Pro­posal to in­clude more po­lit­i­cal par­ties in fund share

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - NATIONAL NEWS - BY JUS­TUS WANGA [email protected]­tion­

As mem­bers af­fil­i­ated to Nasa tus­sle over their share of the com­mon fund ad­vanced to them by the Trea­sury, the reg­is­trar is propos­ing that the for­mula should be re­vised to ac­com­mo­date more par­ties.

Ms Anne Nder­itu said more par­ties ben­e­fit­ing from the fund is good for the coun­try’s nascent democ­racy. “It is the wish of our of­fice that more par­ties ben­e­fit from the kitty. We could ex­pand the for­mula to in­clude more ve­hi­cles, but this can only hap­pen if the cri­te­ria is re­viewed and ap­proved by Na­tional Assem­bly,” she said.

Given that only Ju­bilee and ODM par­ties ben­e­fit from an al­lo­ca­tion the Trea­sury re­leases in fi­nan­cial quar­ters, many par­ties with rea­son­able rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Par­lia­ment and county as­sem­blies rely on mem­ber con­tri­bu­tions to run their af­fairs.

But Ju­bilee vice chair­man David Mu­rathe warned of a great risk in open­ing it up, say­ing brief­case par­ties would find their way back into main­stream pol­i­tics.

“If you lower it too much then I could also reg­is­ter my party in or­der to ben­e­fit. The point is, let us learn to nur­ture par­ties into for­mi­da­ble in­sti­tu­tions. Demo­crat and Repub­lic par­ties in the US are some of the best ex­am­ples we can em­u­late. The cri­te­ria cur­rently in use was agreed on by an in­ter­party team,” he said.

Ms Nder­itu said: “So far this year, the par­ties have been given money in two tranches. Ju­bilee get­ting Sh120 mil­lion and ODM Sh56 mil­lion."

By the end of the fis­cal year, the two shall have pocketed about Sh371 mil­lion with the of­fice of the reg­is­trar re­tain­ing five per cent for ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Ig­nore rul­ing

In July, Na­tional Assem­bly Speaker Justin Mu­turi or­dered that the two par­ties be given Sh3 bil­lion this fi­nan­cial year.

The fig­ures from Ms Nder­itu’s of­fices show this has not been com­plied with.

Mr Mu­turi’s di­rec­tive was based on a court rul­ing that po­lit­i­cal par­ties be given what be­longs to them legally. “What we need to ap­pre­ci­ate is what is con­tained in sec­tion 24 of the (Po­lit­i­cal) par­ties Act and ar­ti­cles 91 and 92 of the Con­sti­tu­tion re­lat­ing to po­lit­i­cal par­ties for­ma­tion and fund­ing. The rea­son they are funded from the ex­che­quer is be­cause they are recog­nised as pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions of pub­lic gov­er­nance,” Mr Mu­turi said.

A few days ago, Ford-kenya party leader Moses We­tang’ula aimed at ODM, the dom­i­nant Nasa part­ner from which came the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in last year’s Gen­eral Elec­tion Raila Odinga.

“Queens or Kings, Wiper, Ford-kenya and ANC must and will get their share of the PPF (Po­lit­i­cal Par­ties Fund). Those wail­ing louder than the be­reaved were nowhere when we were stak­ing out our all for Raila. Bure kabisa (non­sense)," Mr We­tang’ula fired at ODM party in a tweet.

ODM is stand­ing its ground that they will not be com­pelled to share the cash. “We will not be thrown into his­toric hy­per­bole. Such vit­riol can only come from a First Year stu­dent at the univer­sity,” the party re­sponded. Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Ed­win Si­funa said they would be dic­tated to on how to spend the money.

But it also emerged that Wiper, ANC and Ford-kenya had not for­mally com­plained to the reg­is­trar over the fund.

“This has to be brought to us for­mally by way of writ­ing and not in the me­dia like we have seen in the case of Nasa. None in the Nasa coali­tion has writ­ten to us to com­plain,” the reg­is­trar said.

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