Kenya's electoral commission faces shutdown over Sh3.6 billion debt

The commission has not received funds since April

The electoral commission has been cash-starved since April when the Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba was suspended.

The electoral body also owes its creditors more than Sh3.9 billion in unpaid bills from last year's general elections.

Many of the creditors have thus refused have refused to continue working with IEBC over the unpaid bills.

“(The) consequences of the pending bills (is) constrained relationship with the suppliers who have declined to provide critical services to the commission," reads an analysis of IEBC’s 2018/19 budget versus pending bills.

Among the suppliers who have refused to continue working with IEBC over the unpaid bills are National Oil Corporation, Oracle Technology Systems Ltd, Safaricom and Airtel.

The cash crunch has adversely affected IEBC's programmes, including continuous voter registration and by-elections.

Shoestring budget

Even then, insiders believe that the National Treasury's failure to disburse the commission with funds is the Executive’s way of getting back at them for the suspension of Mr Chiloba.

IEBC chairman, Wafula Chebukati, last month bemoaned the National Treasury’s unexplained delays in releasing money to the commission adding that it has been operating on a shoestring budget.

In June, international donors reportedly withdrew funding to IEBC owing to the instability at the commission.

The lack of donor support by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which supports the Elections Processes in Kenya (SEPK) project, has raised questions whether they will support IEBC’s next big project — boundaries delimitation.

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