Campaign contributions made through proxies will be surrendered to the National Treasury if the contributor’s identity is not disclosed, the electoral agency has proposed for next year’s elections.

In its draft Elections Campaign Financing Regulations 2021, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) proposes to label such contributions as “anonymous”, which shall be submitted to the electoral body and remitted to the Treasury within 14 days.

The regulations require the proxy to disclose name of the contributor, postal address, identification number,  nationality and the amount.

“Where the proxy does not disclose or is unable to disclose the information required under this regulation, then the contribution shall be treated as anonymous under the Act and these regulations,” the regulations read.

This is among several regulations the IEBC describes as aimed at “preventing dirty money obtained through corruption or organised crime from infiltrating the political system and thereby influencing public decision making”.

Candidates in next year’s General Election will only spend their campaign finances from February, being six months before the August 9, 2021 poll. The expenditure period will elapse 14 days after declaration of results.

“The expenditure period is… in the case of a by-election, from the date of declaration of the vacancy up to seven days following the declaration of the results,” the IEBC proposes.

“The expenditure committees or the respective authorised persons shall notify the commission of all payments made prior to the commencement of the expenditure period.”

In the IEBC regulations, campaign contributions shall be channelled through authorised persons – who shall be three in number – or campaign expenditure committees appointed by political parties or a referendum committee. 

A candidate or a political party that fails to disclose the funds or donations shall be disqualified.

Any political party or candidate flouting the regulations is liable to a fine not exceeding Sh2 million or a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years or both.

By The Standard

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