EDITORIAL

Sh100,000 limit for donations is too low

In Summary

• Amendment requires large donations to be reported to EACC  but they should be higher, Sh1 million or Sh5 million.

• Culture of donations by politicians is widespread.

A bundle of money.
A bundle of money.
Image: FILE

Donations at harambees of more than Sh100,000 will need clearance from the EACC if an amendment is passed to the Professional Officers Ethics Act (see P6).

The amendment is targeting politicians who dish out large amounts of cash at fundraising events in pursuit of votes and local support.

While this amendment may be interpreted as targeting particular individuals, in reality all politicians are guilty of using donations to solicit support.

 

The sentiment behind this amendment is correct. Public officers, including ministers and MPs, should not be able to donate millions at harambees without explaining where they got the money.

But the ceiling of Sh100,000 set by the amendment is too low. We are allowed to transfer up to Sh140,000 daily by M-Pesa without seeking clearance from the EACC. And what about an officer who collects money from his colleagues to take upcountry to an office funeral? 

This bureaucratic rule risks discouraging legitimate donations because it will be too cumbersome to report to the EACC. The upper limit should be set much higher, say Sh1 million or Sh5 million where the amount is genuinely suspicious.

Quote of the day: "The worker is the slave of capitalist society, the female worker is the slave of that slave."

James Connolly
The Irish rebel leader was born on May 5, 1868