NAIROBI, Kenya, May 12 – The Fundraising Appeals Bill seeking to promote transparency and accountability in how harambees are conducted has been passed by the Senate and will now be taken to the National Assembly for debate and if passed transmitted to the President for assent.
The Bill which intends to regulate the culture of dependency on fundraisers will require one to get a license from an established County committee, state the purpose of the fundraiser and keep records of how the monies collected were used.
“The Bill is developed against the need to maintain the selfless rationale that harambees serve in the Kenyan society while addressing the shortcomings that have accompanied this process,” reads the Bill.
During debate on the proposed amendments Senators noted the temptation some elected leaders may have to use county funds in public fundraisers saying the Bill would ensure public funds are put to good use.
Individuals intending to make contributions will be required to specify the source of the money and declare the contribution in the income tax returns they submit to the revenue authority.
“The current regulatory regimes are limited in their tax incentives and essentially excludes private individuals. This Bill will provide frameworks within which tax incentives can be issued to voluntary contributions,” it states.
The Bill which was sponsored by Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o will restrict private contributions to family circles and public appeals for public purposes.
Siaya Senator James Orengo had initially taken issue with a clause prohibiting elected leaders from actively participating or contributing to Harambees insisting that the clause was ambiguous and may be misinterpreted to declare a good deed as criminal, the clause was removed.
Although the Bill criminalizes the use of fundraising money for any other purpose other than that which the appeal was held, it fails to outline the punishment to be meted on an individual who goes against it.
The Bill which has already attracted opposition from a section of members of the National Assembly who have vowed to shoot it down is expected to elicit a myriad of reactions once it is tabled in the National Assembly.