Harambee goes a long way in helping the society especially in times of distress, which are all too often finacial. However, some folks have taken advantage of the situation to extort monry from the public for their own selfish intrest, discrediting genuine Harambee.
Funds drives being used as channels to launder money and sanitise graft proceeds in church harambees and no regulations on public collections for charitable and religious purposes paves way for corruption arising from voluntary collections, are a concern too.
A Public Fundraiser Appeals Bill, 2019 sponsored by Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni as been proposed to sanitize Harambees in the country. or According to the Bill no person or organisation will be allowed to seek funds from the public without a licence. Harambee chairpersons will be required to file applications with the County Policing Authority while contributors must declare the source of the contribution and their annual tax returns.
“A person shall not conduct a public fundraising appeal unless they have applied for, and obtained, a license,” read the Bill.
Organisers will be required to give full names and addresses of the persons intending to conduct them, declare the purpose of the funds drive and also the date for the activity. They shall also indicate the amount they intend to raise as well as expenses and also state prior receipts of any monies with respect to the fundraising appeal.
Licences issued by the committee will automatically expire after the fundraiser, while it could be cancelled on grounds of unlawful causes, prejudice to peace, failure to comply with the Act, false information and fraud.
“We have a very useful concept called Harambee which has helped us to grow since 1963. We have to give it a legal framework so that we don’t abuse it. Harambees have helped us as a society but we have to deal with people who make money where there is no public need,” he noted.
The Bill goes a head to propose the creation of a Public Fundraising Appeals Committee to vet the applications. Police commanders, county commissioners, county NIS and DCI chiefs, two MCAs, and representative of various interest groups willl be in the vetting committee at the county level.
The Bill also highlights provisions of the Public Officers Ethics Act that bar state officers from participating in fundraisers. If approved, the Bill will lock out elected MPs and MCAs from fundraisers a breach of which will attrat Ksh800,000 fine.