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The National Assembly has given a go ahead to the appointment of Ann Nderitu as the substantive holder for the Registrar of Political Parties position. This came to the fore in a special motion plenary discussion by the National Assembly on the afternoon of Thursday 24th September, 2020 following submission of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee’s (JLAC) vetting report to the House. The plenary also discussed and approved Ms. Florence Tabu Birya and Ali Abdullahi Surraw for their appointment to the posts of Assistant Registrars.

Legislators in one accord were in full support of Ann Nderitu as the merited person to the zenith of the ORPP leadership. In their words, they described Nderitu as authentic leader, who has demonstrated merit in the step to step rise in the course of her chequered career. Setting her apart in the highly competitive post was her academic, leadership and professional credential, observed the lawmakers. Further, they cited her landmark achievements in various portfolios held in education, communication, public administration, electoral management and raft of milestones at ORPP for the time she was at the helm.

Moving the motion, as contained in the Committee report, JLAC Chairperson Hon. Muturi Kigano, Kangema MP noted that it undertook thorough scrutiny of the nominees in its vetting sittings held on 18th September, 2020. He noted his regret for rejection of one name for the position of the Assistant Registrar. “The Committee considered suitability, capacity and integrity of nominees following the vetting process and taking into account its observations and pursuant to the Public Appointments Act, the Political Parties Act and the Standing orders”, Kigano observed in the report.

The JLAC vice-chairperson Hon (Dr.) Otiende Amollo noted that the nominees submitted to the President were highly qualified. “Ann Nderitu emerged top of the three nominees we submitted to the President. She is therefore, highly qualified for the position”, the Rarienda MP observed.

“The Office of the Registrar of Political Parties is cardinal in promoting democracy and management of political parties. I have known Ms. Nderitu as a lady capable, competent and with temperament able to handle pressure that come with such her Office”, observed Hon. John Mbadi”, leader of Minority Party.  Hon. Angwenyi Jimmy of MP Kitutu Chache thanking the JLAC for a thorough job, noting  that “To confirm Ann Nderitu to this position is a great thing by this House and the President”.

RPP Vetting

                                                  Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu presents before the Justice and Legal

                                                            Affairs Committee at Parliament buildings on the 18th September, 2020

“Rais aliwachagua kwa njia safi,kwa hivo nakubaliana na taarifa hii iliyotolewa na Kamati hii kuwa hao watatu wapewe kazi... “, observed Hon. Naomi Shabaan.

The refusal for the nomination of Wilson Makorre Mohochi to the position of Assistant Registrar raised divided opinion amongst the legislators present. “Where do we put young people and persons with disability in this country”, posed Hon Dennitah Ghati, a nominated MP on Mohochi’s matter. His matter adjourned for further discussion on Tuesday 29th September, 2020.

On conclusion of the approval process, the House in accordance with the sixth schedule of the Political Parties Act, 2011, will forward the nominees through the Clerk of the National Assembly to the President. “The National Assembly shall, within fourteen days of the receipt of the names of the nominees, consider the nominees and approve or reject the nominations. Where the National Assembly approves the nominations, the Clerk of the National Assembly shall, within three days of the approval, forward the name of the approved persons to the President for appointment. The President shall within seven days of receipt of the name, by notice in the Gazette, appoint the person as Registrar of Political Parties or as Assistant Registrar of Political Parties”, outlines the schedule.

Caucus to enhance young women in political parties’ leadership has been mooted. The initiative under the banner “positioning young women in political parties’ leadership”, seeks to agitate for advancement of young women’s political rights.

The forum aims to equip young women in politics with knowledge and technical know-how in line with changing political landscape to vouch in varied elective and supportive party positions. “It is imperative to strategically position ourselves so that we are beyond a mere statistic gender representation. We therefore, need to build appropriate support systems amongst us to realize this resolve”, reads the initiative’s sponsored concept note shared by Jane Anika, the Executive Director, Green Congress Party also the convener.

In a forum to concretize the initiative virtually on 8th September 2020, the Registrar of Political Parties Ms. Ann Nderitu highlighted key gaps belaboring women in political leadership. She noted of the countable number of women at the helm of the seventy-one (71) fully registered political parties, none of which are youth.

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Key speakers and conveners of the forum. The Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu was among the key speakers.

The Registrar urged it is time that deliberate effort is made to assign roles to young women in political parties that build impetus to leadership. “The current nature of politics has a lot of impediments for women optimal participation, especially the young”, the Registrar noted. Adding that young women should strive to claim their rightful place in politics by joining political parties. “As young women, you must go the extra mile to join political parties and be active members as leadership will not be given on a silver platter”. The Registrar highlighted key interventions the ORPP had made to address some of the challenges. The Political Parties draft Bill that ORPP with stakeholders has developed as one of the interventions envisaged to address a wide spectrum of issues that befall women in politics”, said Ann Nderitu.

The initiative is also supported by the Political Parties Liaison Committees (PPLC). Its key outcomes include: awareness creation on political party processes to the enlisted young women; heightened interest for young women aspiring party leadership; an avenue for further collaborations, support system ahead of general elections among others.

The road towards recruitment of ORPP’s top echelon office bearers gathered pace following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s nomination of the Registrar and 3 Assistant Registrars.

The President’s submission on Tuesday 8th September 2020 to the National Assembly was the 3rd phase of the recruitment process after the advertisement of positions; shortlisting & interviewing by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu who has been at the helm of ORPP on acting capacity was among the appointees. Appointees for the Assistant Registrars position are: Ali Abullahi Surraw, Florence Tabu Birya and Makorre Wilson Mohochi.

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Registrar of Political Parties, Ms. Ann Nderitu

The development was consequent to a rigorous recruitment process undertaken by the PSC in line sections 34, 36A and the 6th Schedule of the Political Parties Act, 2011. The positions were widely publicized in both print and electronic public media for wider reach and transparency.

The National Assembly Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs shall conduct the vetting of the said nominees on Friday. 18th September 2020. The corporate office wishes them all the best.

The Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) Eldoret County Office sensitized members of public in Uasin Gichu on an array of services offered by ORPP on 20th and 21st August 2020, through a community forum dubbed “duty bearers forum on curbing electoral gender based violence.”

Lead the Senior County Monitor Beatrice Nderi and Nicholas Leting took a section of Burnt residents through key essentials of the Office in Political Parties process. The team also highlighted ORPP interventions on the subject as part of the Office resolve to address issues pertaining malpractices in election.

Beatrice Nderi

Senior County Monitor Beatrice Nderi making a presentation at the forum

The programme is spearheaded by Community Education & Empowerment Center (CEEC), a non-governmental organization, with support of varied partners. The project that targeted over 14 electoral duty bearers drawn from ORPP, IEBC to build capacity and share experiences towards non-violent, all-inclusive communities that uphold and respect human rights for all.

The political parties have appreciated the Office of Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) for its commitment to regularly convene parties to discuss issues of national significance.

This was evident in deliberations of the Political Parties Liaison Committees (PPLC) sub-committees and plenary meeting held on the 3rd and 4th September, 2020 at Maanzoni, Machakos. The parties noted that ORPP has proven consistent and committed to ensuring that political parties are focussed through various engagement fora envisaged in the tenets of the PPLC’s trio understanding as spelt out under section 38 of the Political Parties Act (PPA) of 2011.

While giving his plenary brief for the last financial year 2019/2020 milestones, the PPLC Chairman Irungu Nyakera noted “the note worthy achievements I’m highlighting for the year under review such as presentation of our position Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), involvement in party primaries draft Bill and Policy, proposals to the amendment of the PPA and a host of stakeholder engagement on varied front were possible due to appreciable support of ORPP under the Registrar leadership”.

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A section of ORPP staff (front left) keenly take note of plenary proceedings during the plenary session

National and international observer missions

Members in their sub-committees and plenary discussions however, noted there are areas that remain fully untapped. Some of these included: lack of PPLC presence and full involvement in key electoral processes. “We must make every effort to ensure that the relevant organs of PPLC are on the discussion table on matters electoral processes an indeed all matters of national interest”, opined Julius Wambua, the PPLC’s National Organising Secretary. His counterpart, John Wamagata calling on Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) also present, to slot in relevant members to various observer missions. “We are aware of a number of countries in Africa and beyond that are or about to conduct their general elections, it is therefore important that some PPLC members are accredited by IEBC to be part of the observer missions in those countries”, the Chairperson of the Civic, Political Education and Publicity sub-committee.

Members further called for enhanced synergy and inter- engagements sub-committee in order to tap into the expertise and experience required to deliver respective roles. “We need to regularly assess the sub-committees members’ expertise and experience and where necessary a sub-committee should be allowed to co-opt member(s) from the other for the needed interrogation and laying appropriate interventions on matters under scrutiny”, observed Jimmy Kuria, the Chairperson of the Electoral Processes sub-committee.

The Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu welcomed new members into the PPLC fold, urging the rest for tolerance on new progressive ideas that they may bring on board. She called on the respective leadership organs of PPLC plenary and sub-committee to segregate priority issues earmarked for the current financial year, 2020/21 for a structured implementation. “We take note of your priority programmes as submitted through the various sub-committees. “As ORPP we will continue supporting you but it behoves us to continuously take stock of the activities against the set projections to keep track of their implementation”, counselled the Registrar.

RPP making remarks

The Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu makes her remarks during the meeting. Also present was Prof. Guliye Guyo (front left), a Commissioner with the IEBC who highlighted key governance, policy and administrative measures the Commission was putting in preparation for the forthcoming general elections

In the meeting various sub-committees presented their considered challenges of the previous year and recommendations thereof as well as priority areas as underpinned in their respective work plans.

A section of ORPP staff members were on hand to guide the discussions in their assigned plenary and sub-committees.