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ANC, Ford-Kenya demand share of Sh4bn from ODM

Monday July 27 2020
MUSALIA-WETA

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi (left) and Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetang'ula in Manyonyi village, Kakamega County on July 12. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By PATRICK LANG'AT

Amani National Congress (ANC) now wants the disbursement of Sh4.1 billion to Raila Odinga’s ODM stopped until the Orange party gives it and Ford-Kenya a share.

ODM was recently awarded Sh4.1 billion by the Court of Appeal as money it should have received from the Exchequer from 2011 to 2016.

The Musalia Mudavadi-led ANC and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula’s Ford-Kenya have made fresh demands for the funds received by ODM, their partner in the moribund Nasa.

"In the coming days, we will take action against ODM over the funds, including going to court. We want the disbursements stopped until ODM honours its agreement with us and gives us our share,” ANC Secretary-General Barrack Muluka said.

READ: Jubilee to get largest share of parties' fund

Ford-Kenya and Kalonzo Musyoka's Wiper, which on Tuesday announced its intention to exit Nasa, qualify for a share of the funds from 2013 to 2016, when they, together with ODM, were part of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord).

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NASA COALITION

ANC joined in 2017 to form the Nasa coalition, which also had former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto's Chama Cha Mashinani that bolted out soon after the 2017 polls.

"We were awarded the funds, but for some reason, Treasury has not released them. We have engaged both Parliament and the national Treasury to pursue the award, and we hope there will be steps taken to settle the amount failure to which we will go back to court," ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna said.

In the 2017 pre-election agreement seen by the Nation, ODM agreed to share equally among the Nasa parties funds “attributed to the presidential vote.” But Mr Sifuna said this provision does not apply to the funds it now receives.

"We cannot share out funds based on a presidential election result that was nullified," the official said.

READ: Nasa principals battle ODM for a piece of Sh4.1bn

Mr Sifuna was making reference to the September 1, 2017 landmark ruling by Supreme Court that declared President Uhuru Kenyatta's election null and void and ordered a fresh vote.

"When Nasa boycotted the October 26, 2017 repeat election, we missed out on what would have been a large share of the funds," Mr Sifuna said.

FINANCIAL BURDEN

ODM has argued that ANC and Ford-Kenya do not deserve a cent of its funds, saying they had given up on Nasa and even left the Orange party to shoulder the coalition’s financial burden including paying staff salaries after the 2017 election.

ODM says the fallout in Nasa began on January 30, 2018 during the swearing in of Mr Odinga as the people's president.

Another source of dispute was the Handshake deal, which ANC and Ford Kenya have often described as insincere since they were not involved.

"The money belongs to ODM. It doesn't matter how long you hang around, but you won't get something you don't deserve," Mr Sifuna said, suggesting that Ford-Kenya and ANC were still in Nasa for the money.

The money ODM now receives, Mr Sifuna said, is theirs to decide its use. "Our Nasa affiliates fielded candidates against ours in elective seats other than the President, thereby shedding off the share we would have received based on these votes on the other seats. They cannot then come back and ask for money from us,” said Mr Sifuna.

But according to Mr Muluka, Mr Sifuna is being economical with the truth. "Nasa has a binding agreement registered with the Registrar of Political Parties that says we have a stake in the money ODM gets. An agreement was made and it does not matter that we are pulling in different directions now, we want our money," Mr Muluka said.

The ANC official disputed the assertion that the funds were to be shared based on the presidential votes alone, citing the coalition's 2017 agreement.

SHARING FORMULA

"When a coalition partner fails to meet the funding threshold under the Political Party Fund, the sharing formula will take into account the party's contribution to the coalition strength in Parliament and to the qualifying party's share of the fund," states the coalition's 2017 agreement 1 (e) on the sharing of funds section seen by the Nation.

ODM and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee are the only parties  eligible for the fund—0.3 per cent of national revenue collected last year—for attaining the required threshold to get a share of taxpayer’s funds.

The law requires qualifying parties to have garnered at least three per cent of the total number of votes in the preceding general election.

Another bone of contention in the sharing of Nasa’s billions is whether or not Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu recognises the sharing formula.

According to Mr Muluka, the formula is laid out in the coalition agreement on strength of each party in Parliament. However, Mr Sifuna says no such formula exists.

Mr Sifuna's position is backed by a report of the Auditor-General tabled in the National Assembly, which noted that the affiliate parties in Nasa were yet to receive any funding since the conclusion of the 2017 general election as provided for in the political parties’ Act of 2011 and as amended in 2016.

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