Electoral agency puts ceiling on 2022 campaign expenditure
No presidential candidate will be allowed to spend more than Sh4.4 billion in the 2022 election in fresh measures announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Those found guilty of breaching the new spending rules are liable to a fine not exceeding Sh2 million or a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years or both.
Other higher campaign spenders will be candidates seeking gubernatorial, Senate and Woman Rep positions.
Those in Wajir have a limit of Sh104 million, Garissa (Sh89 million), Kitui (Sh77 million), Kiambu (Sh71 million), Tana River (Sh68 million), Kajiado (Sh66 million) and Mandera (Sh65 million).
Likewise, Kilifi (Sh62 million), Narok (Sh61 million), Kakamega (Sh59 million) Meru (Sh56 million), Bungoma (Sh54 million), Machakos (Sh53 million) Isiolo (Sh50 million). Candidates in Samburu as well as Makueni will each spend a maximum of Sh45 million.
The prescriptions are meant to meet the requirements of the Campaign Financing Act 2013.
“The attention of candidates is drawn to the provisions of Section 18(7) of the Election Campaign Financing Act, 2013 that a candidate who or a political party committee which exceeds the prescribed spending limits and fails to report this fact to the Commission commits an offence,” IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said in a Gazette Notice dated August 8, 2021.
The Act empowers the poll agencies to make regulations for the better performance, management, expenditure and accountability of election campaign funds.
“The IEBC gives notice and publishes the contributions and spending limits, including the total amount that a candidate or political party may receive and spend during the expenditure period,” said Chebukati.
However, Keiyo South MP Danied Rono yesterday dismissed the campaign cash ceilings as “hot air”.
“We welcome them but it is just nonsense because they are hardly applied during campaigns. The IEBC has no mechanism of monitoring, especially cash raised and used locally.
A lot of politicians exceed the ceiling. The spirit is to prevent money laundering. They can only control donations from abroad,” he said.
But IEBC’s acting Chief Executive Officer Marjan Hussein warned that exceeding the ceilings is an election offence with serious consequences, noting that the agency had tools to monitor the spending.
“The aspirants have to open a specific account for their campaign funds and make reports to the IEBC.
Then spending on the identified items must not exceed the set limits,” he said yesterday.
Turkana County has the highest spending limit for candidates eyeing the gubernatorial, senatorial or Woman representative positions at Sh123 million, followed by Nairobi at Sh117 million and Marsabit at Sh114 million.
Lamu County campaign spending for the governor, senator as well as Woman Rep position is capped lowest at Sh21 million, followed by Tharaka Nithi at Sh23 million while Elgeyo Marakwet, Nyamira as well Vihiga candidates can spend a maximum of Sh25 million each.
Others are Kirinyaga (Sh26.8 million), Embu (Sh28.5 million), Busia (Sh33.9 million), Nyeri (Sh32 million), Bomet (Sh35 million), Siaya (Sh37.4 million) and Muranga (Sh39 million) Homa Bay and Uasin Gishu spending has been regulated at Sh41 million and Sh42 million respectively.
Those seeking positions in the National Assembly and County Assembly also have their spending limits stated in the notice.
Candidates vying for MP seat in North Horr have the highest spending ceiling at Sh94 million, followed by Wajir South Constituency at Sh64 million and Turkana North Sh54 million.
Fafi and Turkana East constituencies have been capped to spend Sh45 million each and Bura Sh39 million. Similarly, Ijara and Garsen are capped to spend Sh38 million each.
Others include Voi (Sh35 million), Kajiado West (Sh32 million), Galole (Sh31 million), Mwatate (Sh30 million), Kinango (Sh27 million), Kasarani (Sh23 million), Embakasi South (Sh22 million), Lunga Lunga (Sh21 million) Ganze (Sh20 million)
Candidates gunning for the Budalangi MP seat will not be allowed to spend more than Sh11.3 million on their campaigns.
Tetu (Sh11.1 million) Kangema (Sh11.2 million), Mukurweini (Sh11.4 million), Othaya (Sh11.5 million) Emuhaya and Vihiga constituencies will each spend Sh11.5 million.
Kangundo (Sh11.8 million) and Luanda (Sh11.9 million).
Aspirants in North Mugirango and West Mugirango will not spend more than Sh12 million, while those in Bomachoge Chache (Sh11.8 million), Ugunja (Sh12.3 million), Rangwe (Sh12.5 million) Rabai (Sh12.7 million) Changamwe (Sh12.7 million), Homa Bay Town (Sh12.7 million), Seme (Sh12.9 million). Gatundu North and Gatundu South will each spend Sh12.4 million and Sh12.6 million respectively.
The spending limit is guided by the geographical size and population of the region.
For the National Assembly election, candidates vying for MP seat in North Horr have the highest spending ceiling at Sh94 million, followed by Wajir Constituency at Sh64 million.
Candidates gunning for the Rabai MP seat will not be allowed to spend more than Sh12 million on their campaigns.
IEBC has warned that candidates or political parties that exceed the prescribed spending limits and fail to report to the commission will have committed an offence.
Political parties will be allowed to spend up to Sh17 billion.
The authorised items or activities for which campaign expenses may be incurred by a political party include transportation which is expected to consume a maximum Sh11.8 billion, followed by advertising and media and election agents at Sh1.8 billion and Sh1.5 billion respectively.