Small political parties are set to benefit from the Political Parties’ Fund under the proposed law seeking to deny big parties unlimited control of the kitty.
The Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2021, seeks to remove the stringent funding eligibility threshold that has primarily seen big parties like Jubilee and ODM walk away with the millions each financial year as small parties go home empty handed.
“…15 percent of the fund will be distributed proportionately to political parties based on the number of candidates of the party from special interest groups elected in the preceding General Election,” the Bill reads.
Contrary to the current qualifications that a party must get three percent of the total number of votes cast in General Election for it to get a slice of the funds, the new bill now proposes that 70 percent of the parties fund will be distributed depending on the number of votes secured by each political party.
The Bill, to be sponsored by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee chaired by Ndaragua MP Jeremiah Kioni, the bill further suggests that it will not be necessary for parties to have at least 40 MCAs, three Senators, three governors, and 20 MPs to qualify for the cash.
The new formula further reserves five percent for the fund’s administrative expenses to help meet operational costs should MPs agree with the proposal.
“The provisions of subsection (2) – the eligibility criteria, of the Political Parties Act, shall not apply to the distribution of funds under subsection 1(b) and 1(c),” the Bill reads in part.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee party received a whopping KSh 353 million whereas ODM walked home with KSh 165 million.
Although some parties in the NASA consortium were pleased with the ODM move to share the funds to affiliates, a section of opposition partners expressed their dissatisfaction with the proposed formulae of sharing the funds.
Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party leader Isaac Ruto expressed his dissatisfaction with the NASA coalition fund sharing formulae that saw his outfit allocated KSh 3 million as proposed by opposition leader Raila Odinga.
“There ought to be a fair formula in which political funding can be shared. I am even surprised that we are talking of the funding just a year to the 2022 General Election,
“Political funding ought to be given on a regular and fair basis and not just an arrangement where one says which party gets what,” said former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto.