Kakamega County ODM aspirants during a meeting at Kakamega Social hall on April 7, 2017. Photo by BENJAMIN SAKWA
Over 21,000 aspirants in 10 big parties have declared interest in 1,871 seats for governor, senator, MP and MCA across the country and will battle it out at the primaries.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party and Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) lead the pack in political outfits that have attracted many aspirants and have subsequently pocketed millions of shillings.
According to Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati, all political parties were required to have submitted names of aspirants for nominations to the commission by Wednesday and the primaries must be complete by April 26.
JP cleared 7,893 aspirants, including 107 contestants for governorship, 156 senatorial aspirants, 1,154 for MP and 6,476 MCA hopefuls. At the end of the clearance process, the party made more than Sh700 million in nomination fees collected from the aspirants.
In an earlier interview before JP closed registration for aspirants, party vice chairman David Murathe said the challenge was managing the flow of so many aspirants.
Mr Murathe said some aspirants defected to other parties when they realised many people had declared interest on the same seat.
“We have a situation where in one ward, 48 people want the county assembly seat. The number of those interested is enormous,” said Murathe.
In such a situation, Jubilee has made a whooping Sh2.4 million in that ward alone, not to mention revenue from the party smart cards bought by the party supporters for the sake of the primaries.
In Moiben Constituency, Uasin Gishu County, for instance, there are 16 MP and over 80 MCA aspirants whose contribution to the party, including that of the sitting governor and senator who come from the same constituency, is Sh9 million.
ODM, whose primaries begin today in Busia County, has about 5,200 aspirants across the country for all seats except that of President. The party has therefore pocketed over Sh456 million.
Last week, Raila’s party gave direct nomination to 800 party aspirants for the governor, Senate, MP and MCA seats.
Wiper, Amani National Congress and Ford Kenya parties within the National Supper Alliance (NASA) have another 4,845 aspirants. In the breakdown, Wiper party has 1,426, Ford Kenya 1,819 and ANC 1,600.
Wiper party independently got Sh117 million from the nomination fees, while Ford Kenya received Sh134 million.
The three parties made a total of Sh384 million based on the number of aspirants across the country.
According to Kanu secretary general Nick Salat, over 1,000 aspirants had returned their nomination papers in all the contestable seats apart from the presidency where the party has declared its support for Uhuru’s re-election. The party raised Sh62 million from the 1,061 aspirants.
Maendeleo Chap Chap party leader Alfred Mutua said they had received 1,400 aspirants for all the seats.
“Some 25 have shown interest in the gubernatorial seat, 449 for the Senate and the National Assembly and 935 for MCA position,” said the Machakos governor.
Party of National Unity (PNU) Chairman John Anunda said the party attracted 936 aspirants, who paid up to Sh36.8 million. Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto’s Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) cashed in Sh19.6 million from more than 200 aspirants.
Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua said her party had four governor aspirants, 39 for MP and 175 for MCA. This means Karua’s party collected Sh16.7 million.
According to the advertisement on the dailies, JP charged Sh400,000 for the governor’s seat, while ODM demanded Sh500,000. For the Senate seat, both parties asked aspirants to pay Sh250,000.
JP aspirants contest for MP and Woman Rep seats paid Sh300,000 each, compared to ODM’s Sh250,000.
For MCA aspirants, JP charged Sh20,000, while ODM asked for Sh25,000 and Sh15,000 from the disabled, youth and women.