ODM, Jubilee, demand release of political parties’ funds, accuse gov’t of crippling operations
Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition affiliate parties have accused the current administration of hindering their progress by interfering with political parties' funds.
While addressing the media in Lavington, Nairobi county on Friday, January 13, 2023, the caucus led by Jubilee party secretary-general Jeremiah Kioni and his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) counterpart Edwin Sifuna alleged that the President William Ruto-led administration was plotting to cripple their operations by withholding the funds aforementioned.
“The delay and underfunding to political parties has greatly affected party institutionalization and lowered the desired value-infusion, which in turn would ensure that the people of Kenya see political parties as necessary organizations in the democratization process,” the leaders jointly stated.
They claimed that the 48 opposition parties were yet to receive the first, second and third quarter funding in accordance with the directives provided by the political parties' dispute tribunal.
According to Sifuna, the political parties last received funding in June 2022. The Nairobi senator decried that the situation has left them with pending arrears accruing from rent among other bills that need to be sorted and consequently paralyzed operations.
“ODM, you know, has 47 county offices. We have rent arrears from June last year. Our county chairmen are calling us every day. They think we are lying because the President told them on national media that money was released to the Registrar of Political Parties,” he stated.
Sifuna also took issue with Ruto's announcement regarding the alleged disbursement stating that the announcement was misleading and a strategy to impede the opposition from performing its mandated roles.
“During his recent interview, he alluded to the fact that money due to political parties had already been released. We as secretaries-general of the qualifying parties have had a meeting with the Registrar of Political Parties and she confirmed that in fact, Treasury has still not disbursed the money,” Sifuna stated.
“So, when the President says that he expects a very robust opposition, he is lying to Kenyans because his actions are directed towards ensuring that they cripple political parties, especially the opposition political parties,”