Category Archives: kenya elections

Election Finance in Kenya 2013

The March 2013 elections are now officially done, with the final election petitions being dispensed with this month. This election was said to be one of the most expensive  with  the voting process costing alone costing taxpayers $286 million. For the candidates and political parties, they had their own spending through helicopters, and vehicles convoys,  crisscrossing the  country every day, endless political rallies, and (for some) television placement and full-page newspaper advertisements several times a week – though media company Scangroup attributed a 9% drop in it’s 1H 2013 revenue to clients putting  off advertising spend before and after the elections.

The parties are now accounting for their year to June 2013 with published accounts as part of their compliance with the law and to ensure they are eligible to get funding from the taxpayer through the Political Parties Fund. How did the main parties do, compared to the last political finance review in 2010? (Kshs 87=$1)

Jubilee Coalition

A county assembly candidate inspired by Sonko?


The National Alliance – (TNA) party of President Uhuru Kenyatta received 59M( million) from members and Kshs. 20M from party officials. It made 114M from election fees, and but got 151M ($1.73M) from well-wishers, but since it was not in existence a year ago, did not receive any money from the political parties fund. Its total income was Kshs 345M ($4 million) and it spent 364M including 279M on operations and 60M on staff.

United Republican Party: The URP) party of Deputy President William Ruto got all it’s Kshs 76M income from members, and spent 11M on operating expenses, 19M on an ‘alternative voting system’, 10M on a campaign secretariat, 8M each on campaign materials and meetings, 3.8M on county election committees, and 3M on ballot papers, among other expenses.

CORD Coalition

Orange Democratic Movement: Raila Odinga’s ODM has Kshs 244 million ($2.8M) of income mainly from 149M in election nomination fees, and 73M ($0.84M) from the political parties fund. It reports spending Kshs 129M ($1.5M) on campaigns, 54M on regional conferences, 39M on administrative expenses, and 14M on branch coordination among other expenses.

Wiper Democratic Movement-Kenya 

Forum For Restoration of Democracy-Kenya: FORD Kenya’s 19.6M income was largely from members of 17.4 and the party spent 11.2M on campaigns, 7.4M on admin expenses and 2.1M on recruitment

Amani Coalition

United Democratic Forum Party: UDF of Musalia Mudavadi who was a distant third in the presidential election, got 8M from the PPF towards a total income of 14M and spent 3M on campaigns, 2M on delegates, and what seems like a low figure (considering the party’s campaign  visibility)  of 1M each on travel and on advertisements.


Others that have complied so far include Narc Kenya, of Presidential Candidate Martha Karua (25.1M income, spent 14.4M on campaigns),  Alliance Party (the Bus) which made 6.4M from elections fees, but spent 0.93M on campaigns, and the Democratic Party of Kenya (8.7M from PPF, spent 7.3M on campaigns). 

The parties all show signs of ballooning funding that it fully expensed during the campaigns, with most having virtually empty bank accounts at the end of the reporting period. UDF is even owed 12M from nomination fees, and life membership fees (MP’s who pocketed, but didn’t pay for nomination fees). 

Pattni did not win a seat

Also, some figures are rather low, like UDF’s the results capture figures that don’t assume leakage/theft/diversion of campaign funds, a common and unavoidable problem parties face, given how much of the campaign involves officials handing out small money bills to thousands of voters at venues. This practice is illegal but has rarely been punished until last week when Ford-K’s Moses Wetangula was stripped of his senate seat by a Court following an election petition. 

A to Z Referendum

apathy Voter turnout was less than half of what was expected in most areas. Fatigue over the whole matter coupled with the cost of traveling hundreds of kilometers to vote, in an insignificant election, only a month before the expensive Christmas holidays, transport fare hikes, meant that if you couldn’t vote where you lived, you didn’t travel. Presidential elections are usually held in December, during the school holidays and just after Christmas.

boredom Cooped in the house for four straight days and TV was non-stop referendum news. See movies

clowns too many to mention but the roll includes; (i) the government spokesman who despite having nothing to say, couldn’t resist the opportunity provided by having the election media centre in his office building (KICC) (ii) at least two MP’s who showed up without ID or voter’s cards but demanded to vote.

duty Kenyans from all walks of life turned out to perform their civic duty. Turnout was low, but the result showed a true picture of the Kenyan electorate see gullible

emergency plans certain donor bodies (e.g. OXFAM) advised staff to avoid Kenya and even set up emergency chains of command and communication just in case things when wrong. Some international banks moved operations staff into hotels in downtown Nairobi so they could be near their office even if there was chaos around town. DT Dobie withdrew all Mercedes cars from their showroom window.

Fox News Kenya Royal Media’s Citizen has replaced the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) as the pro-establishment media house of choice. They had round the clock coverage of the election coupled with patriotic songs (both on radio and TV) while their Leader, was the only newspaper to endorse an election position (For a strong Yes!, and even published their opinion poll predicting a slim Yes victory.

The songs played on Citizen are hypnotic and catchy choir melodies, with children singing the choruses, with phrases such as;

kenya kenya kenya
nchi yetu
yenye mafanikio
tupendane, tusaidiane
kenya kenya kenya
Nchi yetu
ukabila tuondoe
tushirikiane sote pamoja

gullible Voters in Central and Nyanza who repeatedly produced +97% votes favoring their leaders, and not on the merits of the draft itself.

hongera means praise in Kiswahili to all the citizens, and police of Kenya. (i) Citizens for voting peacefully and for putting up with voting hitches and delays. (ii) The Kenya Police force for maintaining peaceful elections around the country, and also for enabling the peaceful staging of two simultaneous political rallies, just hundreds of metres apart in Nairobi on Saturday.

incidences catchy word repeatedly used by endless radio hosts when they probably mean to use the words ‘incidents.’

Kenyan I now feel like one after voting for the first time ever (shareholder AGM’s don’t count). It’s a shame that I could not vote before when I was abroad

line: In Kenya, you should never ever join a line, unless you know where it is going to end. I have learnt this the hard way – at some banking halls, and offices e.g. of KPLC and Kenya Revenue Authority. On voting day, I stood in the first short line I found at the polling station for 30 minutes only to later realize that voters had been assigned to different lines (leading to different voting rooms) based on their names.

media the media gave some good coverage. However two incidents troubled me (i) the election was peaceful in most parts of the country, yet near the end of the long day, one TV station devoted over 15 minutes to some stone throwing at one Nairobi location. The media should not glorify sporadic acts which are likely to incite similar incidents. – it’s the reason sports broadcasts don’t show streakers or fans who run onto the pitch (ii) just because the government spokesman is in front of a microphone is no reason to let him talk non-stop – cut him off and do you own (more reliable) reporting. Blooper of the day yesterday was a morning radio host who at 7:30 a.m. asked an on-site reporter if there were any preliminary results!

Watched very good ‘Hotel Rwanda’ and ‘Crash.’ Also watched Spanglish and some other forgettable DVD’s.

nite a late entry: as in the Carnivore, who threw a bash called the referendum ‘soul’ night. I Didn’t attend.

over as in we hope it’s all over, and can we move on to the economy, service delivery, infrastructure and growth

Patriotism see Fox News Kenya

queues see lines

Resign Like FEMA officials after hurricane Katrina, some people dropped the ball on voting day – and while its not a Kenyan thing to resign, some non- politicians need to resign including; (i) the attorney general and his team for the incoherent draft they produced (ii) all civil servants (identified by KNHRC) who openly defied the code of conduct for public officers and campaigned using their offices (iii) the entire constitution of Kenya review commission (CKRC) – for wasting millions in the name of non-existent civic education, and because their 15 billion shilling gravy train must come to an end after 8 years.

The electoral commission of Kenya gets a pass because overall the election was well carried out but they could have extended both the registration period for voters and hours for voting beyond 5 p.m.

smart most voters are smart enough to bring reading materials knowing they may line up for hours, but some (old KC’s) even brought folding stools with them.

trash over the last three years we have followed the debate on the draft, sometimes buying two or three newspapers a day just to keep up. Now old newspapers are garbage, which I’m told I can sell for only 20 shillings a kilo. I may have about 15 kilos to clear.

uncertainty three types I felt (i) would I be able to vote with a passport? (ii) Should we line up according to names indicated at polling station? (iii) Was my name really on the voter’s roll as it was my first ever vote?

violence see media

“who’s who’s” included in the voters at polling both around the country were all manner of leaders from the president, MP’s business leaders etc. At my polling station we had Joe Wanjui, Titus Mbathi, Bob Kioko, among others. Still, it’s not a place to network or you may get (violently) thrown out for trying to influence other voters.

a simple mark to check one of two boxes on ballot cards. Yet there were so many spoilt ballots because many (literate) villagers did not understand how to vote. See resign

yellow church leaders and (most) civil society organizations for failing to take a stand on a very complex document. It was too complicated for me and for many rural people who voted, and yet these ‘experts’ just folded their arms and let the dice roll.

zero internet access for most of the weekend. One disadvantage of a mobile phone, and not having a landline, is a dependence on having to use cyber cafés for internet usage – and most of these were closed for several days.

Prepare for 2007

The Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) is conducting a voter registration in preparation for the constitutional referendum. Unfortunately (for most of you who read this site), Kenyans in the Diaspora have not been considered. Still you can ask the ECK why at Or you can take an early summer holiday, as the deadline to register is May 30th.