NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 3 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is close to bridging the general elections funding gap in order to conduct credible polls.
Commissioner Yusuf Nzibo has said the commission has received a written undertaking from the Treasury that Sh4.7 billion carried forward from the previous financial year will be utilized in the polls.
The amount now brings the commission’s funding to Sh21 billion after the commission reported receiving slightly over Sh2 billion in donor funding.
“We also have commitment from donors who are funding specific tasks. For instance, USAID is funding transmission of results,” Commissioner Nzibo said.
Finance Minister Njeru Githae has previously termed the Sh17.5 billion allocated to the commission in the 2012 – 2013 National Budget as enough.
The commission has been under pressure to scale down its budget, with Parliament forcing it twice to cut it down from the initial Sh41.4 billion it had requested to Sh31.5 billion.
The Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs made the first request to scale down the budget during its meetings with IEBC officers.
In its revised budget, the IEBC excluded Sh5 billion for a presidential re-run and reduced earlier estimates for legal expenses and voter education.
The commission is also set to reduce the number of polling stations which will be scaled down from the 45,000 initially envisioned to 40,000.
Comissioner Nzibo also insisted that the IEBC had put in place accountable systems for transmission of election results noting that in the 2007 poll, declarations forms- Forms 16A and 17- were easy to maneuver, thereby leading to electoral malpractices and rigging.
“We have made this process watertight with the preliminary results to be declared and transmitted from the polling stations electronically,” he said.
He said the standard that was used to vet the commissioners of the electoral body will be adopted in the vetting of aspirants for various positions.
Among the things IEBC will look out for wealth declarations by the aspirants, tax compliance from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), clearance from Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and clearance from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC)
The poll body will be targeting eight million voters in the registration exercise that is scheduled to begin in August.