Why Nasa’s trio won’t get a penny from parties kitty

Tuesday, November 17th, 2020 12:00 |
Nasa co-principals (left to right) Moses Wetang’ula of Ford Kenya, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila Odinga of ODM and ANC’s Musalia Mudavadi at a political rally. Photo/PD/FILE

Wiper Party, Amani National Congress (ANC) and Ford Kenya are not entitled to millions of shillings received by Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) from the exchequer. 

Registrar of Political Parties (RPP) Ann Nderitu yesterday told legislators that the three political outfits, which had a coalition agreement with ODM under the National Super Alliance (Nasa), will not get any monies as a sharing formulae and regulations to govern how the money will be distributed was not deposited in her office after the 2007 General Election.

For parties to benefit from public funding, they must have at least five per cent of the total vote in the last election

“There is a provision on how such money is shared, but we were not provided with the nitty gritties on how they were to share the cash,” she said. 

“The funding is pegged on a party.  We do not fund coalitions, as it is now, money will only go to ODM.”

ODM has from the 2017/18 financial years to date received Sh919.19 million out of the Sh2.7 billion allocated Political Parties Fund. Jubilee received the highest funding amounting to Sh1.75 billion.

Political Parties Act sets a side 0.3 percent of the national government revenue to finance activities of political parties in advancing democracy.

According to the law, 95 per cent of the fund should be distributed proportionately by reference to total number of votes secured by each political party in the preceding General Election. The rest, five per cent, is retained for administrative costs.

Appearing before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to respond to audit queries relating to the 2018/19 Financial Year, Nderitu said as far as political parties funding is concerned, they do not deal with coalition partners, but deal directly with parties.

She told the Opiyo Wandayi-led committee noted that unlike the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) coalition, which spelt out how the money will be shared, under NASA coalition there exist no regulations to allow the parties to benefit.

Revelations come after the Court of Appeal awarded the ODM Sh4.5 billion for the 2013-17 after a protracted court battle.

Court award

A three-judge bench had  in June last year ruled that Parliament should pay the money backdated to November 1, 2011 until the arrears are cleared.   

ODM sued RPP, Parliament and the National Treasury in 2015 for failing to remit monies due pursuant to Section 25(1)(a) of the Political Parties Act from the 2012/13 financial years. 

And yesterday, Nderitu told MPs that Wiper, ANC and Ford Kenya are not entitled to the money even though her office has only managed to so far send Sh200 million out of the Sh4.1 billion they were awarded. 

“Yes, it was a court award. We have not implemented it in totality but there has been an attempt to do that.

So far we have remitted Sh200 million. If we had the money we could have complied with the court directive, its now up to Parliament and National Treasury to give us the money,” she added. 

Following the award, Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC had in June demanded for a share of the funds as a party to the coalition agreement. 

However, ODM maintained it was not in any coalition agreement with ANC during the period since Mudavadi contested the presidency under United Democratic Forum (UDF) in  2013.

 Office of the Attorney General also weighed in on the issue, saying unlike Cord, which they audited its accounts, it has been quite difficult to do the same with Nasa. This is  because the parties have failed to convene a meeting to discuss how the money will be shared.

Speaking during the session, MPs, led by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, raised concerns over the move by the National Treasury to comply with the law and release the 0.3 per cent cash as required and demanded that Principal Secretary Julius Muia be invited before the committee to shed light on the matter. 

 “The 0.3 per cent is meant to empower political parties. Why are you not complying with the law?” asked Garissa Township MP Aden Daule.

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