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Treasury releases Sh519 million to Jubilee and ODM

Kenyans queue to vote in a past election.[File,Standard]

National Treasury has released Sh519 million to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party and Raila Odinga’s ODM parties as part of their political parties fund. In the payment, Jubilee received Sh353,856,428 while ODM took home Sh165,252,076, according to the latest Kenya Gazette notice.

The two parties are the only ones that have met the constitutional threshold according to the Registrar of Political Ann Nderitu, who noted that parties are given the allocation for activities.

Ms Nderitu said the amount is audited annually by the Auditor General’s office as it is part of public funds.

In the gazette notice, the registrar said the two political parties have received funds for the second, third, and fourth quarters.

“Only two political parties have met the constitutional threshold to get the public money through the Political Parties Fund,” said Nderitu.

She further encouraged Kenyans to embrace political parties to help in the strengthening of governance and democracy.

No structures

“It is the duty of the politicians to get more members in their parties to get the resources from the fund,” said Nderitu.

Yesterday, Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju said the current allocation by the exchequer was below what is provided in the law.

He said as the ruling party, they have not agitated for more money since political parties still do not have proper structures that will ensure prudent use of such huge allocations.

Although the Political Parties Act requires that parties get 0.3 per cent of the national government revenue to finance activities, they currently receive 0.03 per cent.

“The allocation is below what is provided for in the law. There are grey areas in the law and if we were to start agitating for more money as the ruling party, we would appear insensitive to the taxpayers,” said Tuju.

“There are certain grey areas in law that if the money was to be disbursed as required, it would go to waste. It is a boat that we will build as we sail,” he explained.

Tuju suggested that the Act should be amended to address concerns by small political parties that have been crying foul for not benefiting from the kitty.

“The other small political parties are also agitating for a certain per cent. The issue should be addressed so that they don’t depend on coalition partners or individual donations to run their affairs,” said Tuju.

“Parliament should address the matter but Kenyans also have to ask themselves if they need 60 political parties to be funded by their money,” he added.

Apart from the funds derived from the strength of the party in Parliament, Jubilee and ODM also receive extra cash from the political parties funding on account of votes garnered by the opposition coalition presidential candidate, it has emerged.

The four parties under National Super Alliance (NASA) have been battling over a share of the cash but last week Raila ruled out sharing the funds with the three partners.

“There is no coin ODM has received from the Exchequer from the presidential votes, therefore there is nothing to share. The money ODM has been receiving is based on members the party has in Parliament. There is no coalition money that ODM has received to share with partners; it is pure propaganda,” said Raila.

The Political Parties Act, 2011, sets aside 0.3 per cent of the national government revenue to finance activities of political parties.

According to the Act, a political party receives zero funding if it does not secure at least five per cent of the total number of votes at the preceding general election.

A party also stands to lose from the funding if more than two-thirds of its registered office bearers are of the same gender.

The total number of votes by a party is computed by adding the total number of votes obtained in the preceding general election by a political party in the election for the President, Members of Parliament, governors, and Members of County Assemblies.

Currently, only Jubilee and ODM are entitled to enjoy funding from the Exchequer for meeting the set requirement. ODM is entitled to about Sh260 million while Jubilee receives in excess of Sh500 million.

Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka, and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula have been pushing for a share of the funds based on an agreement they signed and deposited with the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties on April 27, 2017.

ANC deputy party leader Ayub Savula said yesterday the money ODM was receiving was due to their combined effort as a coalition.

Savula said they will continue battling for what they believe is rightly theirs. He said Mudavadi ran for no seat but went round to campaign for the coalition. “We will not go that direction they want to take us to. This thing was a collective effort as NASA. The seats ODM won was because of the collective effort we put as a coalition and has to be shared out,” said Savula.

“The effort Mudavadi put has to be rewarded. He was running for no seat,” he added.

Wiper party Vice-Chairperson and Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr demanded that Nderitu publishes details of the funding and how much each of the two parties got was arrived at.

Mutula Jnr said the taxpayers need to know the formula used in sharing out the money with political parties.

“The most important thing is not the amount but what we need to know is how much is due to Jubilee and how much is due to NASA and how the figures were arrived at,” said Mutula Jnr.

“The registrar has to put in the newspapers of national circulation the details of how the figures were arrived at,” he added.

According to the agreement by the coalition, the four partner parties were to benefit equally from the political party’s funding attributed to the presidential candidate.

They were also to share the funds for seats jointly contested in the 2017 General Election.

Coalition agreeement

“All votes accruing to the presidency shall be shared among the coalition parties,” states the coalition agreement on sharing of funds.

“Funds due to the party from which the coalition presidential candidate has been attributed to the presidential vote shall be shared equally among the coalition parties,” it adds.

The document further indicates that “votes arising to the coalition candidates where joint nominations were carried out shall be shared equally among the coalition parties that participated in the joint nominations for particular seats”.

And in a situation where a coalition party fails to meet the funding threshold, the sharing formula will take into account the party’s contribution to the coalition strength in Parliament.

ODM Chairman John Mbadi said yesterday that based on the number of votes on the presidential votes, ODM only gets Sh12,000.

He said it was only at the presidential level that the coalition fielded a joint candidate, suggesting that they can only share what is attributed to the presidential ticket.

“If they insist we are ready to share with them the about Sh12,000. Any other money we receive as a party is based on the votes won by ODM candidates. Our partners cannot come and claim what ODM is getting courtesy of their elected leaders,” said Mbadi.

He went on, “Why should we share when they literally ate into our votes by fielding candidates to compete against ODM’s? The fact that they fielded candidates in areas where we also had candidates reduced the cumulative votes that would have earned us more money.” Raila pulled out of the repeat election but was still voted by 73,228 (0.96 per cent) individuals compared to 7,483,895 votes (98.26 per cent) garnered by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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