Kenyans unknowingly registered as political party members Dennis Mbuvi

May 30, 2012
IEBC Party Membership

It is emerging that hundreds of Kenyans have been registered as political party members. This has emerged after the Independent Electoral and boundaries Commission (IEBC) put up a website allowing members of the public to key in national identity document (ID) and passport numbers to see if they have been registered as members of any political party.

Kenya established a political parties act in 2009 which requires each registered party to have not less than 200 members per province in each of Kenya’s eight provinces. Party members are not allowed to be registered as a member in more than one party. Kenya’s Political Parties Act of 2009 can be found here

The country has seen a rising number of political parties as politicians prepare for forthcoming elections, currently slated for March 2013. Politicians have also made a habit of hopping from party to party. 100 serving Members of Parliament are in danger of having their seats declared vacant after they moved from their sponsoring parties to new parties, without relinquishing their seats.

Gichuki Jonia, a security consultant says that some of the data used to unknowingly registered Kenyans as party members may have come from visitor records kept by buildings. Many buildings in major towns record visitors names and identity cards in ledger books, which cunning guards may sell.

While it is not clear whether current laws address collection of such information, The Data Protection Bill, 2012 which is yet to be passed into law states that an agency that collects personal information directly  from the individual concerned, the agency shall take such steps reasonable to ensure that the individual concerned is aware of the fact that the information is being collected; and the purpose for which the information is being collected; and the intended recipients of the information and  the name and address of the agency that is collecting the information; and the agency that will hold the information; and  if the collection of the information is authorised or required by or under law including the particular law by or under which the  collection of the information is so authorised or  required and  whether or not the supply of the information by that individual is voluntary or mandatory; The agency should also spell out  the consequences ,if any, for that individual if all or  any part of the requested information is not provided;  and  the rights of access to, and correction of, personal  information provided by these principles.

The Commission For The Implementation Of The Constitution is accepting comments on The Data Protection Bill, 2012 here

A few months back, Safaricom had said it was investigating reports that M-PESA transaction records held by M-PESA agents were being sold to political parties too. It might however be difficult for Safaricom to track such cases, unless they had access to registered member databases and were able to run matches from agents to identify those corresponding to a high similarity.

A CIO East Africa reader has also reported catching guards in a Nairobi building photocopying his national ID after he returned faster than expected.

One can check if their name has been registered as political party member on the IEBC website

One can only remove themselves as a member of a political party by writing to the Registrar of Political Parties. Those affected are also being advised that they can send an email to the Registrar of Political Parties at


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