Azimio Parties Accuse Ruto Of Crippling Them By Withholding Funds

Political parties affiliated with the Azimio coalition are now requesting that the Treasury immediately release funds intended to support their programmes.

The coalition, which includes the Orange Democratic Party, Jubilee, and NARC Kenya, have accused the President of crippling the opposition by withholding the funds

The parties claim that funding shortages have crippled their operations across the country, which they believe is a deliberate state plan.

The party officials chastised President William Ruto for claiming to be pushing for a stronger opposition in the country while underfunding the watchdog team.

Led by ODM SG Edwin Sifuna and Jubilee’s Jeremiah Kioni it is now turning out to be impossible for parties to function at the grass-root level.

“One thing we want to make clear is we hear the president telling open lies in the media. During his recent interview, he alluded to the fact that money that was due to political parties had already been released. We as Secretary Generals of the qualifying parties have had a meeting with the registrar of political parties; she has confirmed that in fact, treasury has still refused to disburse money to the political parties,” Sifuna said.

According to Sifuna, a lack of funds has hampered ODM party institutionalisation and reduced the desired value-infusion, ensuring Kenyans view political parties as necessary organisations in the democratisation process.

“As we speak right now, ODM has 47 county offices; we are in rent arrears from June of last year. The last time the party received funds was back in January 2021,” he added.

On his part, Jubilee Party Secretary General, Jeremiah Kioni, said, “To date, the forty-eight (48) qualifying political parties have not received the 1st Quarter, 2nd Quarter and 3rd quarter funding even after the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) directed the Registrar of Political Parties on 6th December 2022 release the 1st Quarter funding covering the period of July-Sept. 2022 to all qualifying Parties pending the full determination of UDA’s application for a review of allocation formulae.”

He added, “It is paradoxical and unfortunate that we the parliamentarians who enacted the law are the same ones abusing our own legislation when appropriation time beckons… The National Assembly’s Budget and Appropriation Committee should be alarmed at the blatant violation of the law on political parties funding and to immediately demand correction or change of the funding provision if it is not sustainable. The lackluster interest to correct this illegality and the blatant abuse at the faces of our elected leaders continues to baffle political parties.”

Last November, it was revealed that at least 45 political parties would receive Ksh 1.48 billion from the Political Parties Fund.

The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Party of President William Ruto will receive the lion’s share of the fund.

According to the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, UDA will receive Ksh 577.2 million, followed by the Orange Democratic Movement (KES 308.3 million), Jubilee Party (KES 135.1 million), Wiper Party (KES 72.1 million), and Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K), rounding out the Top Five recipients of the fund.