The Building Of The Communist Party Of Kenya

This 695-page book compiled by the Central Organizing Committee of the Communist Party of Kenya (CPK) was launched on 30 April 2023. It is not clear as to whose, or which, history has been recorded as the authors of most of the theoretical pieces in the book are no longer members of this CPK. Leafing through the book I noticed two pieces (See pages 491, 613) which I had written as a member of the Social Democratic Party in 2015 – I wish hereby to clarify that I am not a member of the CPK, this or any other. (It is difficult to know if there are more writings by me as this historical book does not have an index, and no permission was sought.)

It has become necessary for me to state the above as none of the concerns I raised then are in any way reflected in the theories or praxis of the CPK as per this book – the woman question is not only not discussed, it is not even raised. ‘Gender equality’ is the closest reference I was able to identify and that was it, just a phrase! No theoretical discourse, praxis or even analysis.

Noted is the total absence of the ideology of PATRIARCHY in this book – a system which not only underpins capitalism and perpetuates a dysfunctional family structure which enslaves women, but also skews every aspect of our social, economic and political infrastructure including our struggle for a better world – a system that Lenin was determined to dismantle. The deafening silence of women’s voices or concerns in this book is indeed disturbing.


COMMENT from BOOKER OMOLE on 15 May 2023, Left Forum

Dear Comrade Zarina,

We have carefully reviewed the comments you shared with us, and we appreciate your engagement with the party. We have taken the time to thoroughly discuss your concerns at both the editorial committee and the Central Organizing Committee levels, and we have a few things we would like to share with you.

Firstly, we acknowledge that knowledge comes from experience and direct practice. This is the first time not only the Communist Party of Kenya, but any party in Kenya, has undertaken a project of this nature. We view this as a learning process, and we are committed to improving with each publication.

Secondly, the purpose of the book was not to present the party as perfect, but rather to provide a comprehensive anthology that sheds light on the intricacies of party building throughout history. Our intention was not to engage in creative writing, but rather to present our correspondences and reflections in their raw format. Regarding the issue of gender, we would like to emphasize that our party employs a class and gender approach. We acknowledge that it has been a challenge to attract more women revolutionaries, but we are proud to say that this challenge has been overcome in our ranks. We have women occupying top positions such as Secretary General, Secretary of International Relations and Ideology, and National Treasurer. This was not the case during your tenure as Gender Secretary, where you were the only revolutionary woman, and the rest were mainly acquaintances of Wachira and Mwandawiro. Our deliberate effort towards gender equality has resulted in a more diverse and representative party.

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