MPs disagree with IEBC over campaign financing
The National Assembly has accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of sidelining Parliament in the gazettement of the Election Campaign Financing Guidelines.
The lawmakers argued that IEBC erred in gazetting the guidelines before the national assembly considers regulations for the election campaign financing act.
They accused the electoral body of trying to drive a wedge between parliament and the public.
The matter was brought before the house Tuesday afternoon by the Minority whip in the National Assembly, Junet Mohammed who wanted the speaker to rule against the regulations questioning the timing of their presentation in parliament.
House Speaker, Justin Muturi, allowed for the processing of the regulations by the relevant committee and subsequent presentation of a report in parliament where a final decision will be made by members after debate.
On Monday IEBC gazetted elections campaigns spending limits, a week after they forwarded regulations necessary to operationalize the elections campaign funding act.
According to a Kenya Gazette Notice, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati has outlined contributions and spending limits, setting the ball rolling for the 2022 polls.
Political parties can now spend or receive up to Ksh 17.71B up from Ksh15B approved in the last 2017 election.
The bulk of the monies will be spent on transport costs capped at Ksh 11.8B, advertising/media Ksh1.8B, and election agents Ksh1.5B.
Other allocations include administrative costs limited to Ksh945, 951,950, Publicity Materials (Ksh780, 949,545) venues (Ksh274,578,845), campaign personnel (Ksh243,735,106) nomination fees and charges (Ksh156,537,770) and Ksh98,270,933 on communication .
Security and accommodation have the lowest allocations at Ksh Ksh20.8M and Ksh18.2M respectively.
The electoral body said it had set the limits for political parties in accordance with the Constitution, IEBC Act 2011, and Election Campaign Finance Act 2013.
The parties and candidates can receive financing of up to 100pc of the spending limits, however, contributions from a single source have been limited to 20pc.
“The contribution limits that a political party may receive during the expenditure period shall be 100% of the spending limits prescribed … the contribution limits that a political party candidate and the independent candidate shall receive during the expenditure period shall be 100% of the spending limits prescribed ….Pursuant to section 12 (2) of the of the Election Campaign Financing Act, 2013, a contribution from a single source is limited to twenty percent of the total contributions in the schedules above,” says the notice.
From the schedules by the electoral body, Presidential Candidates will be allowed to spend up to Ksh4.4 billion for their 2022 campaigns down from Ksh5.25 billion in 2017.
Those contesting for the governor, senator, and women representative seats in the 47 counties can spend up to Ksh123 million, the highest amount in Turkana and Ksh21.9M the least in Lamu county.
Spending by National Assembly aspirants varies in the 290 constituencies. The same applies to those seeking the MCAs seat across the 1450 wards.
The capitations have been released amid debate on the election date with some interested groups and politicians pushing for a postponement to give IEBC adequate time to conduct boundary delimitation.
However, the IEBC chair speaking in Mombasa stated that elections will be conducted as scheduled and provided for in the Constitution.
Addressing a consultative meeting with the media, Chebukati said Monday 9th August 2021 marks the beginning of the one-year countdown to the next General Election day in 2022.
He said the commission require sKsh40.9B to conduct the 2022 poll.
“The National Treasury has allocated a budget of Ksh 26.34billion, leaving us with a deficit of Ksh 14.577billion. It is worth noting that the Ksh 40.917 budget requirement is the bare minimum as per the electoral activities in the Election Operations Plan which are governed by the existing legal framework,” He said.