The Star (Nairobi)

30 August 2014

Kenya: ODM Faces Cash Crisis As MPs Fail to Contribute

CLOSE allies of ODM leader Raila Odinga are among a number of tight-fisted legislators owing the party Sh10.6 million in unpaid annual membership fees -- at a time when the party most needs loyalists who pay their dues.

According to a confidential internal financial audit on membership remittances, which is in possession of the Star, nonpayment of the membership dues has paralysed operations at Orange House and created an uproar.

A source within the party, who sought anonymity, told the Star the party's supreme decision- making organ, the NEC, will map out disciplinary measures against those in arrears, including sanctioning them in parliamentary committees.

With a total of 110 Members of Parliament and senators, the party should have collected Sh26.4 million since the MPs were sworn in after the March 2013 elections, but given the arrears and nonpayment, the party has only managed to collect Sh16 million.

Some 33 tight-fisted MPs and senators have not contributed anything to the mandatory Sh240,000 annual or Sh20,000 monthly membership contributions in accordance with the party constitution, while 35 others have made partial payments of as little as Sh60,000.

Raila's brother Uburu Odinga (nominated MP), MPs Paul Otuoma (Funyula), Isaac Mwaura (nominated), John Mbadi (Suba), Joyce Lay (Taita Taveta), Kenneth Okoth (Kibra), Millie Odhiambo (Mbita), and Thomas Mwadeghu (Wundanyi) are among the ODM legislators who have not paid anything to the party in the last financial year.

However, Kisumu Senator Otieno Kajwang', who is outgoing secretary general, and current joint secretaries Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba and nominated Senator Dr Agnes Zani are among notable figures who have cleared their dues.

The confidential fees audit report in possession of the Star was presented on Thursday during the ODM parliamentary group meeting by a committee appointed by the party's national executive committee headed by Shakeel Shabir of Kisumu East.

Members were particularly angered that those with arrears include several legislators who have been branding others moles within the party.

Other members on the list of MPs and senators in default include include Senators Wilfred Machage (Migori), Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi), Danson Mwanzo (Taita Taveta) and Abdullahaman Hassan (Wajir).

The list also names MPs Ahmed Ibrahim Abass (Ijara), Andrew Toboso (Butere), Charles Geni (North Mugirango), Dalmas Otieno (Rongo), Florence Mutua (Busia), Francis Chachu North Horr), Hassan Mwanyoha (Matuga) and James Gesami (West Mugirango).

In the damning list that has created a furore are MPs James Rege (Karachuonyo), John Waluke (Sirisia), Johnson Manya, Jones Mwagogon (Voi), Joseph Lekuton (Laisamis), Joseph Mwagwaga (Kaspul), Lawrance Mpuri Aburi (Tigania East), Nasra Ibrahim (Matsabit), Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache South) and Rose Auma Ogendo (Kisumu).

MPs William Kamoti (Rabai) and Silvester Anami conclude the list of legislators who have never made any payments as of the end of the financial year on June 30.

Eldas MP Adan Keynan, who chairs the powerful parliamentary investments committee, courtesy of ODM, has only paid Sh60,000.

Those who have also paid Sh60,00 include MPs David Ochieng' (Ugenya), Abdikadir Aden (Mbalambala), Andrew Mwadime (Mwatate), Abdullahi Diriye(Wajir South), James Nyikar (Seme), Enock Kibunguchy (Likuyani) George Oner (Rangwe), Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay town), Gideon Ochanda (Bondo) and Simba Arati (Dagoreti North), among others.

Contributions from party members and subscriptions are important revenue sources enabling a political party to fund operations, including paying salaries for secretariat staff.

ODM received Sh87.4 million from the political parties fund in the last financial year. The party spent Sh30 million on the botched February 28 party elections, while close to Sh18 million was shared between Cord coalition partners Wiper and Ford-Kenya

When contacted for comment, NEC head Shabir said, "It's a shame that we do not want to care how the party meets its financial obligations."

Sources said another audit will ascertain if members of county assemblies allied to the party are paying their Sh3,000 monthly contributions.

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