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Full scale launch of Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) services for managing political parties’ membership register will be a designate element in the in the history of the Office. The long-awaited launch of the three services on eCitizen platform, namely; checking of membership status, joining a party of choice and resigning from a party was held on 10th November, 2021 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Nairobi. The occasion also witnessed the unveiling of the 2020/25 Strategic Plan.

The ORPP is now among the latest institutional entrants that have enabled Kenyans to access with ease, the three listed services on the platform that has over 300 public services. According Nick Wambugu, the Director in charge of Government Digital Payment at the National Treasury, eCitizen has since inception in 2014 transformed service delivery avenue for citizens.

Pomp, glitz and glamour punctuated the well- attended launch presided over by the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs , Joe Mucheru hosted by the Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu. In attendance were a host of high-level officials drawn from political parties, government agencies, high commissions /missions, non- governmental organizations, and donor partners. They all hailed the initiative as a game changer in effective management of membership register.

Chief guest, CS Mucheru noted his appreciation to the ORPP’s move to launch the e-services and Strategic Plan, noting that such initiatives have made the Office  be counted in technology-driven services for the good of the citizens and support delivery of its mandate. “ICT is the oil that drives today’s economy and service delivery, therefore it is appreciable that ORPP has taken the bold step by enlisting the critical services on eCitizen platform”, the CS noted. The CS further acknowledged the embodiment of technology in the making of the 2020/25 Strategic Plan as reflected on its varied implementation strategies “I am encouraged ICT is at the heart of ORPP Strategic Plan, we look forward to its implementation in line with the areas of focus”, CS Mucheru noted.

CS Joe Mucheru Checks status

ORPP Senior ICT Officer Mr Robert Waithaka (L) guides CS Joe Mucheru (center) to check his membership status. Looking on are; The Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu (2nd right)and Data protection Commissioner Immaculate Kasait.

The Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu was delighted at the support the stakeholders have given to the Office, culminating to the launch and other milestones the Office had made in varied fronts. “I am personally indebted to you all for the support to ORPP that contributes to delivery of our mandate”, Ms Nderitu prized. Registrar further reiterated her commitment in supporting political parties to deliver better on their role as institutions of governance. “Political parties are my number one priority, therefore, ORPP will continue to serve in the best way possible. I further call on all Kenyans to support the enlisted services on eCitizen as now you will take charge of your own membership existence in political parties”, the Registrar urged.

Assistant Registrars joined in appreciating the stakeholders towards the launch and ORPP strategic intents as outlined in the 2020/25 Strategic Plan. “The launch has been a result of a robust and inclusive process and therefore as ORPP we are very grateful. The eCitizen is a safe and secure platform that all stakeholders can enjoy the services on- a whole new experience”, assured CPA Florence Birya, the Assistant Registrar, Registration and Field Services Coordination. “We are re-engineering our game plan, it is our collective promise and guarantee of our high standards”, noted Ali Surraw, Assistant Registrar Regulation, Compliance, PPF and Capacity Building, as he presented highlights of the 2020-25 Strategic Plan.

Most of the guests present reassured their commitment in partnering and supporting ORPP through the course of the implementation of the Plan and in the course of managing feedback resulting from the onboarding of the services on eCitizen. “We are happy for the good work of ORPP led by the Registrar. We will expedite the necessary legislative processes including the current one on Political Parties Primaries Bill”, noted Chris Wamalwa, MP for Kiminini Constituency.

Chairperson Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ) appreciated the inclusive initiatives ORPP was spearheading. “I am particularly encouraged by inclusive measures such as the access of services on eCitizen that ORPP is making. In such initiatives, ORPP imprints its fairness and justice in its processes”, Florence Kajuju noted. Her counterpart at the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT), Desma Nungo corroborating her sentiments, “PPDT is always proud to be part of ORPP’s success as the launch and will continue working together”.

Stakeholders were further urged to be conscious and cautious of the private data matters especially in the wake of technology-driven world.  Data Commissioner, Emmaculate Kasait passionately called for those present at personal and institutional capacity to adhere to the raft of data protection provisions as enshrined in the Data Protection Act, 2019. “Data protection must be conscious and we must team up to address gaps and breaches that might have been as the protection law guides. I call on political parties to observe the requisite provisions even as they implement the membership services on eCitizen launched”, encouraged Ms. Kasait.

The on-boarding of eCitizen is a tireless effort by the ORPP through its ICT department in partnership with eCitizen and support of varied supporting partners. Making of the 2020/25 Strategic Plan was spearheaded by the Planning department. “Thank you for being real and candid to us through our processes and engagements”, summed ORPP’s Juliet Murimi as she gave glowing notes of appreciation during the launch event.

Launch strategic Plan

CS Joe Mucheru, (L)  unveils the ORPP 2020-25 strategic plan, as the Registrar of Political parties, Ms Ann Nderitu and PPLC chairperson Evans Misati (R)  witness  the unveiling.

Uptake of services on eCitizen 

In the first week on roll out, according to ICT department, checking of membership topped the services sought followed by resignation and request to join political parties respectively. “A total of 16,892 persons had utilized the services by 17th November, 2021”, noted the ORPP’s Head of ICT, Robert Waithaka.