Recently, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission prepared a proposal that sought to limit the amount of money which aspirants for various seats can use during campaigns, regardless of how rich they may be. It is a matter of common sense that these proposals were going to help MPs more than the ordinary mwananchi, for two main reasons; one, it would limit handouts which voters make sure to milk from aspirants to the maximum, two, it protects sitting MPs who are always facing the constant threat of competition from a wealthy constituent seeking to take their seats. To the shock of everyone, MPs rejected the proposals. Kenyan Report brings you the intimidation and coercion that MPs went through to reject the proposals that would have helped them more.
An aide to a member of parliament from the Western side of the country disclosed to this writer that his boss kept complaining how they (MPs) were being coerced by the leadership of their parties to reject any cap seeking to limit spending during elections. The reason behind this is that the big boys who fund major presidential candidates, and even gubernatorial aspirants, don’t want their hands tied when it comes to election spending. They want to splash as much cash as possible, be it buying voters, or even simple campaign garments and roadshows. They, in turn, ordered party leaders to make sure their lieutenants reject the proposals by the IEBC bosses.
Thus, yesterday when the country was treated to scenes of the National Assembly Committee on Delegated Legislation tearing apart the recommendations by Chebukati’s team, they were doing this under duress. Despite wishing that the new rules could be adopted, they were under strict orders not to accede to them.
Unfortunately for them, at the end, they carry all the blame from Kenyans, and no wonder more than seventy percent of parliamentarians never make it back to the House after each election cycle.
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