Temporary polls staff demand Sh4.9bn from IEBC

IEBC commissioner Roselyn Akombe. FILE PHOTO | NMG
IEBC commissioner Roselyn Akombe. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Temporary workers hired by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in the run up to the August 8 polls are up in arms over their unpaid dues amounting to Sh4.9 billion.

The failure to release the pay for the 359,621 workers has sparked fears of a cash crunch at the electoral agency which is also battling a petition by the Opposition challenging presidential results.

IEBC Commissioner Roselyn Kwamboka Akombe confirmed the pay delay, but was unable to explain why it has lasted almost three weeks.

“I know that we transferred money to all the 47 county election managers for onward transmission to the polling staff,” Ms Akombe told Business Daily. She declined to give timelines on when the cash was wired.

Taxpayers forked out Sh49.98 billion to fund the August 8 polls, making it the most expensive election in Kenya’s history.

A total of 262,665 polling clerks were hired for a period of nine days, earning Sh1,000 per day, with their total take-home being Sh2.3 billion before income tax deductions.

There were also 91,032 presiding and deputy presiding officers employed on a 13-day contract and be paid Sh2,000 and Sh1,800 daily, respectively.

A further 5,054 trainers were engaged to train officials on polling, counting and tallying process – who worked for 15 days pocketing Sh2,000 daily.

Another 290 deputy returning officers were hired for each constituency to work for 60 days, taking home Sh3,000 daily. IEBC also enlisted 580 constituency ICT clerks on a 30-day contract, earning Sh1,500 daily.

Polling clerks and presiding officers said they were in the dark after IEBC’s self-imposed pay deadline of Friday last week lapsed without a word.