Outrage over Sh1m IEBC nomination fee for candidates
Posted Friday, August 17 2012 at 10:45
- Presidential candidates will pay the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) a clearance fee of one million shillings.
- Politicians accuse the IEBC of trying to fundraise at the expense of the democratic rights of Kenyans.
Politicians are up in arms over a proposal by Kenya's electoral body to levy high nomination fees for candidates seeking political office in the next General Election.
Candidates nominated by political parties to run for the presidency will pay the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) a clearance fee of one million shillings, while those seeking gubernatorial and senatorial positions will pay Sh500,000.
Independent presidential candidates will also be required to part with Sh1million.
However, women presidential candidates will pay Sh500,000. This will also be the case for youth or a person with disability.
The move elicited instant protests from politicians, who criticised the IEBC of trying to fundraise at the expense of the democratic rights of Kenyans.
MPs Charles Keter (Belgut), Victor Munyaka (Machakos) and nominated MP Mohamed Affey described the proposed nomination fees as punitive and unrealistic and aimed at making political positions a preserve of the rich.
"We have never seen a thing like this. We will protest to ensure this commission is compelled to do away with such rules and concentrate on preparing a good elections not business,” said Mr Keter.
Dr Munyaka said the IEBC should not levy any charges on candidates describing the proposal as a fraud, which must be rejected.
"Political parties can fundraise but the people of Kenya have already given the IEBC enough money to run this elections and its work is not to collect revenue," he said.
Mr Affey described the fee as prohibitive and asked the commission not to implement the proposal.
"We can’t allow them to do that. Poor Kenyans who can lead but do not have money will be locked out."
On Thursday, the IEBC proposed that candidates seeking parliamentary seats will pay Sh250,000 to be cleared to run after being nominated by their parties.
Women, youth or the disabled will part with Sh150,000.
"The commission observes the principle of public participation and the requirement for consultation with various stakeholders. Consultation was held vide a meeting with stakeholders and various proposals were made," read a statement.
The IEBC further proposed that candidates for County Representatives positions will pay Sh50,000.
The commission has offered special rates at half the normal price per category for the youth and persons with disabilities.
The fees set by the commission will be paid by candidates after getting clearances from their political parties, which have also set their own compulsory and non-refundable nomination fees.