Deputy President William Ruto on Friday, October 30, told off ODM leader Raila Odinga over the budget on the planned referendum on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
Speaking in Murang’a County, the DP lashed at the former Prime Minister for his suggestion that the exercise should not cost more the Ksh2 billion.
"Leave IEBC alone because even the previous referendum when he was Prime Minister it cost us about Ksh10 billion with 12 million voters. How do you then expect to spend Ksh2 billion on a referendum with 19 million voters?" he posed.Deputy President William Ruto, President Uhuru Kenyatta and AU Infrastructure envoy Raila Odinga in Karen on November 2, 2018.File
DP Ruto stated that Odinga was fighting the commission and was intent on being pronounced as the winner.
He further suggested a consensus as a money-saving intervention in place of a contested national referendum.
"If they are really genuine about saving money, then we should all iron out issues of contention especially those touching on the ordinary person, and avoid a referendum," he added.
Odinga, in a statement on Thursday, October 29, called for a complete overhaul of the commission over their recommendation of a Ksh14 billion budget to carry out the BBI referendum.
He claimed that elections in Kenya had proved to be a cash-cow which the commissioners allegedly used to enrich themselves.
IEBC, in response, termed Odinga's claims as unfortunate, low on objectivity and lacking understanding of the conduct of elections
The commission's chairperson Wafula Chebukati added that being the Prime Minister in 2010, Raila knew full well that it cost Kenyans Ksh10 billion to conduct the referendum.
IEBC CEO Hussein Marjan had on Wednesday indicated that the referendum would cost 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.IEBC CEO Hussein Marjan when he appeared before Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday, October 28, 2020.
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