Treasury allocates Sh21.7b to IEBC for poll preparedness

IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

It is all systems go for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) after the National Treasury allocated it Sh21.7 billion in the financial year 2022-2023.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said the funds will enable the electoral agency meet the shortfall needed to conduct the August 9 General Election. The agency received Sh22.9 billion in the last financial year.

Mr Yatani said the funds will be channelled to the electoral agency to prepare for elections.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati has on numerous occasions raised the alarm about insufficient funding, saying it would have a major impact on preparedness.

Mr Chebukati had warned that IEBC was facing financial constraints and should nothing be done, it would affect the credibility of the electoral process.

IEBC had, for instance, said they would deploy three kits per ward as opposed to providing a gadget to every polling station should Treasury fail to meet the deficit of Sh4.5 billion.

Mr Chebukati had also argued that the commission will have to deal with court cases, withdrawal of suppliers and increasing the cost of elections.

IEBC had announced that it requires Sh40.9 billion to conduct the polls.

Mr Chebukati described the amount as the “bare minimum” amid concerns that the cost of elections keeps soaring.

He said Sh40.3 billion would be spent on activities revolving around election operations such as voter registration.

The IEBC chair noted that Sh588 million would be spent on procuring items for Covid-19 prevention protocol such as thermometer guns, sanitisers, soap and washing points.

“Over the years the funding of the commission has not been adequate and in tandem with the election cycle. These constraints our activities in the procurement process,” he said at a recent media briefing.

IEBC Chief Executive Officer Marjan Hussein Marjan had previously told a parliamentary committee that they requested Sh40.085 billion for election preparations, but Treasury had only allocated Sh33.013 billion leaving a balance of Sh7.07 billion. He said IEBC needs Sh40.9 billion for the elections.