Economy

MPs approve Sh8.8bn more funds for IEBC

iebc

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials register students of the University of Nairobi (UoN) as voters on October 13, 2021. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

Parliament has approved an allocation of Sh8.8 billion that the electoral agency requires to plug the shortfall needed to conduct the August general election.

The National Assembly's Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) has approved a request from the Treasury to allocate the money to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The additional allocation is contained in a report on the scrutiny of the Supplementary Budget 1 for the 2021/22 financial year tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.

Kenya will hold the general elections on August 9 where the country will elect President Uhuru Kenyatta’s successor. BAC did not provide a detailed breakdown on the expenditure of the money for the conduct of the polls.

The IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati had on August 9, 2021, announced that the commission requires at least Sh40.9 billion to carry out credible elections.

He added that the commission needs Sh588 million to procure Covid-19 items.

IEBC had earlier asked Parliament to allocate Sh13 billion in the supplementary budget to meet the shortfall needed to conduct the polls.

BAC estimates the electoral agency will require Sh16 billion to cover the pre-poll activities and the actual election day events. IBC had already received Sh14.5 billion in the current financial year, out of which Sh2.2 billion was set aside for anticipated court petitions after the polls.

BAC said Sh3 billion will go towards the acquisition of ICT equipment for the polls, Sh655 million for voter education and partnerships, Sh166 million for research and development and some Sh85.4 million for human resources and administration.

In June last year, then acting IEBC chief executive Murjan Hussein Murjan told Parliament that the commission had requested Sh40.085 billion for election preparations but the Treasury only allocated Sh33.013 billion leaving a balance of Sh7.07 billion.

The IEBC however did not give the breakdown of the expenditure.

Parliament earlier allocated Sh2.56 billion in the current budget to the IEBC for the just ended enhanced voter registration and mass voter registration exercise.

Following the mass voter registration, the commission netted 22 million voters, up from the 19.6 million in 2017.

The Kanini Kega-led BAC has also approved an allocation of Sh1.09 billion towards agencies that will be critical in the success or failure of the August polls.

Out of the amount, Sh200 million has been allocated to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to check hate speech.

The multi-agency team (MAT) has been allocated Sh200 million for security operations while another Sh200 million has been set aside for election preparedness.

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