ODM de­mands Sh5.1bn from par­ties’ fund

It says with­hold­ing the money hin­ders it from pre­par­ing for next year’s polls

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - CAROLE MAINA @MainaCa­role

ODM wants the Regis­trar of Po­lit­i­cal Par­ties com­pelled to re­lease Sh5.1 bil­lion it says is due to it ahead of the gen­eral elec­tions.

In a suit filed un­der a cer­tifi­cate of ur­gency at the High Court in Mil­i­mani yes­ter­day, ODM says the fail­ure by the regis­trar to re­lease the money to it un­der the Po­lit­i­cal Par­ties Fund has crip­pled its abil­ity to pre­pare for the 2017 elec­tions. It says with­hold­ing the money is il­le­gal.

The party ac­cused the regis­trar of act­ing high­hand­edly and un­pro­ce­du­rally by fail­ing to con­sult, in­form and give rea­sons for not dis­burs­ing all the funds ex­pected to be dis­trib­uted to po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

ODM’s ca­pac­ity to pre­pare for and par­tic­i­pate ef­fec­tively in cam­paigns has been hin­dered by the lack of fund­ing, lawyers Julie Soweto and James Orengo said.

They said the regis­trar has re­leased only 0.03 per cent of the money to be dis­trib­uted to par­ties.

“A de­ci­sion, whether jointly or sev- er­ally, to dis­burse funds less than what the law stip­u­lates is il­le­gal and un­con­sti­tu­tional,” ODM says.

ODM has also listed the Ju­bilee Party, TNA and URP as in­ter­ested par­ties in the suit.

The party says there is no ra­tio­nale or rea­son­able jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the regis­trar to dis­trib­ute only 0.03 per cent or an amount less than the to­tal stip­u­lated by law.

“The fail­ure or re­fusal to dis­burse all the funds due to the po­lit­i­cal party un­der­mines democ­racy, the rule of law, and the ob­jec­tives for which the fund was es­tab­lished,” ODM says.

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