The Party is a product of FORUM FOR THE RESTORATION OF DEMOCRACY (FORD), a pressure group founded by Democrats opposed to single-party rule by KANU in late 1980s early 1990s.
The pressure group’s demand for a multi-party democracy, the enjoyment of human rights and freedoms through advocacy and mass action compelled the government to expunge Section 2(a) from the Constitution of Kenya to give way to the operation of many political parties in the country.
Section 2(a) implanted by KANU in the early 1980s made Kenya a de facto one-party state. It severely limited democratic space and stifled freedom of expression in the country. Expulsions from the Party, kangaroo disciplinary courts, framing and intimidation of divergent opinion holders created fear in the nation. Democrats fled into exile while others were wrongfully detained and tortured at Nyayo House and Kamiti Maximum prison for their critical stances.
The upsurge of over 250 registered political parties(with FORD-Kenya as No. 2)after removal of Section 2(a) is clear evidence of the time-bomb FORD diffused in the country’s political fabric.
Power struggle for the leadership of FORD split the ranks in August 1992 leading to the registration of FORD-Kenya and FORD-Asili. The split denied the formidable opposition clear victory in the December 1992 general elections. KANU got into power with less than 40% votes compared to 60% divided votes for the opposition. The mistake was corrected in 2002 general elections when the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) won the general elections through FORD-Kenya initiated Breakfast meetings between Hon. Michael Wamalwa Kijana, the Hon. Mwai Kibaki of DP and the Hon. Charity Ngilu of SDP.
In 2007, ‘The Political Parties Act’ was enacted with FORD-Kenya’s initiative to regulate the smooth and meaningful operation of the mushrooming political parties on the scene.
The Act was revised and re-enacted in 2011 to strengthen their national character.
Formation of FORD-KENYA
1ST. REGISTRATION – In September 1992 under The Societies Act
2ND REGISTRATION-In August 2007 under The Political Parties Act No. 10 of 2007
3RD. REGISTRATION- In April 2012 under The Political Parties Act No. 11 of 2011 with over one thousand Membership support from the following Counties: Turkana, Trans-Nzoia, West/Pokot, Wajir, Garissa, Tana-River, Kilifi, Mombasa, Kwale, Taita/Taveta, Machakos, Kitui, Tharaka-Nithi, Meru, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Nairobi, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Nyamira, Kisii, Migori, Homa-Bay, Kisumu, Siaya, Busia, Vihiga, Kakamega, and Bungoma.
IDEOLGY: Social Democracy
VISION: To build a Secure, Just, democratic and a Prosperous united nation.
MISSION STATEMENT: Endeavoring to promote: Democracy, respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms, devolution of power and economic prosperity in partnership with Civil Society for transparency, Accountability and Good Governance of Kenya.
CORE VALUES: Integrity, Freedom, Justice, Truthfulness, Transparency, Accountability, Commitment, Reliability, Professionalism and Tolerance.
1ST. REGIME: Party Leader-Hon. Jaramogi Oginga Odinga-1992 – 20th. January 1994: . He was the Doyen and opposition magnet in Kenya. He was charismatic and revered by the ‘Young Turks’. Together, they increased democratic space and raised the pressure for enactment of a new Constitutional in Kenya.
He made FORD-Kenya to be the Official Leader of Opposition in Parliament between 1993 and 1997.
2ND. REGIME: H.E.MICHAEL WAMALWA KIJANA, EGH, MP – 1994-23rd. August 2003: An intellectual luminary, ‘Young Turk’, an orator and a shrewd states-man. He forged opposition unity (NARC) in 2002 to rout the KANU regime from power. He became the Vice-President and secured six Ministerial slots for the party. His call for ‘Grand March to State House’ elevated the party to the highest level of achievement in quest for leadership of the nation.
3RD. REGIME: HON. MUSIKARI N. KOMBO, EGH, MP – 2003 – March 2011: He crusaded for the enactment of ‘Anti-corruption Laws’ and ‘The Political parties Act 2007’. He was a shrewd diplomat, negotiator and a ‘political systems engineer’. He furthered the Party’s coalition building strategy and ‘dialogue’ on national issues. He expanded FORD-Kenya’s influence in the PNU Government with the appointment of eleven Party Ministers.
4TH. REGIME: SEN. MOSES M. WETANG’ULA, EGH- March 2011 TO DATE: A reputable Lawyer, astute leader and an accomplished speaker. He is the current Party Leader and Leader of Minority in the Senate of Kenya. Rated as best debater in the Senate, his bravery, outspokenness and respect for rule of law and good governance is racing him to fame. As CORD’s co-Principal and strategist, he has raise FORD-Kenya profile to an admirable level. Under him, the party stands big chances to increase its strength in August 2017 general elections from the current: one Governor, five Senators, eleven Members of National Assembly and sixty five Members of the County Assembly (MCAs).