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Munyithya proposes reforms as he eyes IEBC job

NATIONAL
By Winfrey Owino | July 15th 2021

Justus Munyithya before the IEBC selection panel on Thursday, July 15 at KICC. [File, Standard]

Justus Munyithya, a former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) official has proposed reforms on the procurement of election materials, should he become a commissioner of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

While appearing before the IEBC selection panel on Thursday, July 15, Munyithya suggested the poll agency's move to procure materials abroad was way expensive, considering the National Treasury slashed the electoral body’s budget.

“Kenya is used to sourcing election materials from abroad, like Dubai, which I think is very expensive. If I join this commission, I will propose local procurement,” Munyithya told the selection panel.

The Mombasa-based advocate also put forward the issue of auditing and verification of election equipment to avoid last-minute malfunction.

Munyithya is among the over 30 candidates interested in replacing the four commissioners of the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC), who quit four years ago.

The commission started conducting the interviews on Monday, July 12, and are to be completed ten days later.

“In 2013, some of the identification kits failed on the election day and in 2017, after all the effort and changes put, some KIMS kits failed,” Munyithya added.

He went on, “In my opinion, the timeframe of the presidential election petition is too short. How do you sample results from over 1400 polling stations in seven days? I propose reforms of 30 days as the timeline for election presidential petition.”

In the 2017 General Election, the National Treasury disbursed Sh49 billion to fund the August polls. This was more than the Sh36 billion it was allocated in 2013 to carry out elections.

According to a pre-election fiscal report 2017, the overall budget was broken down into Sh27 billion which was allocated and disbursed in 2016/17 and Sh22 billion in 2017/18.

The Sh22 million allocated in the 2017/18 financial year excludes the Sh2.5 billion provided in the 2016/17 budget set aside for printing ballot papers.

However, the printing of ballot papers tender was awarded to a foreign company in the Middle East, Dubai-based Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company.

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