What’s to be learnt about the state of political party finance in Kenya? Some parties have published their unofficial financial results for the year 2019.
Jubilee: The ruling party has income of Kshs 339 million, that includes 240 million from the Political Parties Fund (PPF) and 98 million from members. They spent 80 million on rent, down from 90 million, 173M on general expenses and 81 million on secretariat staff and executives. They have 16 million of property.
ODM: The main opposition party received Kshs 112 million from the Political Parties Fund, same as last year, and donations of 78M. They have also booked an astronomical accrued amount from the government of Kshs 6.47 billion. They spent 170 million on administrative expenses, 19M on campaigns, 11M on party policy, 10M on conferences, 3M on branch coordination and just 712,000 on civic education. The amount they are claiming from the government is also listed as a current asset and bumps up their balance sheet from 119 million last year, to 6.5 billion.
Other Parties: Meanwhile other parties have been silent on their finances, but are active in other areas. These include the former ruling party – Party of National Unity, which has changed its officials. New parties have been formed this year include Transformation National Alliance Party of Kenya (TNAP) with “money bills” as its party symbol, the Democratic Action Party Kenya and the National Ordinary People Empowerment Union (NOPEU).
Summary of results:
1. Party coalitions are dead: The party coalitions put together for elections appear to have fallen apart. ODM has stopped making payments to its coalition partners and no longer provides for them as they did in their earlier accounts.
2 Expensive secretariats: The amount at Jubilee of 81M is down from 141M last year and which was a sharp rise from 28M in the previous year. That may coincide with hiring for the 2017 election period. Usually, party activities go into a lull after elections, until the next election cycle. In Kenya, this is set for 2022 unless another constitutional referendum is engineered to happen before that by political leaders. At ODM, their property assets went up from 8M to 185M. in September 2019 they relocated their headquarters from Orange house to Chungwa House ay Loiyangalani Drive in Lavington.
3. Parties IPO: ODM has sued the government for not paying it the amount of Kshs 6.4 billion which it says dates back to when parliament came up with the political parties act.
But the National Treasury has been saying it cannot afford to fund the political parties to the tune of 0.3% of the budget as parliamentarians had their parties, without impeding their constitutional requirement to also fund the county governments. Treasury has been allocating Kshs 300 million instead of 3.6 billion a year to the Political Parties Fund.
4. If that payment ever materializes, ODM’s coalition partners, have stated that they will stake a claim for a slice of that windfall.
EDIT – September 2020: For the first quarter of 2020/2021, the Political Parties Fund to pay the Jubilee Party Kshs 161 million and the Orange Democratic Movement party, Kshs 75 million.