Editorials

Release IEBC funds in time

Wafula Chebukati

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Election uncertainties are known to affect investor confidence and may limit or negatively affect investment and capital flows that are a risk to our fragile currency and post-Covid economic growth.
  • The high-stakes political transition in 2022 is likely to create a lot of political heat and will need to be handled with care to ensure the exercise runs smoothly.

As Kenya’s economy recovers from Covid-19 focus will shift on how we manage the oncoming elections, which historically has had a dampening effect on growth.

Election uncertainties are known to affect investor confidence and may limit or negatively affect investment and capital flows that are a risk to our fragile currency and post-Covid economic growth.

The high-stakes political transition in 2022 is likely to create a lot of political heat and will need to be handled with care to ensure the exercise runs smoothly.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says it has a Sh13 billion hole in its budget, which is likely to affect its preparation and ability to conduct a credible election.

IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati had on August 9, announced that the commission requires at least Sh40.9 billion for the 2022 elections.

He has faulted the Treasury for delaying funding, Parliament for sitting on laws required to help plan for next year’s elections and the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) for failing to ensure 3G coverage in each of the estimated 53,000 polling stations from which results of the electoral contest will be declared.

The late release of funds will affect IEBC’s ability to deliver credible elections, a chilling reality given that investors are watching Kenya keenly. To secure investor confidence Kenya needs to show that we will handle the elections competently by funding of the electoral agency sufficiently and laying the appropriate infrastructure.