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IEBC requires Sh40 billion to conduct general elections

The Independent and Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Monday said it requires Sh40.239 billion to conduct the 2022 General Election.

Addressing a media stakeholder meeting in Mombasa, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said the National Treasury has allocated his agency only Sh26.34 billion for the electoral exercise.

Media Houses’ editors, Media Council of Kenya officials, the Independent and Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati and the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji during a media forum to discuss the 2022 elections. Photo by  Galgalo Bocha

“We are left with a deficit of Sh14.577billion. It is worth noting that the Sh40.917 budget requirement is the bare minimum as per the electoral activities in the Election Operations Plan,” he added.

He further said his Commission has earmarked Sh588 million for the purchase of Covid-19 kits including thermometer guns for temperature check, sanitizers and hand washing points in the polling stations across the country.

At the same time, IEBC directed civil servants seeking elective positions to relinquish their positions starting Monday 9th August 2021, which marks the beginning of the one year countdown to the Election Day.

The election boss also reiterated that the polls would be conducted on August 9, 2022 in accordance with article 136(2) (a) of the Constitution.

“Let me take this earliest opportune moment to reiterate that the Commission is committed to deliver free, fair, and credible elections in 2022. The Commission is equally committed to engaging all stakeholders in the process of citizen participation in the electoral process,” added Chibukati.

The IEBC boss assured that accredited journalists would be allowed to access polling stations and tallying centers to cover vote counting and results announcements as part of ensuring transparency in the electoral process.

Chebukati said the Commission would reject any nomination list of a political party for its candidates in the County Assemblies, the Senate and the National Assembly that do not comply with the two-third gender rule.

“We have a court order that directs us to reject any list from a political party that will not have complied with the two third gender rule. We have to comply with the orders,” he added.

He further said the Commission would engage the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and National Police Service (NPS) to ensure there is proper security management in the 2022 General Election.

Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji told the Media Sector Working Group forum that there is need for concerted efforts from various State agencies and the citizenry to achieve free, fair and credible elections.

“IEBC is not responsible for enforcement and prosecution. In my opinion, we have other agencies that have to play certain roles. The media and public also have their roles,” said Noordin.

He revealed that his agency was grappling with lack of the legal framework on the appropriate timeline criminal electoral offences should be prosecuted.

“We have cases pending for more than six years. Probably the media should highlight so that we can have a review of the law to provide a timeline for prosecution of the criminal part of electoral offences,” added the DPP.

Among the pending electoral offences related cases involve MPs Oscar Sudi (Kapseret), Johana Ng’eno (Emurua Dikirr), Dismus Barasa (Kimilili), Ladema Ole Kina (Narok Senator) and Malala Cleophas ( Kakamega Senator) among others.

On his part, Media Council of Kenya (MCK) Chairperson Maina Muiruri said they would constitute a technical committee to review the election reporting guidelines in preparation for the 2022 polls.

He noted that the guidelines that were last reviewed in 2017 would be updated in consultation with industry players and various groups including media associations in the country.

The MCK chairman also said the Council would also enter into partnerships to offer grants for journalists to write and produce media content related to elections.

“Media stakeholders have a civic duty to play to ensure a credible, peaceful, and transparent national elections,” added Muiruri.

He called on the IEBC as well as other stakeholders to prioritize the safety and protection of journalists during the electioneering process.

By Galgalo Bocha

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