The fallout in the National Super Alliance (Nasa) appeared to get out of hand Saturday after three affiliate parties threatened to battle ODM in courts of law for the Sh4 billion political parties’ windfall.
Separately, Mr Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC), Mr Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper movement and Mr Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford-Kenya vowed to ensure that the Sh4 billion windfall was shared proportionately among the Nasa affiliates.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odnga’s ODM had moved to court to compel the National Treasury to award it the billions accrued from 2011 to 2016 after the Treasury failed to comply with the requirements of Section 24 (1) (a) of the Political Parties Act of 2011.
The parties’ law, which came into force in 2011, stipulates that the monies due to political parties that qualify for the allocation, shall not be less than 0.3 percent of the revenue collected by the national government.
The threat by ANC, Wiper and Ford Kenya comes after the Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu, who administers the parties’ fund, told a parliamentary committee on Thursday that although there exists an agreement in Nasa on the sharing of the fund, a framework on how the fund shall be shared is lacking.
Ms Nderitu’s statement has also been backed by an audit report from the Office of Auditor-General on the accounts of ANC tabled in the National Assembly.
The three disgruntled parties warned that they will pursue their rightful share to the bitter end while accusing ODM of attempting to short change them.
“We are currently deliberating on the framework. This is the money we will follow up and we will get it only that ODM is being stubborn,” Ms Judith Sijeny, Wiper’s Secretary General said.
“If we fail to agree as provided for in the coalition’s internal instruments, we will go to the political parties’ dispute tribunal. If we fail to get justice at the tribunal, we will proceed until we exhaust all the appeals mechanism,” she said.
Nasa has the management board and the Summit bringing together leaders of the affiliate parties, as coalition dispute resolution instruments.
Ms Sijeny’s sentiments were echoed by Mr Kibisu Kabatesi, Mr Mudavadi’s private secretary.
“We are in pursuit of justice together with Wiper. We will be together in court if we fail to address the issues as Nasa and at the tribunal,” Mr Kabatesi said.
But Mr Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya is of a different opinion as it is pushing to have the matter resolved as a family.
“I think Ms Nderitu spoke out of ignorance. Her predecessor has allocated us money before,” Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa, Ford Kenya’s Chief Whip, said.
But contacted for comment, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna challenged the three parties to go to court.
“They cannot keep on fighting to the bitter end in the press, let them go to court to claim the money. We know them, ODM has been carrying them on the back, they have no capacity politically or legally to challenge for the money, let us meet in court,” he told Sunday Nation.
Article 13 (a) of the Nasa coalition agreement, which also binds former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto’s Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party, provides that the coalition parties shall receive their respective share of the political parties fund as provided for in the political parties Act.
The sharing formula was supposed to consider the individual party’s contribution to the coalition’s strength in Parliament and compelled the affiliates to develop detailed guidelines and procedures for the sharing of the fund.
“The MoU they signed and deposited with the office or registrar of political parties does not stipulate how they will share the funds. I cannot, therefore, dictate what the affiliate parties in Nasa will get,” Ms Nderitu told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Ms Nderitu further told the committee that only two parties, Jubilee and ODM, out of the over 50 registered political parties qualify for the allocation and will receive a combined share of about Sh827 million in the current financial year, which is still way below what the parties’ law dictate.
Jubilee will get Sh564 million and ODM Sh263 million outside the Sh4 billion windfall accrued between 2011 and 2016.
The Office of Auditor-General in a report tabled in the National Assembly 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.
“Under the circumstance, the parties did not receive any funding from the political parties fund directly or indirectly through the Nasa coalition because there was no framework,” the report partly reads.
The establishment and management of the parties fund is anchored under Article 92 (f) of the constitution.
Section 25 (2) of the Parties’ Act stipulates that a political party shall not be entitled to receive funding if the party does not secure at least five percent of the total number of votes at the preceding general elections.
The allocation is done based on the computation of the total number of votes secured by a political party in the preceding election of the President, MPs, County Governors and Members of County Assemblies.
The law restricts the fund to among others, promoting representation in Parliament and in the county assemblies of women, persons with disabilities, youth, ethnic and other minorities, and marginalised communities but not for political campaigns.