Story by the star

Big political parties are set to rake in millions of shillings from candidates seeking special seats in legislative houses.

The parties have imposed a fee on applicants seeking to be considered for the seats.

The National Assembly has 12 reserved seats for nominated legislators who may be women, physically challenged persons or from marginalised groups.

Senate has 16 seats for women alongside four to represent youth and persons with disability.

MCAs account for the highest number, having 770 seats to be shared among the 47 county assemblies, adding to the 1,450 elected.

The number of nominees a political outfit is allocated in each of the three houses is based on its strength. The party with the highest elected members is entitled to more seats.

Deputy President William Ruto’s UDA and Raila Odinga’s ODM parties have already invited qualified party members to submit their applications for the seats.

In UDA, ward representatives eyeing the few competitive seats are required to pay a nonrefundable fee of Sh10,000, while those for the parliamentary and senatorial slots are parting with Sh20,000.

“Only persons with demonstrable active contribution and sacrifice to the party shall qualify to be in the party list,” the circular from Anthony Mwaura, National Elections Board, chairman read.

ODM, which closed the process last Friday, imposed a Sh5,000 fee on all members irrespective of the seat applied for.

“Further to the National Elections Board notice issued on April 26 on the submission of applications by party members wishing to be considered, the deadline has been extended to May 13…The prescribed fee shall be deposited to the party’s bank account,” the notice signed by NEB chairperson Catherine Mumma reads.

Amani National Congress is yet to call for requests for consideration while Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper indicated it will be conducting the process beginning next week, but it is yet to agree on the fee.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee, which had the highest number of nominated members in all the three houses, has not stated the amount it is charging its members.

Section 35 of the Elections Act provides that parties shall submit their party lists to the independent electoral and boundaries commission (IEBC) 45 days to the general election.

This means, parties have until June 26 to submit the lists.

IEBC is, within 30 days after the general election, required to designate from the qualifying lists the representatives to each of the houses on basis of proportional representation.

With many aspirants having been defeated during the primaries and prevailed upon to support those who won with promises of being given other positions, it is expected that a large number will apply.

In Ruto’s camp, for example, a majority of the MPs and senators defeated by new entrants despite their influence on the ground, will be banking on such opportunities to bounce back to the legislative houses.


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