, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27 – The Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) has expressed concerns over the March 4, 2013 poll date that has been declared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), saying it will disrupt the country’s budgetary cycle.
The commission, which spoke after meeting the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC), instead called for a December 2012 election arguing that a March poll would adversely affect the budget process for the national and county governments.
CRA chairman Micah Cheserem said that the incoming national and county governments would be unable to own the 2013/2014 Budget process as it will be underway before they assume office.
“We recommend that the IEBC reconsiders the election date and bring it forward to December 2012,” the commission said on Tuesday.
He added that a 2013 poll would affect the ability of the incoming Parliament to participate in the 2013/2014 Budget noting that it would take a lot of time to set up Committees of the House, once the National Assembly was constituted.
“The process of nominating special seat members by the parties will take long and the commencement of business by the National Assembly may be delayed as late as May 2013,” he noted.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting on Tuesday afternoon, CIOC Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed revealed that the Ministry of Finance had however rubbished the concerns by the CRA saying it would not disrupt the Budget cycle.
He however added that his committee had asked the Ministry of Finance and the CRA to break down the process through which the 2013/2014 Budget would be facilitated.
“The Ministry of Finance is confident that they can handle the issue even with the delay in terms of the elections. But we have asked the two institutions to give us a detailed analysis of how they will implement the budgetary process if we have elections next year,” he said.
The CIOC further stressed the need for consensus building over the touchy elections date saying it would avert a repeat of the deadly 2008 post election violence.
Other than the CRA, the CIOC also met the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution, officials from the IEBC and the Prime Minister’s office, Finance Minister Njeru Githae and his Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua as well as the Law Society of Kenya.
“We are interested, as stakeholders, in having a process that is credible, legitimate and devoid of controversy. The issue, from the CIOC is to let everybody play their role while safeguarding and securing the integrity of the whole process,” said Mohammed.
He also urged Kenyans to wait for the outcome of the upcoming ruling by the Court of Appeal on the elections date arguing that the court bore the ultimate responsibility of determining contentious constitutional matters.
“The court has the final mandate when it comes to interpreting the Constitution whether it is right or wrong. If someone is not happy with the Court’s decision then they can appeal,” he said.
The appeal on the elections date ruling by the High Court was filed by a group of women who argued that it was uncertain.
The hearings at the Court of Appeal are still ongoing.
The IEBC has on the other hand indicated that if the Court of Appeal issues a fresh poll date they will honour it.