Economy

Treasury cuts elections fund requests by Sh23.7bn

yatani

Ministry of National Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

State agencies participating in election activities will be forced to reorganise their budgets and plug a Sh23.7 billion funding gap ahead of the August 9 General Election.

The Treasury says eight State agencies, including the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC), submitted financial requirements for various activities amounting to Sh67.7 billion in the financial year 2021/22 and 2022/23.

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani says out of the funding requests, Sh43.9 billion has been allocated in the two financial years for the conduct of the polls.

He said the unfunded requirements for the polls due 39 days away is Sh23.7 billion.

The other agencies involved in election-related activities are the ministries of Interior, Defence, the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP), Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), and Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) and the Judiciary.

“In view of fiscal constraints, MDAs (ministries, departments and agencies) involved in the conduct of the 2022 General Election have, however, been advised to rationalise their activities and to fit within the available resources,” Mr Yatani said in the 2022 Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Report tabled in Parliament.

“In addition, they will be required to ensure prudence through efficiency and effectiveness to realise value for money in undertaking electoral activities,” Mr Yatani said.

The Treasury rejected IEBC’s election budget of Sh49.9 billion but allocated Sh43.9 billion out of which Sh42.57 will go towards the commission for direct poll expenses and Sh1.35 billion to agencies conducting indirect election-related activities.

The entities that will share the Sh1,349,469,851 for indirect election expenses are the ministries of Interior, Defence, the RORPP, EACC, IPOA and the Judiciary.

The Executive Office of the President received Sh200 million in the national Treasury budget for the Assumption of Office activities for the new President.

Out of the Sh42.57 billion IEBC budget, General Election activities take the lion’s share of Sh16.9 billion, normal activities (Sh8.9 billion) and General Election materials (Sh7.6 billion). Mass Voter Registration cost taxpayers Sh2.56 billion.

Training of polling officials will cost Sh2.5 billion, Voter Education, Partnership (Sh1.69 billion) and the just concluded Register of Voters Verification (Sh1.33 billion).

The commission also spent Sh424.6 million on Nomination and Candidate Registration, Sh255 million on Diaspora Voter Registration, Sh196.99 million on Training Materials and Sh70 million on Diaspora Polling Activities.

The State Department for Interior and Citizens Services, which placed a Sh9.99 billion funding request only received a paltry Sh500 million from the Treasury.

The Interior ministry wanted billions of shilling for the provision of security in the whole country and polling stations during the polling day.

The Ministry of Defence received Sh100 million out of a budget request of Sh1 billion.

“The ministry has allocated adequate resources to enhance security operations along the borders and other identified hot spots to ensure elections are not affected by external security threats,” Ms Yatani said.

The Treasury rejected Sh1.49 billion that was requested by the Judiciary for election disputes and allocated only Sh260.17 million.

The Registrar of Political Parties was allocated Sh253.35 million out of a funding request of Sh1.25 billion while IPOA got Sh58.45 million from a budget of434.74 million.

The office of the President's request of Sh445.85 for activities leading to the swearing-in of the new President was cut to Sh200 million while the EACC received Sh58.45 million out of a budget of Sh161.52 million.

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