The electoral commission is set to announce the campaign spending limits for 2017 campaign, in regards to the Election Campaign Financing Act, on Friday.
According to reports, all presidential aspirants are under obligation to spend no more than KSh 5.2 billion in their 2017 campaigns while Nairobi gubernatorial candidates will be allowed to spend up to KSh 432 million.
From the KSh 5 billion, presidential candidates are to spend KSh 173 million on campaign agents, KSh 144 million on administration and KSh 869 million on advertising.
Other campaign expenses to be incurred in other counties will also be monitored and controlled by IEBC and they will be based on certain factors including population of an electoral area and geographical size.
In Mombasa county, politicians are to spend KSh 129 million; Meru (KSh 186 million); Bungoma (KSh 189 million); Kilifi (151 million); Kisii (KSh 158 million); Mandera (KSh 137 million) and Narok (Sh114 million).
Gubernatorial, senatorial and women representative aspirants in Kakamega can only spend KSh 228 million each while those in Kiambu county would not exceed KSh 223 million.
Parliamentary candidates’s campaign spending limit is KSh 2.2 million in Lamu East. Those in Mandera South will spend KSh 33.4 million.
Those planning to be the ward representatives will have to spend between KSh 66,000 in Turbi (Marsabit county) and KSh 10 million in Elwak South (Mandera county).
Serious consequences await those who fail to heed to the campaign regulation. It is either they are disqualified from the race or sentenced to jail.
The Star quotes the IEBC’s campaign regulations.
“Attention of candidates and political parties is drawn to Sections 23 and 24 of the Election Campaign Financing Act 2013, that a person convicted of an offence under this Act, for which no penalty is provided, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding two million shillings, a prison term not exceeding five years or both.”
Campaign costs will be supervised by the commission starting from February 8, 2017, till the August 8 polls.
The mandate, stipulated in Election Campaign Financing Act, is to discourage bribery, misuse of public resources or fund from illicit means. It also seeks to create a level playing field for aspirants.
Also it ensure that the happenings of 2013 are not repeated. In 2013, money was lavished and squandered, making it arguably the most expensive in Kenya’s history.
Ken Masime, director of Centre for Governance and Development, estimated that the main presidential candidates’ campaigns spent about KSh 10 billion and KSh 20 billion respectively.
The two main candidates were Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD).
The opposition has already kicked off campaigns, alleging that Jubilee is stealing the public resources and proceeds to buy opposition leaders.