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IEBC needs Sh30b to conduct 2017 elections

By Antony Gitonga | Jan 13th 2016 | 2 min read

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) yesterday said it will require Sh30 billion to conduct the next General Election.

IEBC chairman Issack Hassan dismissed a proposal by Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Adan Duale for extension the commission’s term,  saying his team would accomplish duties within the stipulated time.

“There is misinformation over the issue and we are sure we can conduct the elections and a run-off, if need be, without having our term extended,” he said.

According to the commission, the Government had only released Sh500 million for the countrywide mass voter registration exercise against a budget of Sh2 billion.

This emerged at the end of a two-day retreat attended by IEBC officials and representatives from 60 political parties at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha.

Addressing the Press, Hassan said lack of enough funds could affect the planned voter registration exercise.

He noted that due to lack of adequate resources, the registration exercise would be conducted at ward levels and not at voter centres as had been planned.

Hassan said IEBC plans to register 8 million voters in next two financial years and was optimistic this will be achieved before the next General Election.

He said the 16,000 BVR kits bought for the last General Election were enough and would be used for the registration exercise.

“Due to financial constraints, we cannot buy more BVR kits and despite the challenges we are ready to conduct free and fair elections,” he said.

Hassan defended the credibility of the commission against accusations from CORD, adding that they had in the past held meetings with the Opposition.

“We expect the next General Election to be very competitive and vicious mainly on MCAs seats and we are ready for this,” he said.

The commission CEO Ezra Chiloba Simuyu said IEBC had prepared its Sh30 billion budget for the next two-and-a-half years.

“For the next General Election to be smooth and credible, we need financial and political support mainly in the voter registration exercise,” he said.

Mr Chiloba said the continuous voter registration had netted 156,000 new voters, a number he termed as too low, hence the need for the mass registration exercise come next month.

The chairman of the Political Parties Forum David Wakahu admitted that the issue of funding was a major challenge facing the commission.

“We have had a fruitful discussion with IEBC, who have shared their information with us and we are fully behind them,” he said.

The sentiments were echoed by Deputy Secretary General of Sisi Kwa Sisi party Julius Mwangi who noted that without enough funding, the next elections could not be credible.

Peoples Party of Kenya Secretary General John Kihiko called on eligible Kenyans to turn up for the registration exercise that kicks off mid next month.

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