House committee takes Treasury to task over political parties funds

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 00:05 |
Registrar of political parties Ann Nderitu (left) and Assistant Registrar Florence Birya when they appeared before the PAC, yesterday. Photo/PD/Kenna Claude

A committee of the National Assembly has said it will summon the National Treasury Principal Secretary Julius Muia to explain why it has failed to allocate adequate funds to political parties.

The Public Accounts Committee accused the Treasury of frustrating the work of the Registrar of Political Parties.

“The Political Parties Act is a law that was passed by this House. The National Treasury CS has a duty to tell this committee and the country whether the provisions of the law on the parties’ funds exist to be violated at will,” said committee chair Opiyo Wandayi.

The committee was responding to complaints by the Registrar Ann Nderitu that Treasury had reduced allocations to the political parties fund.

Audit queries

“We do not receive all the funds as provided for in the law. Failure to release the funds is compromising democracy. We are not able to have meetings with parties because there is no money,” she said.

Nderitu, who had appeared before the committee to shed light on audit queries relating to the 2018/19 financial year, said her efforts to have the National Treasury abide by the law and release all the funds it owes them have been futile.

She said the lack of sufficient resources had greatly affected operations of her office which administers the fund.

 “As an office, we have never achieved what the Act provides. But we seek to continue pronouncing ourselves to the law. We always seek your support whenever we come here,” said Nderitu.

 Section 24 (1) of the Political Parties Act provides that at least 0.3 per cent of the revenue collected at the national level as audited and approved by the National Assembly, be allocated to the political parties’ fund which should be shared equitably among the qualifying parties with five per cent financing the operations of the Office of Registrar of Political Parties that manages the fund.

More on News