Citizen Contributions to NASA Campaigns is the best thing to have happened to Kenya’s Democracy

KTN News is reporting that NASA Pay Bill 991444 has so far received slightly over Kshs 1 billion in contributions meant to fuel NASA campaigns. I haven’t been able to verify this from any NASA official communication channels, but this is the figure being shared by a number of NASA bloggers on social media. By close of business Friday,NASA bloggers were sharing that the contributions had reached Kshs 557 million. Whichever the amount that has been contributed so far, what’s clear is that the coalition’s decision to reach out to the general public to help in funding NASA campaigns is the best thing to have happened to Kenya’s Democracy.

Even though every politicians knows that asking citizens to contribute to their campaigns is the best way to fund political campaigns, politicians aligned to Jubilee have condemned the move by NASA for asking for money from the public. According to Jubilee as relayed by Aden Duale, Raila and Kalonzo are “fraudsters” who are “fleecing Kenyans” their hard earned cash. “They have confirmed to us they are just fleecing their supporters. They are people who joined the race not to win but to fundraise. They use every election to make money”, said Duale in a presser.

Moses Kuria too has condemned NASA Paybill – not really condemned but mocked. As a show of mockery, the Jubilee controversial MP sent Kshs 5 to the “beggar” Raila and said that God demands of us to “help the most unfortunate”. The move by Moses Kuria, it is being claimed, sparked similar mockeries amongst Jubilee supporters who starting sending between Kshs 5 to Kshs 20 to NASA kitty, and by the time of penning this article, NASA bloggers were claiming that the mockeries had helped raise not less than Kshs 10 million from Jubilee supporters.

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It is ironical that Jubilee would condemn and mock NASA’s move to ask for contributions from the public, when in the run up of August 8th elections the same party chastised the involvement of Jimmy Wanjigi with NASA brigade. Uhuru and Ruto particularly said that Jimmy Wanjigi would hold NASA principals hostage and curtail the principals’ ability to find corruption.

The attacks Uhuru and Ruto had on Jimmy Wanjigi, although were delivered in bad taste, weren’t unfounded. In politics the world over, business men and women who contribute the most to political campaigns almost always exert undue influence to government policies, determine projects and project priorities, and demand huge stakes in available government tenders, usually at rates higher than market value. The politicians who receive funding from business men and women are also under utmost pressure to refund the billions received in contributions, so they are never at liberty to deliver the promises they made during the campaigns.

The control with which business men and women who fund campaigns take over the government explains the inability of the government to fight corruption. To run away from the chains of tumbocrats, several governments have adopted the option of public funding, where there is a maximum amount a single individual may contribute to a political party’s campaign kitty. The political party is also required to both disclose the amount contributed to their campaign kitty, and pay tax on that contribution.

A political party receiving contributions from the public releases itself from the bondage of tumbocrats, and is therefore free to deliver its promises without fear or favor. If NASA for instance takes over power after being 100% funded by the public, it will mean the coalition will have no reason to fear prosecuting and jailing any corrupt government official, businessman or woman, or shut down illegal businesses used for money laundering, drug trafficking, or destruction of wildlife and the environment.

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It is therefore the duty of every sane Kenyan who loves this country to admire, applaud, and promote the move by NASA to ask for contributions from the public for the NASA Campaigns Kitty.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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