Elections 2017

Blow to Kalonzo, Mudavadi, Wetang'ula over battle for coalition’s billions

NASA leader Raila Odinga chats with Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetangula during the burial service of Amb. Prof. George Godia at Stanley Godia Secondary School Givogi in Hamisi, Vihiga County on Sept. 22, 2018. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Opposition co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula have suffered a major setback in their battle for a share the Sh4.1 billion allocated to ODM.

Yesterday, Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu disclosed that the coalition agreement ODM, Wiper, Amani National Congress (ANC) and Ford Kenya submitted ahead of the 2017 General Election did not contain any clause on the sharing of funds from the Exchequer.

The document, according to Ms Nderitu, only contained how the four partners would have shared power if they formed the government.

“When dealing with coalitions, we go by what the parties agreed in the MoU. If it gives a formula of sharing of funds, then we go with that,” said Nderitu.

Public funding

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She explained that in the event there is no such declaration, then they rely on the Political Parties Act, which stipulates the requirement for a political party to benefit from public funding.

“In this particular case, the MoU did not stipulate such a formula and, therefore, we cannot enforce the sharing of the funds. We go by what the Act provides,” she said.

For a political outfit to benefit from public funding, it must have at least 5 per cent of the total vote in tallies for the President, members of Parliament, governors and members of county assemblies in the last General Election.

It is only the ruling Jubilee Party and ODM that meet this requirement, making them the only parties entitled to the funding.

The revelation now puts Mr Kalonzo (Wiper), Mr Mudavadi (ANC) and Mr Wetangúla (Ford Kenya) at the mercy of Opposition chief Raila Odinga, who will decide how to share the windfall with his partners in the now-moribund coalition.

Nderitu made the remarks when appearing before the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi.

She was responding to Wiper MP Patrick Makau (Mavoko) who sought to know if her office was mediating the stand-off pitting the four coalition partners.

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“There was some information that ODM recently received Sh6.4 billion. Is there any way you can intervene to ensure the parties in the coalition get the money” Mr Makau asked.

The coalition partners have been on a warpath with the Orange party over the funding, insisting that they should share the amount since they backed Raila in the last poll.

Their argument is that ODM is enjoying its current popularity due to their support for the party leader as the coalition’s flag-bearer.

 

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