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.
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.