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Vision and Mission

To promote the institutionalization of vibrant and democratic political parties capable of enhancing and perpetuating multiparty democracy in Kenya.
Mission Statement.
The mission of CMD-Kenya is to facilitate the growth of and perpetuate multiparty democracy through the capacity building of political member parties in Kenya.

Brief History of CMD-Kenya

The CMD is a body founded by political parties in Kenya, who are also its members, and registered as a trust early 2004. Its basic quest is to work with political parties in terms of capacity building. Kenya has a fluid political party landscape within a very open political environment for discussions about reforms. Political parties, however, are challenged to re-invent themselves from the current overly personality oriented parties to become more programmatic oriented parties. Out of cognition of these needs, the parties in CMD came together for a substantial dialogue of this kind.

Origins of CMD-Kenya

CMD-Kenya stemmed in part out of experiences of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy [NIMD] initiatives in Ghana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique etc. In Kenya discussions started in October 2003, through the sponsorship of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy. The discussions were about forming an all inclusive political party forum for discussing the needed reforms and for developing parameters along which future bilateral assistance to political parties can be managed.

The parties participating in these meeting endorsed a draft potential framework for future political party partnership programmes with IMD, and other institutions as well. These programmes are geared to turning parties into viable, well managed, transparent, and accountable institutions


CMD was founded as a Trust by political parties in Kenya who are also its members. The criteria of membership of CMD is that a party either has a Member of Parliament, or five elected members of any local authority [councilors], or if not it can join via the FORUM. The forum consists of all other political parties that have neither a Member of Parliament nor at least five duly elected councilors in a local authority and have subscribed to the FORUM's Memorandum of Collaboration Constitution.

The member parties of CMD have committed themselves to enhancing good corporate governance principles. The promotion of internal democracy is a key tenet. During a meeting of political parties at a Nairobi hotel in January 2004, parties nominated representatives to work out the modalities of founding and inclusive political party forum. The first such meeting was held as the headquarters of KANU, the main official opposition party.

A series of other meetings followed at the headquarters of other parties [ ruling party NARC, FORD-People] which helped parties to get to bond via understanding each other and breaking down barriers of suspicion. Out of these meetings the name "CMD" and a structure for the organization [section III below] was arrived at.

Achievements of CMD-Kenya

At the first general meeting, 4th March 20004, a board was formed comprising designated nominees from member parties and the Board's first officers were elected. This is regarded as a milestone by CMD, for never before have political parties come together this way in Kenya. Another major achievement of CMD in its short history is that the organization has already developed its 5 Year Strategic plan [2004 – 2008].

This was done at a retreat in May 2004. Already some member political parties have carried out strategic retreats under the auspices of CMD-IMD political party bilateral programmes and modeled on the CMD retreat, whereas others should be doing the same soon. CMD and member parties are working to ensure that they operate on well defined, long-term, and strategic plans, rather than on adhoc arrangements centered around election years.

Objectives of the CMD-Kenya

  • To strengthen the capacity of political parties to be effective in deepening and consolidating democratic governance in Kenya.
  • To engage in advocacy and civic education in order to create a level playing field for all political parties.
  • To facilitate political parties to develop and enforce a code of conduct and other ethical standards to ensure internal party democracy, mutual respect and participatory decision making.
  • To be a platform of dialogue and building of consensus on important national issues amongst political parties.
  • To enhance gender equity and effective participation and representation at all levels in the management of political parties.
  • To support the efforts of the Electoral Commission of Kenya and election monitors to enhance free and fair party elections, general elections, by-elections, and other elections to public offices.
  • To familiarize with all published bills and discuss them with political parties before they are debated and enacted.
  • To promote good governance, transparency, and accountability within and amongst political parties.
  • To empower political parties to mobilize resources for their activities. 

Structure and Organs of CMD-Kenya

The General Meeting
The General Meeting is the highest organ of CMD-Kenya. It is composed of representatives nominated by each of the member political parties including the FORUM. Each party, including the FORUM, nominates a maximum of 5 representatives to the General Meeting. This organ should meet at least once each year.

The Oversight Board
This organ is the principle policy making organ of CMD. It is made up of 2 representatives nominated from each political party including the FORUM. Its officers are also the trustees otherwise also known as the 'Steering Committee'.

The officers are:
The Chairperson
Vice-Chairperson [ in charge of programmes ]
Deputy Chairperson [ In Charge of Finance and Establishment ]
Deputy Chairperson [ In Charge of Internal Programmes ]
Deputy Chairperson [ In Charge of External Programmes ]
2 Members
An Executive Director who is in charge of the Secretariat, is a member of the board ex-office.

The Secretariat
The day to day activities and operations of CMD are run by a Secretariat. The CMD Trust Deed [Article II,e] provides for a secretariat manned by a professional team. The trust deed stipulates that the secretariat shall have professional jurisdiction over the management of day to day affairs and implementation of the policies of CMD.


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