Election campaign financing in Kenya: addressing financing from proceeds of corruption through transparency in disclosures

Gachanja, Kiai Lusweti
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Strathmore University
Political financing regulation is legally recognised in Kenya. Furthermore, with the passing of the Election Campaign Financing Act, it is expected that this would discourage money from corrupt sources being used to fund election campaigns. However, the Election Campaign Financing Act was suspended prior to the 2017 general elections. Therefore, this has been a barrier to the application of the law. In addition, the disclosure requirements I Section 16 of the Election Campaign Financing Act provide for confidentiality of political financing. This acts as a hindrance to the anti-corruption element of disclosures.
Campaign financing is a major concern when an election is on the horizon. Furthermore, the cost of running an election campaign keep rising. For instance, in the 2017 Kenyan elections, it is estimated that the cost of the election was north of half a billion dollars. Also, Kenya is plagued by corruption. In 2018, Kenya ranked at position 144 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. Besides, it had a score of 27 on a scale where 100 represents a very clean country and 0 represents a highly corrupt country. In 2019, there was a near-stagnation. Kenya was given a score of 29 on the Corruption Perception Index. Furthermore, it is estimated by the Office of the Auditor-General that up to a third of the annual budget is lost to corruption.