The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has cried foul over the extension of mass voter registration exercise to Sunday by the Judiciary, claiming that the move has immensely affected its budget.
IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati says that the court’s decision to extend the exercise for three more days following a petition by activist Okiya Omtata would result to serious financial constraints.
Speaking to the media after meeting the top secretariat of Jubilee Party at its national headquarters offices, Chebukati said that the electoral body spends about Sh30 million to Sh40 million per day in conducting the exercise.
He said that additional cash will be spent in paying officials dispatched throughout the country as well as security personnel.
“The court has interfered with the registration by extending the deadline but we must abide by the rule of Law. It is true that our budget has been affected because we spend about Sh30 to Sh40 million per day in conducting the registration process,” said Chebukati.
The electoral body’s boss said that they will immediately start cleaning up the voter register after Sunday’s deadline in a bid to remove dead voters and names of people with double registration.
He said that the commission will receive data from all regions and kick off the clean up process and present the final register to Kenyans on May 9 for verification.
The IEBC boss also said that they will be obliged to petition the National Treasury through Parliament so as to get enough budget allocation to conduct party nominations.
“The issue for IEBC participation in party nominations is a legal requirement but regulations have not been put in place over funding of the exercise,” he said.
On his part, Jubilee Party Head of Secretariat Raphael Tuju said: “There is an ambiguity in the Law in regards to IEBC conducting the party nominations. IEBC has not been allocated funds for the party nominations”.
Chebukati affirmed that the decision by High court judge George Odunga to quash Sh2.5 billion contract for supply of ballot papers would not affect IEBC’s election calendar, adding that there is ample time to prepare for the August 8 polls.
He said that the ongoing suit would not deter them in conducting free and fair polls, saying that preparations are going on smoothly.