Treasury allocates Sh93 million to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to verify the 4.4 million signatures submitted to back the Building Bridges Initiative Referendum Bill.
IEBC had submitted four budgets, Sh241 million being the highest, Sh93 million being the least.
Interestingly, the commission had used only Sh35 million to verify the Punguza Mzigo Bill signatures last month.
IEBC said it is now ready to begin hiring data entry clerks, conference facilities and accommodation.
“The Commission resubmitted budgets based on four scenarios, the highest being Ksh. 241,011,000 as submitted earlier and the lowest being Ksh. 93,729,800 mainly based on non-residential verification clerks. Subsequently, the National Treasury made an allocation of Ksh.93,729,800 to the Commission for the exercise. The Commission will therefore proceed with the verification exercise accordingly,” IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said on Friday.
Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani approved the amount Thursday after deliberations with IEBC managers.
A source at Treasury said that the figure was reached after negotiations with the polls team.
“The agreement was that they use what is available for them to move forward since the request falls within their constitutional mandate,” said the source.
The IEBC asked for Sh241 million from the exchequer to review the signatures recently presented by the BBI Secretariat.
The commission had indicated it would take about 85 days to verify the signatures if their request for Sh241 million was heeded to them.
Chebukati explained that the budget was premised on providing full accommodation to all verification personnel.
The arrangement, he said, is to prevent exposure to COVID-19 due to daily commuting of personnel using public transport and compliance with curfew restrictions.
“It would have also ensured optimum verification process since all personnel are accommodated on one site,” the statement reads.
The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020, can only be approved in a referendum after it is backed by one million signatures. If the one million signature threshold is met, the commission is expected to hand over the bill to the 47 county assemblies.
County assemblies will be required to communicate their decision on the bill within 90 days of submission by the IEBC.