Given the high stakes, most candidates have to raise their own cash for campaigns as parties have limited access to cash other than membership fees, voluntary contributions, donations and investments.
The Act also requires parties to publish their sources of funding, with their accounts audited by the Auditor-General and forwarded to Parliament and the Registrar of Political Parties.
“Corruption related to campaign finances poses a danger to democratic development with covert party funding streams, influence peddling and leveraging State resources for party campaigns compromising the faith and support of ordinary citizens in the political processes,” states the report.
The study showed that most political parties and candidates conducted fundraising dinners across the country to finance their campaigns, with President Kibaki’s PNU party leading with Sh646 million in 114 events.
The party collected Sh260 million in 40 fundraising dinners in Nairobi, Sh270 million in in?Central, Sh42 million in Rift Valley and Sh6 million in Nyanza.
Raila’s ODM, on the other hand, collected Sh388 million in 100 monitored dinners across the country.
Rift Valley was the largest campaign cash cow for ODM netting Sh136 million in 34 monitored dinners. The party raised a further Sh84 million in Nairobi, Sh85 million in Nyanza, Sh45 million in Coastal region, Sh36 million in Western and Sh2 million in Eastern through the same means.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka’s ODM Kenya raised Sh65 million through similar events in the county.
From a democratic perspective, heavy spending in campaigns limits democratic space, and attracts profiteers rather than personalities keen on public service to run for political office.
“Heavy spending leads to inflation felt after every General Election in Kenya and pushes banks into diverting credit towards political rather than productive activities,” the report indicates.
Political parties are said to have collected Sh813 million in nomination fees and party levies in the last poll, that was the most significant source of income with ODM leading the
pack with Sh300 million.
All major political parties ODM, Narc, ODM-Kenya, and Shirikisho charged Parliamentary candidates Sh100,000 as nomination fees.
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