Longevity and graft intolerance lessons Kenya can learn from CPC
Academic scholars and think tanks who attended a seminar on the Communist Party of China's centenary celebrations at the University of Nairobi on Wednesday said that longevity and intolerance to corruption are among the key lessons Kenyan political parties can borrow from the CPC.
In attendance during the seminar themed "Governance and Experience" and which was also held virtually were Zhou Pingjian, Chinese ambassador to Kenya, as well as senior government officials, scholars and students.
Speaking during a panel discussion at the seminar, Peter Kagwanja, the chief executive of the Africa Policy Institute, said the CPC's zero-tolerance to corruption has enabled it to maintain discipline within its ranks, assert the rule of law and safeguard crucial resources for development.
"One of the most enduring lessons from the experience of the CPC over the last century is that long-term stability of political parties is necessary for development," Kagwanja said.
"Another lesson is that constant monitoring and review of policies leads to party renewal and reforms of society in response to emerging challenges and enhances the relevance of the party. As an intellectual-oriented and reformist party, the CPC has presided over China's rapid economic growth into the ‘world factory' and global powerhouse with the second largest economy," he added.
In his address, Zhou gave a vivid history of China and the CPC, the challenges they have gone through and the remarkable changes they have made through launching the great revolution, reforms and opening-up, as well as removing all ideological and institutional barriers to the country's development.
"The Communist Party of China is a success story. Since 1949 China has made great progress in its modernization drive through rapid economic progress and lasting social stability. The CPC is always dedicated to change," Zhou said.
"Under the leadership of the CPC, China's socialist democracy is the broadest, most genuine, and most effective democracy to safeguard the fundamental interests of the people. The CPC always has its goal as the people's desire for a better life and pursues people-centered development," he added.
The ambassador also pointed out that the CPC strives for both the well-being of the Chinese people and human progress. He added that everything the CPC is doing is to improve the livelihood of the Chinese people, renew the Chinese nation and promote peace and development for mankind.
Stephen Kiama, the University of Nairobi's vice-chancellor, expressed admiration for China's ruling party, citing the achievements it has made, particularly in tackling corruption, and urged Kenyan counterparts to borrow a page.
"The evolution of political parties as effective agents of public administration and governance in Kenya has been to a large extent an underperformance in the view of some scholars in Kenya. We need to interrogate the experience of the CPC and draw lessons that could enrich political parties in Kenya and strengthen their ideological orientation," Kiama said.
"Kenya is a nascent multiparty democracy and we are in concurrence that political parties are supposed to be the vehicles for implementing public administration and governance. That is why I believe we need to address the underlying issues and challenges that have contributed to the poor rate card of our political parties by learning from established parties like the CPC," he added.
John Mutiso, the director of international relations for Kenya's ruling Jubilee Party, said the government believes that the China story is an amazing story and that is why it has partnered with the Chinese government in many projects, especially in infrastructure development.
"The Chinese people have a story to share with us all and we as political parties have a lot to learn from the CPC and its 100 years of existence. The CPC shows that strong political parties are necessary for guiding the development and prosperity of the people. Every country needs strong parties to advance the course of democracy and human development," Mutiso said.