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The Registrar of Political Parties,Ms Ann Nderitu was among the national voices that featured during on the third edition of the People Dialogue festival (PDF), 2021 held on 15th and 16th September, 2021. Departing from the previous editions, this year’s fair was staged nationally in Nairobi and concurrently in four counties of  Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Laikipia and Kakamega counties, 2021.

This year’s was event organised by Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD-Kenya) in conjunction with other partners, was an hybrid, where pre-recorded messages of opinion shapers formed virtual exhibition displays while a limited in person attendees were allowed at the venues.

The Registrar was one of the key note voices giving guidance on political parties and democratic growth. In her pre-recorded message played during the forum, she highlighted of ORPP’s varied initiatives with focus on its continued efforts in enforcing the Political Parties Code of Conduct through varied compliance mechanisms. Some of the gains the Office had put in place to ensure that political parties contribute in the realization of a stable political environment ahead of the 2022 general elections the Registrar highlighted were: training party organs on good governance; regular guidance on cooperation and other intra/inter party relations; capacity building and regular engagement with parties’ Special Interest Groups; spearheading of legal reforms; embracing appropriate ICT solutions among others.

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Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu makes her contribution as a lead panelist during the People’s Dialogue Festival in Hilton, hotel Nairobi.

“The efforts we are making at ORPP are to ensure political processes are as inclusive as possible, contributing to the making of a better and more refined country for the next generations”, Registrar underscored during a recording session in her Office for the event on 7th September, 2021.  She urged that political mobilization as the country gears towards general election should be progressive and issue-based “Mobilization along political lines should be on issue-based politics as Constitution of Kenya requires so as to be alive and responsive to issues ailing some of our systems”, Ms Nderitu emphasized.

Speaking as a panelist,Registrar delved into the subject of the impact of and dis/misinformation on electoral integrity and citizens’ trust in democratic institutions as well as regulatory options to address electoral integrity issues. “Democratic elections rely on a competitive process, faith in electoral institutions and informed participation. The strategic deployment of false, exaggerated or contradictory information in the electoral environment has been a potent tool for undercutting these democratic principles in many places around the world”, Registrar pointed, while clarifying on functional differences between disinformation and misinformation.

“I encourage political parties to refrain from engaging in disinformation tactics especially in campaigns and must take steps to protect their repute on this front. An interparty of dialogue and upholding the Code of Conduct should be a norm”. Adding the call for appropriate legislative actions to protect and address electoral integrity-related issues for functioning and survival of democracies.

“Low levels of trust in democratic institutions by citizens lead to destabilization of electoral contests as the fear of defeat oft results into a sense exclusion from political and economic opportunities hence violence and instabilityas well as varied anti-movements may arise”, Registrar summed.

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Chairperson for CMD Senator Abshiro Halake noted the importance of such as forum as PDF that provides unique opportunity to foster active civic engagement, a culture of dialogue and critical thinking on a range of governance, social and economic issues by bringing together people of different trades and backgrounds. “PDF is here to ensure that we leave no one behind”, the nominated Senator noted.

The event programme consisted of key note address by chief guests, audience-lead panel discussions on identified topics, county forums to complement the main event and entertainment sessions from wide variety of artistic genres.

Participants consisted of representation drawn from: government officials, political parties, diplomats, Community Based Organisations, religious organisations, professional associations, academia, civil society, trade unions, Special Interest Groups, media and general members of the public. This year CMD also incorporated participation by students from high and primary schools.

The Office of Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) held a one-day workshop to sensitize political parties’ representatives on ORPP’s checklist to guide the review of elections and nomination rules. The forum held on 17th September, 2021 in Nairobi, also provided a platform for the Office continued streak of engagement with political parties on millstones made in upgrading the Integrated Political Parties System (IPPMS).

Larger responsibilities required of political parties in the realization of Constitutional principles on matters pertain to; integrity of leaders, representation of marginalized groups and free and fair elections was put premium in developing of the guideline. The development of the checklist is also hinged on the spelt out submission to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). For instance, it is requirement for nomination rules 6 months before party nominations, party membership lists required 120 days before party nominations as well as deadline for submission of party primaries candidates whose timeline is by 9th April, 2022

 “Party nominations are one of the key processes in the electoral process during which parties set out basis for good governance through their choice of candidates. Strong and sustainable political parties are imperative for the development of an open and democratic state since they represent citizens and provide policy choices that demonstrate their ability to govern for the public good”, noted Acting Director Compliance, Juliet Murimi during her presentation.

A host of elements are contained in the checklist. Some them are: party nomination  and conduct of  governing organs; eligibility and term of office; qualifications and identification  aspirants/party officials/independent persons ; varied timelines ; affirmative action policies; procedure for election of party officials; procedure for nomination of candidates into party lists; Code of Conduct & action for breach; campaigns; dispute resolution mechanisms; schedule fees among others.

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“The development of checklist is to provide bare minimum on elections hence the need for the parties to relook their election and nomination rules with the objective to realigning them with the developed checklist”, urged Ali Surraw Assistant Registrar. Her counterpart, Assistant Registrar, CPA Florence Birya noting the office commitment to continue engaging and guiding parties on pertinent issues ahead of the forthcoming general election.

Registrar of Political Parties,  Ann Nderitu, noted that the development of the critical guide was borne out of the need to address gaps identified in the development and submission of elections and nomination rules prior to submission to the IEBC. “The ultimate goal of this effort as an Office is to promote fairness in party primaries. We therefore, encourage your feedback on the document to better serve this purpose”, observed the Registrar. She further cautioned that intended changes in political parties must be made before end of October to have ample time for them to prepare for the 2022 general election.  “ ORPP will not tolerate any party falling short of minimum requirements such as maintaining functional, offices; embracing good practices in all governing organs, adhering to  the minimum party membership among others”, the Registrar guided.

The Registrar of political Parties, AnneNderitu,speaks during the official opening the workshop at Jacaranda hotel, Westlands, Nairobi.

She further guided on the efforts the Office was making in digitizing membership management by on-boarding the service on E-citizen platform, a process anticipated piloting in October before full roll-out.

On the progress on legal reforms, the Registrar informed of consultative engagements it had had with varied stakeholders including the Office of the Attorney General and other government players towards finalizing the Draft Political Parties (Amendment) Bill 2021 and Draft (Political Parties Membership Regulations 2021.

 

 

 

The youth leaders in political parties have been called to take advantage of favourable legal and policy architecture in the country that accommodates their inclusion in political governance. They were apprised of myriad   principles in the Constitution of Kenya (CoK), 2010 that promote representation of marginalized groups in electoral positions. In the context of political parties’ process, aspects such as nominating candidates to their party list, support in campaign funding and other enabling youth-oriented national platforms have been put in place.

In her opening remarks during a sensitization forum for political parties youth leaders on 27th August 2021 at Sarova Stanley Hotel in Nairobi, the Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu noted that for young people to be adequately represented in political institutions, processes and decision-making, they must know their rights. The youth she noted must further be accorded opportunity for necessary knowledge and capacity to participate in a meaningful way at all levels. The Registrar also counseled the youth on emerging challenges brought about by mental health issues that she cited was adversely affecting them. “Youth leaders present at this forum need to take stock of particular issues affecting you and advocate in your respective parties for appropriate solutions including on matters pertaining to mental health issues”, the Registrar advised. She urged the political parties youth representatives to tap knowledge and understanding from the older people that can help them impact positively in the political space.

Assistant Registrar of Political Parties, Mr. Ali Surraw called on the youth to overcome myths that youth are apathetic and not mature enough to take up leadership positions. He reiterated that a healthy and resilient democracy must be inclusive.

On his part, Resident Representative, Kenya - Ethiopia: Daniel Seiberling of the Hanns Siedel Foundation Kenya, the supporting partner to the ORPP-convened forum too challenged the youth to take up double responsibility, that of working with the party and working with the youth. “The youth face many issues in this world, but these issues go unheard. I urge you to work and relate with the youth at the community level, since the youth would better understand other young people”, he said. He further urged the youth to be ready to take up duties as power comes with responsibility.

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Resident Representative, Kenya - Ethiopia: Daniel Seiberling of the Hanns Siedel Foundation, speaking during the youth forum held at Sarova Stanley Hotel.

The Office designated team sensitized participants present on various topical areas including; political parties processes; level of involvement/inclusion of Special Interest Groups in political processes; barriers to meaningful participation and roadmap to 2022 General Elections; election timelines and aspirants requirements.

Youth leaders who spoke were of the collective view that bodies involved in electoral management to upscale information sharing in readiness for the upcoming general elections. Bina Maseno of Movement for Democracy and growth (MDG) party encouraged the youth present to move the youth agenda forth and be empowered to go for leadership positions. “Negotiate for any position, have courage, be pro-active and your party leadership will recognize your effort” she said.

OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR OF POLITICAL PARTIES (ORPP)

 letting 

Nicholas Kipkosgei Letting

aka‘Nick Dollar’

Sunrise: 25th February, 1985-Sunset 15th September, 2021

It is with deep sorrow and humble acceptance of God's will that we announce the passing on of Nicholas Kipkosgei Letting aka‘Nick Dollar’ of Kaplelach sub-location,Ngeria Location Kapsaret sub-county,UasinGishu County through a tragic road accident in line of duty that occurred on 15th September 2021. Until his demise, the late Nick had diligently served for 5 years at the Office of the Register of Political Parties (ORPP), North- Rift region office situated in Eldoret town. The ORPP acknowledges appreciable commitment of Nick’s service to the Office.

He was the son of John Mitei and the Late Grace Mitei.Beloved husband to Beatrice Letting.Dotting father to ShalyneChepkorirKipkosgei.Brother to Paul Letting (Ngeria, GK prison), Deacon Eric Letting, Samuel Kimaru KDF, Daniel Letting, James Letting (MTRH) and Rosemary TenaiKETEPA.Brother in-law to Mary, Tecla, Lilian, Veronica, Edward Tenai, Gilbert,Anitah, Hillary, Peter,Sharon, Evans, Mercy and Faith. Uncle to Lydia, IrineKigen, Brian, Michelle, Joyleen, Bildard, Brandon,Berlly, Marion,Dylan, Dennis, Amed,Kevin, Kelly, Elvis and Terry Ann. Son in-law to Philip Mengich and the late Eunice Cheptanui.

A fund raiser will be held on Sunday 26thSeptember, 2021 at his home Mimosa village, Ngeria location, Kapseretconstituency. Contributions may be sent through Mpesa No. 0721324786.

The cavalcade leaves MTRH funeral home on Tuesday 28thSeptember 2021 at 2.00pm for a requiem service at St. Stephens ACK church Mimosa.The funeral service and burial will be held on Wednesday 29thSeptember, 2021 at his home in Mimosa, Ngeria.

2nd Timothy 4:7: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith”.

Political parties have been called to put central in their governance and operational structures the interests and aspirations of Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs) as key element of inclusion.  The Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu underscored this while opening a one-day capacity building workshop for PWDs drawn from all fully registered political parties held on 26th August, 2021 at Sarova Stanley, Nairobi.

The Registrar pointed out that as backed by statistics there are low numbers of PWDs in political and overall governance processes. She called for deliberate effort to champion and mobilize others within and outside political parties and rally behind PWDs to actualise their positive contribution to the progressive politics. “Every Kenyan including PWDs has equal right as guaranteed in the country’s Constitution .We must speed up affirmative action for PWDs with passion and vigour, which has lagged behind as compared to efforts of other Special Interest Groups categories”, Ms. Nderitu urged.

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Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu addresses participants during the PWDs sensitization forum held at Sarova Stanley Hotel.

She further called on PWDs to play their part in their respective parties to demonstrate and earn their space. “As persons with special needs, you must interest yourselves in politics and espouse a unity of purpose approach to  realise the gains you aspired”, counselled the Registrar.  She assured of ORPP’s commitment to continue putting up targeted programmes for PWDs with partners to realise their inherent potential not just in political parties but in other realms of leadership. “It is our commitment to strive to programmes such as this in partnership with other agencies to support and guide PWDs not only to meet composition of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and other compliance threshold in governing bodies of parties but importantly, to empower you to contest in elective political positions  as well as other leadership opportunities”, she assured. Assistant Registrar, Ali A. Surraw, elucidated the various SIGs mainstreaming efforts ORPP has put its regulatory role. “Aware of the myriad challenges, we continue to steer legal and policy interventions responsive to PWDs well-being in political parties”, noted Ali.

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Assistant Registrar Ali Surraw, speaking during the PWDs sensitization forum.

Participants present agreed to advocate for prioritisation of their agenda within parties. They called for the need to embrace responsive modes of communicating and devise specific strategies responsive to SIGs diverse needs. They further noted of the need for further fora to deliberate on  a wide breath of proposal they made including ; iron out gaps in membership and census data of PWDs; enhance funding of PWDs targeted programmes with political parties, mooting formation of possible special Fund; formation of a caucus of PWDs among other recommendations.

The deliberations were hinged on the need for additional efforts towards mainstreaming PWDs in electoral process being a global challenge. “Even in Europe, there are a host of technical and legal barriers that befall full inclusion of Persons with Special needs” , noted Daniel Seiberling, Hanns Seidel Foundation Resident Representative Kenya-Ethiopia.

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Participants pose for a group photo.

The Office personnel made varied presentations in relation to legal requirements of PWDs in political processes (Loserian Tukei); Level of inclusion of SIGs in political processes (Anastasia Kaberere) ; Roadmap to 2022 elections, election timelines and aspirants requirements (Juliet Murimi). They were complemented by their counterparts as session moderators, rapportuers and logistical support. 

The engagement which was supported by Hanns Seidel Foundation, Kenya Office preceded a similar with youth leaders of fully registered political parties held on 27th August, 2021.

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