A parliamentary team has recommended that Treasury should comply with a court ruling and allocate political parties 0.3 per cent.
The amount is equivalent to Sh5 billion of the current national audited accounts.
The National Assembly Special Funds Committee in its report tabled in the House notes that critical operations of the parties have stalled due to poor funding.
In 2016, ODM sought court orders compelling the National Treasury to adhere to the 0.3 per cent rule.
Justice Roselyne Aburili directed that the orders issued on October 2017 take effect from the 2018-2019 financial year.
Article 92 (f) of the Constitution provides for establishment and management of a political parties fund. Section 24 ( 1 ) of the Parties Act provides that funds not less than 0.3 per cent of the revenue collected by the national government be allocated to the parties.
The latest audited and adopted accounts of the national government date back to the 2013/14 financial year and the 0.3 per cent amounted to Sh9 billion.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party and Raila Odinga’s ODM will share out close to Sh3 billion.
The two giant parties qualify for the funds as they secured at least five per cent of the total number of votes in the August 2017 general election.
Votes secured by each of the two parties will be computed by adding the total number of votes garnered in the preceding general election in the election for the President, governors, MPs and MCAs.
However, the JP and ODM will have to share the amount with small parties that they went into pre-election coalitions with.
For instance, the Labour Party of Kenya, Maendeleo Chap Chap, Kenya Patriotic Party, Frontier Alliance Party, Economic Freedom Party and the Party of Democracy and Reforms and Kanu supported Uhuru’s candidature.
On the other hand, ODM will have to consider Wiper, ANC and Ford Kenya, which supported Raila. Ndhiwa MP Martin Owino said the recommendations by the committee chaired by Kathuri Mutungi should be honoured. “The recommendations must be implemented to strengthen our political parties,” he said.
South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro demanded for consideration of fringe parties. But Majority leader Aden Duale challenged small parties to look for other means of generating their own resources.
During 2013-2014, then The National Alliance (TNA) received the lion’s share, pocketing Sh 88,834,394, followed by ODM (Sh78,080,095 ) and William Ruto’s URP (Sh28,025,510 ).
In the following 2014-2015, Uhuru’s TNA took 155,849,814, ODM Sh136,982,623 and URP Sh49,167,562.
In 2015-2016, the Registrar of Political Parties wired to TNA Sh158,979,845, ODM Sh139,647,018 and URP Sh50,213,137.
During the 2016-2017 financial year, Wiper Party joined the fray, receiving Sh 24,140,215 against TNA’s Sh149,396,786, ODM’s Sh131,310,799 and URP’s Sh47,131,758. In the last financial year, only Jubilee and ODM shared the allocation, receiving Sh240,374,863 and Sh112,255,637 respectively.
In the 2017-2018 financial year, political parties were allocated Sh371.2 million by the National Assembly. Political parties however may have to wait longer as the Public Accounts committee, which is charged with looking at the audited accounts, completed the reports two weeks ago.
PAC chairman Opiyo Wandayi said his committee, responsible for examination of the accounts of various ministries and government expenditure, has concluded reviewing accounts for the fiscal year 2014-2015 and has finalised 70 per cent of the 2015-2016 accounts. It will finalise the remaining 17 departments before the end of the year. “The respective accounting officers remaining are scheduled to appear before the committee in November and December. The resultant reports will be tabled for consideration by the House by November 13, 2018,” Wandayi told the Star.
What the law says
Political parties are by law entitled are entitled to at least 0.3 per cent of national revenue every year. They must have at least five per cent of the total vote in the last poll are entitled to public funding. This refers to the tallies for President, Members of Parliament, governors and members of county assemblies.
However, only 95 per cent of the fund is distributed proportionately. Five per cent is retained by the office of the Registrar of Political Parties for administrative costs.
However, the 0.3 per cent threshold has never been met by the State, forcing ODM to go to court last year
Raila, who got a paltry 73,228 votes after his dramatic withdrawal from the Presidential race, was to be hugely disadvantaged in sharing of the fund.
But in what could be a product of the handshake, sources at the Registrar of Political parties said the agency instead used the results of the August 8 vote.
Uhuru was declared winner of the repeat elections with 7,483,895 votes.
Jubilee coalition is also privileged by an almost super-majority in Parliament and the county assemblies.
The party has 171 MPs and 34 senators.ODM, on the other hand, has 66 MPs and 20 senators.
In the financial year 2014-2015, ODM received Sh137 million from the state and a further Sh78 million in 2015-2016.
Through an internal coalition agreement, the money was shared with Wiper and Ford Kenya, the two affiliate parties of the defunct Cord.
Uhuru’s TNA received Sh158 million and 8Sh9 million, respectively, in the two financial years
But at that time, Raila had 24 governors and his was the largest political party in Parliament.