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By Mutethia Mberia
Lion Place Nairobi, Kenya; July,16,2019.


An ORPP affiliate institute has been proposed. In its presentation to the Building Bridges team, ORPP has proposed establishment of a Democracy Training Institute meant to train all involved in political parties. The idea has been borne out of the realization of a yawning capacity gap inherent among elected leaders who lack requisite capacity to discharge their representational role effectively.


“The fact that 70% of elected leaders are usually one term leaders in their respective electoral areas means continuous entry training is critical”, reads a section of presentation. The Institute once established targets political parties’ aspirants, governing bodies of political parties, persons working in political process on wide spectrum of matters such as on democracy, politics, leadership, governance among others. 

The training will empower elected leaders to execute their expected roles. The proposal is in tandem with presence of such establishments in other jurisdictions such as Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea and India where the Office of the Registrar is facilitated to steer such a programme.

Reg at bbi

By Mutethia Mberia
Lion Place Nairobi, Kenya; July,16,2019.


A high court ruling over the two-third gender principle, over two years on, continues to draw opposing positions from players across in the political space in the country. The ruling stems from a suit by the Katiba Institute against Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) seeking implementation of the Constitutional provision on the gender rule. Its determination delivered on 20 th April 2017 in favour of the Petitioner, has since been a cause of difficulty, largely owing to lack of an enacted piece of legislation to actualize the requirement. 

Interpretations and implications have further caused a stir. To some, the determination was purposefully dispensed, ill-intended, bears irreconcilable contradictions, offends the free will of the people as enshrined under article 38 of the Constitution and is unenforceable in the current circumstances. To a host of others, it is the right direction towards placing the responsibility where it ought to be.

It is the magnitude of the foregoing, that the IEBC in collaboration with ORPP convened the National Political Parties Liaison Committee (PPLC) on Thursday 11 th July 2019, to deliberate and formulate a way forward on the matter. Presentations made by ORPP’s Juliet Murimi, Bonface Olwal and IEBC’s Salome Oyugi, on the numerous provisions of the Constitution, the reading and the legal interpretations of the ruling were the premise on which participants anchored their deliberations. “We don’t want the burden of implementing this tricky directive left on political parties as honourable court ruled under disposition 85 (1), the reason as to why we are all here as concerned institutions led by IEBC to dissect the matter”, Registrar Anne Nderitu said in her opening remarks. However, she implored on all to purpose putting the needs of interest groups fore in all realms of life as a matter of responsibility not a legal obligation, a sure way for a cohesive and peaceful co-existence. Prof. Abdi Guliye, a Commissioner of IEBC, spearheading the deliberations highlighted a number of proposals he termed as progressive alternatives as efforts to realize the principle. “Since we are in this together, as IEBC we seek your indulgence in coming with solutions at this critical time of our election cycle”, the Commissioner urged. 

After lengthy deliberations, members tasked the PPLC’s Legislation Sub-Committee with administrative support of IEBC, within three weeks, to work out modalities of actualizing the agreed way forward. Some of the possible ways agreed on were to: seek appropriate further legal interpretation of the ruling, consider and exhaust other appeal mechanisms that may be, convene a further inter-agency consultative meeting between Judiciary and the Parliamentary Constitutional Implementation Committee, seek for possible staying orders to implement the ruling as well as consolidate a joint memoranda as the position on the matter by the respective political parties’ National Executive Councils.

The PPLCs is a Committee established under section 38 of the Political Parties Act operational at national and county level to provide a dialogue platform between the ORPP, IEBC and political parties.

Group photo

Participants drawn from ORPP, IEBC and political parties in a group photo during the meeting 

 

The ORPP through the Communication Office on Monday 1st July 2019 delivered old newspapers as a donation to AIC Milimani, Nairobi towards the church’s empowerment project.

The project runs to nurture talents and generally empower the congregation’s teen group majority of whom come from underprivileged backgrounds including the street children. The project entails producing creative works of art manifested into various household goods and décor.

   5011 min     

  Sample of the final products drafted by the teenagers             

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   Stack of old Newspapers donated by ORPP

“We truly appreciate the ORPP kind gesture which will go a long way towards the noble focus, I spearhead. Our larger calling and purpose is to strive to attain balanced persons amongst our congregants beyond just spiritual nourishment”, gratefully observed Pastor Steven Munyambu, the in-charge of the project.

He further highlighted the gains the church had made towards imparting the youth observing that “We take cognizance of the fact that the target teens are largely disadvantaged to compete with the rest especially in the job market hence our resolve to give them a second chance through art as we also endeavour to take them through schooling.

So passionate is Mr. Munyambu that he takes personal effort and sacrifice to align its project towards development models as well try to his best to acquire for them locally made raw materials for the project. For instance, he has undertaken deliberate effort to align the endeavour to the Chinese development model on which enhancing human capital is put core. To this end he observes “I’m insightfully convinced through research findings  I have been undertaking that development of human capital should be our focus not just for our church faithful but at a national scale so that we pass knowledge, skills and right attitude down generations and importantly for self-sustainability”.

The communication office during the discussion also mooted the possibility of earmarking the church as possible target for ORPP CSR activities, such as organizing for relevant officers offer career and life talks to its youth and teens to give them the much needed hope, sense of care and love.

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Corporate Communication Officer Ms Lucy Kemunto Presenting

the old newspapers to Pr. Stephen Munyambu of AIC Milimani 

By Mutethia Mberia
Lion Place Nairobi, Kenya; July,16,2019.

 

The Office of Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) has presented a raft of legal and policy recommendations to enhance an inclusive Kenyan political system for all citizens. Such a system resonates with the Constitutional requirement to accord Kenyans an avenue to exercise their sovereignty through democratically elected representatives. 

In a presentation titled reforms in the supervision and regulation of political parties to the Building the Bridges Initiative (BBI) team on 11 th July 2019 at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) Nairobi, ORPP zeroed in on three of the nine guiding issues identified by the BBI framework, them being, ethnic antagonism, inclusivity and divisive elections to lay its position as presented by the Registrar Anne Nderitu. 

Drawing from the challenges of its role and past experiences in political processes, amendment to various sections of the Political Parties Act was reiterated to the team. Provisions that had posed challenges to ORPP discharge its regulatory mandate such as overlapping roles between ORPP and IEBC, lack of enforceable water tight procedure on deregistration of non- compliant political parties, suctioning rogue individual politicians in blatant breach of code of conduct of their parties, recalling elected leaders on gross misconduct, guidelines underpinning early campaigns after general elections were some of the negatively impacting issues highlighted for amendments. The review of the criteria and formula of funding political parties with a view of lowering the bare minimum on the qualification for funding was also proposed under the subject of fair sharing of the Political Parties Fund. These were identified as the specificities of addressing the legal lacuna that once handled will give the Registrar express legal mandate to comprehensively enforce the stipulations of the Political Parties Act. 

ORPP advocacy for special interest groups

The OPRP further outlined measures deemed necessary to ensure adequate involvement of special interest groups in the governance and other affairs of political parties, which were observed to be still minimal. To this end, some remedial measures proposed included, to deliberate internal mechanisms to reserve nominations slots for these groups; developing and implementing targeted programme to change society’s perception especially on women leadership; mapping, training and empowering special interest groups who participated in last general elections to encourage them to field
themselves in subsequent elections; having incentives for political parties that had incorporated the groups including in party primaries among others. 

The ORPP made the presentation against the backdrop of the BBI term nearing to conclusion upon which it will be submitting its final report to H.E. the President in coming weeks. Other areas of focus according to BBIs initial conceptual note dubbed “building bridges to a new Kenyan nation” are lack of national ethos; devolution; safety and security; corruption; shared prosperity; and responsibilities and rights. The Building Bridges Initiative is part of the country’s effort towards building a great nation, responsive to need for prosperity, fairness and dignity for all Kenyans-the promise and dream of the Founders of the nation.

Reg issues proposal to bbi

Photo Courtesy - BBI

Registrar of Political Parties Ms. Ann Nderitu hands in the ORPP Proposal to Adams Oloo (L) the vice chairperson of the task force 

looking on is Paul Mwangi one of the joint secretaries of the BBI task force at KICC. 

By Mutethia Mberia
Lion Place Nairobi, Kenya; May,27,2019.

 

The Party of National Unity (PNU) long-standing governance squabbles pitying two factions claiming leadership had the ORPP to thank following the party’s mediated election that was successfully concluded on Friday 24th May 2019 at the Karasani, gymnasium Nairobi.

The party was split into two factions who had been claiming ownership of the party. They had sought the settlement of the wrangles throughvarious court cases since 2016. In total they had been in court nine times. The last court case befor PPDT, gave the registrar the responsibility to mediate and oversee the elections.

In the implementation of the court ruling, the ORPP spearheaded the mediation through an independent select Election Board which eventually oversaw the carrying out of the elections.

It took hours of high level consensus meeting comprising of Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Peter Munya, present to play an advisory role and had previously served as Party leader, the Registrar of Political Ann Nderitu , the Elections Board among others to deliver the final list of the agreed leaders. 

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Delivering the verdict to sizeable delegates drawn from regions across the country, and who earlier in the day, had to endure more than 5 hours wait outside the gates, the Chairperson Seina Lekisaat read the names of agreed list for all the positions which were unanimously ratified by the registered party members acting as delegates.

Speaking at the venue, the Registrar expressed her gladness that the tumultuous process concluded successfully. She noted such a resolve was worthwhile for the greater good of promoting democracy.  Sentiments corroborated by the elections Board Chairperson appreciating the ORPP's unrelenting guidance.

On his part, CS Munya implored on the incoming leaders to hit the ground running to popularize the party which had greatly served the brunt of the leadership problems.  “For the respect of PNU founders like Hon. Mwai Kibaki, whom I have a lot of respect, we must endeavour to rebuild the party as per its constitution and avoid unnecessary conflict,” the CS guided.

A section of ORPP staff were deployed to monitor the happenings of the day.

Delegates acknowledge the announcement of the unveiled new leadership.

Picture Courtesy; Daily Nation