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Corporate Communication Unit.

Lion Place Nairobi, Kenya; December 21, 2020.

Today, in Nairobi, Registrar Ann Nderitu witnessed the launch of the draft “Protocols for Conducting Political Activities in the Covid-19 Context” developed by Centre for Multi-Party Democracy (CMD)- Kenya.

The Registrar underscored the political parties’ responsibility in upholding the Political Parties’ Code of Conduct in all their undertakings as spelt out under first Schedule of Political Parties Act, 2011. Ann Nderitu called on parties to leverage on appropriate technologies in their activities in the wake of Covid-19. She further noted that the ORPP will continue supporting progressive initiatives such the Protocol being launched.

rpp at launch of draft protocols

Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu, making her remarks during the launch


The draft protocol is a guideline to political parties in managing their offices and giving service to their members while observing the Ministry of Health (MoH’s) Coronavirus stipulations. It highlights delineated roles of political parties’ leaders, audience and measures that each should take and adhere to in order to mitigate the contraction or spread of the virus. “It is important that political parties lead by example in the fight against the pandemic by relaying verified information and ensuring measures and guidelines that have been put in place by MoH are observed”, said the CMD Chair Sen. Abshiro Halake during the launch, while addressing the media during the launch. The protocol will be subjected to stakeholder deliberations and necessary approvals before roll-out.

Corporate Communication Unit.

Lion Place Nairobi, Kenya; December 18, 2020.

A number of newly registered political parties have fielded candidates for by-elections declared in 6 wards and one constituency across the country conducted on 15th December, 2020. Three parties registered from 2017 presented their candidates for the contest. United Green Movement party fielded its candidate in Msambweni Constituency, Wundanyi-Mbale and Gaturi  wards. Party of Economic Democracy followed the cue in Msambweni, Wundanyi-Mbale, Kahawa Wendani and Lake View wards while National Ordinary People’s Empowerment Union had its aspirant contesting in Kahawa Wendani ward.

This is a departure from the previous situations where long existing political parties have dominated the political contests in general and by-elections. The Political Parties Act (PPA) requires that a fully registered political party should field candidate(s) soonest upon attaining corporate status. “A fully registered political party shall be deregistered if it has not presented a candidate in two subsequent general elections”, stipulates section 16, 5(A) of PPA.

“It is encouraging to see some of the newly registered party outfits field candidates. Campaigns I witnessed on the ground portend that some of these new political parties have sizable following which is causing the established parties jittery”, observed Joseph Kanja on the 14th December on his return from a party agents training for Gaturi ward in Muranga.  

The Office of Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) in collaboration with Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) conducted political parties’ agents training in all the regions a week before the by-elections .

 

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Assistant Registrars Ali Surraw and Florence Birya with ORPP coast-based

Ezekiel Obonyo being briefed by IEBC official on preparedness of Msambweni

Constituency by-election at Mkwakwan Primary School polling station.

 

The Office teams were assigned different regions such as: Robert Waithaka (Dabaso ward), Joseph Kanja (Gaturi ward), Veronica Musya (Kisumu North ward), Joshua Ngala (Wundanyi-Mbale ward), Geraldine Mukele (Lake View ward), Ezekiel Obonyo (Msambweni Constituency) and Anastacia Kaberere (Kahawa Wendani ward). From the experiences collated by the staff who conducted the trainings, salient issues were isolated that would inform ORPP’s development of a preparedness roadmap ahead of forthcoming general elections. “I experienced disagreements on issues surrounding manual transmission of results, contestation on tallying centres and many more from agents which IEBC were able to pick”, said Anastacia Kaberere who coordinated the trainings. 

The by-elections were gazetted vide a Kenya Gazette No. CXXII No. 168 of 16th September 2020, published by IEBC’s Chairperson W.W. Chebukati. The by-elections were scheduled following declaration of the vacancies in the offices of Member of the Parliament in National Assembly for the said constituency and wards as communicated to IEBC by respective Assembly Speakers received on varied dates between December 2019 and May 2020.

Assistant Registrars of Political Parties Ali Surraw and Florence Birya joined ORPP coast region team in observing mission for the Msambweni Constituency by-elections.

In the Gazette, aspirants including independent candidates battling out in the contest were guided on requirements and sanctions some of them were on: resignation of public officers intending to vie; party primaries and mechanisms for intra-party dispute mechanisms arising from nominations; submission of nominated candidates; campaign period and time; nomination of party agents among others. “Every political party, candidate and every person who participates in the election shall subscribe to and observe the Electoral Code of Conduct set out in the Second Schedule to the Elections Act, 2011”, the IEBC guided in the notice.

Corporate Communication Unit.

Lion Place Nairobi, Kenya; December 1st,2020.

The first ever special journal for political players to showcase and education stakeholders on their roles and milestones has been mooted. It premieres in the Standard newspaper, tentative date set for 4th December, 2020. The publication is focused on the status of political parties and political players in promotion of democracy in the country in line with the project’s theme- custodians of democracy, human rights, good governance and political participation

Some of its objectives are to provide an avenue for participating players to bring forth their initiatives as key players in democratic processes as well as give citizens a platform to engage and voice out their contributions towards building a cohesive and progressive society.

The initiative, which commenced in October, was borne out of ORPP’s commitment to support political parties and other stakeholders in governance and outreach programmes. “The Political Parties Act, 2011 was enacted pursuant to the aspirations of Articles 91 and 92 of the Constitution of Kenya, which envisages well-managed political parties that champion and live to the principles of good governance”, reads the project concept in part.

Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu underscored the import of such engagements that not only to cement ORPP’s media relations but also acts as a sensitization avenue on wide matters of interest to a larger audience across all parts of the country. “ORPP is an institution that is careful to support and implement noble partnerships such as this for the good of the citizens we serve. We will continue to look out for more partnerships of this nature”, noted the Registrar. 

 std journal

A promo published in the Standard newspaper of the 26th November, 2020 outlining the journal’s objective and coordinating team.

“We are happy to be part of this as we play our role as a media outfit to educate and engage with stakeholders in the political space”, said Julius Mokaya, the Special Projects Editor at the Standard Media Group during an inception meeting at the Registrar’s Office.

A fortnight after its commencement, a sizable number of political parties and partners have committed to participate in the pull-out. “We have received positive feedback and commitments from a number of target institutions. Indeed, most of the ones we have approached have acknowledged the kind gesture for ORPP’s acceptable to oversee the project”,  noted Florence Maswache, one of the project coordinators from the Standard Group in a progress brief to ORPP’s Communication Unit, coordinating the project.

The publication’s anticipated overall outcome is to create a heightened citizenry political awareness and rejuvenate the necessary nexus between political players and other stakeholders for cordial engagement including with members of the public.

Corporate Communication Unit.

Lion Place Nairobi, Kenya; December 1st,2020.

The Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) with support of Uraia Trust held a meeting with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from 24th -26th November, 2020 in Machakos. Its object was to discuss and give recommendations on the Party Primaries Bill published on 2nd October, 2020 by the Senate.

The bill aims to outline a common coordinated framework in management of political parties’ primaries in Kenya. It seeks to bring sanity and stipulate enforceable measures for free, fair and credible conduct of the primaries that have been marred with contestation and characterised by incoordination in the past.

Speaking during the opening of the forum, Assistant Registrar of Political Parties Mr.Ali Surraw noted the importance of stakeholder engagement in such an undertaking. He acknowledged the work that had gone into bringing to fruition the party primaries bill and draft policy as undertaken by a multi-agency taskforce on the task. “Comparative analysis will be used to create memoranda for subsequent submission of consolidated proposals following stakeholders’ input including the CSOs”, Ali noted.

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Assistant Registrar of Political Parties Ali Surraw (right) consults with Juliet Murimi (2nd left) from Compliance department and a section of participants during the meeting

Mr Ali further urged for collective effort in sensitizing the citizens of their political rights, being an important facet for a vibrant and knowledgeable society.

The road towards making of the Party Primaries bill and accompanying policy was outlined. “We have through the journey of the bill convened various stakeholders fora in the entire process to ensure the voice of all are heard and the document is premised on a common understanding”,  noted Juliet Murimi, the Director Compliance.

Institutions represented in the Taskforce that developed the bill and policy with support of a number partners included: The National Assembly; The Senate; Attorney General’s Office (AG); Kenya Law Reform Commission; Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC); The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC); Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) and Judicial  Committee on Elections.

The deliberations pointed out the opportunities of modern-day technology in addressing some of the pertinent issues surrounding membership registers and curbing fraudulent registration of members in political parties. ‘In line with demands of the 21st century, we need as an Office to continue to upscale and adapt responsive technologies to better our service delivery”, observed Joshua Ngala, Kitui Senior County Monitor.

The Office has made strides in trying to arrest fraudulent registration of members by instituting various measures. Such has been a commenced initiative to integrate the Integrated Political Parties Management System (IPPMS) with relevant systems like the E-citizen to enable members of public to check their political party status among other features.

Participants present were appreciative of the efforts made by the Office in supporting and commitment to streamline the party primary processes. Civil Society Organizations pledged to advocate to its conclusive end the party primary reforms. We look forward to the consolidated report of the proposals and eventual enactment”, observed Harriet Wachira of Transparency International (TI).

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ORPP team and participants drawn from various Civil Society Organizations during the meeting

The CSOs represented in the deliberations included: Mzalendo Trust, Crawn Trust, FIDA Kenya, Transparency International, United Disabled Persons Kenya, Centre for Multiparty Democracy, CRECO, Vine-Africa, Crawn Trust, Siasa Place, Westminster Foundation for Democracy among others.

                                                                                                             

Corporate Communication Unit.

Lion Place Nairobi, Kenya; November 3rd,2020.

The two Assistant Registrars Florence Tabu Birya and Ali Abdullahi Surraw took oath of Office on 2nd November, 2020, signalling official start of their respective duties at the Office of Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP). The swearing in presided over by the Chief Justice Hon. David Maraga, took place at the Chief Justice’s chambers at the Supreme Court, Nairobi.

Speaking after the swearing in, the two Assistant Registrars promised to seamlessly gel into the work already attained by the ORPP. They noted the milestones the Office had made and cemented ORPP’s corporate image as a brand responsive to needs of stakeholders locally and across the region.

ASS Registrars  

Assistant Registrars of Political Parties, Mr Ali Surraw and Ms Florence Tabu at the swearing in ceremony.

“I am so delighted to join the ORPP team that has demonstrated exemplary service to this nation. I thank H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta and people of Kenya for trusting me with such honourable responsibility I’m taking up today”, appreciated Florence Tabu. She noted of her commitment to bring her wealth of experience to the ORPP fold to steer the Office even to greater levels. “I take note of the strategic leadership the Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu has provided for the time she has been at the helm without the Assistant Registrars. I therefore, commit to join ORPP team to bring about a unique blend of strategic leadership for expected service to this beloved country”, she added. 

His counterpart, Ali Surraw corroborating the commitment while acknowledging the leadership responsibility to his position. “With boundless optimism, I accept this noble opportunity with a deep sense of passion, humility and commitment.  My eyes will be on the strategic goals, my ears wide open to the voices of all and my heart committed to the service”, noted Ali in his remarks after oath of Office.  He further informed of the good image the ORPP has managed to establish and maintain to stakeholders including members of the public. “You have a good corporate name out there. I salute the leadership and staff for attaining such, which persuaded my desire to join such a great institution. It is my assurance that I will support the Registrar towards realising the strategic goals of ORPP”, he acknowledged.

Guests and accompanying family members present, spoke well of seasoned professionals the two are. “Registrar, you have ‘an assistant and half’ that you can depend on as you undertake responsibilities in line with your mandate”, assured one of the guests. Representatives of ORPP staff were elated for the two joining the Office after a long wait. They unanimously acknowledged the completion of a rigorous process of recruitment of substantive Registrar and Assistant Registrars as a day of historical importance not only to ORPP but the country as a whole.

The two Assistant Registrars bring a wealth of expertise and experience to ORPP, having served in varied high ranking portfolios across sectors in respective careers spanning over a decade.

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