Election 2017: IEBC campaign spending limits for candidates

Kenya election campaigns are quite long when you compare them to other countries.
Kenya election campaigns are quite long when you compare them to other countries. PHOTO/FILE
The Kenyan constitution in section 18 of the election campaign financing act mandates the IEBC with setting spending limits for candidates and parties at least 12 months before an election.

This is in an effort to accord a level playing field to all candidates as well as to prevent corruption.

According to Kenya Gazette notice no. 6307 of 8th August 2016, the highest spending by candidates in the 2017 general elections are set as follows;

  • Presidential candidates – a maximum of Sh5.2 billion.
  • Candidates for county governor – a maximum of Sh432 million.
  • Candidates for member of senate – a maximum of Sh432 million.
  • Candidates for county women rep – a maximum of Sh432 million.
  • Candidates for member of national assembly – a maximum of Sh33.4 million.
  • Candidate for member of county assembly – a maximum of Sh10.3 million.

While these are the highest amounts to be spent for any electoral area country wide, some regions are capped at lower amounts since the spending limits were set based on factors such as geographical size and the population of an electoral area.

For instance, while candidates for member of national assembly in Lamu East constituency will be allowed to spend a maximum of Sh2.2 million (the lowest in the country) those in Mandera South will spend up to Sh33.4 million (the highest in the country).

Counties with the highest limits for aspirants in the gubernatorial, senatorial and women county representative seats include Kakamega where they will spend amounts not exceeding Sh228 million each, Kiambu with a limit of up to Sh223million and their counterparts in Nairobi who have their capping set at Sh432 million.

Some of the counties with low spending limits include Vihiga at Sh76 million, Marsabit at Sh30 million, TaitaTaveta at Sh36 million, Tana River-Sh28 million, Isiolo at Sh16 million and Lamu at Sh13 million.

All registered political parties are allowed to spend a maximum of Sh15 billion while single source contributors to a political party will be permitted to give not more than Sh3 billion.

Out of the Sh5.2 billion allowed for presidential candidates, they will be permitted to spend a maximum of Sh144 million on administration, Sh869 million on advertising and up to Sh173 million on campaign agents.

The election campaign financing act came into force on 10th January 2014 which means the capping of expenditure was not applicable in the 2013 general election where the two main presidential candidates spent between Sh10 billion and Sh20 billion each for their campaigns

The expenditure will be monitored for six months covering the official campaign period running from 8th February 2017 to 8th August 2017.

Candidates and parties who do not adhere to the set regulations risk being disqualified from running or being sentenced to jail for a period not exceeding five years.