Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission(IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati on Monday, August 9, decried that the commission does not have the cash required to run the 2022 General Election.
Speaking during a stakeholders' engagement in Mombasa, Chebukati announced that IEBC has a Ksh14.5 billion deficit for next year's polls.
He pointed out that the commission would require Ksh40.9 billion to have a credible poll - noting that the deficit was likely to affect the quality of its exercise.Anniversary Towers Nairobi where the IEBC has its current headquartersFile
"IEBC requires Ksh40.9 billion for the 2022 poll and a further Ksh588 million to procure Covid-19 items, making a total of Ksh40.917 billion.
"If no money is forthcoming, commission may be forced to cut down on some expenditures like mass voter registration, from 30 days to 15 days, which won't be adequate," he complained.
The IEBC boss faulted the National Treasury for failing to avail the needed funds but offered hope that international stakeholders such as the United Kingdom had pledged to assist the commission financially in its preparation for the 2022 national polls.
The commission also announced plans to procure multiple servers for the transmission of results to the tallying centre.
The development comes amid sustained calls by President Uhuru Kenyatta's allies that the August 9 General Election may need to be postponed to allow for constitutional reforms.
Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU)Secretary General Francis Atwoli has called for the postponement of the elections on multiple occasions.COTU boss Francis Atwoli speaking in Tana River County on Monday, July 19, 2021File
Atwoli instead urged the country to focus on issues highlighted in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). arguing that if the changes were not made in advance, there would be a chaotic election in 2022.
“If they don’t give us a ruling we will move to the Supreme Court and if we still don’t get it we will have to start afresh and we will appeal through our parliamentarians to extend the elections by even one year until we get BBI,” demanded Atwoli.
Additionally, former nominated Senator Paul Njoroge petitioned the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to alter the 2022 election date. He proposed to have the election date pushed to August 2023. This would allow President Uhuru Kenyatta to complete his term.
The ex-senator further argued that if the election was held as planned, the incumbent head of state would be denied over four months of his presidential term. Njoroge added that IEBC would be guilty of infringing on the electorate’s constitutional rights should it not push the polls to a future date.
However, Chebukati asserted that the election would be held as prescribed by the law on August 9, 2022. It would be so unless the courts or the judiciary issued a contrary ruling.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.jpgFile
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