Political Parties Fund
The Political Parties Fund is a National Revenue Fund to be shared by registered political parties. As has been highlighted in our article on Political Parties System Under the New Constitution, political parties must first fulfill stringent terms and conditions of registration in order to ensure that any pubic funding to them is responsible, equitable and accountable.
The Constitution of Kenya 2010 is of the considered view that public funding of political parties is an enhancer of democratic principals. Chapter 7 - Representation of the People, Part 3 - Political Parties. Excerpts:
92. Parliament shall enact legislation to provide for— (f) the establishment and management of a political parties fund;
The Political Parties Act No 11 of 2011's Section 23 established the Fund.
As stated above, the Fund is a National Revenue Fund and is by law set at 0.3% of National Revenue. Section 23 of the Political Parties Act No 11 of 2011: Excerpts:
24. (1) The sources of the Fund are— (a) such funds not being less than zero point three per cent of the revenue collected by the national government .......
That as it may be, the Act pegs funding on a Party's performance at the General Elections, (among other requirements):
25. (2) ...... a political party shall not be entitled to receive funding from the Fund if— (a) the party does not secure at least five per cent of the total number of votes at the preceding general elections; ......
No sooner were the results of the 2013 General Elections gazetted, than many political parties protested the provisions of Section 25. (2) because only a few parties managed to garner the stipulated 5% of votes. Indeed, only the TNA, ODM, and URP Political Parties secured the 5% minimum votes. The protesting parties argued that the provision discriminated against 'small' parties.
The Registrar of Political Parties is empowered by the Act to administer this Fund:
23. There is established a Fund to be known as the Political Parties Fund, which shall be administered by the Registrar.
Essentially, the Registrar will ensure that the monies are used for those party activities that enhance democratic principals. As with every Public Fund, the Political Parties Fund is subject to the authority of the Controller of Budget and the review of the office of the Auditor-General.