NCCK expresses concern over proposes changes to Campaign Financing Bill

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2- The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has raised concerns that proposed changes in the Election Campaign Financing (Amendment) Bill 2021 will weaken the oversight mechanisms on campaign financing.
NCCK General Secretary Chris Kinyanjui made remarks when he presented the council’s recommendations on the Bill to the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee.
“It is prudent that the Primary Act (Election Campaign Financing Act, 2013) is not watered down to ensure transparency and protection of the democratic dispensation of the country,” he noted.
For instance, the alliance of Christian organisations registered in Kenya, asked MPs to retain a provision in the Act which speaks to the management of surplus funds by a candidate or political party.
The Bill which is authored by Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni had proposed the repeal Section 17 of the Election Campaign Financing Act, 2013 which compels candidates to surrender surplus campaign funds to their respective political parties within three months after the date of an election.
“The funds are to be used in promoting special interest groups and in the case of an independent candidate to a charity of their choice,” the Act states.
The Council is also against the removal of Section 10 of the Act which requires the submission of expenditure reports to the political party and Commission.
However, NCCK supported Kioni’s proposal to repeal Section 10(1)(a) which mandates a party candidate to submit to their political party and to the Commission a preliminary nomination expenditure report, within twenty-one days of the political party nomination.
NCCK is also opposed to the proposed nullification of Section 27 of the Primary Act which would set aside the Auditor General’s power, upon request by the IEBC, to audit accounts of any political party, candidate or referendum committee.
Representing the NCCK, General Secretary Kinyanjui recommended the retention of Section 16 of the Act entirely which mandates candidates, political parties and referendum committees to disclose funds received.

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