Opposition political parties accuse Ruto of double speak on political parties funds

A coalition of political parties allied to Azimio la Umoja Coalition have raised concerns over the delayed disbursement of funds allocated for political parties.

The coalition, which includes the Orange Democratic Party, Jubilee, and NARC Kenya, have accused the President of crippling the opposition by withholding the funds.

Speaking in Nairobi on Friday, January 13, Jubilee Party Secretary General, Jeremiah Kioni, said, “To date, the forty-eight (48) qualifying political parties have not received the 1st Quarter, 2nd Quarter and 3rd quarter funding even after the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) directed the Registrar of Political Parties on 6th December 2022 release the 1st Quarter funding covering the period of July-Sept. 2022 to all qualifying Parties pending the full determination of UDA’s application for a review of allocation formulae.”

He added, “It is paradoxical and unfortunate that we the parliamentarians who enacted the law are the same ones abusing our own legislation when appropriation time beckons… The National Assembly’s Budget and Appropriation Committee should be alarmed at the blatant violation of the law on political parties funding and to immediately demand correction or change of the funding provision if it is not sustainable. The lackluster interest to correct this illegality and the blatant abuse at the faces of our elected leaders continues to baffle political parties.”

ODM’s Secretary General, Edwin Sifuna, also alleged that the President is arm-twisting the opposition by stifling the funds, despite claiming to want a vibrant opposition.

He said, “One thing we want to make clear is we hear the president telling open lies in the media. During his recent interview, he alluded to the fact that money that was due to political parties had already been released. We as Secretary Generals of the qualifying parties have had a meeting with the registrar of political parties; she has confirmed that in fact, treasury has still refused to disburse money to the political parties.”

According to Sifuna, the lack of funds has greatly affected ODM party institutionalisation and lowered the desired value-infusion, which in turn would ensure Kenyans would see political parties as necessary organizations in the democratization process.

He said, “As we speak right now, ODM has 47 county offices; we are in rent arrears from June of last year. The last time the party received funds was back in January 2021.”

In November last year, it emerged at least 45 political parties would receive a total of KES 1.48 billion from the Political Parties Fund.

President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Party will get the lion’s share of the fund.

According to the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, UDA has bagged KES 577.2 million, followed by Orange Democratic Movement (KES 308.3 million), Jubilee Party (KES 135.1 million), Wiper Party (KES 72.1 million) and Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) will get KES 31.6 million, rounding out the Top Five recipients of the fund.

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