Political parties have been called to ensure functional institutional structures are in place in good time to appropriately participate in the forthcoming general elections. Earlier preparedness for political parties was said to be part of the key facets in delivering credible elections.
Speaking during a compliance meeting for Secretary Generals of political parties at Sarova Woodlands, Nakuru on 27th and 28th July, 2021, Registrar of Political Parties highlighted a raft of areas parties and players key to it being mopping up parties membership registers. The Registrar noted parties have a key role to play to ensure laid down procedures are adhered to in recruitment and resignation which should be detailed in their respective party constitutions. “We must work as parties and stakeholders to ensure members access their membership data through the use of secure technologies such as E-citizen platform as earlier piloted”, said Ms. Nderitu. Adding that in the recent past, membership in political parties was steadily. for instance, in the last three months membership in parties has increased from about 15 to approximately 18 million members currently, hence important and sensitive data number must be managed in the best way possible, one of the ways being automation of applicable processes and integration of ORPP and party ICT solutions.
The Assistant Registrars underscored the import of party officials such as in the stature of Secretary Generals to be accountable to their members and larger citizenry. “We must be responsible leaders, in all respects of good governance. You are key in offering strategic direction for your party institutions”, noted Assistant Registrar Ali Surraw in charge of Regulation, Compliance, Capacity Building and Political Parties Fund. Parties were further called to harness technology advancements of the time to maintain a secure data base for their members. “Maximise on technology and put in place technically-responsive infrastructure to better serve the members and meet compliance thresholds effectively”, reiterated CPA Florence Birya, the Assistant Registrar, Registration and Field Services Coordination.
The Registrar further urged on the critical need for parties to solve amicably conflicts within internal party structures to avoid protracted and at times lengthy court determination process. “There are a lot of parties with disputes and others bordering simmering disputes that are increasingly crippling operations of parties if not resolved. Let us solve our differences within Internal Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (IDRMs) to realise the object of political parties”, the Registrar counselled.
She called on parties, especially at the time when the country is upbeat to the next general elections to institute and/or review party ideologies and manifestos that manifest the issues affecting the public. “Political parties should demonstrate what they stand for, speak and advocate about the less privileged in society including the elderly, marginalised and all Special Interest Groups as you pitch your prepare for campaigns that should be resonant to pressing matters of the time such as economic issues”, Registrar underscored.
Ms. Nderitu further giving a stern notice on proponents of hate speech, electoral violence and other malpractices. She noted that all stakeholders must join hand in efforts towards embracing politics that accommodates diverse political expressions and opinion of Kenyans electorates. “We should shun from ‘soul erosion’ in order to reinstate and preserve dignity and be proud of the progress the political parties have made. Recent impressive posting out of audit of headquarter offices in the recent exercise conducted by ORPP is one of the pointers to that fact”, Registrar appreciated.
The political parties resolved to act and review recruitment procedures and processes in line with Political Parties Act , 2011 and Data Protect Act, 2019 and act on concerns raised by numerous (over 4,000 received at ORPP) Kenyans during on boarding of Integrated Political Parties Management System (IPPMS) piloting phase.
There were other areas of presentation and discussion during the forum. Such were the Political Parties Amendment Bill, 2021, Political Parties (Membership) Regulation, 2020, Political Parties Membership roll-out, roadmap for the 2022 general elections as well as a sensitisation on Data Protection Act, 2019 undertaken by Data Commissioner