SDP changes name to Communist Party of Kenya

Tuesday March 12 2019

Social Democratic Party of Kenya Secretary-General Benedict Wachira (right) submitting party registration documents to then Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndungu in Nairobi on April 19, 2012. SDP has changed its name to Communist Party of Kenya. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The Social Democratic Party has changed its name to Communist Party of Kenya with effect from March 5, 2019.

The change of name was made during the party’s top organ National Congress meeting held on January 5, 2019. This was followed up by the order of the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal that was delivered on March 5.

The symbol of the party has changed from the face of a watch, commonly referred to as masaa, to a red square background emblazoned with scythe and a mallet.

In an advertisement in the local dailies, Secretary-General Benedict Wachira, said the party remains committed to its Communist path founded on a Marxist Leninist line and the strength of Kenyan working class and its allies.

Among the objectives include to sensitise, educate and recruit, mobilise people to understand and practice ideals and tenets of socialism so as to work towards a class less society by way of overcoming all forms of exploitation and oppression of person by person.



“To work towards people’s power by actively participating in, and identifying with the people’s struggle,” Mr Wachira said.

The party was formed in 1992 by Mr Johnstone Makau, then Kangundo MP. He also served as a Cabinet minister in the Moi government.

READ: SDP officials to remain in office, says registrar

However, in 1992 the party did not field a presidential candidate in the December General Election.  

Just before the 1997 General Election Anyang Nyongo, James Orengo, Beth Mugo, and Charity Ngilu joined the party. Ms Ngilu was picked as the party’s flag bearer in 1997, she finished in fifth place in a field of 15 candidates with 7.9 per cent of the vote.


The party also won 15 seats in the National Assembly. Mr Nyongo used the party to contest for the Kisumu Rural seat in 1997 and lost. He was nominated instead.

Among those elected on the party’s ticket in 1997 was Mr David Murathe as Gatanga MP.

READ: Former MPs, top lawyers give SDP a new national face

Ngilu left the party after the elections, and in 2001 was succeeded by Orengo who used the party to contest the 2002 presidential election after his fallout with Raila Odinga.

Just like Ms Ngilu, Mr Orengo performed disastrously. He received just 0.4 per cent of the vote. He also lost his Ugenya parliamentary seat.  

It also failed to win seats in the 2013 elections, receiving only 0.15 per cent of the vote with seven candidates.