, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 25 – Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u has disclosed that only 7 million out of the 14 million registered voters are members of political parties.
During an appearance before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee, Ndung’u said her office lacked funds to enable it conduct civic education to enable the public and political parties understand the role of the office and the importance of registration.
“We do not have the monies and we therefore cannot sell ourselves to the counties and to the political parties,” she said.
She further accused the National Treasury of failing to remit to political parties the 0.3 percent as set out in the Political Parties Act stating that the National Treasury has insisted that it does not have the money.
“The issue has been going on and on…there is even a statement from the Treasury where they say that they do not give money, and that money comes from Parliament,” she stated.
But when the proposal by Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa seeking to have all the political parties equally share the Sh210 million set aside by the National Treasury came before in the National Assembly the proposal was rejected.
The proposal sought to lower the threshold of sharing the monies to two percent from the set five percent of votes in a General Election which at the moment only three parties, the National Alliance, the United Republican Party and the Orange Democratic Movement fit the Bill out of the 59 duly registered parties.
Ndung’u said there was also a contention over what the law states on how the monies can be shared between parties even forcing them to seek a legal opinion from the Attorney General who okayed the 0.3 percent proposal.
She further dispelled the notion that she was in office illegally saying there was a void in law which did not clearly outline the issue of her appointment and they had since proposed amendments to the Act to resolve the matter.
“I want to state clearly that the Registrar is not acting. Under the law it states very clearly that the registrar shall be the registrar until a new one is appointed under the act, so there is no acting, I am in office legally,” she said.
The registrar who had appeared to respond to audit queries was lauded by temporary committee chairman Abdikadir Adan (Balambala) for having a clean audit report with no outstanding issues.
“It’s been a pleasant discussion with you because I can tell you others who have sat on that chair you are seating on have left here with drops of sweats,” he said.
Kiambu MP Jude Jomo on his part noted that if every department emulated what the Registrars’ office did, work at the PAC would be much easier.
“This is a very good example of how ever other ministry and department should perform,” added Jomo.