What you need to know:
- Raila’s ODM and Uhuru’s Jubilee were the greatest beneficiaries before the law was amended this year.
- The law provides that 70 per cent of the money be distributed proportionately, based on the total number of votes secured by every political party in the preceding election.
- It is likely to make the running of political parties lucrative.
President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will be given Sh885 million of the Sh1.48 billion Political Parties Fund cash to be distributed to 48 outfits.
UDA will receive Sh577 million, being the largest amount, followed by ODM which will get Sh308 million.
The amount given to the two leaves a balance of Sh595 million to be shared out to 46 parties as small political outfits begin to enjoy the benefits of the controversial changes to the Political Parties Act.
Dozens of parties that have never benefited from millions of shillings disbursed by the Exchequer will for the first time start receiving the money to finance their activities.
It is likely to make the running of political parties lucrative.
Senate and National Assembly members early in the year acrimoniously amended the sharing formula that was supported by then President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Odinga but opposed by Dr Ruto who was the deputy president.
Dr Ruto’s team had argued in the two Houses that the new formula would result in briefcase political parties for the purposes of benefiting from public money.
In a gazette notice by the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP), the Jubilee Party of former President Kenyatta will get Sh135 million, a significant shrink from the previous financial years when it was the major beneficiary of the funds.
The then ruling party used to pocket more than Sh500 million every financial year.
Wiper Democratic Movement of Mr Kalonzo Musyoka will receive Sh72 million while Democratic Action Party – Kenya, associated with the immediate former Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa will get Sh31 million.
Also to receive substantial amounts are United Democratic Movement of Mandera Senator Ali Roba (Sh26.9 million), National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula-led Ford Kenya (Sh25.9 million), Amani National Congress – formerly of Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi (Sh26.6 million) while Kenya Africa National Union of former Baringo Senator Gideon Moi will receive Sh23.9 million.
Others expected to receive money are Devolution Empowerment Party of former Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi, which will get Sh13.8 million, Maendeleo Chap Chap – formerly of Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary and former Machakos governor Alfred Mutua (Sh12.7 million) while Pamoja Africa Alliance of Senate Speaker Amason Kingi will be given Sh11.5 million.
The Service Party of Laikipia East MP Mwangi Kiunjuri will receive Sh10.6 million, Movement for Democracy and Growth of Ugenya MP David Ochieng (Sh9.8 million), Kenya Union Party (Sh9.5 million), while United Progressive Alliance will bag Sh8.7 million.
United Party of Independent Alliance will be given Sh8.9 million, Chama Cha Mashinani of former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto (Sh8 million), Jibebe of former Kiambu governor William Kabogo (Sh7.6 million), Chama Cha Kazi – formerly of Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria (Sh6.5 million), Democratic Party of Kenya (Sh5.5 million) while the National Rainbow Coalition will get Sh5 million.
“For a political party to benefit from the Political Parties Fund, it must have at least an elected representative, a two-third gender principle complaint composition of office bearers and representation of special interest groups in its governing body,” the Political Parties Act of 2022 says.
The Act provides that 70 per cent of the money be distributed proportionately, based on the total number of votes secured by a political party in the preceding election.
Another 15 per cent is to be distributed proportionately to parties based on the number of candidates from special interest groups elected in the preceding General Election.
Ten per cent shall be shared out proportionately to parties, based on the number of representatives from the party elected in the preceding General Election while the remaining five per cent is for administration expenses by the ORPP.
The provision implies that any political party that participates in a General Election stands to benefit from the funds, based on the number of votes attributed to its candidates, even if a majority of them lose at the ballot.
UDA is the largest political party in the country, with 20 governors, 32 senators (22 elected, 10 nominated), 138 members of the National Assembly and 778 elected and nominated ward representatives.
On top of the Sh577 million from the taxpayer, UDA will also be receiving Sh10.6 million every month, translating to Sh127 million a year, from its elected and nominated leaders.
ODM has 15 governors, 88 members in the National Assembly, 20 senators and 475 ward representatives.
The party will be collecting Sh5.3 million in mandatory monthly deductions from its leaders.
The figure translates to Sh63.6 million a year.
The new sharing formula is a departure from the past when only parties that had at least 20 elected members of the National Assembly, three elected senators, three elected governors and 40 ward representatives qualified for funding.
For a party to benefit, it was required to secure at least three per cent of the total number of votes cast in the preceding General Election.
Some 80 per cent of the money was distributed proportionately, based the total number of votes garnered by political parties in the preceding General Election.
According to the Political Parties Act, qualifying parties should be given 0.3 per cent of the national revenue to share in an effort to promote democracy.
Only Jubilee and ODM qualified under the old law and were entitled to share the total amount.
Registrar of Parties Anne Nderitu said the amounts would be disbursed to the outfits quarterly from next month.
Ms Nderitu added that the distribution could be reviewed to factor in budget realignments as well as outcomes of postponed elections in five wards.
Elections in Kyome/Thaana, Oloimasani, Mumias North, South Gem and Utawal wards were moved to later dates.
“Once concluded, elections in the above wards will have an effect on the allocations and resultant changes will be effected in the subsequent quarters disbursement,” Ms Nderitu said.
“The government has initiated the process of the realignment of the 2022/23 financial year budget. If the current allocated amount of Sh1,475,000,000 is affected by the realignment, it will have an impact on the allocations.”