KEY PILLAR

Political parties regulations vital for nation's cohesion, peace and stability

Registrar of Political Parties helps in addressing electioneering crisis.

In Summary

• The Political Parties Act, 2011 shifted the governance and management of political parties from the office of the registrar of societies.

• This is a thin delicate line that collectively the registrar of political parties and the cohesion commission must seek remedy; for a stable nation.

Chairperson of the Judiciary Committee on Election Justice Mbogholi Msagha and acting Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu during the launch of corporate republications at the Sarova Stanle.
Chairperson of the Judiciary Committee on Election Justice Mbogholi Msagha and acting Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu during the launch of corporate republications at the Sarova Stanle.
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

The Political Parties Act, 2011 shifted the governance and management of political parties from the office of the registrar of societies.

Initially, political parties were registered under and governed by the Societies Act.

Political parties did not have legal personality or perpetual succession, they basically belonged to individuals and some unscrupulous party leaders formed parties with a view to selling them for monetary gain.

 

The establishment of the political parties laws thus came in handy, providing for a legal framework for registration, regulation and funding of political parties and established the Office of Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP), responsible for implementing and enforcing the law.

As a nation we have witnessed clashes largely instigated on tribal and political lines, most recent being 2007/2008 post election violence crisis that saw many innocent Kenyans loose life’s, displacement of thousands and unrecoverable economic set-backs.

The situation continues to be volatile and one key office that can help address this electioneering crisis is the office of the registrar of political parties.

The office is mandated to ensure; A person shall not be a member of more than one political party at the same time;. A person who, while being a member of a political party forms another political party; joins in the formation of another political party; joins another political party; in any way or manner, publicly advocates for the formation of another political party; or promotes the ideology, interests or policies of another political party- This has not been the case, since the inception of the law to manage parties, the registrar of political parties has remained toothless and unable to tame politicians and political parties to adhere to the law.

Politician and political parties continue to flaunt the regulations with no tangible measures being taken by the mandated office; Politicians continue with hate speeches, incitement and divisive politics scot-free.

This is a thin delicate line that collectively the registrar of political parties and the cohesion commission must seek remedy; for a stable nation.

It is quite ironical unless otherwise vested interests being at play for such a sensitive office- to have an “Acting registrar of political parties” for close to 10 years.

 

The amendments to the 2010 constitution of Kenya are underway; with referendum in the offing; the drivers of this change are the politicians that will be moving around the country proposing or opposing the BBI final recommendations and rallying electorates to take sides.

It is thus imperative for the registrar of political parties together with the cohesion commission to stamp its authority for a cohesive and stable nation moving forward.

Integrated Development Network (IDN)