Sunday, 18 September 2011

“Setting the agenda for our leaders from under a tree”: The People’s Parliament in Nairobi

by Wangui Kimari & Jacob Rasmussen, Nokoko

In a park in the heart of Nairobi, members of Bunge la Mwananchi, which means “the people’s parliament” in Swahili, meet every day. Four benches placed in the cool shade of bougainvillea trees form the physical base of the parliament, or Bunge, as it is more colloquially known. Each day, heated debates about topical issues concerning Kenyan politics and the occasional scandal take place. The daily gatherings are public debating forums, open to all ethnic groups, genders, occupations, and party affiliations. By virtue of this inclusivity, Bunge la Mwananchi transgresses many of the boundaries that routinely frame Kenyan politics.

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