Point in Time
Act No: No. 11 of 2011
Act Title: POLITICAL PARTIES
[ Date of commencement: 1st November, 2011. ]
[ Date of assent: 27th August, 2011. ]
Arrangement of Sections
PART I – PRELIMINARY
1.
Short title

This Act may be cited as the Political Parties Act.

PART II – REGISTRATION AND REGULATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES
4.
Requirements of a political party
(1)

An association of persons or an organisation shall not operate or function as a political party unless it has been registered in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(2)

The Registrar shall not register an association of persons or an organisation as a political party if such association or organisation does not meet the requirements set out in Article 91 of the Constitution.

8.
Parties with certain names not to be registered

The Registrar may refuse an application for the registration of a political party if the name of the political party, the abbreviation of the name or the symbol that it wishes to use for the purposes of this Act—

(a)

is obscene or offensive;

(b)

is the name, or is an abbreviation of another political party that is registered under this Act; or

(c)

so nearly resembles the name or symbol, or an abbreviation of the name of another political party registered under this Act or any other legal entity registered under any other written law.

10.
Coalitions
(1)

Two or more political parties may form a coalition before or after an election and shall deposit the coalition agreement with the Registrar.

(2)

A coalition agreement entered into before an election shall be deposited with the Registrar at least three months before that election.

(3)

A coalition agreement entered into after an election shall be deposited with the Registrar within twenty-one days of the signing of the coalition agreement.

(4)

A coalition agreement shall set out the matters specified in the Third Schedule.

12.
Restrictions on public officers in a political party
(1)

A public officer shall not—

(a)

be eligible to be a founding member of a political party;

(b)

be eligible to hold office in a political party;

(c)

engage in political activity that may compromise or be seen to compromise the political neutrality of that person’s office; or

(d)

publicly indicate support for or opposition to any political party or candidate in an election.

(2)

Subsection (1) shall not apply to the President, Deputy President, a Member of Parliament, Governor, Deputy Governor or a member of a county assembly.

(3)

Until after the first elections under the Constitution, subsection (2) shall apply to the Prime Minister.

13.
Disqualification from holding office in a political party

A person disqualified from holding public office under the Constitution, this Act or any other written law shall not hold office in the governing body of a political party or be its founding member.

17.
Records of political party
(1)

A political party shall maintain at its head office and at each of its county office in the prescribed form, an accurate and authentic record of—

(a)

a register of its members in a form prescribed in the Second Schedule;

(b)

a copy of the Constitution of the political party;

(c)

a copy of the policies and plans of the political party;

(d)

particulars of any contribution, donation or pledge of a contribution or donation, whether in cash or in kind, made by the founding members of the political party;

(e)

estimates of the expenditure of the political party in accordance with the laws relating to public finance management;

(f)

particulars of any property that belongs to the political party and the time and mode of acquisition of the property;

(g)

the latest audited books of accounts of the political party which shall be in accordance with the principles of accounting having regard to the purpose of this Act, showing—

(i) the sources of the funds of the political party and names, addresses and such other contact details as the Registrar may require of any persons who have contributed thereto;
(ii) membership dues paid;
(iii) donations in cash or in kind;
(iv) indirect contributions to the party and all receipts and disbursements, including income and expenditure transactions of the political party;
(v) all the financial transactions and records of assets and liabilities of the political party; and
(h)

such other relevant particulars as the Registrar may prescribe.

(2)

A person, who interferes with, damages or destroys the records of a registered political party commits an offence.

(3)

A member of a political party may, during working hours and on payment of the prescribed fee, inspect and obtain copies of the records of a political party maintained at its head office or county office.

22.
Effect of deregistration
(1)

Where a political party is deregistered under this Act, no person shall—

(a)

summon a meeting of members or officers of the political party other than for purposes of winding up the political party or for purposes of challenging the deregistration of the political party;

(b)

attend or make a person attend a meeting in the capacity of a member or officer of the political party;

(c)

publish a notice or advertisement relating to a meeting of the political party except for purposes of a meeting under paragraph (a);

(d)

invite persons to support the political party;

(e)

make a contribution or loan to funds held or to be held by or for the benefit of the political party or accept a contribution or loan; or

(f)

give a guarantee in respect of such funds.

(2)

Where a political party that has been deregistered under section 21 had representatives elected to Parliament, or county assembly, such representatives shall continue to serve for the remainder of their term as independents or as members of other political parties.

(3)

Notwithstanding subsection (2), where the de-registration of a political party is occasioned by a willful act or willful omission of a person who is a member of Parliament or of a county assembly, that person shall cease to be a member of Parliament or of the county assembly.

PART III – FUNDING AND ACCOUNTS OF POLITICAL PARTIES
23.
Political Parties Fund

There is established a Fund to be known as the Political Parties Fund, which shall be administered by the Registrar.

24.
Sources of moneys in the Fund
(1)

The sources of the Fund are—

(a)

such funds not being less than zero point three per cent of the revenue collected by the national government as may be provided by Parliament; and

(b)

contributions and donations to the Fund from any other lawful source.

(2)

The balance of the Fund at the end of the financial year shall be retained for the purposes for which the Fund is established, subject to any law relating to public finance.

26.
Purposes of the Fund
(1)

Moneys allocated to a registered political party from the Fund shall be used for purposes compatible with democracy including—

(a)

promoting the representation in Parliament and in the county assemblies of women, persons with disabilities, youth, ethnic and other minorities and marginalised communities;

(b)

promoting active participation by individual citizens in political life;

(c)

covering the election expenses of the political party and the broadcasting of the policies of the political party;

(d)

the organisation by the political party of civic education in democracy and other electoral processes;

(e)

bringing the political party’s influence to bear on the shaping of public opinion; and

(f)

administrative and staff expenses of the political party which shall not be more than thirty per cent of the moneys allocated to the political party:

Provided that not less than thirty per cent of the moneys allocated to a political party under section 25 shall be used for the purposes referred to in subsection (1)(a).

(2)

The moneys allocated to a political party shall not be used for any other purposes other than those specified in this Act.

(3)

Moneys allocated to a political party from the Fund shall not be used—

(a)

for paying directly or indirectly remuneration, fees, rewards, allowances or any other benefit to a member or supporter of the political party, other than a member of staff;

(b)

to finance or as a contribution to any matter, cause, event or occasion directly or indirectly in contravention of any code of ethics binding on public officers;

(c)

directly or indirectly for the purposes of establishing any business or acquiring or maintaining any right or financial interest whatsoever in any business or in any immovable property; or

(d)

for any other purpose incompatible with the promotion of a multiparty democracy and the electoral processes, or with the Constitution.

(4)

A political party shall ensure accountability and transparency in its procurement processes.

(5)

A person who contravenes the provisions of this section commits an offence.

27.
Other sources of funds
(1)

The sources of other funds for a political party are—

(a)

membership fees;

(b)

voluntary contributions from a lawful source;

(c)

donations, bequests and grants from any other lawful source, not being from a non-citizen, foreign government, inter-governmental or non-governmental organisation; and

(d)

the proceeds of any investment, project or undertaking in which the political party has an interest.

(2)

A foreign agency, or a foreign political party which shares an ideology with a political party registered in Kenya, may provide technical assistance to that political party.

(3)

Technical assistance under subsection (2) shall not include provision of any assets to the political party.

(4)

A political party shall disclose to the Registrar full particulars of all funds or other resources obtained by it from any source.

28.
Offences related to sources of funds
(1)

A political party which receives funds from a non-citizen contrary to section 27(1)(c), commits an offence.

(2)

Subject to subsection (6), no person or organisation shall, in any one year, contribute to a political party an amount, whether in cash or in kind exceeding five per cent of the total expenditure of the political party.

(3)

The total expenditure referred to in subsection (2) shall be in relation to the audited accounts of the political party, of previous year.

(4)

A person who or an organisation which contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence.

(5)

A political party that receives an amount exceeding the amount specified in subsection (2) commits an offence and shall, in addition to the penalty imposed by this Act, forfeit that amount to the State.

(6)

Subsections (2) and (5) shall not apply to any contribution or donation whether in cash or kind, made by any founding member of the political party as his contribution to the initial assets of the party within the first year of its existence.

(7)

An official of a political party or other person required to disclose to the Registrar, on behalf of a political party, the funds or other resources of that political party, who fails to disclose, or gives false information in relation to the funds or resources obtained by the political party, commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine equal to the amount or the value of the resources not disclosed or in relation to which false information was given, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both.

29.
Publishing sources of funds
(1)

A political party shall, within ninety days of the end of its financial year, publish—

(a)

the sources of its funds stating—

(i) the amount of money received from the Fund;
(ii) the amount of money received from its members and supporters; and
(iii) the amount and sources of the donations given to the party;
(b)

the income and expenditure of the political party; and

(c)

the assets and liabilities of the political party.

(2)

The publication referred to in subsection (1) shall be in at least two newspapers having nationwide circulation.

(3)

A political party which contravenes this section commits an offence.

(4)

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (3), a political party that fails to comply with this section shall, during the period of non-compliance, be disqualified from receiving moneys from the Fund.

31.
Audit of political parties accounts
(1)

A political party shall keep proper books and records of account of the income, expenditure, assets and liabilities of the political party.

(2)

A political party shall, within three months after the end of each financial year submit to the Auditor-General the accounts of the political party in respect of that year.

(3)

The accounts of every political party shall be audited annually by the Auditor-General and shall be submitted to the Registrar and tabled in the National Assembly.

(4)

The Registrar may at any time request the Auditor-General to carry out an audit of the accounts of a political party.

(5)

Any person shall be entitled to inspect the audited accounts filed by a political party and, upon payment of a fee prescribed by the Registrar be issued copies of the audited accounts.

32.
Accounts and audit of the Office of Registrar
(1)

The Office of Registrar of Political Parties shall keep proper books of account of the income, expenditure and assets of the Office.

(2)

Within a period of three months after the end of a financial year, the Office of Registrar of Political Parties shall submit to the Auditor-General, the accounts of the Office together with—

(a)

a statement of the income and expenditure of the Office during that year; and

(b)

a statement of the assets and liabilities of the Office during that year.

(3)

All accounts kept under this Act shall be audited by the Auditor-General at least once in every financial year.

PART IV – OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR OF POLITICAL PARTIES
33.
Establishment of the Office of Registrar
(1)

There is established, the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties which shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a seal and which shall be capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name.

(2)

The Registrar shall be deputised by three Assistant Registrars, not more than two of whom shall be of the same gender.

(3)

The Office of the Registrar shall be a State office within the meaning of Article 260 of the Constitution.

(4)

The Office of the Registrar may engage such staff, experts or consultants as are necessary for the proper and effective discharge of its functions under this Act and any other written law.

(5)

The Office of Registrar shall be independent and shall not be subject to direction or control of any person or authority.

(6)

A person shall be qualified for appointment as Registrar or as an Assistant Registrar if the person—

(a)

holds a degree from a university recognised in Kenya;

(b)

has proven knowledge and experience in any of the following fields—

(i) finance;
(ii) management;
(iii) political science;
(iv) law;
(v) governance; or
(vi) public administration;
(c)

has, in the case of the Registrar, at least fifteen years post qualification experience in the relevant areas of expertise and, in the case of an Assistant Registrar, has at least ten years post qualification experience in the relevant area of expertise; and

(d)

is a person of high moral character and integrity and has satisfied the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution.

(7)

A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Registrar or Assistant Registrar if the person has, at any time within the preceding five years, held office or stood for election as a member of Parliament or a county assembly or as a member of a governing body of a political party.

(8)

The Registrar and Assistant Registrars shall, before assuming office, take and subscribe to the oath or affirmation prescribed in the Fourth Schedule.

(9)

The Registrar and Assistant Registrars shall serve for a non-renewable term of six years and shall not be eligible for re-appointment.

(10)

A person who serves as a Registrar or Assistant Registrar shall not be eligible to contest for election as a member of Parliament or a county assembly, or as a member of a governing body of a political party within five years of the person ceasing to be Registrar or Assistant Registrar.

34.
Functions of the Registrar

The functions of the Registrar shall be to—

(a)

register, regulate, monitor, investigate and supervise political parties to ensure compliance with this Act;

(b)

administer the Fund;

(c)

ensure publication of audited annual accounts of political parties;

(d)

verify and make publicly available the list of all members of political parties;

(e)

maintain a register of political parties and the symbols of the political parties;

(f)

ensure and verify that no person is a member of more than one political party and notify the Commission of his findings;

(g)

investigate complaints received under this Act; and

(h)

perform such other functions as may be conferred by this Act or any other written law.

36.
Procedure for appointment of the Registrar and Assistant Registrars

The Sixth Schedule shall apply to the procedure for the appointment of the Registrar and Assistant Registrars.

37.
Removal of Registrar or Assistant Registrar
(1)

The Registrar or an Assistant Registrar may be removed from office only on grounds of—

(a)

serious violation of the Constitution or of this Act;

(b)

non-compliance with Chapter Six of the Constitution;

(c)

inability to perform the functions of office arising from mental or physical incapacity;

(d)

bankruptcy;

(e)

incompetence; or

(f)

gross misconduct.

(2)

A person desiring the removal of the Registrar or an Assistant Registrar shall present a petition to the Public Service Commission which shall be in writing, setting out the alleged facts constituting the grounds for the removal of the Registrar or of the Assistant Registrar.

(3)

The Public Service Commission shall consider the petition and, if it is satisfied that it discloses the existence of a ground under subsection (1), it shall send the petition to the President.

(4)

On receipt and examination of the petition, the President shall—

(a)

suspend the Registrar or Assistant Registrar pending the outcome of the petition; and

(b)

appoint a Tribunal in accordance with subsection (5).

(5)

The President shall appoint a Tribunal consisting of—

(a)

a Chairperson who shall be nominated by the Judicial Service Commission and who shall be a person who is qualified to hold office as a judge of a superior court;

(b)

two other persons, a man and a woman, who shall be nominated by the Law Society of Kenya and who shall be qualified to hold office as a judge of a superior court;

(c)

two persons, a man and a woman, who shall be nominated by the Association of Professional Societies in East Africa and who have knowledge and experience in public affairs and are competent to assess the facts in respect of the particular ground for removal.

(6)

The Tribunal shall investigate the matter expeditiously, report on the facts and make a binding recommendation to the President who shall act in accordance with the recommendation within thirty days.

(7)

A person who is suspended under this section shall continue, while on suspension, to receive one-half of the remuneration and benefits of the office.

38.
Establishment of Political Parties Liaison Committee
(1)

There is established a Political Parties Liaison Committee.

(2)

The Political Parties Liaison Committee shall be established at the national and county levels.

(3)

The principal function of the Political Parties Liaison Committee is to provide a platform for dialogue between the Registrar, Commission and political parties.

(4)

The Political Parties Liaison Committee shall perform such other functions as may be prescribed by the Registrar.

PART VI – POLITICAL PARTIES DISPUTES TRIBUNAL
42.
Removal of member of Tribunal

The Judicial Service Commission may remove a member of the Tribunal if the member—

(a)

becomes an undischarged bankrupt;

(b)

is convicted of a criminal offence;

(c)

is incapacitated by reason of prolonged physical or mental illness from performing the duties of the office;

(d)

violates the Constitution; or

(e)

is otherwise unable or unfit to discharge the functions of the office.

43.
Staff of the Tribunal

The Judicial Service Commission shall appoint the Secretary and such other staff of the Tribunal necessary for the proper functioning of the Tribunal.

44.
Expenses of the Tribunal
(1)

The remuneration of the staff of the Tribunal and the expenses of the Tribunal shall be paid out of monies allocated by the National Assembly to the Judiciary Fund.

(2)

The Chairperson and members of the Tribunal shall be paid such allowances and be reimbursed such expenses as shall be determined by the Judicial Service Commission on the recommendation of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

(3)

Pending the establishment of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, the Chairperson and members of the Tribunal shall be paid such allowances and be reimbursed such expenses as shall be determined by the Judicial Service Commission in consultation with Treasury.

PART VI – GENERAL PROVISIONS
46.
General penalty

A person convicted of an offence under this Act for which no penalty is prescribed shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not less than one million shillings or to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years, or to both.

47.
Cognizable offence

An offence under this Act shall be cognizable by the police.

48.
Winding up political party
(1)

The Registrar shall, upon the deregistration of a political party or its declaration as a prohibited organisation under any law, notify the Attorney-General.

(2)

The Attorney-General shall, upon receipt of such notice, make an application for the winding up and dissolution of that political party, and the disposition of the property, assets, rights and liabilities of the political party.

(3)

The High Court shall make such orders as appears to it to be just and equitable in the circumstances of the case.

49.
Regulations
(1)

The Registrar may make regulations generally for the better carrying out of provisions of this Act.

(2)

In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the power conferred by subsection (1), the Registrar may make regulations—

(a)

prescribing the manner of registration of political parties;

(b)

regulating the activities of political parties that are registered under this Act as provided under this Act;

(c)

regulating or restricting the use or changes of names, symbols or colours of political parties;

(d)

prescribing the forms, which may be used for carrying out the provisions of this Act;

(e)

for securing the submission, to the Registrar, of the audited accounts and financial accounts relating to the assets and liabilities, income and expenditure of political parties;

(f)

prescribing the fees in respect of anything to be done under this Act; or

(g)

requiring the submission, to the Registrar, of annual or other periodical returns relating to the Constitution, objects and membership of political parties.

50.
Repeal of No. 10 of 2007

The Political Parties Act, 2007 (No. 10 of 2007) is repealed.

FIRST SCHEDULE

[Section 6(2)(e), Act No. 21 of 2016, s. 22.]

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR POLITICAL PARTIES
1.

Political parties shall, pursuant to Articles 91 and 92 of the Constitution and section 8 of this Act, subscribe and observe this code of conduct.

2.

This code of conduct shall regulate the behaviour of members and office holders of political parties, aspiring candidates, candidates and their supporters, promote good governance and eradicate political malpractices.

3.

Political competition and co-operation shall be regulated under this code of conduct on the basis of rule of law and universally accepted best practices.

6.

Every political party shall—

(a)

respect, uphold and defend the Constitution of Kenya;

(b)

respect and uphold this Act and any other written law relating to elections and political parties;

(c)

respect, uphold and defend their respective political party Constitutions, political party election rules, political party nomination rules and any other political party rules and regulations developed and agreed upon in accordance with this code of conduct;

(d)

respect, uphold and promote human dignity, equity, social justice, inclusiveness and non-discrimination and protection of the marginalized;

(e)

respect, uphold and promote human rights and the rule of law;

(f)

promote national patriotism and national unity;

(g)

respect, uphold and promote democratic values and principles, performing inclusive participation of party members and accountable representation in governance for the development of the country;

(h)

respect, uphold and promote good governance, integrity, respect, tolerance, transparency and accountability;

(i)

promote co-operation in the political competition;

(j)

promote sharing and devolution of power and resources;

(k)

respect, uphold and promote democratic practices through regular free, fair and credible elections within the political party and among others have a democratically elected governing body and political party organs;

(l)

respect, uphold and promote democratic practices through free, fair and credible political party nominations;

(m)

respect, uphold and promote leadership and integrity as prescribed in the Constitution of Kenya; and

(n)

perform transparency and accountability in all its legislation and regulations, structures, procedures and performance.

7.

A political party shall not—

(a)

engage in or encourage violence by its members or supporters;

(b)

engage in or encourage any kind of intimidation of opponents, any other person or any other political party;

(c)

engage in influencing peddling, bribery or any other form of corruption;

(d)

accept or use illicit or illegal money;

(e)

accept or use public resources other than those allocated to the political party through the political party fund;

(f)

advocate hatred that constitutes ethnic incitement, vilification of others or incitement to cause harm;

(g)

obstruct, disrupt, break-up or in any other way whatsoever interfere with a meeting, rally or demonstration of another political party or its leadership;

(h)

establish or maintain a para-military force, militia or similar organisation or having any links with such organisations; and

(i)

use State resources for partisan campaigns.

8.

A political party shall promote inter-party relations by—

(a)

ensuring free competition among political parties in respect of different political views and principles;

(b)

fostering trust and confidence through mechanisms for co-operation;

(c)

managing and mitigating political differences through constructive dialogue enhancing harmony among the parties; and

(d)

promoting national reconciliation and building national unity.

SECOND SCHEDULE

[Section 9(1), Act No. 21 of 2016, s. 23.]

CONTENTS OF THE CONSTITUTION OR RULES OF A POLITICAL PARTY
1.

The name of the political party and any abbreviation.

2.

The logo and symbol of the political party and party colours.

3.

The objects of the political party.

4.

Clearly defined vision, mission, guiding principles and values.

5.

The physical and postal address of the registered office.

7.

Governing body requirements—

(a)

the name of the governing body;

(b)

the eligibility criteria for election to the governing body;

(c)

the positions, titles and term of office;

(d)

the rights and duties of members of the governing body;

(e)

the procedure for the election of members of the governing body and other political party organs, including committees;

(f)

guidelines for the operations of the governing body and its committees;

(g)

quorum;

(h)

frequency of meetings;

(i)

decision making powers; and

(j)

guidelines for meetings; procedures of convening meetings; procedure of meetings and the official recording of resolutions passed at meetings.

8.

A list of political party management structure of the political party and systems to be documented at the political party offices including—

(a)

the employee details and terms of employment;

(b)

the party human resource, financial and audit and administration and management policies and procedures; and

(c)

the party sub-branches within each county.

9.

The forming of political party branches, including in the diaspora, and their roles and responsibilities.

10.

The financial structure and system including—

(a)

the roles and responsibilities of individual political party officials, organs and governing bodies with regard to the finances of the political party;

(b)

the annual statutory and other audits of accounts of the political party; and

(c)

the purposes for which the funds may be used, and in particular the prohibition against the distribution of funds among members.

11.

The general organisation structure and management of the political party, including the county structures and systems and county governing bodies.

12.

The establishment and management of National Assembly, Senate and County Assemblies Caucuses.

14.

The right to inspect the books or list of members of the political party by a member of the party or a member of the public.

15.

The authorized officials of a political party shall sign on behalf of the political party—

(a)

documents presented to the Registrar including membership register, mergers, and other reports to the Registrar;

(b)

the accounts and bank accounts of the political party;

(c)

the audited annual accounts and financial statements of the political party;

(d)

any report or document of the political party required under this Act or any other written law; and

(e)

the nomination certificates for any nomination or election of a member of the political party.

16.

The policy documents which the political party will develop and on which the political party will perform including the manner and procedures in which they will be developed, approved and implemented.

17.

The policy reporting documents and their regularity which the political party will produce including the manner and the procedures in which they will be developed, approved and publicized.

18.

Asset management policies and procedures, the custody and investment of the funds and property of the political party, and the designation of the persons responsible for them.

21.

Rules for mergers including—

(a)

the circumstances and criteria for mergers; and

(b)

the procedure and guidelines for such mergers as approved by an annual general meeting of the political party.

22.

Provisions on dissolution of the political party, including—

(a)

provisions on the disposal of the property of the political party; and

(b)

the manner of and procedures to be followed for the dissolution of the political party or any branch of the party.

24.

Democratic practices that cover gender, affirmative action for minorities and marginalized groups.

25.

Reflect democratic practices covering human rights and gender.

26.

The manner of implementing national values and principles of governance as provided in the Constitution.

THIRD SCHEDULE

[Section 10(4), Act No. 21 of 2016, s. 24.]

BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR COALITION AGREEMENT
1.

A Coalition agreement shall adhere to the rules and procedures of the political parties relating to the formation of coalitions.

2.

A coalition agreement shall be sanctioned by the governing body of the political parties entering into the coalition and shall—

(a)

be in writing and duly executed by authorized national party officials; and

(b)

be commissioned by a Commissioner of Oaths.