The Office of the Registrar of Political Parties on Tuesday conducted an inspection at Chungwa House, the headquarters of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party.
ORPP was represented by Registration Officer Judy Gathoni who conducted a routine inspection of the political party.
The official was received by ODM Executive Director Oduor Ong’wen, Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna and Deputy SG Agnes Zani.
The ORPP is mandated, by law, to “register, regulate, monitor, investigate and supervise political parties”.
The law goes on to state that, “a person who fails to furnish particulars or information required to be furnished by a political party or by him under this Act, commits an offence,” adding that, “Where a political party commits an offence under this Act, the Registrar shall have the power to— (a) issue a warning and require the political party to conform to this Act within a specified period; (b) suspend the registration of the political party for a period not exceeding twelve months; or (c) withhold funds to the political party for a period not exceeding twelve months.”
ORPP has recently faced criticism and ridicule after a number of Kenyans highlighted that they had found their names registered in political parties they did not voluntarily join.
Raila Odinga Junior was found registered as a member of the Amani National Congress, journalist John-Allan Namu’s name was found in the Jubilee Party register while a large majority of other Kenyans also shared what they had discovered on the ORPP’s register of political parties.
The ORPP has since pulled down it’s website and kicked off the party inspections which also applied to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
“The Registrar has sent teams from 21st – 24th June, 2021 for inspection of parties’ headquarters offices for the 73 currently fully registered political parties, to ascertain level of compliance by the parties in line with sections 7(2), 17, 18 of Political Parties Act, 2011,” a brief from ORPP read.
The ODM party, the largest party in Kenya by membership, is gearing up to conduct grassroots elections in coming weeks.
The elections will see party members elect officials at the county, branch, ward and sub-location levels ahead of the 2022 General Election.
The party is expected to field candidates for all the elective posts despite claims by Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka that an agreement in the National Super Alliance (NASA) had barred the Orange party from fielding a presidential candidate in the upcoming election.
“ODM was not supposed to field a [presidential] candidate and you will hear them arguing that, ‘That assumed that we have already won,’ what kind of argument is that? Whom are you trying to deceive?” the former Vice President stated.