By Mutethia Mberia
Lion Place Nairobi, Kenya; July,16,2019.
The Office of Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) has presented a raft of legal and policy recommendations to enhance an inclusive Kenyan political system for all citizens. Such a system resonates with the Constitutional requirement to accord Kenyans an avenue to exercise their sovereignty through democratically elected representatives.
In a presentation titled reforms in the supervision and regulation of political parties to the Building the Bridges Initiative (BBI) team on 11 th July 2019 at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) Nairobi, ORPP zeroed in on three of the nine guiding issues identified by the BBI framework, them being, ethnic antagonism, inclusivity and divisive elections to lay its position as presented by the Registrar Anne Nderitu.
Drawing from the challenges of its role and past experiences in political processes, amendment to various sections of the Political Parties Act was reiterated to the team. Provisions that had posed challenges to ORPP discharge its regulatory mandate such as overlapping roles between ORPP and IEBC, lack of enforceable water tight procedure on deregistration of non- compliant political parties, suctioning rogue individual politicians in blatant breach of code of conduct of their parties, recalling elected leaders on gross misconduct, guidelines underpinning early campaigns after general elections were some of the negatively impacting issues highlighted for amendments. The review of the criteria and formula of funding political parties with a view of lowering the bare minimum on the qualification for funding was also proposed under the subject of fair sharing of the Political Parties Fund. These were identified as the specificities of addressing the legal lacuna that once handled will give the Registrar express legal mandate to comprehensively enforce the stipulations of the Political Parties Act.
ORPP advocacy for special interest groups
The OPRP further outlined measures deemed necessary to ensure adequate involvement of special interest groups in the governance and other affairs of political parties, which were observed to be still minimal. To this end, some remedial measures proposed included, to deliberate internal mechanisms to reserve nominations slots for these groups; developing and implementing targeted programme to change society’s perception especially on women leadership; mapping, training and empowering special interest groups who participated in last general elections to encourage them to field
themselves in subsequent elections; having incentives for political parties that had incorporated the groups including in party primaries among others.
The ORPP made the presentation against the backdrop of the BBI term nearing to conclusion upon which it will be submitting its final report to H.E. the President in coming weeks. Other areas of focus according to BBIs initial conceptual note dubbed “building bridges to a new Kenyan nation” are lack of national ethos; devolution; safety and security; corruption; shared prosperity; and responsibilities and rights. The Building Bridges Initiative is part of the country’s effort towards building a great nation, responsive to need for prosperity, fairness and dignity for all Kenyans-the promise and dream of the Founders of the nation.
Photo Courtesy – BBI
Registrar of Political Parties Ms. Ann Nderitu hands in the ORPP Proposal to Adams Oloo (L) the vice chairperson of the task force
looking on is Paul Mwangi one of the joint secretaries of the BBI task force at KICC.