ODM fights for its share of political parties funding

Alego Usonga MP Sam Atandi, ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna and Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi address the media in Nairobi on October 30, 2020. Mr Sifuna said the Registrar of Political Parties decision is illegal.

Photo credit: Jeff Angote | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Registrar of Political Parties says the August 2017 poll results do not apply as they were nullified by the Supreme Court.
  • ODM insists the law pegs funding of political parties on results of a General Election.

The boycott of the October 26, 2017 repeat presidential election by the National Super Alliance (Nasa) has denied it tens of millions of shillings after the Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu said the August 2017 poll results do not apply as they were nullified by the Supreme Court.

Mr Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), which was part of Nasa, has demanded a review of Ms Nderitu’s position, insisting that the law pegs funding on results of a General Election, which it says was held in August.

“The August 8, 2017 presidential election results were declared null and void and cannot therefore be used for any legal purposes, including forming the basis to compute and distribute the political parties fund...as such shall amount to an illegality,” Ms Nderitu said in an October 15, 2019 letter, which was made public by ODM in a clarification statement sent to media houses yesterday.

ODM sent the clarification after Ms Nderitu, who appeared before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee, said ODM’s partners in Nasa are required to renegotiate the coalition agreement to stake any claim to the funding.

In a statement, ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna protested “the illegal decision” by Ms Nderitu and which he said has denied the party its funds.

“We have on several occasions written to the registrar to argue that applying the presidential results of the repeat election when the law demands that she apply the results of a General Election, is unlawful. It has resulted in a skewed allocation of the fund in favour of Jubilee. Our pleas have fallen on deaf ears,” Mr Sifuna said.

A General Election, Mr Sifuna argued, is defined in law to be a vote held on the second Tuesday of August of the fifth year.

“It is unlawful for the registrar to apply any other results in distributing the fund,” he said. 

“We have challenged the registrar as the sector regulator and administrator of the fund to move to the Supreme Court for an advisory opinion and guidance on the right way to treat the August 2017 Presidential results when it comes to distribution of the funds, but she refuses to do so.”

In the annulled poll, Mr Odinga garnered 6,822,812 (44 per cent) against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 8,223,369 votes or 54 per cent.

In the repeat election, Mr Kenyatta – virtually running against himself after Mr Odinga boycotted – got 7,483,895 votes, with Mr Odinga getting 73,228.