, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 21 – The Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) wants the government to increase the proposed Sh205 million for political parties to Sh2.4 billion.
CMD Chairman, Omingo Magara said on Wednesday that the Political Parties Act 2011, Section 24 states that funds for parties should not be less than 0.3 percent of the revenue collected by the national government.
He said the money allocated would only benefit the big parties in the country if the law is not amended.
“Even with the Sh205 million allocated this year only three parties namely TNA, ODM and URP are due to receive any funding because of the way the law currently stands,” he said.
The section provides, “The Political Parties Act (section 25(1) and (2) states that 95 percent of funds shall be distributed proportionately but only to parties that have secured at leastfive percent of the total number of votes in the preceding general election.”
“The tabulations from the office of the Registrar of Political Parties indicate that the three parties have qualified for State funding,” he lamented.
He said this will not bode well for democracy in the country saying it is not in consonance with key constitutional provisions like Article 10(2) of the Constitution and, “Article 38 that guarantees citizens the right to form political parties and participate in their activities.”
Magara said the money should be distributed equally among the parties with elected members regardless of what level they have been elected.
On July 30, the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi asked the CMD to ensure that the government delivers on its promise of political party funding in the budget.
Muturi said the funds will go a long way to assist political parties support their members and conduct their business effectively.
“Political parties under Article 92 of the new Constitution are required to receive at least 0.3 percent of the national revenue however since the enactment of the Constitution this is yet to be applied and it is for CMD to see that the government complies with this,” said Muturi.
He added that CMD should work with the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs to ensure that the challenges observed within political parties during the March 4 elections are solved immediately.
He was speaking when he handed over the CMD chairmanship to former MP Omingo Magara.
Muturi served as CMD chairman until his election as Speaker.