What you need to know:
- The BBI team has filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal following last month’s decision by the High Court.
- Yesterday, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani did not state whether the money is for a possible referendum.
Treasury has set aside Sh15 billion for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), signalling the possibility of a Building Bridges Initiative referendum in the new financial year.
The BBI team, with President Uhuru Kenyatta entering a personal appearance, has filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal following last month’s decision by the High Court declaring it a nullity and blocking IEBC from conducting a referendum for it.
Were the appeal to succeed, IEBC will have to roll out voter registration and education, buy new or update its technology, and hire an estimated 400,000 staff, most of them temporary.
The Sh15 billion is more than triple the Sh4.6 billion it was allocated in the current financial year.
On Thursday, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani did not state whether the money is for a possible referendum.
70 extra constituencies
The IEBC has also been allocated Sh100 million for delimitation of boundaries.
The BBI wants the commission to conduct a boundary review to create the proposed 70 extra constituencies within six months of its passage. But IEBC has insisted that it needs more than six months to conduct the delimitation.
The BBI Bill has also lifted the provision barring the use of constituencies created within a year to an election.
In his annual report to Parliament, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati had said that lack of funding had affected its plan to re-use the 2017 election kits, which required auditing, maintenance and software update. The reuse was meant to cut what was the region’s most expensive election at Sh45 billion in 2017.
But in April, IEBC advertised for fresh elections technology.
biometric voter registration
The IEBC currently uses the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (Kiems) acquired from Idemia, formerly OT-Morpho, for the 2017 elections.
The commission estimates that Kenya will have 53,000 polling stations in 2022, up from the 40,883 in 2017. To cater for these stations, it states in the tender documents that it needs 55,00 tablets.
“The back-end system should be able to process at least 53,000 concurrent sessions. The systems shall be able to display the transmitted results from approximately 53,000 polling stations,” the tender reads.
While the IEBC said it will retain its candidates registration management software, it wants it integrated with the biometric voter registration software and the results transmission software for seamless data exchange across the platforms.
And following the order to clear pending bills by June 30, IEBC will have to use its allocation to clear bills worth Sh3 billion.