By OLIVER MATHENGE email@example.com
Posted Thursday, April 19 2012 at 22:30
Posted Thursday, April 19 2012 at 22:30
Political parties were on Thursday having a rough time meeting the tough conditions for registration set by the law.
Some parties have had to revise their membership and officials lists in order to satisfy the Political Parties Act.
In other instances, parties had presented members whose names do not match with their ID card numbers or are not registered voters.
The Orange Democratic Movement is the latest major party to experience registration difficulties.
Some 10,000 of the party’s members are also members of other political parties, although it is not required to present others since it had filed more than the required 24,000.
Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u said so far she had not rejected the application of any of the 34 parties which have sought registration, but she had contacted some to point out anomalies.
“I have not physically rejected any application as this would mean that the parties would have to apply again. Whenever my office discovers issues in the applications, we deal with each party on a one-on-one basis and there are issues that we seek to discuss in future,” Ms Ndungu said.
She gave an example of ODM where 10,000 of its members were found to belong to other parties.
She said that the party had presented more than the required 24,000 members and therefore the 10,000 would not be a cause for it to be denied registration.
ODM in a statement to newsrooms said that it had fully complied with the requirements of the Political Parties Act and is awaiting the issuance of its certificate.
“ODM submitted over 130,000 members for registration some of whom were found to either have been not registered voters, registered by other political parties or lacking sufficient information on the registration process,” the statement from Orange house said.
The Political Parties Act bars any individual from belonging to more than one party and the registrar’s office has installed a computerised system that rejects those affected.
There have been reports of parties using unscrupulous means to make their registers which will result in some Kenyans finding themselves in party lists that they never applied to be in.
The registrar has warned that such parties will be punished if there is evidence of malpractice.
Ms Ndungu was speaking after issuing a compliance certificate to the United Democratic Forum which became the sixth party to be registered.
She also received applications from Kanu, Social Democratic Party, Chama Cha Mwananchi, Kadu Asili and Safina.
Parties must comply in order to participate in the General Election. To be registered, parties need to have 1,000 registered voters in at least 24 counties, have a governing body that addresses gender, regional, ethnic and minority balance and have offices in 24 counties.
On Thursday, the registrar’s office was a beehive of activities as the parties sought to comply with the new rules ahead of the deadline.
Speaking after UDF was issued with its certificate, nominated MP George Nyamweya said that the party would give Kenyans an “alternative leadership” that will not be engaged in politics from the end of an election to the next one.
He added that MPs allied to the party were focusing on ensuring that the Constitution is fully implemented.
“UDF is focused on dealing with the issues that face Kenyans especially the creation of jobs. Leaders must put aside power hunger and put in place laws that facilitate Kenyans to live within the rule of Law. As MPs who are friends of the party we will ensure the full implementation of the Constitution,” Mr Nyamweya said.
He was accompanied by chairman Hassan Osman and deputy secretary general Petronilla Were and treasurer Martha Wangari.
Also present were MPs Kabando wa Kabando, Ndiritu Mureithi and Jeremiah Kioni.
Kanu interim chairman Gideon Moi and secretary general Nick Salat presented the papers accompanied by other members of the independence party.
The party has faced various hurdles that led to the ouster of Uhuru Kenyatta as chairman last Saturday.
“We could have been among the first to comply but we have had differences which we have sorted out and are now a united party. Kanu will be a party to reckon with in the coming General Election and we thank our members for enabling us to comply,” Mr Moi said.
Civil society activist Mwalimu Mati led the Safina brigade to the registrar’s office where they promised to keep registering members and provide Kenyans with a leadership that will fight for their rights.
Former MP Mwandawiro Mghanga presented the application on behalf of SDP and said that the party was the only one that pushes for a “socialist agenda in the country.”
Former MP Koigi Wamwere was among the officials that presented the papers on behalf of CCM.