The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, (IEBC) has gazetted the maximum amount of money that candidates in next year’s polls will be allowed to spend on campaigns.
According to IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati, those seeking to be the country’s next president can only spend up to Ksh.4,435,565,094.
IEBC has also set spending limit for those who will be seeking elective positions at the county level, including Governors, Senators and Women Representatives.
From the Gazette notice, candidates vying in Turkana County will spend more than those in Nairobi.
For instance, the electoral body has capped campaign budget for Turkana, with a population of 926,976, at Ksh.123 million, while Nairobi County with a population of more than 4 million people is at Ksh.114 million then Marsabit at Ksh.114 million.
Lamu County has the least spending limit at Ksh.21 million followed by Tharaka Nithi (Ksh.23 million), Elgeyo Marakwet (Ksh.25 million). Those seeking positions in the National Assembly and County Assembly also have their spending limits prescribed in the gazette notice.
The spending limit is guided by the geographical size and population of the specific region.
Political parties will be allowed to spend up to Ksh.17 billion. The authorized items or activities for which campaign expenses may be incurred by a political party include paying for venues where campaigns may be undertaken; publicity material for campaigns, advertising, campaign personnel, transport and any other justifiable expenses including communication, nomination fees, security, accommodation and administrative costs.
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The Gazette Notice indicates that a political party cannot receive more than 20 percent of its total contributions from a single source.
“Pursuant to section 12 (2) of the of the Election Campaign Financing Act, 2013, a contribution from a single source is limited to twenty percent of the total contributions,” reads the notice.
In the past general election, presidential candidates were limited to spending Ksh.5.25 billion while those contesting for the governor/senator/women representative seats were allowed to spend up to Ksh.433 million.
The threshold in spending saw Jubilee Party spend the highest amount of money ahead of the August 8 general election, revealed a report on political parties.
The party spent about Ksh.312,141,620 on advertisements aired between January 1 to August 4, 2017, being 65 percent of total political parties’ advertising expenditure.
NASA was second with Ksh.155,153,840, accounting for 33 percent of ad spends within the period, while Maendeleo Chap Chap spent Ksh.1,812,300.
PNU was the fourth largest spender at Ksh.1,725,600 whereas ODM as a party spent Ksh.1,350,410.
Liberal Democratic Party and National Agenda Party of Kenya were at the bottom of the rank having spent Ksh.73,300 and Ksh.50,000 respectively.
The parties spent most on Radio and TV compared to what they spent on print.
According to Chebukati, IEBC itself requires Ksh.40.9 billion to conduct next year’s general election slated for August 9.
Chebukati described the amount as the “bare minimum” amid concerns that the cost of elections in Kenya keeps soaring.
The monies would be spent on activities revolving around election operations such as voter registration.
He said Ksh.588 million would be spent on procuring items for COVID-19 prevention protocol such as thermometer guns, sanitisers, soap and washing points.
Chebukati said they have only been allocated Ksh.26 billion by the National Treasury, leaving a deficit of over Ksh.14 billion.