IEBC Makes Drastic Changes After Govt Slashes Funding

  • A file image of a past voter registration exercise.
    A file image of a past voter registration exercise.
    File
  • The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has made adjustments to the voter registration exercise citing limited funding from the government.

    While appearing on an interview on Citizen TV on Sunday, October 3, the commission's Director of Voter Registration and Electoral Operations, Rasi Masudi, stated that the commission would conduct only one voter registration exercise as opposed to multiple voter listing exercises as previously done.

    “The exercise starts on October 4, 2021, and ends on November 2, 2021. We want to treat this one as the first and last," Masudi revealed.

    An undated image of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati at a past event
    An undated image of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati at a past event
    File

    The director further explained that the changes were necessitated by the delay in the release of funds by the government.

    "We requested for funding to have two registration sessions, unfortunately, we were only funded for one of those sessions," the director explained.

    Masudi also added that there would only be three Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits allocated in each ward within the 47 counties.

    "Unfortunately because of funding limitations, we will not be able to go to all the registrations centers at the same time, we will be having three BVR kits per ward which will be rotated around in all the registration centers in the ward," Masudi stated.

    Despite the financial challenges at  the electoral body, the commission targets to register more than six million new voters.

    "The commission intends to have the voter register of 19.8 million registered voters to 26 million registered voters by the time we go for the 2022 General Election," Masudi stated.

    However, the director added that the commission would make further adjustments if more funds are allocated to the electoral body by the end of the year.

    Previously, IEBC chairman, Wafula Chebukati, stated that the commission had a deficit of Ksh13 billion.

    On September 29, 2021, the National Assembly Budget and Appropriation Committee chairman, Kanini Kega, stated that his committee would meet with the commission to find ways of ensuring that the commission is fully funded ahead of the elections.

    "What we have agreed is that we will have a session with our colleagues from Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) because issues to do with the budget are discussed in a committee. IEBC will take us through their requirements,” Kega stated.

    The nationwide voter registration will be launched in Nakuru County by officials from the commission.

    Kenya's Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairperson Kanini Kega speaking in Parliament on December 3, 2020.
    Kenya's Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairperson Kanini Kega speaking in Parliament on December 3, 2020.
    The Standard