Many who checked their party registration status on the government’s eCitizen platform – a process that opened on Friday on a pilot basis – were shocked to learn they were members of parties they had never heard of or heard of had applied.
Some used social media to report that they had just discovered they were members of lesser known parties like the Msingi wa Taifa Party, the Farmers Party, the Usawa Party and of the Grand Dream Development Party.
Well-known groups such as Jubilee Party, ODM and Amani National Congress (ANC) were also recruited as members without their knowledge.
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The office of The Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) has been tasked with explaining how this is done. But in a social media post on Saturday morning, the registrar seemed to be throwing a skunk on political parties.
“Members are recruited by political parties in accordance with their respective party constitutions,” the post says .
The registrar previously drew the ire of Internet users by posting an illustration of the process of leaving a political party.
But Kenyans wondered why they were doing the tedious process had to go through but they didn’t initiate the joining process.
“A person is registered without their consent, then tell them to jump hoops while you waste time and money just to log out . The victim will be punished for violating the rules and regulations of the party. “, Explained Sam Baja.
Nanjala Nyabola was also upset:” Why can’t you absorb the energy you have spent on us to stick in the parties? and get us all out? ”
In another post, the registrar said that some elements of the party membership confirmation process were in the pilot phase.
< p> “ORPP will hold consultations with parties and stakeholders to amicably resolve all concerns,” it said.
In a letter to the party’s general secretaries on Friday, ORPP boss Ann Nderitu announced that the services provided by their office had been recorded on the eCitizen platform.
By using the portal orpp.ecitizen.go.ke, some Kenyans discovered their registration anomalies.
Journalist Geoffrey Mosoku learned that he has been a member of the Jubilee Party since December 2008.
“There was no Jubilee Party in 2008, not even its predecessors URP and TNA, but I am told that I will be in the party joined. How is that even possible? ”He posed.
Mr. Raila Odinga Jr., the son of ODM leader Raila Odinga, found out that he is a member of the ANC.
According to Victor Simon, executive director of Records and Information Management East Africa, there is an element of fraud in the parties’ questionable registration status. Your ID and name and other information are stored by the government. Who is it that gives political parties access to our data? ”He noted.
A manual available on the ORPP website states that” it it is a criminal offense to register a person as a member of a political party without their consent “. And the Political Parties Act states that if a party commits a criminal offense under the law, any senior official of that party “will also be deemed a criminal.” . Mr Simon said that it can be difficult for injured Kenyans to refuse an application to join a party because there is no signature database.
“So this is a situation where the issue is: On the one hand you are “very sure that you have not registered, while on the other hand you may even have your signature with the Registrar of Political Parties,” said Mr Simon.