Registrar Anne Nderitu roots for more cash from State to political parties

Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu

Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu leaves after addressing members of the National Dialogue Committee on September 29, 2023.

Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu has called on the government to allocate more funds to political parties to strengthen them.

According to Ms Nderitu, there are more than 90 registered political parties in the country and the current allocation of funds is inadequate.

“We have been funding political parties since 2007 and the Political Parties Act of 2011 allocates 0.3 per cent of the national government's revenue to fund their activities.”

“According to the Act, 70 per cent of the fund is distributed based on the total number of votes secured by each political party in the previous General Election,” said Ms Nderitu.

She added: “Other criteria for funding political parties must include the number of elected leaders from the special interest category, administrative expenses and the number of nominated leaders.”

Her comments come at a time when some Kenyans are calling for the funding to be scrapped.

During the last disbursement, at least 45 parties received Sh1.48 billion from the Political Parties Fund.

President William Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA) received the lion's share of the cash.

According to the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, UDA received Sh577.2 million, followed by the Orange Democratic Movement (Sh308.3 million), Jubilee Party (Sh135.1 million), Wiper Democratic Movement (Sh72.1 million) and Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K), which will receive Sh31.6 million.

According to the National Assembly register, UDA has 145 MPs, ODM (86), Jubilee (28) and Wiper (26).

Others are United Democratic Movement (8), Amani National Congress (8), Ford-Kenya (6), KANU (6), DAP-K (5), PAA (3), Kenya Union Party (3), UPIA (2), Maendeleo Chap Chap (2) and The Service Party (2).

In the Senate, the UDA has the largest number of representatives with at least 32 of the 67 senators.

Ms Nderitu has, at the same time, warned politicians against party-hopping without following due process. She also warned parties against forcing members to join them.

Speaking during the opening of an office in Mombasa, Ms Nderitu said the law was clear on how one should join a political party.

“We have noticed that some people are moving from one party to another without first resigning from their previous party, which is against the Political Parties Act. There is a need for democracy in the country and we should not go back to the one party era we left in 1992,” said Ms Nderitu.

During the event attended by local leaders, Ms Nderitu urged politicians to work on internal democracy in their parties.

She said all parties that qualify for funding must account for the money they receive and use it in line with democratic principles.