NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 12 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Thursday launched its new brand identity insisting that it was still committed to delivering credible elections despite a strained budget.
IEBC chairman Isaac Hassan said the bulk of the budget they had requested for was for a one-off capital investment on technology, but that they will still deliver their mandate in the current circumstances.
“Our budget for logistics and operations is even lower that that of the previous General Election despite the many ballots in the coming election. But even with a lean budget, we are still committed to doing credible elections. We will try to be creative without compromising on the vote,” said Hassan.
Finance Minister Njeru Githae has previously termed the Sh17.5 billion allocated to the commission in the 2012 – 2013 National Budget as enough.
IEBC scaled down its budget twice from the initial Sh41.4 billion it had requested to Sh31.5 billion.
IEBC chairman Isaac Hassan insisted that with the new logo, the Commission wanted to give Kenyans the symbol with which they will always associate with free, fair and peaceful elections.
In the new logo the initials IEBC are placed at the top, symbolising one of the Commission’s mandates to oversee the entire electoral process. Below the initials is the slogan, ‘Your Vote, Your Future’ – an encapsulation of IEBC’s vision, mission, mandate and core values.
IEBC says that ‘Your Vote, Your Future’ is a pledge to voters, stakeholders and the international community for continuous engagement, for delivery of the promise to conduct a free and fair election and a pledge to protect the democratic processes.
Hassan said that the commission needed the new identity as it was still being associated with previous bodies that have managed elections in the country.
“Some people still refer to the Commission as ECK, IIEC or even ICC, the International Criminal Court. If people cannot call us by our name, how will they know what we do? We therefore feel we need to be more conspicuous, not only in image but also in values and culture,” said the IEBC chair.
Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa who presided over the launch assured the commission that it will receive support form all government departments including the Judiciary and the police, The National Cohesion and Integration Commission and the Registrar of Political Parties.
He urged politicians to develop respect for institutions even as they continue to rebrand their parties ahead of the elections. He insisted that politicians must be ready to accept election results and also prepare their supporters for any outcomes.
“There has been a lot of rebranding among political parties, but I would like parties to preach peace, practice issues based politics, avoid disparaging institutions in word and in deed,” said the Minister. “In as much as all competitors believe that they shall win, they must keep in mind that defeat is a possibility and prepare supporters appropriately for the outcome,” Wamalwa added.
IEBC was formed after the expiry of the term of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission of Kenya (IIEC) which was formed to replace the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK).
The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) was formed in May 2009 to replace the Electoral Commission of Kenya and was charged with the mission to institutionalise sustainable electoral processes that would guarantee free and fair elections.
IIEC successfully conducted the 2010 constitutional referendum and has also conducted various by elections whose results have not been constested.