ODM demands Sh7.7 billion from Treasury

By Hillary Mageka On Tue, 29 Sep, 2020 14:03 | 3 mins read
Raila Odinga
ODM party leader Raila Odinga (centre) and party secretary-General Edwin Sifuna at a public rally in Kibra last year. PHOTO | FILE

The Orange Democratic Movement has accused the National Treasury accruing of up to Sh7.7 billion of its share of the Political Parties Fund cash for the past six years.

Through its, Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna, the party, which alongside the ruling Jubilee Party as per the law qualify to deep their fingers into the fund’s coffers, alleged that the debt has been accumulating since 2013.

“The debt owed to ODM Party by Treasury now stands at Sh 7.7 billion shillings,” the SG said in a tweet on Tuesday as he exerted pressure on Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani to have the funds released in accordance with the law.

“This financial year, Parliament allocated Sh200 million only towards the settlement of the debt meaning it will take close to 40 years to fully pay up at that rate,” he added.

According to Sifuna, the Sh7.7 billion piled up from the Sh4 billion the Treasury owed the party in the 2011 to 2016 period.

The party had a breakthrough when the court ruled that it was to be paid the dues by the Treasury.

If Treasury were to disburse all its dues, the Raila Odinga-led party would be richer than President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party, he claimed.

Last year, ODM took the State to court over delayed disbursement of Sh4.1 billion that had been awarded to it by the Appellate Court after a three-year legal battle.

The amount was based on 0.3 percent of national revenue for the period between 2012 to 2016.

“We wrote to the Registrar of Political Parties after holding several meetings. The general public believes we already have the money which is not true,” said ODM Treasurer, Timothy Bosire, in a past interview.

In her defense, Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu while exonerating her office of any blame in the delayed disbursement, accused the National Treasury of “sleeping on their job”

“The Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, among others, is [meant] to administer the fund as and when received from the National exchequer. When the money will be availed*, the office will carry out its mandate of administration of the funds,” Ms. Nderitu said in court documents.

According to the Political Parties Act, qualifying political parties should be given 0.3 percent of the national revenue to share for the purpose of entrenching democracy in the country.

According to the Act, 80 percent of the fund is to be distributed proportionately, considering the total number of votes garnered by each political party in the preceding General Election.

Parties that do not qualify are those that “do not secure at least three percent of the total number of votes at the preceding General Election; or if more than two-thirds of its registered office bearers are of the same gender and the party does not have, in its governing body, representation of special interest groups.”

Besides, any party that does not have at least 20 elected members of the National Assembly, three elected members of the Senate, three elected members who are governors, and 40 members of county assemblies, also stands to miss out on the cash.

The party disclosed that its revenue stemming from public contributions and donations dipped from Sh78 million last year to Sh69 million this year in a financial statement publicized in local dailies.

Transfers from the government increased from Sh112 million last year to Sh263 million this year while its expenditure rose from Sh216 million in 2019 to Sh304 million in 2020.

The value of ODM’s net assets stands at Sh7.8 billion this year up from Sh6.6 billion last year.

Administrative costs, financial costs, branch and coordination support, campaigns, civic education, conference and meetings, and party policy and advocacy are some of the areas the party spent the Sh304 million compared to some Sh216 million incurred in the previous year.

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