Kenya to spend $117 million in Presidential repeat election

The announcement comes barely a month after the country held the 2nd most expensive election in the world

Kenya will hold another Presidential election in a month’s time and the taxpayers are set to foot the Kshs12 billion ($117 million) needed for what is touted as one of the most expensive polls globally.  

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has already written to the National Treasury requesting for the speedy release of the funds, most of which will go towards facilitating human resources and logistics.

“A draft budget has been presented to the National Treasury for consideration. We expect expeditious allocation of funds to allow for implementation of the key tasks ahead, especially those related to ICT and training,” said the commission’s Chairperson, Wafula Chebukati.

The announcement comes barely a month after the country held the 2nd most expensive election in the world. The electoral body had allocated Ksh49.9 billion ($499 million) for the election, with Ksh5.3 billion ($53 million) going to election-related security operations such as policing 23 counties that the intelligence service has identified as potential hotspots for election violence.

The polls were however annulled by the Supreme Court following a petition filed by Opposition leader Raila Odinga challenging the outcome of the Presidential election.

Illegalities and irregularities that dogged the results transmission system were at the heart of the landmark ruling with Chief Justice David Maraga ordering for a fresh vote in 60 days.

In the nullified election, President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party got 8,203,290 votes against National Super Alliance (NASA) candidate Odinga’s 6,762,224 votes.

Mr. Odinga claimed the IEBC servers were hacked and results doctored in Uhuru’s favour.

Following the nullification, doubts have been cast at the electoral body’s ability to deliver a free and fair election. Internal wrangles have dogged IEBC in the past few days, threatening to derail the October 17 elections. A damning memo from Mr. Chebukati to IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba was also leaked online.

In the memo, Chebukati demands Chiloba to explain why they purchased satellite phones that never worked, why hundreds of polling stations didn’t send results of the presidential election to the national tallying center, why an account created in his name was used to log into the elections management system, and why some election result forms lacked key security features.

In a bid to redeem its battered image, the IEBC intends to allocate Sh1.49 billion for technology, especially enhancement of the results transmission system.

Sh136 million will be spent on ICT security, Sh147 million on back end and technical support, while Sh516 million would be spent on network and communication.

Still, the overall amount needed for the presidential poll might even be higher if one factored the amount other government institutions like the police and intelligence services will need to ensure that everything runs smoothly on October 17, the date set for the Presidential repeat election.

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