DCI, NIS Could Soon Take Charge of Harambee

Harambee organizers may soon have to seek permission from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) if proposals tabled in Parliament pass through.

This is after the National Assembly Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) made changes under the Public Fundraising Appeals Bill, 2019 proposed the creation of county policing authority which will be mandated to vet and process harambee applications.

CIOC have proposed that the NIS and DCI be members of the body.

The body will also be mandated to investigate any complaints, misuse of funds or any issue relating to conduct of public collections.

According to to CIOC, the county policing authority is created under section 41 of the National Police Service Act and will also audit monies raised through harambees to catch people stealing such collections or using such functions to launder illegally acquired funds.

The Oversight Committee has also proposed that county governor, two elected members nominated by the county assembly, the chairperson of the county security committee, and at least six other members appointed by the governor from various community groups be members of the body.

Ruto in Nyamira
Ruto led a dozen Mps in a fundraising event for boda boda saccos in Nyamira County. Image/Courtesy

The report on the Bill was tabled in Parliament last week at a time when the State has been cracking the whip on political gatherings, including fundraisers.

CIOC also noted in its report on the bill the increasing cases of people using harambees for ‘social status’ and others raising money for ghost projects hence the need to regulate them.

“The committee noted that there has been an abuse of the process of fundraising appeals with people raising money for social status enrichment and some raising funds for non-existent causes and even where there were justifiable reasons, there was no transparency or accountability,” the committee chair Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni told the Standard.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (left) and Businessman Jimmy Wanjigi (right) attending a church service in Bondo, Siaya County on Sunday 11 October 2020. Photo/Courtesy

Kioni further argued that licensing structure would help expose the individuals who are taking advantage of fundraisers adding that the new regulation would ensure that the fake fundraising activities that are set up to loot money from the public come to an end.

“The harambee spirit is being misused and abused despite it being of great help in moving our country forward. What we want is for them to start being audited by the Auditor General for easier accountability,” he said.

If passed, any individual seeking to hold harambee will have to apply for a license so that there is an assurance of what people are contributing for.

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