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Interview With George Nyongesa, Chairman Bunge La Mwananchi

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Bunge la Mwananchi is both a concept and an organization. It is a concept for bringing people together at the grassroots to dialogue on pertinent issues, make resolutions and implement them. It is an organization of grassroots people formed to articulate grassroots people agenda. Bunge la Mwananchi creates community platforms for amplifying grassroots people’s power to decide on their politics and economics so as to improve their social conditions. Therefore, Bunge la Mwananchi is a grass root political movement fashioned as an open public platform or a virtual space for democratic civic actions organized around socio-economic problems affecting a majority of Kenyans with an agenda to transfrom Kenya’s politics. The name Bunge la Mwananchi, (BLM), is a Swahili phrase that translates into English as “people’s parliament”. BLM is modelled on a hybrid between the English parliamentary system and the traditional African community gatherings structured for community dialogue. In practice, BLM, is a mega parliament where people can come together around issues affecting them, discuss and determine solutions for their leaders to implement. This mega parliament is made up of several community platforms that evolve organically across the country. It is this almost “uncoordinated” organic evolution of community platforms that make the organization a movement. The movement envisages a functional participative bottom-up democracy that forms a government of the people for the people by the people. Our goal is to create platforms or spaces where Kenyans can come together regularly to dialogue around their “real life challenges”, investigate their interconnection to government or global policies and political accountability; and consolidate their power to push for change.

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