In Summary

  • Suna East MP Junet Mohamed said the law was not well thought out and is even stifling the economy.
  • Kajiado North MP Joseph Manje said the guidelines are good because they would stop money laundering.

Politicians have resorted to keeping millions of shillings in their houses or using their trusted friends to withdraw money from their accounts beyond the Sh1 million cap imposed by the Central Bank, it has emerged.

With campaign expenses ranging from millions to billions of shillings, depending on the seat one is vying for, it has become necessary to devise ways of circumventing the Central Bank guidelines introduced last year to fight money laundering.

Politicians require large sums of money ahead of the August 8 General Election, billed as Kenya’s most competitive and most expensive.

FINANCE LIMIT
MPs, who were interviewed separately, registered their displeasure with the guidelines even as they devised ways of circumventing the rules to run their campaigns.

Suna East MP Junet Mohamed said the law was not well thought out “and is even stifling the economy”.

He said the cap is hurting politicians since they are fully in campaign mode, following the indefinite adjournment of the 11th Parliament on Thursday last week.

“We are having a serious problem at the moment with that cap, politicians are not having it easy,” Mr Junet told the Nation.

BANK ACCOUNTS
The MP said the country has not developed to a point of using cashless transactions and many people still depend on withdrawing huge sums of money from banks to run errands.

Another MP, who wished not to be named, said there are many ways of circumventing the guidelines.

“I have opened five accounts with different names and therefore I can withdraw five million in one day,” the MP said.

ILLEGAL

Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa said the regulation is irregular and illegal and should he make it back to Parliament, he will move an amendment to have it revoked.

“Why should I be limited on the amount of my money that I should withdraw? The regulations have totally no standing in the law, and I will sue the bank should they block me from accessing my money,” he said.

As a way of circumventing the guidelines, Mr Ichung'wa said many politicians transfer money to their trusted friends' bank accounts and then withdraw it.

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