Category Archives: citizen data

Political Party Finances in 2020

Last week, many of us have discovered that we have been apparently being registered as members of political parties without our knowledge. This comes courtesy of data uploaded to the national ecitizen registry by the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP)

I have apparently of the Jubilee Party since 2017, the Party that produced the President and Deputy President and has a dysfunctional majority in Parliament. It has roped in ODM, the party that should be the minority, into a handshake agreement and this means there is no opposition party in Parliament.

The ORPP also administers the Political Parties Fund that draws funds from taxpayers, and for 2019/2020, it disbursed Kshs 872 million, with 564 million going to the Jubilee Party and 263 million to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

What is the state of the different party finances? What is the best party to take over?

Here’s a peek into their financing.

  • Jubilee Party. Income of KShs 862 million. Last year, the political parties registrar announced that Jubilee was eligible to receive Kshs 161 million from the political parties fund for the first quarter of2020/2021. The party has income of 103M from public contributions and staggering Kshs 758 million from other governments, gifts and in-kind services (up from 240M the year before). They spent a sizeable Kshs 87 million on rent, Kshs 166 million on staff and Kshs 271 million in general expenses – and now have an accumulated surplus of Kshs 257 million up from a deficit of Kshs 70 million the year before. (Read more)
  • Orange Democratic Movement (ODM): Income of Kshs 1.5 billion income* in 2020. The party claims they are owed Kshs 7.5 billion by the political parties fund and “booked Kshs 1.2 billion of transfer owed” as income from 2018. The registrar of parties says ODM is eligible to receive Kshs 75M from the Political Parties Fund for the first quarter of 2020/2021. ODM was seeking a presidential candidate earlier this year for 2022, who is a committed, passionate disciplined and dependable party member who can mount a successful campaign. The fee was Kshs 1 million and with a reduced amount of Shs 500,000 for women, youth or persons with disabilities.
  • FORD Kenya is Kshs income 9 million in 2020, with its MP’s contributing half of its income. It is a well-run party despite its leadership wrangles but has received no money from their parliamentary coalition partner (ODM), for three years now.
  • Kenya African National Union (KANU) income of Kshs 5 million in 2020. KANU which ruled Kenya from 1963 to 2002, owes Kshs 176 million to creditors and has an accumulated deficit of Kshs 173 million. No results since 2013, it used Co-op Bank of as do most parties since the bank, and Equity, have branches outside Parliament.
  • Wiper: Kshs 15M income in 2018 when it budgeted for, but did not get, 6 million from PPP funds. Edith Nyenze and Maluki Mwenda each paid 200,000 as nomination fees. Previously, Wiper got Kshs 130 million income in the 2017 election year with 46 million from members and 52 million from election fees.
  • Amani National Congress: Revenue of Kshs 12.5 million (2019) from members contributions and donations. Already seeking aspirants for MP, MCA, women representative, governor and senator seats for the next scheduled election of 2022.
  • Narc Kenya: Has income of Kshs 5M (2019) as both members and MP’s contribute to its activity and financing.
  • Maendeleo Chap Chap had Kshs 38 million income in 2017. Their founder gave Kshs 36M million, and they spent 15M on recruitment, 5M on member cards, 4M on rent for HQ, 2.7M on branding, and 3.2M on office operations & postage.

Other less active parties with financial numbers include:

  • Democratic Party: income of Kshs 3 million (2019)
  • Green Congress: income of Kshs 3M (2018)
  • PDP: Kshs 2M income (2018)
  • Safina: Kshs 1.6M income (2018)
  • PNU: Kshs 1M income (2018). The Party won the 2007 election for Mwai Kibaki and later earned Kshs 21 million in the 2017 election year.
  • The New Democrats: Kshs 1M (2018), the Mombasa party’s year of formation.
  • Social Democrats: Kshs 0.5M (2018)
  • KADU Asili: Kshs 6M income (2017).
  • Civic Renewal Party is a new party, has high rent (Kshs 4 million), but no officials.
  • National Vision Party: No income in 2018. Their office is at Vision Plaza, and they claim to have 479,000 members.
  • Other parties, with no numbers shared, are the Thirdway Alliance, Roots Party, Ukweli Party, New Democrats, Maziingira Party (previously the people patriotic party), Alliance Party of Kenya, Chama Mwangaza Daima, Independent Party (TIP – whose founder passed away a few weeks ago), Communist Party, Kenya Social Congress, Agano party, Conservative Party of Kenya, Grand National Union Party of Kenya, Muungano Party and Mwangaza Party.
  • Last year the ORPP registered 21 parties. also rejected 176 others, most of which were because their names “lacks outright meaning)”. ORPP also refused to register several party names that play around the names of “Hustler” and “Building Bridges”. The given reasons are that Hustler is founded on one social grouping while BBI is an ongoing public agenda matter.

EDIT: The Political Parties Fund has paid the Jubilee Party (JP) Kshs 353.8 million and the Orange Democratic Party (ODM) Kshs 165.2 million for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of the financial year 2020/2021.

EDIT Nov 2022: For 2022/23, the Political Parties Fund intends to Kshs 1.475 billion to 48 parties. The recipients are led by the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) with Kshs 577 million and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) with 308.2 million. Others are Jubilee Party 135M, Wiper Democratic Movement Party 72M, Democratic Action Party Kenya 31.5M, United Democratic Movement 26.8M & Amani National Congress 26.6M, Ford-K 25.8M, Kenya African National Union (KANU) 23.9M, Maendelo Chap Chap 12.6M, Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) 11.5M, The Service Party (TSP) 10.5M, Movement for Growth & Democracy 9.8M, Chama Cha Mashinani 8.1M, National Rainbow Coalition – Kenya (NARC-Kenya) 7.5M, Democratic Party 5.4M, National Rainbow Coalition 5.1M, Safina 3.1M and Kshs 1.04 million to Communist Party of Kenya.

Konza and Smart City Solutions, post-COVID

This week, the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (Konza) hosted a webinar, with the theme was using digital technologies in the planning for the future of cities after coronavirus (COVID-19) has passed.  

It was unique in that it featured two of the original main movers behind Konza; Bitange Ndemo, the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication, whose’ brainchild was Konza and Mugo Kibati who was the Director-General of Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board, and Konza was one of their flagship projects.

The day’s main speaker was Jerome Ochieng, the current Principal Secretary ICT and Innovation who said it was exciting to see a planned city being built from scratch. He said that previous cities had traditionally developed services in silos, but this had led to high costs, waste, and duplication. But he said, going forward with Konza, and using smart cities planning and technology, they would be able to improve the quality and performance of urban living spaces, while reducing energy consumption, service management costs, greenhouse gas emissions. He added that COVID was one of the greatest advertisers of technology – to solve challenges we encounter and that such events will drive how the government will provide services post-COVID.

He highlighted they had been pre-occupied with building the necessary and extensive “basement” work of horizontal infrastructure at Konza- underground utility tunnels (for fibre, power, water and sensors), access roads for pedestrians, BRT etc. These would serve the current and future service needs of the smart city, but that once that was done, other construction projects would take off quickly.

At this stage, Konza, which is 30% done, will also host a permanent building of the national data centre that will be ready by year-end while the city will also host the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, according to Konza CEO, John Tanui.

Mugo Kibati said we are now in an era of lower touch, and lower contact for all our interactions and this was happening through technology. Telkom Kenya, the company he now leads, is aiming to position itself to serve these current and future needs as, even after COVID ends, as some changes it has induced, will remain the norm and sustain long after the pandemic. he cited how residential homes now require more bandwidth as more people are working and schooling from home, ordering food and getting medical attention via telemedicine etc. He said that in smart cities, and with more data being generated, that require predictability and planning, telcos will have to move up the value chain to be part of that future.

Bitange Ndemo said that when Kenya did the open data initiative, they had to host a lot of data outside of the country, but that this would not happen any more now that there is a data centre at Konza. He highlighted how there would be opportunities to use data locally to upscale SME’s.

Adam Lane, Deputy CEO Government Affairs at Huawei Kenya, said that Konza will have an intelligent operation centre, comprising network, cloud, platform and then apps, that will provide management for the smart city, like other centres that Huawei has built. He said that on a smart city street, you do not have a pole for lighting, a pole for electricity, a pole for telecommunication etc.

How to Get and Understand your Credit Score

Have you ever seen your credit report? It is often a requirement for job applicants in Kenya to obtain a “clearance certificate” from a credit reference bureau (CRB) as one of the half-dozen source documents to be considered in their vetting.

Kenya has three licensed credit reference bureaus; Credit Reference Bureau Africa (trading as TransUnion), Creditinfo CRB, and Metropol CRB. The initial law on credit reference means that every Kenyan is entitled to get a free credit score every year, but that is not quite the case.

I tried to obtain a report from all of them and here is a review of the three services, in order of ease of access.

3. Metropol Credit Reference Bureau says that you can get your first free credit report by dialing *433# and by paying Kshs 100 via M-Pesa. Prompts indicated that a payment was required and I entered and sent the amount via M-Pesa, but the payment transaction bounced back. Did this twice, and nothing ever came from Metropol and this needs a fix.

2. TransUnion: Credit Reference Bureau Africa was Kenya’s first credit reference bureau and now trades as TransUnion. Registration is Kshs 50/= for you to get your first free credit report. There are two ways of interacting with the service by SMS or by downloading an app.

The SMS route (number 21272) led to a prompt to pay Kshs 50 by M-Pesa. I did that and was led to a mini-menu to choose and receive more text messages. However, each SMS cost Kshs 15 – 19 each to proceed to the next screen and at some point, the TransUnion site advises that it is better to download the app and save on SMS transaction costs.

I did that for the TransUnion Niapshe app from the Google store through which one can request a credit report and a clearance certificate. After payment, it now says you will be getting the free report annually. Also that, as a subscriber, you will get FREE SMS alerts in case of a new enquiry by a lender, new loan information submitted, when a loan goes 60 days into arrears, as well as when a loan is fully repaid.

Since I had already paid the 50, I asked for the report to be emailed. It came behind a password-protected wall for me to enter my national ID (number) to unlock, but that did not work. I emailed a few times back to customer service and got an unlocked report in an email two days later.

TransUnion also sells “clearance certificates” at a cost of Kshs 2,200 (~$22)

1. Creditinfo CRB Kenya. On their site, you enter your name, ID, email, phone number and that leads to a sign-in prompt to pay Kshs 50. Did that, and within five minutes, got my credit report, a four-page PDF with a numeric score, risk classification and the number of credit queries in the past 12 months.

Findings from the Credit Reports

There are similarities in the two reports obtained from CreditInfo and TransUnion including:

  • They have some personal information, but the range and detail vary. TransUnion has more tries to add all your known locations and post office addresses. It reads information from your national ID including your home location.
  • They have bank borrowing – loans, credit cards, and bank loan apps (in my case Timiza from Barclays and M-Shwari from CBA/Safaricom).
  • Both collect information on borrowers such as loans that are performing and non-performing loans, fraud, bounced cheques, credit applications, length of credit history, number of disputed records, court disputes etc. 
  • While CreditInfo gives a score (presumably between 0-1000), TransUnion also does but also gives a band to show what its 0-1000 scores mean. The top band is AA being (700 to 1000), followed by BB (690-697), CC (675 – 689), and a few others up to the bottom (score of 1-489). There is also a star ranking of four kinds; with two dreaded categories of “***Adverse Action Reasons” and “**** Probability Of Default”.

Missing from the reports are:

  • Other loan apps – It appears that the many loan apps in Kenya are not subscribers, nor are they sharing their information with the CRB’s.
  • They do not appear to have savings and credit society (SACCO) loan data – despite the numerous ads that various SACCO’s have shared about posting loan defaulters to CRB’s.

Lessons for borrowers

  • Watch the use of your borrowing; while you won’t have a credit report unless you borrow, borrowing too many times, even if it’s small loans that you repay quickly, may be a red flag. Those emergency loans you take on an app stay on your report for five years after repayment.
  • The information posted on different dates can overlap and give conflicting data. But is it in your interest to update the database? E.g. it may have your old employment history or lack your latest address.
  • There is an attempt to collect all phone numbers and relations associated with your ID.
  • Microfinance institutions and SACCO’s are not benefitting from the credit reference data.
  • TransUnion sent an email with some explanations of transaction items – a key to explain e.g. Performing Account with a default historya loan that you defaulted and later repaid/ you are still paying. Although updated as cleared or closed, the default information will remain in the credit bureau for 5 years from the date of final settlement. Also Non-Performing Accounta loan that you have defaulted (90 days) and is still outstanding. It impacts negatively on your credit score.


In 2014. banks requested a total of 1.6 million credit reports and that jumped to 6 million in 2015 and then declined to 4.9 million and 4.3 million in subsequent years. Meanwhile, individuals requested 33,000 of their own reports in 2014, 75,000 in 2015, 84,000 in 2016 and 131,000 in 2017. The Central Bank of Kenya attributed this to people seeking credit bureau clearances to contest for Kenya elections in 2017, but it is worrying that banks are requesting fewer new reports as they work to build profiles of existing borrowers.

Accurate credit scoring remains a holy grail in this economy where so many transactions are in the informal sector, and in cash. Credit reference is here to stay, even though many Kenyans don’t understand it or the consequences of not having good credit. Banks have now always been honest brokers, and they have been accused of not sharing information and offering good rates to good borrowers, but only posting defaulters into the credit reference bureau pool. My search proves that this is not the case, but the perception has led to a petition to Parliament to end credit reference bureau practices in Kenya over listing people for owing frivolous balances.

Still, there is no harm in getting your report and knowing what is out there about you.

EDIT: What does your score mean?  This article from South Africa is applicable:  

The different credit bureaux in SA all have slightly different ways of calculating your credit score, but in general, scores range from around 350 to 999, and what you should be aiming for is a score of 600 or more…at this level, you should not have any problem getting a loan, provided it is within your means to pay the monthly instalments…and the higher your score is above 650, the more likely you are to be able to negotiate interest rate concessions…