, MOMBASA, Kenya, Aug 19 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has defended recently gazetted rules on campaign funding, with CEO Ezra Chiloba saying political parties and the civil society were extensively consulted.
Chiloba said several meetings were held with the stakeholders before a decision was made on setting the limits for campaign funding which were gazetted a year before the next elections, as required.
“The figures followed concerted efforts of different stakeholders since 2015. We held a meeting with political parties… the latest meeting happened at Maanzoni. The same political parties were given questionnaires which they responded to,” Chiloba who spoke in Mombasa during a workshop hosted by the Speaker of the National Assembly for the Kenya Parliamentary Journalists Association (KPJA) said.
He said the questionnaires were indentifying the areas of investment that campaigns must address going into the elections.
“Based on the information we gathered; based on the questionnaires and the meetings we held with different stakeholders we came up with those figures,” he said.
He added that they also held meetings with the relevant committee of Parliament.
“We had discussions with the Delegated Legislation Committee and sent the final regulations to Parliament in July,” he added.
Chiloba says the Elections Campaign Financing Act gives the commission powers to gazette campaign funding limits in terms if contribution and expenditure, a year before the elections.
He disclosed that the Act was debated in Parliament in 2012 but it was not applicable in the 2013 elections, but needs to be operationalised in time for the 2017 polls.
He said the power to gazette the regulations is given directly to IEBC by the law.
He said that there must be disclosure on who is contributing to any campaign and how the money is spent.
“Disclosure is the greatest input in the entire architecture,” he said indicating that anyone who did not want disclosure will be barred from making a contribution.
The regulations by the IEBC will see campaigns expenditure capped at no more than Sh5.2 billion for presidential candidates in the 2017 race.
According to the regulations, contestants in the Nairobi gubernatorial race will be allowed to spend up to Sh432 million each.
Aspirants for the Lamu gubernatorial seat have the lowest spending cap after the commission allowed them to spend no more than Sh13 million.
Those participating in the Mombasa, Kakamega and Kiambu gubernatorial races will be allowed to spend no more than Sh129 million, Sh228 million and Sh223 million respectively.
The IEBC said it used the population of an electoral area, geographical size and other factors to set the spending limits.
The regulations spell out varied spending limits for each of the 290 constituencies and 1,450 wards in the country.
For instance Lamu East has the least spending limit capped at Sh2.2 million in Lamu East while Mandera South has the highest capped at a staggering Sh33.4 million.
Political party expenditure has been capped at Sh15 billion, while contribution by a single source (to a political party) is limited to Sh3bn.