New Bill Proposes Licenses For Harambees

Retired President Daniel Moi doing a harambee. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Kenyans will now be required to obtain a license in order to hold fundraisers famously known as harambees, a newly proposed law indicates.

This puts Kenyans under scrutiny as the bill proposes that contributors should declare the amount to be contributed, source of income and file an annual tax declaration with the taxman.

According to the Public Fundraiser’s bill of 2019, a team will be put in place aimed at vetting the applications.

“A person shall not conduct a public fundraising appeal unless they apply and obtain a license,” reads the proposed bill in part.

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Harambees have existed since time immemorial, with the famous slogan used first by the founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. It was aimed at strengthening people in the spirit of togetherness, although no legal frameworks were instituted to guide it.

In the bill is sponsored by Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni, state officials will be locked out of fundraisers, including MPs and MCAs.

This comes at a time a section of Kenyans feel that the spirit and slogan of Harambee has been abused by both politicians and members of the public, either to solicit funds or woo voters.

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For instance, a recent story of Fashion designer Shiyenze Khasoa who duped the public into pouring money to her accounts in the name of treating cancer yet it was all a game, irked Kenyans who had donated millions to help her.

At the same time, politicians have been flocking churches and institution making huge donations f money to lure people into their parties and have them sing to their tunes.

The new proposed bill will put an end to the extortionists and fraudsters, although it might dim the spirit of harambee and togetherness.

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Written by Mercy Auma

Passionate about human interest stories and politics. Email

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