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ODM and Jubilee on the spot over use of funds for minorities

By Alvin Mwangi
Thursday, October 8th, 2020
Frankline Mukwanja.
In summary

 The Orange Democratic Party (ODM) and the Jubilee party are on the spot over use of funds meant for activities of special interest groups.

A report by Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) says the parties have failed to use their monies to promote political participation of marginalised and minority groups.

Report, which directly puts President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga on the spot, has also faulted the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties for deploying its five per cent of the fund in office activities and little on programmes such as promotion of public participation.

 While launching the detailed report, CMD Executive Director Franklin Mukwanja noted that 15 per cent of the said allocation was not utilised independently, despite the requirement of independent work plans and budgets.

Finding says that whereas parties are required by law to develop work and budget plans in order to receive PPF, it cites a legal lacuna since there is no requirement for them to account for the 15 per cent. 

For instance, in the 2017-18 financial year, Jubilee’s total expenditure, including funds from PPF and other sources, was Sh515.7 million, which was spent on campaign and election (47 per cent), employee compensation (28), rent (18), training (three) and others (four) per cent.

 In the same year, ODM’s total expenditure was Sh154.3 million, which it spent on employee compensation  (30 ), campaign (25), party policy and advocacy (11), bad debts (nine), regional conferences (eight) and other office programmes (17).

 The law requires that political parties receiving public funding should utilise 15 per cent on special interest groups such as youth, women and people living with disability, and other minorities and marginalised groups.

On the other hand, the Public Audit Act, 2015, requires that political parties receiving public funding should develop financial and activity plans for special interest groups.

According to the Act, the amount of money to be allocated to qualifying political parties is set at a minimum of 0.3 per cent of annual collected national revenues.