In the Fog of the Seasons’ End

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Alex La Guma, the South African novelist who was exiled for long in Cuba wrote the novel, In the Fog of the Seasons’ End, which the title of this editorial is drawn from. The use of this title reflects the end of the 2022 electoral cycle in Kenya. This electoral cycle culminated in the general elections that took place on August 9, 2022. Though politicians in this country usually begin campaigns for the next elections just after the seeming end of another, the end of an electoral cycle marks the beginning of political re-alignments and an opportunity for the country to calm down after a roller coaster on the high tides of electoral politics.

Liberal elections, also variously referred to as bourgeoisie elections, are usually a cut–throat game of monied politicians who can sway ethnic loyalty to their side. Such politicians consider elections as a business investment to continue pilfering the neo–colonial state. The gullible masses who often vote blindly for these self–seeking politicians are used as mere stepping stones for selfish political and business interests, and are easily trod on and discarded after elections.

There seems no end in sight to this charade of liberal elections. Candidates fronting progressive and pro–people politics hardly gain traction in liberal elections and are easily swept aside to the shores of defeat and disillusion, often left to view the arena on the sidelines of liberal politics. Progressive politicians are therefore conditioned to align with either of the major political interests, the famed two horse race, or baronial factions as it were, or be consigned to their principles in oblivion.

The dilemma of pursuing progressive politics is common practice, not only in this country but across the world. The political history of this country in the post-independence era is awash with accounts of progressive politicians who were swept on the wayside by liberal and delusional politics. Such politicians include Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Bildad Kaggia, Chelagat Mutai, Peter Young Kihara, Wangari Maathai, among other radical politicians.

However, even if these politicians could not mortgage their souls to finance capital that would have enabled them to rise above the din of liberal and dirty politics, they managed to push the boundaries of resistance against tribal hegemony and the strivings for just social order. Success in liberal politics and elections does not necessarily mean the triumph of ideas. It can also mean the triumph of backwardness and the dearth of progressive ideas. Only upon the shoulders and backs of progressive politicians who seemingly lost in liberal politics would we forge the struggles for just social order, in the present and future. Seeming defeat lies endless possibilities for a re-awakening.

The articles in this issue, the 11th so far, present a motley of reflections. Some of these reflect on ongoing people’s struggles within the stated mission of this publication to connect people’s struggles. Other articles reflect the just concluded general elections in Kenya, and on the possibilities of progressive awakenings. All said and done, progressive politics in this country going forward might be shaped by (one) Ideological left politics, (two) Mobilising radical youth (including the over 8 million who did not vote in the elections), and (three) Agitations for parliamentary system of governance that would give vent and voice to minority voices.

Hope you will enjoy reading this issue, and as usual, share your feedback. Your feedback helps us to improve further as we strive to connect progressive people’s struggles in this country and elsewhere.

Ahsanteni sana

Njuki Githethwa

Managing Editor

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