Corporate Communication Unit.
Lion Place Nairobi, Kenya; December 1st,2020.
The Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) with support of Uraia Trust held a meeting with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from 24th -26th November, 2020 in Machakos. Its object was to discuss and give recommendations on the Party Primaries Bill published on 2nd October, 2020 by the Senate.
The bill aims to outline a common coordinated framework in management of political parties’ primaries in Kenya. It seeks to bring sanity and stipulate enforceable measures for free, fair and credible conduct of the primaries that have been marred with contestation and characterised by incoordination in the past.
Speaking during the opening of the forum, Assistant Registrar of Political Parties Mr.Ali Surraw noted the importance of stakeholder engagement in such an undertaking. He acknowledged the work that had gone into bringing to fruition the party primaries bill and draft policy as undertaken by a multi-agency taskforce on the task. “Comparative analysis will be used to create memoranda for subsequent submission of consolidated proposals following stakeholders’ input including the CSOs”, Ali noted.
Assistant Registrar of Political Parties Ali Surraw (right) consults with Juliet Murimi (2nd left) from Compliance department and a section of participants during the meeting
Mr Ali further urged for collective effort in sensitizing the citizens of their political rights, being an important facet for a vibrant and knowledgeable society.
The road towards making of the Party Primaries bill and accompanying policy was outlined. “We have through the journey of the bill convened various stakeholders fora in the entire process to ensure the voice of all are heard and the document is premised on a common understanding”, noted Juliet Murimi, the Director Compliance.
Institutions represented in the Taskforce that developed the bill and policy with support of a number partners included: The National Assembly; The Senate; Attorney General’s Office (AG); Kenya Law Reform Commission; Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC); The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC); Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) and Judicial Committee on Elections.
The deliberations pointed out the opportunities of modern-day technology in addressing some of the pertinent issues surrounding membership registers and curbing fraudulent registration of members in political parties. ‘In line with demands of the 21st century, we need as an Office to continue to upscale and adapt responsive technologies to better our service delivery”, observed Joshua Ngala, Kitui Senior County Monitor.
The Office has made strides in trying to arrest fraudulent registration of members by instituting various measures. Such has been a commenced initiative to integrate the Integrated Political Parties Management System (IPPMS) with relevant systems like the E-citizen to enable members of public to check their political party status among other features.
Participants present were appreciative of the efforts made by the Office in supporting and commitment to streamline the party primary processes. Civil Society Organizations pledged to advocate to its conclusive end the party primary reforms. We look forward to the consolidated report of the proposals and eventual enactment”, observed Harriet Wachira of Transparency International (TI).
ORPP team and participants drawn from various Civil Society Organizations during the meeting
The CSOs represented in the deliberations included: Mzalendo Trust, Crawn Trust, FIDA Kenya, Transparency International, United Disabled Persons Kenya, Centre for Multiparty Democracy, CRECO, Vine-Africa, Crawn Trust, Siasa Place, Westminster Foundation for Democracy among others.