of petty nationalism.

That is why when it comes to class positioning, the CPK-KK leaders are part of the comprador class; these scoundrels have no manners. They have thrown their lot with Ruto: an unrepentant primitive accumulator of wealth. Their apologist statements to justify his conduct reeks of stupid, fantastical lies and must be rejected with hostility. These dimwits, now puppets of global cabals and their silly think tanks, can only lead the party to the gutters.

Other infamous traitors to the global communist cause, like Bernstein and Kautsky, are reminders that even seemingly genuine communists can turn. For a while, the duo pretended to be worshippers of Marx and Engels before they exposed themselves. Now, they are recorded in history as traitors. They betrayed Marxism, Marx and Engels, their comrades in the revolution. We also remember Trotsky, the chap who held an important post in the Bolshevik Party and became an enemy of the Soviet state. Zhang Guo-tao defected from Mao Ze-dong and the CPC to Jiang Jie-shi.

All these traitors ended their days in misery. But did those revolutions get frustrated or retreat because of their betrayals? The revolution developed and surged with fresh vitality each time the turncoats were removed.

After the removal of Trotsky, how remarkably socialist construction was promoted in the Soviet Union! Trotsky thought that without him, everything Stalin did would fail, and the Soviet state would go to ruin. But the Soviet people built their country up to be the leading socialist power in the world, as well as a global power. After Zhang Guo-tao deserted the CPC and became a Kuomintang parasite, the Chinese revolution did not wane; on the contrary, it continued its upward spiral and achieved nationwide victory.

If the revisionists do not want to make a revolution, they are welcome to go their own way. But the danger lies in the fact that they are even opposed to other people making a revolution and go to the lengths of imposing revisionism upon others. In doing so, they call the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists who refuse to follow their revisionist opportunist line the enemies of the working class. This is sickening and absurd!

 

4       Reflections on what happens next.

With these reflections, the Party must also accept criticism – internal criticism that comes from these honest reflections, not the harsh retrogressive criticism from the bourgeoisie, other political parties and their sympathisers – to determine what, if any, action out to be taken to prevent a repeat of the same mistakes.

We can draw from our reflections that people betray their Parties and the communist cause for several reasons. Dwelling on these traitors is distraction revolutionaries can ill afford. One can only move forward and strengthen the Party from within to prevent future direct sabotage from within and to ensure their departure does not weaken the Party.

Through this publication, the Party seeks to hold itself accountable for its mistakes and restructure itself to account for past errors to emerge even stronger as a vanguard of the Kenyan working class. We intend to build a party conscious of its continental and international duties. We have made mistakes, individually and as an organisation, and it will be foolish not to learn from them.

 

4.1      Who we are:

The Communist Party of Kenya is incorruptible; we have never received any monies from the State, even when facing the most extreme difficulties. We will not allow this record to be sullied by two senior officials, no matter the appeal of that quick means. Neither should we lie to ourselves that much good can come from such a collaboration.

That the faction already failed in its online and even legal smear campaigns is a dash of confidence that the majority of the membership that firmly believes in the revolution is aware of the fallacies of these delusions of 'going where the people' are. We can confidently assert that we don't bow down to criminals or a tyrant's fury; we fight more forcefully.

Should it come to pass that, with the help of this State or as part of the State, the former comrades should try to neutralise our voices; the membership will never kneel before the dirty capitalists. Not in fear of state-sponsored violence or psychological war from the reactionary elements. We are the beacon of resistance. Those who try to make us prisoners of bourgeoisie legality will fail miserably.

Earlier, we had mentioned the word-salad response Mghanga gave to the members of the Young Communist League. It is important to acknowledge the deliberation and process that went into posing those questions to the former National Chairperson. Future communists can see the collected and unwavering respect the members had for the Party procedures and the democratic proceedings that went into the discussions with Mghanga.

                  April 10, 2022

Hello Comrades, receive our revolutionary greetings from the young communist league, we wish to seek your indulgence and clarification on the purported coalition agreement between the Communist Party of Kenya and the United Democratic Alliance under the Kenya Kwanza Coalition.

There has been confusion among the YCL cadres. After not receiving proper directions on the matter from the central leadership, we convened a virtual meeting on April 10 at 8:00 pm to deliberate on the same. After hearing from the members of the YCL, we concluded that if the purported plan were true, it would be detrimental to the party in general.

As a revolutionary and a vanguard party, our organisational discipline must be guided by Democratic centralism as stipulated in our party constitution. We wish to know if such due process was followed and why the move to Join the Coalition was made?

 

                    We are looking forward to your timely response.

                    Regards

Young Communist League

While Mghanga's response was meant to divert the questions to focus not on the substance of the weighty matters by falsely using his former position to prop his response, it is clear that even then, the former chairman failed to see the big picture. To him, political power was the goal: no matter how 'zigzag' the road it took to get there. That is the corruption of ideology and why we learn that political power, particularly the parliamentary process, is not the way to liberate people. Indeed, Mghanga had made the same arguments when asking Kenyans to think outside the box. Turning back to look at the zig-zag political compromise as the path to revolution was a perversion of the ideology as it changed the objective of the revolution – not as a means to defeat the class system – into some game for political power. This is a clear case of miseducation and a clear ploy to dilute, eventually killing the Party and its revolutionary character.

We don't even see the parliamentary as a way to liberate our people, but we must participate in the bourgeoisie elections because we cannot abandon the people to only the reactionary ideas of the ruling class. Also, winning elected positions gives us the power to entrench the resistance and strengthen the struggle for socialism will only happen when the power structures are changed from within: taking back from the minority oppressors and giving to the majority working class.

 

4.2      How to get there:

4.2.1      Use theory and action to cement the unity of the party. We have a big problem when the party is theoretically clear but acts otherwise.

It is as old as that adage of doing as I say and not as I do – a perversion of communism. The recent split is one example of this perversion: The party had been crystal clear on the issue of coalitions and published a document entitled 'On the 2022 General Elections, Kenyans Think out of the Box'. This was the right thing to do, for it is a tradition for communists globally to publish their works and to use those theoretical analyses as a guide for action.

The document was published as the official party position on the 2022 elections; it was propagated as one of the primary documents in the study circles and all the party branches. Despite this analysis and the publication, the officials still went into the box and joined with one of the competing coalitions: fixing members and candidates in an untenable position and creating antagonistic differences that led to the eventual split.

There are differences, and there are differences; there are contradictions, and there are contradictions. We have learnt of antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions; both cases have different ways to resolve them in the party. The contradictions between labour and capital have no peaceful resolution. The contradictions between the reactionary opportunist and revolutionary lines have no peaceful solution. 

 

4.2.2      We must also recognise and rectify the Party's compromised foundation.

The party comes from a Social Democratic tradition; this has compromised the organisation line of the party. To retain the prerequisite requirement for the party to be registrable under the bourgeoisie legality, the leadership opened a floodgate for membership under what was called mass members. These strata of membership had no theoretical or practical basis for joining the party, and some were just entered into the party register as fillers. It is better to have no party members than to have fake members; this was a severe error in our attempt to build a vanguard party of the Kenyan working class.

The majority of the people in leadership were half-baked or, worse, had no clue of how to be a member of a communist party. Their class origin was never correctly investigated, so we had a Central Committee jammed with people from the petit bourgeoisie strata of society and not the working class. These people found their way into the party leadership through personal ties and individual appointments; this is a second organisational error we must correct. To build a party on the Marxist – Leninist type knows no shortcut, and we must always be willing to toil for the party to stand.

 

4.2.3      When opportunism has transitioned to active class collaboration, like in our party, a split must be pursued in a thoroughgoing fashion.

Class collaboration is only a means to auction the working class to their murderers, the bourgeoisie. This crisis also presents an opportunity for all comrades to embrace the rectification program the party is rolling out. As comrade Mao Tse Tung puts it that the only way to settle questions of an ideological nature or controversial issues among the people is by the democratic method, the method of discussion, criticism, persuasion and education, and not by the method of coercion or repression (Tse Tung, 1957). No single leader should be seen to impose his will on the membership.

The abstracts or illusions of class struggle will vaporise and give way to the concrete class struggle that unfolds daily before us. The fantasies of advancing class war through Ruto's hustler narrative is the yardstick to measure degeneration or opportunism in our party ranks. In our view, the crisis in the party cannot be understood simply at the level of the apparent splits and squabbling among communists. Instead, these struggles reflect the emergence of opportunist lines in the party–and Marxist-Leninists' opposition to such lines and practices. What value is it to the working class when the "communists" are united but united around an opportunist line?

We vividly remember the historical degeneration of the Second International and the more recent betrayals of the workers in the history of our struggles, both in Lenin and Mao's eras. There are differences, those that require splits and those that do not; not all differences can be lumped as sectarianism. If those differences are antagonistic or are in an opportunistic line, especially by senior cadres or leadership of the party, then those differences must draw hostility from the membership.

The members must not be prisoners of bourgeois legality; they must aggressively and with a lot of determination intensify ideological struggle in the party. Tactics such as revolutionary violence should be used to decimate cancerous elements in the party. In that way, there is no problem with splitting the party as a mechanism to prepare the party for enriched unity in its purest form.

Stealing the party and preserving its unity must be devoid of commandism attitude from the top leadership and be done only through active ideological struggle without sinking to conciliate opportunism. Those comrades that fall into error must accept and start a rectification process immediately. Without that, they can only be purged and replaced with able comrades; we are never short of revolutionaries to replenish our ranks.

Any illusion that the drivers of class collaboration in the party led by Mghanga and Wachira will surrender in humiliation is a fantasy; these individuals are succeeding in their mandate. They have a plan to disrupt any organisation of the left and put the party on its knees. This is the task they do shamelessly and consciously. So, they have to be crushed to atoms or broken beyond recognition and forgotten in the practical life of the party. Then we would have started the process of rectification.

Those comrades that have fallen to such irresponsible fantasies peddled by the young Wachira and his older brother Mghanga should go back to study Marx more carefully. The thought of imposing class consciousness from a force above the masses and riding on the hustler rhetoric of Ruto to advance the class struggle in Kenya is suffering from what Lenin will call an infantile disorder or petty bourgeoisie childishness. They must know that the duo firmly supports class collaboration; that's what they have been hired to do. So far, they had a momentary victory by using bourgeois instruments to frustrate the party.

 

4.2.4      Can the two factions unite?

On unity calls, what use will be a united communist party to the proletariat if that unity is based on revisionism and opportunism? We have received calls to unite the party, but how is that possible with criminals? The pathetic few, who continue to call themselves leaders, have given themselves positions in the working-class movement; we must never forget that the party congress is divine. The enemies in the party have belittled the importance and the authority of the congress

We begin by taking ownership of splits, and betrayal is part of the struggle. CPK is a product of the struggle, no single individual, however senior in the party, can claim ownership of the communist party of Kenya. The true heroes are the sons and daughters of the poor who continue to martyr in the streets defending this democratic space.

 

Death with opportunism!

Death with Revisionism!

Long live the party of the Working Class!

Long live CPK!

CPK-ML Interim Central Committee

 

4.3       Bibliography:

1. Mwandawiro Mghanga, J. (2022). Communist Party of Kenya (CPK). Itikadi, I(III). https://communistpartyofkenya.org/87-recent-news/231-kenyans-must-think-and-elect-leaders-from-outside-the-box-to-achieve-greater-democracy,-in-2022-elections

2. Sung, K. I. (1977). On the Building of the Workers' Party of Korea.

3. Tse Tung, M. (1957). Quotations from Mao Tse Tung—Chapter 4.

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/works/red-book/ch04.html

5       Addendums

 

5.1      Wachira's defence on why he joined Kenya Kwanza.

On April 11 2022, the party's youth league wrote an email to Mghanga, Wachira's teacher, questioning the unilateral decision to join the Kenya Kwanza brigade. The reply was brief and swift: he affirmed that he is the party's chairperson and that the unilateral decisions were constitutional. He then went further to say that the decision was not based on subjective wishes but concrete material and historical reality and concluded that it was made out of principle.

Below is Wachira's defence verbatim on why he joined Kenya Kwanza; he opens it with a mockery of the comrade questioning him. A crude tactic to disempower any debates, plainly insinuating that the comrade should retake his revolutionary classes seriously. 

"It depends on how good you attended the classes my comrade. CPK is founded first and foremost on class politics. The proletariat on one side, and the bourgeoisie on the other. In the politics of today, one side is pushing for hustler - dynasty divide (class politics in simplistic terms) while the other side is talking about bourgeois politics. Where should the CPK stand? Should the communists sit back and allow the class politics to be pushed by others, or should we get in there and sharpen it further?

In the past, the Party has remained neutral during elections. Also, those who own and control capital (as a class) in Kenya have in the past publicly pretended to remain neutral, but they have secretly supported the two leading sides. However, this year, for the first time in recent times, those who own and control the commanding heights of the economy have openly taken sides with Azimio. The communists therefore have a historic duty to openly take sides against that class that has openly taken sides.

 CPK is the original bottom-up economics pusher. You know very well that we oppose neoliberal trickle-down economics. Now, for the first time in recent history, the neoliberal debate is on the table. Kenya Kwanza is pushing for a bottom up approach, Azimio is pushing for a trickle-down approach. Should the Party join the side that is pushing for this ideological position, or should it sit on the fence and pretend to be neutral, at a time when the masses are listening to political parties?

Lastly, remember dialectical materialism. Things do not go in a straight line. When the terrain of the struggle changes, you also change your tactics, but the struggle remains. We are in a historic period where we must participate in giving direction at the national level. Today, the Coalition is the tactic, while the Party remains the strategy."

 

Our take on this response:

Any revolutionary reading these for the first time would think of how revisionism and opportunism come to play and how comrades that think they are clever can use such ambiguity to justify their opportunistic line.

How is the decision constitutional without subjecting it to the party structures? To ignore democratic centralism is to betray Marxism.

Secondly, he had forgotten that just a few months ago, he had signed off the CPK position as a guide for the party; this was thoroughly studied in the party cells and adopted holistically.

The masses are not with us but the evangelicals and the hustler's crusaders. Voila, welcome aboard to the capitalist organisation where the masses are. The hustler narrative is a declaration of class war and presents an opportunity to imbue class consciousness from a force above the working class. This is utter nonsense

The masses are not with the left movement, so we need to join the group where the masses are. We could hear them shouting at the top of their voices, a degenerating pathetic lot. Not much thinking is required to relate the Kenya Kwanza brigade to the neo-fascist racist Trump supporters in the United States of America. Kenya Kwanza can loosely be translated as Kenya First, a slogan of petty nationalism used in the filthy dungeons of white supremacists and now translated as progressive by the pseudo communists in Kenya led by their teachers Mghanga and Wachira. 

 

5.2   Why the CPK participates in elections

The reasons why communist parties participate in liberal elections can be condensed as in the electioneering process, the masses are politically activated, and it will be irrational to abandon the masses to only reactionary ideas of the parasitic class. Secondly, it is an opportunity for the party to do propaganda work and unveil the contradictions inherent in the society and the emptiness of capitalist democracy, and finally, to use it as an empirical measure of the kind of work we have done among the masses.

If CPK is successful, the struggle leads to the sterile bourgeois parliament. This may come with benefits like access to financial resources to build the party. However, this is not necessarily so since we had elected 'members' that refused to contribute to the party and only perfected the art of cutting deals for personal gain. This is the problem we face when we allow anyone who can pay to vie with our party and more so when those payers are not trained, revolutionaries.

National elections that are held after every five years are made to seem to be only meaningless rituals. Yet the elections are important, for they are used to legitimise successive regimes that ensure that you remain firmly fixed in the box. Were you to come out of the box and listen to us who care for you then you would use democracy to win progressive reforms and to enhance the class struggle. All the said presidential candidates from the box being popularised by the media are capitalists.

Their ideology and that of their political parties embrace the values and principles of capitalism. Capitalism is the system based on private property and exploitation and oppression of person by person. Capitalism is the basis of the corruption, greed, and inequality that you are fixed in the box to endure. The system of the capitalist political parties in power today is for the interests of the class of the rich few and not for that of you the majority of Kenyans who are poor, marginalised, and desperate (Mwandawiro Mghanga, 2022). 

 

6        The fabricated letter Mghanga and Wachira used to justify unilateral decision to join Kenya kwanza alliance.

Below is a snapshot of the fabricated letter that was presented to the Registrar and used at the Political Parties Tribunal to ‘prove’ that Mghanga and Wachira had the mandate to enter into a coalition with Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

Here is the take by the CPK on this letter:

1.     Using the supposed mandate that had been given to them in 2019, from SDP resolutions, the duo assigned themselves the rights to join the Alliance according to the Political Parties. This unilateral authority did not give the rest of the Central Committee or membership any option to discuss or be consulted on this endeavour. Any Communist or reasonable person who has ever participated in organisational conduct understands this would be a totally untenable position and power to any two individuals.

2.     Contravening the Party’s directives on the 2022 elections, including promises to politicians who vied under the CPK banner, the duo did as they wished. They conned unsuspecting Kenyans money by selling lies to them and those who dared questioned them were frustrated by denying them nomination party certificates. Some member had to leave the party to contest for the 2022 elections where they won.

3.     Once these documents were presented as evidence that the duo had the right to enter into the alliance, they were accepted as true documents by the State – even when the minutes or attendance and other supporting documents were not available. There would be no help from the State on this.

4.     The decision to go this far – fabricating the letter and declining to put into consideration the wishes of the membership is indicative of the larger issue at play. Specifically, joining the Kenya Kwanza was a done deal: nothing was going to turn back the clock and no logic or appeal was going to make them change their minds. By taking burning the bridges and not caring how their conduct would be perceived by the majority, it is clear they were no longer members of the Party. CPK as we had known it was fully split and this was supported by the post-split conduct exhibited by Mwandawiro Mghanga’s post-split email.

 

 

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