ODM petitions government over Sh4.1 billion

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s political party has petitioned the government over Sh4.1 billion awarded to it by the court.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s political party has petitioned the government over Sh4.1 billion awarded to it by the court.

The money based on a 0.3 per cent of the national revenue collected between 2012 and 2016 was awarded to ODM by the Court of Appeal in June after a three-year legal battle.

“We wrote to the Registrar of Political Parties after holding several meetings. The general public believes we already have the money which is not true,” said ODM Treasurer Timothy Bosire.

Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu exonerated her office from the delay, saying the timeline on when the funds based on revenue collected between 2012 and 2016 will be released lies with another institution.

"The Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, among others, is [meant] to administer the fund as and when received from the National exchequer. When the money will be availed, the office will carry out its mandate of administration of the funds,” she said.

If released by government, ODM that had majority of elected leaders in the eleventh parliament, is to share the funds with Wiper and Ford Kenya based on an agreement deposited at the registrar’s office.

“ODM did not get a windfall but was awarded by the court what belongs to the party legally based on the 0.3 per cent meant for political parties,” said Bosire.

National Treasury acting CS Ukur Yatani last week said the budget allocation for the Political Parties Fund had been increased from Sh371 million to Sh871 million this financial year, money that is to be paid to the National Super Alliance (Nasa) coalition. He did not indicate when the money awarded by the court will be paid to ODM.

Yatani said the delays in paying the money have been occasioned by insufficient resources, adding that the allocation is guided by the Constitution, the Public Finance Management Act 2012, the Contingencies Fund and Commission on Revenue Allocation Act.

Under Article 203 of the Constitution, sharing of funds has to put into consideration national interests such as public debt, pensions and salaries for constitution office holders.

Revenue collected by the national government allocated to counties shall also not be less than 15 per cent of the total collected. One half per cent of the money is also allocated to the Equalization Fund.

In considering allocation to the Political Parties Fund, he said Treasury is guided by the sharable revenue to county governments, provisions of mandatory constitutional requirements such as health, education and security, safeguarding national interests, provisions for the Equalization Fund and other priorities, including Constituency Development Fund.

“The balance of the funds left after taking into account these priorities is hardly enough to finance other programmes of government,” he added in an interview with the Sunday Standard.

In the court documents, ODM indicated that it garnered 40 per cent of the votes cast in the 2013 general election and was entitled to 40 per cent of the 95 per cent allocated to the Political Parties Fund.

According to Section 25(1)(b) of the Political Parties Act, out of 100 per cent of the money allocated to the fund for distribution the political parties, five per cent goes to the administration expenses of the fund.