With only three weeks left before the Registrar of Political Parties closes his books on election expenses returns, he has rejected some of the declarations for containing grossly exaggerated figures.
Registrar John Tendwa, said while the number of candidates submitting the forms was impressive, he has had to return some after noting that most of the candidates have exaggerated their expenses.
“Those who have so far submitted the forms to my office have hugely exaggerated the figures …they pretend to have spent a lot of money in the election, a thing I believe is not true,” said Tendwa in an exclusive interview with The Guardian this week.
He explained: “I think this is due to ignorance on the part of candidates…they think that if they exaggerate the figures, my office will refund the extra expenses.”
Tendwa said a quick scan by his office of the submitted forms showed amounts as high 100m/- where the actual expenditure averaged 50m/-.
“If a candidate spent less money, but put a higher figure in the declaration forms, my office will not approve such a form,” he said.
He said apparently some of the candidates mistakenly hoped that they could make a profit from the extra expenses through refund by his office.
The Registrar said most of the candidates “failed to differentiate the words returns and refunds as indicated in the law.
“Many candidates thought that they will be refunded the money spent in the General Election…that’s why they decided to exaggerate the figures,” Tendwa said.
The Election Expenses Act of 2010, Section 17 (3) states: “The board of trustees of a political party shall, within ninety days after the polling day, render, in respect of every candidate sponsored by such party, to the Registrar true returns in the prescribed form showing expenditure incurred in terms of Subsection (1) and the amount apportioned to each candidate.”
The law orders all candidates to make sure that they submit their expenses reports during the General Election to their political parties within sixty days after the election.
Section 18 (1) states: “Any candidate who receives funds as election expenses shall, within sixty days from the polling day, prepare and submit a verified report to the political party which sponsored that candidate in the election.”
The Registrar’s office is required by the law to submit the forms to the Controller and Auditor General (CAG).
All candidates who contested for presidential, parliamentary and council positions are required to submit their declaration forms to the Registrar by the end of this month.
Tendwa said his office was still sorting out who among the presidential candidates had submitted their declaration forms.
Recently, the Registrar said legal action would be taken against parties and individuals failing to submit duly filled declaration forms on their 2010 election expenses by the end of January.
He said there would be no compromise where a party or candidate failed to submit the forms as per the law. The law is clear on political parties and candidates who fail to fulfill this requirement, he said.
Tendwa clarifying said all candidates who contested in the polls, be it at ward, constituency or presidential level; whether they won or lost, are required by the law to submit their returns.