Saturday, June 26, 2004

Campaign Finance laws In Kenya

This is a an opinion that I wrote that was published in the Kenya Times newspaper.

If the allegations that Mr. Kamlesh Pattni spent Kshs. 4.5 billion to finance the 1992 KANU campaign, and that he was reimbursed for the money using public funds (DN 15th June 2004) prove to be true, they should bring to light a major problem with the electoral process in Kenya. The lack of laws to govern campaign fund-raising and expenditure. What the saga illustrates is that in the current scheme of things it would be possible for politicians to strike deals with rich financiers, in return for positions in government, prime no bid contracts, or other benefits that could be detrimental to the government coffers.
Campaigns are an expensive venture and are, therefore, prime opportunities for corruption to occur. It is therefore, incumbent upon the parliament (as they agitate for public financing of campaigns) to enact laws that would make their campaign fund raising and expenditures public. This would ensure that the rich do not have undue influence on politicians, public funds are not misappropriated for campaign activities, and that campaign funds are not used to bribe voters. Such laws to make campaigning more transparent can only enhance the democratic process in Kenya.


Blogger alexcia said...

Good idea...but somehow I feel kenyans are so used to short term solutions...and the small matter of how the money is spent-- politicians cant exactly use campaign money to buy votes or pajeros for that matter

8:43 PM  
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