, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 9 – The Jubilee Party has submitted documents in compliance with the Campaign Finance Act of 2013 to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The move by the party comes hot on the heels of a directive issued by the electoral body IEBC, advising political parties and candidates to, “register their respective authorized persons and submit details of the campaign financing account as per Section 6 of the Act (Campaign Finance Act of 2013) pending approval of the regulations by the National Assembly.”
Speaking on Thursday shortly after submitting documents indicating the party’s campaign finance and expenditure committee to the IEBC, ahead of the December 9 deadline, Head of Secretariat Raphael Tuju said they have advised all its aspirants to comply with the law despite having raised reservations with the short notice given by the electoral body.
“Yesterday we raised our concerned in writing to the IEBC on the difficulties that we as a party and our candidates are experiencing in complying with this part of the law because the IEBC had not gazetted the regulations and guidelines and neither had Parliament legislated regulations as may be required by law,” he pointed out.
According to Tuju, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto have complied with Section Six of the law that stipulates that the commission shall register authorized persons who will be responsible for management of campaigns for parties and individual candidates.
“His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta has duly complied with the requirements as directed by the IEBC despite the reservations which we (Jubilee Party) have registered in writing,” he said.
Tuju who was accompanied by the party’s Secretary-General Veronicah Maina expressed concerns over the ability of smaller parties who are yet to pick their candidates to beat the December 9 deadline set by the commission but said parties and candidates will have no choice but to comply.
“We recognize that once laws are passed, we cannot cherry pick those we like and those we do not,” he said.
Tuju pointed out issues which needed to be addressed including the reference by law to candidates as opposed to aspirants – which then leaves out civil servants expected to resign in mid February in order to become candidates – out of provisions by the law.
Tuju said the party had taken cognizance of flaws in the IEBC timeline and the law but insisted that any issues with regards to inconsistencies in the law will have to be channeled through Parliament.
Jubilee Party Secretary-General Veronicah Maina said concerns raised by aspirants were valid urging the IEBC to consider extending the deadline to allow compliance by parties and candidates.
“We appreciate the challenges that even our candidates and aspirants are experiencing in complying with the law,” she said adding: “We’d naturally expect IEBC to look into those issues if there’s a possibility for an extension although that may require an amendment on the law.”
IEBC offices witnessed an influx of candidates visiting its offices at the Anniversary Towers in a bid to beat the deadline with most candidates expressing their frustrations at the short notice.
Among those Capital News saw at the commission’s office was the current Kenyan Ambassador to Tanzania Hon Chirau Ali Mwakwere who seemed to be in shock of the requirements by the Campaign Finance Act of 2013.
The commission’s CEO Ezra Chiloba allayed fears that IEBC was intending to lock any candidates out of the electoral process saying the commission will burn the midnight oil to ensure those queuing to fulfil the requirements are allowed to do so.
“The law doesn’t give us room in terms of extension but given the number of people we’ve observed coming to ensure they comply, we will make a decision in terms of how we ensure that they are compliant even if it means they come back tomorrow,” Chiloba reassured.
Chiloba who regretted that regulations filed in Parliament were left hanging when the House went on recess said inconsistencies within the law will be left for the legislative arm of government to deal with.
He said the commission will continue to execute its mandate through the secretariat as by law established adding that roles meant to be executed by the commissioners will not be interfered with.
“Commissioners don’t evaluate tenders, they don’t advertise tenders, they don’t adjudicate tender neither do they sign contracts for tenders,” he said.