Our History


The FORD-Kenya Party is a product of the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD), a pressure group founded by democrats opposed to single party rule by Kenya African National Union (KANU) in late 1980s and 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 operation of many political parties in the country.

Section 2(a) implanted by KANU in 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.

Party Formation

1st Registration

The Societies Act

2nd Registration

The Political Parties Act No. 10 of 2007

August 2007

3rd Registration

The Political Parties Act No. 11 of 2011

April 2012

Quality Contributions

Advancement of people friendly motions, mooting of ‘The inter parties parliamentary group’ (IPPG) to enhance political reforms for free and fair elections; reduction of power in the chief’s authority act, abolition of the public security act, balancing the Electoral Commission of Kenya and advocacy for its independence and the push for liberalization of the airwaves stamped Ford Kenya’s authority on the seventh parliament.

The party’s clarion call for good governance, transparency and accountability made big public sense.

Its partnership with the vibrant civic society strengthened public clamor for new constitutional order and the set up of The Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC) in 1998 to write the “Bomas Draft”.

The party’s historic reform agenda suffered a number of misfortunes. The demise of the founding fathers (Masinde Muliro in August 1992, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga in February 1994, Achieng’ Oneko in June 2007, John Kapten in December 1999, and the vice president Kijana Wamalwa in August 2003) however sad left a strong reformist legacy.

In addition splits in 1996, 2006 and 2011 due to succession disputes just dispersed the party’s democratic pollen to fertilize new settlements.

Despite these setbacks, the party’s presence in the successive and National politics continued to be felt through fielding of popular motions and building of pre-election coalitions which secured powered in 2002 after ousting KANU regime from power.

The Party’s drive for reforms did not only manifest in return of Kenya to multi-party democracy but is also evidenced in the sponsorship of the following motions in the house:

Midway through the Eighth parliament in 1999, FORD-Kenya initiated coalitions discussions with Democratic Party (DP) and the National Party of Kenya (NPK) through the famous “breakfast meetings” dubbed later on as “the Boston tea party”. These drive resulted in the establishment of National Alliance Party of Kenya (NAK). Under NAK, the parties built a strong foundation for a new political dispensation through “the fundamental principles of constitution making, and “the vision and economic strategy”. The entry of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) transformed NAK into National Rainbow Coalition and increased Kenyans impetus to defeat KANU in the 2002 general elections.

Early disagreements in the NARC government divided the coalition during the November 2005 referendum on “wako draft constitution”. Rejection of the draft led to dissolution of cabinet. The new cabinet excluded LDP. NARC absorbed FORD-People and transformed into “The Government of National Unity”. In 2007, the Party and other partners formed another coalition under Party of National Unity (PNU) which went on to win the disputed general election of 2007. The party played a conciliatory role and was represented in the peace and reconciliation process by Hon. Moses Wetangula.

International intervention under Mr. Koffi Annan not only restored peace but also established “the grand coalition government’ which gave ODM the newly created office of Prime Minister and half the Government.

FORD-Kenya secured three ministries in PNU share of Government.

Mid 2010, the party used this ground to influence the promulgation of the New Constitution to usher in the long awaited constitutional dispensation.

In March 2011, it overcame internal opposition and wrangles and held its 6th grassroots and National elections to usher in the leadership of Hon. Moses Wetangula.

Leadership Regimes

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.

our history

2nd Regime

Party Leader
Hon. Michael Wamalwa Kijana
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.

our history

3rd Regime

Party Leader
Hon. Musikari Nazi Kombo
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.

our history

4th Regime

Party Leader
Hon. Moses Masika Wetang'ula
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).

our history