We are prepared for polls despite budget deficit, says IEBC

IEBC’s Acting Director Voter Education, Partnerships and Communication Joyce Ekuam [Samson Wire. Standard]

The Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission has said it is well prepared to conduct the upcoming General Elections slated for August 9.

IEBC’s Acting Director Voter Education, Partnerships and Communication Joyce Ekuam made the remarks during a Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) national dialogue breakfast meeting in Nairobi.

She said IEBC has not received the full amount of funding as requested for conducting the elections.

"Last week, we pitched our discussion around funding with Parliament and we’re hopeful we shall get the balance of what we needed," Ekuam said.

Early this month, IEBC received from National Treasury an additional Sh8.81 billion on top of Sh33 billion received last June.

This was against the Sh40.9 billion it had requested, leaving a deficit of Sh7.07 billion.

Ekuam represented IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati in the meeting.

The meeting brought together citizens, journalists, editors, human rights actors and other civil society partners.

"We as election management body in Kenya are ready to conduct elections on August 9, 2022. Our state of preparedness is strongly backed by a comprehensive legal framework for elections in this country," said Ekuam.

Regulations and procedures

She added: "We have the Constitution, Elections Act and other Acts, regulations and procedures that guide the conduct of elections." 

Ekuam also said that the filling of the vacant positions especially in the secretariat is also complete.

"We have the 290 constituency election coordinators, who will be returning officers. There is also a lot of training and capacity building as far as preparations are concerned," she assured.

Further, she said the electoral body is working with local media groups, stakeholders, election observers and among others and will, by end of February, roll out election management accreditation system.

At the same time, Pamela Sittoni, Kenya Editors Guild trustee and Executive Editor, Partnership at Nation Media Group faulted Communications Authority, for asking journalists seeking electives posts to quit active media practice by April 9.

"The Guild therefore asks the Authority and Media Council of Kenya to stop their demands on journalists because we know that the decision on who should be in the newsroom is the remit of editors and employers who have contracts with those journalists," she said.

Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu also asked media to report correctly on the Political Parties Amendment Act.

She said the new law doesn't change much apart from the timeline of submitting a coalition, which is four months to the General Election.