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New staff have been urged to live by strategic intent of stakeholder value, streamlined internal processes and responsive customer delivery a mantra ORPP believe in as new entrants to the ORPP’s service.

In her address on 16th June, 2021 at the ORPP headquarters to the new staff that joined the Office at varied dated from May, 2021 following completion of competitive recruitment process, the Registrar, Ann Nderitu underscored that the new staff must practice the ORPP definitive core values. “As I welcome you to this great institution we are proud of, you must be guided and live by the core values of professionalism; integrity, respect for the rule of law, impartially and innovativeness that you are all aware of and operate respectfully within the laid down institutional processes and procedures”,

The Registrar outlined a raft of expectations pertaining professional and personal behavior by the new staff. She reiterated the firm belief of ORPP to give exceptional service to the stakeholders in line with strict timelines and customer expectations. “You are joining a team of committed professionals that have built this institution to model regulator we are today. We must embrace team work, consultations, support for one another as well as embrace desirous corporate culture and detest from unpleasant culture to build progress we have attained”, Registrar guided. She further accentuated the cardinal rationale for staff to maintain mental fortitude and live in congruence with ethos in public officers’ Code of Conduct. “We must maintain ‘professional hygiene’ by way of developing and maintaining appropriate personal and professional behavior as expected”, she counseled.

Assistant Registrar Ali Surraw, reminded of the importance of high performance in line with modern day public transformation. “We must be conscious, right from the start, of the need to entrench a culture of high performance with appropriate pace and in synch with modern times in service delivery demands”, Ali said.

Heads of Departments also present encouraged thorough understanding of the mandate of ORPP in order for the recently recruited staff to deliver in their respective dockets. 

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Registrar Ann Nderiru (front), Assistant Registrar, Ali Surraw, a section of Heads of Departments during the briefing meeting to

new staff at the ORPP headquarters, 4th floor boardroom

New staff were in full appreciation to have made the cut out of thousands of other equally qualified Kenyans who had applied for the 15 positions publicly advertised in November, 2020. “I am so glad to have gotten this opportunity that was very competitive. I commit to my best, which I believe is the resolve of all the other new staff”, an elated Edward Wamalya, a driver noted.

In the meeting the new staff were taken through the ORPP Code of Conduct after which they signed together with Oath of Secrecy, as an affirmation to fully comply with their provisions. The Code spells out manifold of areas relating to; protection of records; professionalism; conduct of private affairs; gifts and benefit handling; conflict of interest; political neutrality; sexual harassment among others. “An employee who contravenes any provision of the Code is liable for disciplinary action as may be prescribed in any written law”, the Code requires.

Eight teams from the Office Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) undertook an inspection of all the 73 currently registered political parties headquarter offices from 21st to 24th June, 2021.

The inspection was to ascertain the level of compliance by the parties to maintain their head offices as required by sections 17 and 18 of the Political Parties Act, 2011. These requirements pertain to maintenance of party records (s. 17); inspection of records of political parties (s.18); submission to the Registrar identification particulars of party members; location of party offices and their addresses; disaggregated data of Special Interest Groups for their membership among others.

Prior to the exercise the parties were given prior notification ahead going through the reference materials, reporting requirements and necessary guidance. Some of the areas of focus for the inspection included; availability of party records; existence of constitutions, elections and nomination rules; work plans; ideologies; membership recruitment, resignation forms and membership cards; financial records; party assets among other relevant information pertinent to the course. “Authorised party officials were required to sign inspection instruments as recorded by ORPP team leaders as a sign of acceptance and concurrence of the initial findings”, noted Juliet Murimi, Director of Compliance leading the exercise.

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A section of team members in discussion guided by the Director Compliance, Juliet Murimi (far right) on 17th June, 2021 in the 4th floor boardroom prior to commencement of the inspection exercise.

The exercise is expected to yield useful insights for which appropriate guidance will be given to the parties. “We appreciate that parties are at different levels in terms of establishment, therefore, this exercise besides being compliance strive, we will draw appropriate feedback out of the inspection reports from the teams to better our regulatory role”, noted the Registrar, Ann Nderitu.

Previously the Registrar has sent out team to verification exercise of the provisionally registered parties upon application for full registration as conditions for full registration requires under section 7 of the Political Parties Act, 2011. In January this year, Party for Peace and Democracy (PPD), Unified Change Party (UCP) and Democratic Action Party-Kenya (DAP-K) were inspected to ascertain establishment of functional party offices across the country.

The Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu has urged for support of political parties by their members and general citizenry. She noted that members in political parties as key stakeholders, have an obligation to embrace and appropriately contribute in building registered political parties as vehicles of governance. Members should also question their parties to ensure they are on course and live up to their foundational philosophies.

In a press interview with Kenya Television Network (KTN) in her Office on 26th May, 2021, the Registrar underscored the need to upscale the structured engagement between political parties and members as well as general public for full realization of political rights as enshrined in Article 38 and related provisions of Constitution of Kenya, 2010. “Political parties play a critical role as vehicle for citizenry to exercise diverse rights in promotion of democracy. This can be realized if the members in political parties and citizens embrace and champion the ideals of parties they subscribe to”, noted the Registrar. She further dissuaded Kenyans to detach from ‘personality politics’ in which some political followers fanatically follow given political figures rather than focus on building political parties as institutions of governance. “I urge political parties to ensure they have structures as required in law for members to actively participate in undertakings of their parties as they aspire to form government or complement the sitting government”.

At ORPP, we continue to re-engineer our business processes by adopting responsive and appropriate technologies for better service delivery. At present, ORPP is improving the Integrated Political Parties Management System (IPPMS) for instance, soon to be rolled out access of some modules of IPPMS through E- citizen platform where designated service will be available at convenience of the citizens”, Registrar informed.

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Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu with KTN’s Patrick Amimo (left) and crew during the interview session at the Registrar’s office.

The Registrar during the interview also delved into a raft of other topical matters including legal reforms; political realignments and formations; ideology  for political parties; funding of political parties, party primaries among other issues. Ms.  Nderitu noted that the country needs to appreciate the strides made in political arena in promotion of democracy. “Looking at our country’s democracy that has been for about 6 decades and a looking at a decade of multi-party democracy, we ought to be proud of the milestones of our growing democracy in imprinting the ideologies of parties compared to other democracies of many centuries for instance, those of western jurisdictions”, she observed.  This notwithstanding, she added that ORPP plays a central role in shaping ideologies of aspiring political parties as they are required to present to a panel for interrogation as part of provisional registration process.

In addressing the question coalitions, the country was guided that political formations in form of coalitions and mergers should be seen in good light as mechanisms for inclusivity and embracing diversity. “In the last 3 general elections, we have seen various political formations that despite some challenges have largely expanded inclusivity across demographics”, Registrar guided. A caution was further given that the cooperating parties should strictly adhere to coalition agreements duly executed and deposited with the Registrar in order to mitigate conflict and for the larger good of the electorates.

Strict fidelity to the Political Parties Code of Conduct in 1st schedule to the Political Parties Act (PPA), 2011 was underscored. “In line with this Code, central responsibility lies with the parties in ensuring that indiscipline party officials and members are dealt with in accordance with their respective parties’ constitutions. Matters of party primaries were also elucidated. The Registrar called on parties to ensure that there is credibility in their conduct of party primaries in line with the law to inspire confidence of members and members of the public.

Malpractices witnessed in a primaries in run up to the recently held by-elections, must be addressed by relevant party structures as ORPP as guided. The Registrar on 27th May 2021 featured in another interview with TV-47 where related issues were clarified.

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Registrar in an interview with TV 47

The KTN’s interview was aired on 29th May, 2021 during its 9 o’clock prime time news. The detailed version is anticipated to be included in the television’s special feature for the Madaraka day commemorations.

Click here to watch video : Support and engage Political Parties, Registrar call to Kenyans

Women have made gradual progress marking their presence in national politics. This is demonstrated by election of women into elective positions, sizeable contenders by women for various as well a number of them at the helm of political parties leadership.

This came to the fore during the 65th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) forum, held on 18th and 19th May 2021, where the Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu was the Chief Guest. She gave keynote address to guide grassroots women leaders with focus on funding and campaign support for women candidates.

Statistics outlook

The Registrar highlighted statistics as drawn from ORPP-maintained data that depict mixed gains in women pursuit for political leadership as well as membership outlook. For instance, she noted, out the total 16,311,226 Kenyans registered as members in various political parties at the time, 9,717,827  were male while 6,593,399 were female slot, representing about 40% representation. A further review on the office bearers aspect in political parties, women accounted for an average 37%.

On seeking elective political leadership, there has been mixed outcome, where  for example, in the past presidential contests, four women aspirants have tried their hand, among them being: Hon. Charity Ngilu who contested as a presidential candidate in 1997 on an SDP ticket; Hon. Martha Karua on a NARC- Kenya ticket in 2013 while Hon. Prof. Julia Ojiambo featured as  vice presidential candidate in 2007. At the helm of political parties, there are at present 6 party women as party leaders.  Additionally, in 2017 general elections, substantial milestone was registered where a number of women were elected in governorship, Members of National Assembly and Members of County Assembly as compared in the 2013. “In 2013 there were no elected women in the gubernatorial positions whereas in 2017, there were three (3) women governors elected”, read the address in part.

The Registrar also guided and sensitized participants on a raft of legal mechanisms in the Constitution of Kenya 2010 (CoK), Political Parties Act,2011 and other enabling legislation that seek to provide opportunities for women participation in politics. Guaranteed given for party lists under Article 90 of the Constitution, special seats set aside under Article 90 of CoK, purpose and distribution of Political Parties Fund that seek to promote representation of women in Parliament and County Assemblies among others legal and policy interventions were highlighted. Relevant stipulations in the Political Parties Code of Conduct and Elections Code of Conduct related to the subject area were also interrogated.

Out of the deliberations and challenges highlighted, several mitigation measures were seen palpable. “Insightful discussions we had today, I think some of interventions that are needed of various duty bearers include: appropriate legal reform and implementation; grassroots sensitization; mapping and capacity building of women”, Registrar noted. She summed with a clarion call for “collegiate institutional and individual collaboration. This would reshape political parties to cater for women candidates to tap into opportunities that guarantee meaningful participation of women in the political spaces”.

Corporate Communication Unit.

Lion Place Nairobi, Kenya; April 23, 2021

Movement United for Super Action (MUSA), a proposed political party seeking provisional registration, presented its ideology to the ORPP Name Search and Registration committee on the 21st April 2021 at the ORPP offices.

The party, whose mantra is “rasimali na kazi”, stated that it would place its foundation on the ideals of social democracy. In its brief, the party noted that it has resulted to the said ideological position after analysis of state of affairs in political and ordinary lives of the citizens in Kenya. “MUSA subscribes to; social democracy-advocating for economic and social interventions with a vision of transforming Kenya into a just, modern, prosperous nation; a country united in pursuit of equity for all Kenyans”, stated in its  ideology brief.

It further presented proposed ways in which the party will differentiate itself from the rest by developing clear and implementable programmes in all spheres of governance with emphasis on optimal resource utilization and job creation in line with its motto for true economic emancipation. “MUSA will establish, enhance and entrench sound economic institutions and fiscal policies to ensure sustainable human economic and physical development; accountable, free, fair usage of public resources and total elimination of corruption, nepotism and mediocrity”, proposed Victor Ngatia, the party’s interim Secretary General in the briefing.

The Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu noted that other than acquiring power, political party through their ideals are supposed to be the voice of the people encouraged the applicants to live up to the aspirations outlined in the ideology even as they continue the process of registering the party.

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ORPP team (seated left) with interim officials of the proposed Movement United for Super Action (MUSA) party during presentation of its ideology in the ORPP boardroom

The Office guided the party accordingly on various amendments to the ideology in line with provisions of the law. “We want to see the ideological values translated and sustained within the necessary party structures”, the Assistant Registrar in charge of Registration and Field Coordination, CPA Florence Birya said as she echoed the Registrar’s sentiments.

Relevant departments and sections have been guiding the party on its strive for registration within the stipulated legal process of registration.

The presentation was part of the Office elaborate process of scrutiny of applications for party registration in a bid to ensure registration ofpolitical parties with a national character as contained in the provision ofArticle 91 of the Constitution of Kenya.

The Movement United for Super Action (MUSA) is one of the fourteen (14) proposed political parties seeking registration published in My Gov publication of the 13thApril, 2021. The notice also disseminated on ORPP website, sought objections if any, from members of public prior to their provisional registration as required by section 5(2) of the PPA.