How Jubilee and ODM spent their millions

Jubilee Party headquarters in Nairobi. The party was declared technically insolvent in the financial year ending June 30, 2018. [File, Standard]

The Jubilee Party has more money in the bank than the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), an indication of the higher member contributions enjoyed by the ruling party.

However, the Raila Odinga-led party holds more in assets, which includes property and unpaid dues from the Political Parties Fund.

An analysis of the financial results for the country’s two largest political parties published this week in the national dailies revealed that ODM has Sh40 million in its bank accounts, while Uhuru Kenyatta’s party holds Sh315 million, which is nearly eight times more.

It is a legal requirement that parties that receive public funds publish their financials to allow for public scrutiny.

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The opposition party has amassed assets worth Sh7.8 billion in the 15 years it has existed. These assets include the cash it holds in its accounts.

Jubilee, on the other hand, reported assets valued at Sh429 million, most of this being in cash, which means that compared to ODM, the ruling party can meet more of its day-to-day expenses easier. 

In the financial year ending June 30, ODM reported a surplus of Sh1.3 billion, which is the money left after it deducted all its expenses, including staff salaries, rent, branch co-ordination costs, civic education, loan repayments and maintenance.

However, a chunk of this surplus is held in government accounts as the National Treasury had yet to release three-quarters of the money it owed the Raila party.

In November last year, ODM petitioned the government over Sh4.1 billion awarded to it by the Court of Appeal in June 2019 after a three-year legal battle. The amount was based on 0.3 per cent of the national revenue collected between 2012 and 2016.

“We wrote to the Registrar of Political Parties after holding several meetings. The general public believes we already have the money, which is not true,” said ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna.

In the 12 months to June 30, Jubilee – which was formed in 2016 – had a surplus of Sh327 million from the Sh862 million in income that it earned from government transfers, and public contributions and donations. 

The ruling party spent Sh535 million on employee costs, repairs and maintenance, rent and general expenses.

ODM’s expenses, on the other hand, totalled Sh304 million.

In the previous financial year, Jubilee collected Sh373 million against expenses of Sh395 million. This left it with a Sh22 million deficit.

Over this period, ODM spent Sh217 million in the year to June 2019 against a total income of Sh6.7 billion, with Sh6.4 billion of this amount pending from the Political Parties Fund.

The party has seen its public contributions and donations drop in the 2019-20 financial year to Sh70 million against Sh79 million in the previous 12 months.

Jubilee also saw a dip in collections from the public, but from Sh133 million in 2019 to Sh104 million this year.

However, it saw a huge increase in transfers from other governments, which were received as gifts and services in kind, from Sh240 million last year to Sh758 million in the year to June 2020.

Lion’s share

The Sh4.1 billion that ODM is targeting will be shared with Wiper and Ford-Kenya based on an agreement among them that was deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties. The three parties formed part of the National Super Alliance (NASA).

Raila’s party will receive the lion’s share of the money because it had the most MPs from NASA in the 11th Parliament.

In court documents, ODM said it garnered 40 per cent of the votes cast in the 2013 General Election and was therefore entitled to 40 per cent of the money allocated to the Political Parties Fund.

According to Section 25(1)(b) of the Political Parties Act, five per cent of the money allocated to the fund for distribution to political parties is for administrative purposes.

In December last year, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said the budgetary allocation for the Political Parties Fund had been increased from Sh371 million to Sh871 million this financial year.

The allocation, he said, is guided by the Constitution, the Public Finance Management Act 2012, the Contingencies Fund and the Commission on Revenue Allocation Act.

Insufficient resources

Yatani did not indicate when the money awarded by the court would be paid to ODM, saying instead there were delays occasioned by insufficient resources.

Under Article 203 of the Constitution, sharing of funds has to take into consideration national interests, such as public debt, pensions and salaries for Constitution officeholders.

In considering allocations to the Political Parties Fund, Yatani said the Treasury was guided by the shareable revenue to county governments, provisions of mandatory constitutional requirements such as health, education and security, safeguarding national interests, provisions for the Equalisation Fund and other priorities, including the Constituency Development Fund.

“The balance of the funds left after taking into account these priorities is hardly enough to finance other programmes of government,” Yatani said.

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