Raila Calls for Overhaul of IEBC Over BBI Budget

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    ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses the media in Kisumu County on Friday, August 14, 2020
  • ODM Party leader Raila Odinga on Thursday, October 29, called for a complete overhaul of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) over their reported recommendation of a Ksh14 billion budget to carry out the BBI referendum.

    "A statement attributed to the IEBC that the upcoming referendum will cost up to Ksh14 billion is the latest indication that the electoral body and the entire election management in Kenya must be overhauled and streamlined," reads a section of the former Prime Minister's statement.

    He then detailed how elections in Kenya have proved to be a cash-cow which the commissioners allegedly use to enrich themselves.

    In his scathing response to reports published a day earlier claiming that IEBC CEO Marjan Hussein had recommended the aforementioned amount, Raila sent a clear message.

    IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati and President Uhuru Kenyatta at the IEBC National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, August 11, 2017, when Uhuru was announced winner of the presidential election.jpg
    IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati and President Uhuru Kenyatta at the IEBC National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, August 11, 2017, when Uhuru was declared winner of the presidential election.jpg

    "Among countries with established tradition of holding regular elections, the cost per voter ranges from approximately Ksh108 to Ksh216 (based on the current exchange rate).There is absolutely no excuse why Kenya, with a long history of holding elections should pay more," the statement further reads.

    Raila then reiterated that his his initial estimated budget of Ksh2 billion would suffice to carry out the exercise, which is Ksh12 billion less than the reported IEBC projection.

    "IEBC seems to be determined never to develop an operational performance that contains costs," he added.

    The ODM party leaders latest remarks comes just a day after various publications announced that a BBI referendum would force taxpayers to cough up Ksh14 billion.

    Appearing before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday, October 28, the IEBC CEO is reported to have informed the legislators that the figure could move upwards once they were done with their final calculations.

    “We have already sat down and asked ourselves what is required for the exercise. It will cost about Ksh14 billion though we are still fine-tuning it. That is an estimate which is based on the Ksh19.6 million registered voters, but the number may have increased because of the continuous listing of new voters," Marjan explained.

    In a recent interview, Commissioner Boya Molu explained that the agency would need to deploy about 350,000 staff and not less than 50,000 vehicles on hire on Election Day.

    Molu explained that hiring one of the vehicles costs not less than Ksh10,000 per day.

    Notably, Raila's press release comes barely 24 hours since President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (Amendment) Bill No. 3 of 2019, and the County Outdoor Advertising Control Bill of 2020.

    The amended IEBC law establishes a selection panel to oversee the filling up of vacant positions at the Commission as well as future appointments to the electoral agency.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta signs the IEBC law at State House, Nairobi on Wednesday, October 28, 2020