IEBC decries Ksh 14.5b budget deficit ahead of 2022 poll

IEBC decries Ksh 14.5b budget deficit ahead of 2022 poll

BY KORIR JUMA,9TH AUG,2021-The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has urged Treasury to provide sufficient funds as requested to enable the Commission conduct the 2022 General election.

Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati says,  “The National Treasury has allocated a budget of Ksh 26.34billion, leaving us with a deficit of Ksh 14.577billion. It is worth noting that the Ksh 40.917 budget requirement is the bare minimum as per the electoral activities in the Election Operations Plan which are governed by the existing legal framework,” He said.

Chebukati says they have prepared a budget of Ksh 40.329 billion to carry out all the activities in the Election Operation Plan and a further Ksh 588 million to procure COVID-19 prevention items such as thermometer guns, sanitizers, soap and washing points.

Speaking during a consultative meeting with the media, Chebukati noted that Monday 9th August 2021 marks the beginning of the one year countdown to the next General Election day in 2022.

He reiterated that the Commission shall conduct the next General Elections on 9th August, 2022 pursuant to Article 136(2)(a) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

“Let me take this earliest opportune moment to reiterate the Commission’s commitment towards delivering free, fair, transparent and credible 2022 General Election. The Commission equally remains committed to engaging stakeholders as part of its open door policy to foster citizen participation in the electoral process,” He said.

Chebukati said the Commission has noted an increase in incidences of insecurity during the recent by-elections and has engaged security agencies like the National Police Service with a view of preventing escalation of insecurity during the 2022 General Elections.

And on the controversial two-third gender rule, Chebukati said the Commission will comply with Court orders to reject any nomination list of a political party for its candidates for the 290 constituency based elective positions for Members of the National Assembly and 47 County based positions for the Member of Senate that do not comply with the two-third gender rule.

And to enhance transparency in the election results management process, the Commission shall allow accredited media access to polling stations and tallying centres to cover the vote counting, announcement, collation and declaration of results.

He said the Commission has set expenditure limits for candidates and parties for the 2022 General Election and urged all stakeholders to familiarize themselves with the limits.

The Chairperson further reminded public servants/officials seeking elective positions that they must resign six months before the election saying the rule should be adhered to.

Media Council of Kenya Chairperson Maina Muiruri called on the IEBC as well as other stakeholders to prioritize the safety and protection of journalists during the electioneering processing paramount.

He said MCK has put in place a comprehensive strategy on elections preparedness adding that the Council will put up Media Centres for journalists in major towns to work from during the election period.

“We will work with the IEBC to accredit journalists for election reporting and coverage. MCK is the accrediting agency with the mandate and infrastructure to do so, while IEBC comes in to support the process during elections. To this effect, MCK will be seeking for an MoU with IEBC to formalise the election accreditation process,” He said.

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