MPs Dismiss IEBC's Campaign Financing Limits

  • IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati addressing the press during a past event.
    IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, addressing the press during a past event.
  • Members of Parliament have dismissed campaign financing rules imposed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries and Commission (IEBC) accusing them of formulating the rules without following laid down procedures.

    The lawmakers on Tuesday, August 10, quashed the rules accusing the electoral agency of submitting the spending caps to the National Assembly late in order to bypass their scrutiny.

    The legislators pointed fingers at IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati together with the other commissioners for sitting on the new financial rules for four years before submitting to the parliament on the last day.

    Suna East MP Junet Mohammed speaking during a press conference
    Suna East MP Junet Mohammed speaking during a press conference

    National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohamed in his submission at the floor of the house stated that the IEBC proposal was time-barred.

    “The electoral commission was aware that the next General Election was to be held on August 9, 2022. They were aware that people would campaign and they need money. They were also aware that they needed to submit the regulations to Parliament for approval. Why wait until the last day?” Junet argued.

    Majority leader Amos Kimunya on the other hand accused Chebukati-led Commission of bringing the new proposals late knowing that they would be rejected benefiting some of the candidates.

    According to the Gazette Notice dated August 9, 2021, the financial cap limited the Presidential candidate to spend a maximum of Ksh4.4 billion for their 2022 campaigns.

    Those eyeing the Gubernatorial, Senatorial, or Woman Representative seats also had their spending regulated with Turkana County having the highest spending limit at Ksh123 million followed by Nairobi Ksh117 million and Marsabit Ksh114 million.

    Lamu County was capped to spend the least at Ksh21 million followed by Tharaka Nithi Ksh23 million and Elgeyo Marakwet Ksh25 Million.

    The spending limit was to be guided by the geographical size and population of the specific given area.

    Political parties were capped to spend up to Ksh17 million.  IEBC had further authorized political parties to spend their funds on paying for venues where campaigns may be undertaken; publicity material for campaigns, advertising, campaign personnel, transport, and any other justifiable expenses including communication, nomination fees, security, accommodation, and administrative costs.

    IEBC had also prescribed harsh penalties for political parties that failed to report their campaign finances to the electoral commission.

    Those found capable would commit an offense under the Election Financing Act and would be liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh2 million or a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years or both.

    Undated image of IEBC ballot boxes after voters had cast their votes
    Undated image of IEBC ballot boxes after voters had cast their votes