IEBC seeks extra Sh3.7 billion for repeat election

 Mr Ezra Chiloba, IEBC CEO. File photo | nmg
Mr Ezra Chiloba, IEBC CEO. File photo | nmg 

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has expanded its expenditure for the repeat presidential poll by Sh3.7 billion, taking the total cost of the election to be held in 20 days to Sh13.79 billion.

Ezra Chiloba, IEBC chief executive, told parliament that the commission has a Sh3.78 billion deficit for reconfiguration of electoral kits and hiring of poll clerks.

Mr Chiloba told a special committee scrutinising the Supplementary Budget that the Sh10 billion that the Treasury has allocated the commission is not enough to guarantee a free, fair, credible and transparent election as ordered by the Supreme Court.

“At the time the additional budget was negotiated with the National Treasury, the commission had not finalised its requirement for ICT improvements, partly because of delays in release of the detailed Supreme Court decision,” Mr Chiloba told the committee.

The Supreme Court, in a majority decision delivered on September 1, declared the August 8 presidential election “invalid, null and void” on grounds that the IEBC did not follow the Constitution and election laws in its conduct.

The court ordered the commission to conduct a fresh presidential election within 60 days.

“After the Supreme Court’s detailed judgment, the commission reviewed the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (Kiems) requirements in consultation with the contracted firm (OT-Morpho) of France and came up with new requirements that formed the basis for additional contractual obligations between IEBC and the OT-Morpho,” Mr Chiloba said.

The commission entered into a Sh2.4 billion contract with the French firm to reconfigure the Kiems, adding that it has Sh600 million for the exercise.

“Accordingly, the commission will require additional Sh1.8 billion to meet this obligation. This is required for the procurement of additional services and SD Cards for the Kiems system, general election materials, including ballot papers, wages for poll staff, voter education and telecommunication services,” he said. Mr Chiloba said the IEBC had budgeted  for four poling clerks to man each of the 40,883 polling stations, but owing to the budgetary reduction, it can only manage two.

“Therefore, we wish to request a budgetary adjustment that will allow the commission to deploy three poll clerks at every polling station for fresh presidential election. The estimated cost of the wages and training expenses for the additional clerks is Sh316,528,800,” he said.

The total additional budget for Kiems reconfiguration and an additional clerk for every polling station is Sh3,785,924,973.