The reduction of 867 million shillings to political parties was unconstitutional

The High Court ruled that the reduction of Sh867 million allocated to the Political Parties Fund on November 24, 2024 was unconstitutional.

Justice EC Mwita said the reduction was contrary to Articles 1(1), 2, 3, 10 and 38 of the Constitution, read together with Article 24(1)(a) of the Political Parties Act.

“An order of Certiorari is hereby issued setting aside or setting aside vote No. R1311 in the Second Schedule to the Supplementary Appropriations Act, (No.3) of 2023, published in the Kenya Gazette on November 24, 2023 , vide Supplement No. 229 of the Kenya Gazette (Minutes No. 17),” he stated.

Following the ruling on May 21, 2024, ODM called the verdict a great victory for political parties.

“The High Court has this afternoon upheld the position that it was illegal for the Kenya Kwanza regime to cut Sh800 million from the Political Parties Fund through the Supplementary One budget in September 2023. This is a major victory for political parties. as institutions of democracy.” said the party in X.

On November 23, 2023, the President approved the Supplemental Appropriations Act (No. 3) of 2023 (the Act), which would take effect on November 24.

The Act affected, among others, funds that had been allocated to the Political Parties Fund (the Fund), which was reduced by Sh812,303,858.

ODM filed a petition on December 4, 2023, arguing that the Act varied, modified and/or adversely altered the statutory mandatory financial allocations to the Fund to the detriment of it and other qualified political parties.

The party argued that the National Assembly and the CS Treasury had no legal mandate to vary the amount allocated in the Appropriations Act 2023 (dated June 26, 2023) through a Supplementary Appropriations Act or to reduce the allocation minimum to the Fund as required by article 24(1(a) of the Political Parties Law (the PPA).

ODM argued that by reducing the allocation, the legitimate expectation that the full allocation of funds would be made available to qualified political parties to facilitate the discharge of their civic duties was violated.

The party stated that the reduction of the allocation to the Fund violates and threatens to violate Articles 1(1), 2, 3, 4, 10(2) and 38 of the Constitution.

ODM further stated that Article 223 of the Constitution was only intended to authorize the national government to spend unallocated money, but not to vary or reallocate funds already allocated.

The speaker of the National Assembly, the cabinet secretary of the National Treasury and the attorney general were defendants in the case.

The constitution requires that at least 0.3 percent of national income be allocated to help parties grow as public institutions.

Political parties that qualify for state funding suffered a budget cut of Sh867 million in the 2023-24 financial year.

In a Gazette notice by the Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu, political parties were to share Sh608 million.

Initially, the fund was allocated Sh1.4 billion.