The Daily Nation has posted some interesting numbers based on data it says were obtained from IEBC, which shows that Uhuru’s TNA has the largest number of registered members at 153,352, followed by Ruto’s 108,124, Raila’s ODM at # 3 with 83,526, Mudavadi’s UTF with 83,348 and when I saw a party called Mwangaza has 81,368 at #5, my antena went up.
For what it’s worth, this story was brought up by a Raila supporter with ties in the former Central who came across as fired up and ready to go to bat for Raila than quite frankly many whose task is to be fired up and ready to bat for Raila but are not for one reason or another; not yet, anyway.
Be that as it may be, when I read the story, I posted the following comment, which the DN published:
Not that it’s irrelevant, it’s not the party with the largest number of registered voters that matters but which party has the largest number of voters across the country that does.
TNA having 153,000 members all from the former Central, ditto for Martha Karua having 64,644 from same place or Ruto having 108,124 all from Uasin Gishu and so on is really not something to write home about.
However, it’s disturbing and one more good reason why we need a limitation of political parties to less than five because by these statistics, the top 10 parties by registration of members have less than 30% of the total number of members of the various registered political parties, which means we have hundreds of parties registered but for what?
Let’s hope the new Parliament and President addresses this issue for we certainly don’t need that many parties, not even close to that number.
I have since posted a response to someone commenting on my comment:
@maobe, Yes I am aware of the constitutional requirements. That only means at Kshs 1000 each (Moi’s # adjusted for inflation), anyone who has lined up their pockets from the public till can easily buy 24,000 votes.
So, it doesn’t mean that a party has nationwide appeal or following merely because it has the required minimum number of registered members in each county.
All I am saying is you have to look beyond these numbers to know the real story; are they all from the expected strong-holds or are they from across the nation such as ODM’s members are and none of the other parties have such a cross-nation registration; at least not in comparative strength and how many of those registered members are genuine and don’t tell me they are simply because they are accepted by IEBC for we know there are documented cases of double registration and illegal registration of people who have not consented to such registration.
That being said, what we all should watch out for is actual registration of new voters and ensuring the integrity of the register roll.
A party that is serious about winning elections must make sure as many of its supporters and target constituencies are registered as possible and actually show up to vote.
Failure to tend to this simple age old staple of democracies shall be a sure way for a party to lose elections.
In sum, there is nothing nothing here to get excited about these numbers unless you know or have all the data to determine the composition of those numbers but I am sure the data will confirm what I am saying here and that is all these parties except for ODM have their party rolls completely filled with members from their strong-holds many of whom are double registered or illegally registered.
Besides, what is there exciting about a party having less than 6% of the total number of all registered members of the various types, yet that’s exactly what the TNA numbers represent?