The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has been given an extra Sh21.7 billion to conduct the elections in August.
The new funding, announced by National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani while detailing his budget highlights and revenue raising measures for the 2022/23 financial year to MPs Thursday, brings the total allocation for the polls to Sh44.6 billion.
IEBC had been awarded Sh22.9 billion in 2021/22. Other than financing the General Election, the Sh21.7 billion also covers the review of electoral and boundary delimitation laws.
This includes undertaking boundary delimitation for the 290 constituencies and 1,450 wards, as well as mapping of the 26,000 registration centres.
Increase polling centres
The commission had proposed to increase polling centres from the 40,883 gazetted in 2017 to 53,300 this year. However, with funding falling below the commission’s expectations, it remains to be seen whether the polling stations will increase as envisaged or remain as they are.
The law prohibits IEBC from having more than 700 voters in a single polling station. There are 22.15 million registered voters, pending an IEBC audit of the voters’ roll, before the gazettement of the final voter list.
Delimitation of electoral boundaries has been assigned Sh321.5 million up from Sh102 million in the current financial year, while information and communication technology has been awarded Sh1.24 billion, down from Sh5.9 billion for 2021/22.
Voter registration and electoral operations gets Sh14.55 billion up from sh11.75 billion, while general administration, planning and support services will get Sh5.1 billion up from sh4.1 billion.
Push for more money
IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati’s push for more money was backed by chief executive Marjan Hussein Marjan in February when he appeared before the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly.
At the time, the committee, chaired by Mr Muturi Kigano (Kangema) was considering the supplementary budget for the 2021/22 financial year. Mr Marjan warned that failing to provide the necessary funding to IEBC would hinder effective preparation for the General Election.
“We appeal for consideration by this committee for funding to ensure that the commission is not negatively affected in its short-term and long-term functions and operations,” Mr Marjan told the committee.