Famous former Kenyan blogger to open Pirate Party branch

(Pirate Party Kenya logo courtesy of H.E. Kahenya Kamunyu, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Famous for­mer Ken­y­an blog­ger, tech­pre­neur and wri­ter Kahenya Kamun­yu today announ­ced the for­ma­ti­on of Pira­te Par­ty Kenya.

In a fes­ti­ve event at Tri­be Hotel, Mr. Kahenya said that Pira­te Par­ty Kenya has now been offi­cial­ly regis­tered accord­ing to Chap­ter 7 (a) of the Poli­ti­cal Par­ties Act as a Poli­ti­cal Par­ty in Kenya.

Pira­te Par­ty International

Pira­te Par­ty must not be mista­ken for the East­leigh-based Pira­tes Ran­soms Asso­cia­ti­on (PRA) or the Give Enough Money Asso­cia­ti­on (GEMA), but is ins­tead a Poli­ti­cal Par­ty which has of late been suc­cess­ful in dif­fe­rent coun­tries such as Scan­di­na­via or German.

Mr. Kahenya today said that the moti­va­ti­on for the for­ma­ti­on of the Ken­y­an branch of Pira­te Par­ty came from rea­ding the late Wahome Muta­hi’s “How to be Ken­y­an” which remin­ded him of the core values wit­hin the Ken­y­an socie­ty: good lea­ders­hip, quick wins and a rich nation.

Accord­ing to an Inter­net data­ba­se, the Pira­te Par­ties sup­port civil rights, direct demo­cra­cy and par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on, reform of copy­right and patent law, free sharing of know­ledge (Open Con­tent), data pri­va­cy, trans­pa­ren­cy, free­dom of infor­ma­ti­on, free edu­ca­ti­on and uni­ver­sal healthcare.

Pira­te Par­ty Kenya will be the first Pira­te Par­ty branch in Sub Saha­ra Afri­ca, with Moroc­co and Tuni­sia being the other two Up Saha­ra Afri­can coun­tries whe­re Pira­te Par­ties exist, albeit unre­gis­tered. This will make Pira­te Par­ty Kenya uni­que on the con­ti­nent and will under­line the important role it will play for the regi­on, Mr. Kamun­yu said.

Inte­res­ted mem­bers of the public and all mem­bers of Ken­ya’s famous tech incu­ba­tor iHub are asked to join and regis­ter with Pira­te Par­ty Kenya as of today, Mr. Kahenya said.

Upco­m­ing elections

Mr. Kahenya also said that he is going to run for the pre­si­den­ti­al seat in 2012.

After a quick enqui­ry via the Nati­on’s Social Media back chan­nel Twit­ter, many Ken­y­an Twit­ter cele­bri­ties wel­co­med this announ­ce­ment and said they will sup­port Mr. Kahenya and even vote for him in the upco­m­ing elections.

Twit­ter is an instant mes­sa­ge ser­vice simi­lar to SMS and has recent­ly been announ­ced as the offi­cial suc­ces­sor to SMS by Safa­ri­com’s plea­sant CEO Bob Col­ly­mo­re. In a press announ­ce­ment via Twit­ter ear­lier this week, Mr. Col­ly­mo­re said that his com­pa­ny will offer spe­cial Twit­ter packa­ges and is alrea­dy in talks with Twit­ter Inc. in Cali­for­nia for a zero cos­ts access service.

Band­width, band­width, bandwidth

Pira­te Par­ty Kenya, Mr. Kamun­yu said, will also focus on band­width pro­blems which have of late been an issue in the upco­m­ing ICT indus­try in Ken­ya’s stri­ving capi­tal Nai­ro­bi. “We will actual­ly work for band­width”, Mr. Kamun­yu said. “Inte­res­ted IT com­pa­nies will recei­ve a redu­ced mem­bers­hip fee for their employees and are also encou­ra­ged to pay via sta­ble band­width, air­ti­me credits or local con­tent”, he said.

“Pira­te Par­ty Kenya will also advo­ca­te for Free and Open Soft­ware in Kenya and ask the Government of Kenya to intro­du­ce a secu­re web-based email ser­vice for all public ser­vants. This will also ensu­re pro­duc­ti­vi­ty at various parasta­tal offices which are often affec­ted by mal­wa­re and other secu­ri­ty issu­es.”, Mr. Kahenya said.

Mr Kahenya also said that “in a coun­try whe­re you can alrea­dy pay your rent, your electri­ci­ty, inter­net and water bills via mobi­le pay­ment sys­tems, it is about time to have a modern poli­ti­cal par­ty which addres­ses the needs of all sta­ke­hol­ders. Pira­te Par­ty Kenya will stand for the­se rights and will ensu­re that Ken­yans are pre­pa­red for the glo­bal competition.
Fur­ther­mo­re, we encou­ra­ge ever­yo­ne who is fed up with the cur­rent poli­ti­cal spec­trum to give us his vote as we also pro­vi­de demo­cra­cy at a very basic level. All our mem­bers can direct­ly vote for a can­di­da­te and it is this demo­cra­tic basis that ensu­res sta­bi­li­ty in the long run”.

In a direct respon­se via Face­book, famous Ken­y­an wri­ter Bin­ya­van­ga Wai­nai­na said that he will name one of the cha­rac­ters in his upco­m­ing novel “Kahenya”. Mr Wai­nai­na is cur­r­ent­ly crowd­sour­cing fic­tio­n­al cha­rac­ters for a novel on a Ken­y­an who beco­mes a Swa­hi­li star in popu­lar Nol­ly­wood movies. It is said to be the first true pie­ce of pan-Afri­can fic­tion after the remains of Muammar al-Gad­da­fi’s dia­ries (“United Sta­tes of Afri­ca”) whe­re found in a sewa­ge pipe in Sir­te, Libya in Octo­ber 2011. Binya, as he is com­mon­ly known among his fans, said that “I sup­port Kahenya Kamun­yu’s intro­duc­tion of the Pira­te Par­ty sys­tem in Kenya becau­se Pira­te Par­ty Kenya will play an important role for the ack­now­led­ge­ment of Intel­lec­tu­al Pro­per­ty Rights which have always been an issue in most Afri­can socie­ties due to his­to­ri­cal rea­sons.”.

Mean­while, the web­site of Pira­te Par­ty Kenya could not be reached at the time we went to press. “We are cur­r­ent­ly expe­ri­en­cing tech­ni­cal pro­blems with the load balan­cer”, Mr Kahenya said in a tele­pho­ne inter­view. “This, howe­ver, also is a good sign as it clear­ly shows the demand for a Pira­te Par­ty in Kenya”, he said.

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