The office of the Registrar of Political Parties has defended itself after Kenyans took to social media to protest following revelations they had been registered as members of political parties without their knowledge.
They confirmed their membership status through an online portal on eCitizen, a one-stop shop for government services, shared out by the office of Registrar of Political Parties.
“Recruitment of members is done by political parties in line with respective party constitutions; section 7, Political Parties Act, 2011, second schedule to Political Parties Act paragraph six,” the office said on Saturday.
On Friday, Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu said in a statement that her office was piloting the online service to enable the public to verify their political party membership status.
“This is therefore to appraise you on this development and invite your feedback through firstname.lastname@example.org or to our offices,” Nderitu said.
She added that the office is planning to enhance other services including the management of independent candidates, party membership recruitment and registration.
“This office is in the process of updating the political parties’ management information system and on boarding services to e-Citizen platform to leverage on the existing infrastructure,” she added.
However, many Kenyans expressed shock and anger after they found out that they belong to various political outfits yet they have never registered.
They termed the revelations a breach of the right to privacy and demanded answers from the registrar’s office.
“IEBCKenya explain how my information got to the office of the Registrar of Political Parties and got registered to a political party without my consent. This is evident on orpp.ecitizen.go.ke” Twitter user Peter Arnold posted.
Maith @maithakahaso posted: “That office of the Registrar of Political Parties has been registering people to random political parties since 2015. Had done tweets on them sometime back and got a call to delete.”
Joe Kimachia said, “I am a registered member of Jubilee Party since 2013. I have a membership number. On checking my status through the link, I just found I’m, fraudulently registered as an ODM member since 2016. The registrar must provide a link to opt out”.
@Olez posted: “In an ideal world, the office of the Data Protection Commissioner would fine all these political parties for illegal use of personal data to register people to their parties. Then the Registrar of Political Parties would deregister the political parties for fraudulent party registers.”
Section 34 of the Political Parties Act, 2011 requires the registrar to maintain an accurate register of political parties and ensure that no person is a member of more than one party.
The office is required to maintain accurate data.