We have no money for referendum, says IEBC

The Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has no budget for a referendum.

This despite the push for the country to go for a vote mid this year to change the constitution.

IEBC has not factored a referendum in its 2020/2021 budget, acting Deputy CEO Obadiah Keitany said yesterday.

“There is no provision for a referendum in our budget. Until we get writs from the speaker, we cannot proceed to budget for a referendum,” Mr Keitany said.

SEE ALSO: IEBC lays ground for boundary review

He spoke when he appeared before the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that is considering the 2020/2021 Budget Policy Statement.

Politicians supporting the Building Bridges Initiative are pushing for the vote to change the structure of governance. 

In the meantime, IEBC is seeking Sh3.9 billion to clear its pending bills ahead of the upcoming boundary review.

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The agency also wants parliament to reinstate Sh340 million reallocated in the last supplementary budget.

Keitany said budget cuts had affected preparations for the boundaries review, which could run into headwinds if the money is not reinstated to its budget.

SEE ALSO: Failure to address conduct of polls betrays handshake aim

“We accumulated debts after the 2017 elections. We may not start boundaries delimitation because suppliers will not cooperate with us,” said Keitany.

The electoral body has already begun capacity building for its staff ahead of the exercise expected to start mid this year.

Keitany said IEBC has already committed Sh160 million towards training of staff and purchase of materials, but the money is only a fraction of what it requires for its preparations.

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IEBCReferendum2020/2021 budget