BY MWAKWAYA RAYMOND
Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission has asked the government to immediately release Sh14 Billion for its preparation and conduct of free, fair and credible elections August next year.
Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati says the government has disbursed Sh26.5 Billion of its Sh40.9 billion budget with a deficit of Sh14 billion yet to be released.
The monies, according to the commission, will enable them carry out all their planned programmes for the forthcoming polls.
Speaking in Mombasa on September 11, 2021, Mr Chebukati introduced the newly appointed commissioners saying together they will undertake to roll out Enhanced Continuous Voter Registration (ECVR) that is scheduled for next month.
The exercise will run for 30 days across the country with intention to register at least 6 million voters countrywide.
“The Commission intends to carry out ECVR from next month (October) for a period of 30 days,” said the chairman.
Kenyans who have attained the age of 18 should turn out in large numbers to register as first time voters so as to exercise their power of electing their leaders.
Flanked for the firsttime by new commissioners Juliana Cherera, Francis Wanderi, Irene Masit and Justus Nyang’aya, the chairman warned those conducting early campaigns saying they were going against the law.’
According to him the trend is causing unnecessary anxiety and tension in the country and wants political players as well as stakeholders to immediately stop contravening the law that outlines elections operations.
“We are concerned by the heightened political activities prior to the declaration of campaign period and this is not good for peace, harmony and tranquility of our nationhood,” he said.
Presidential frontrunners have hit the ground running, crisscrossing the country in the hope of wooing voters to their course of changing their economical lives contrary to the Elections Act.
To show their solidarity, the new four commissioners pledged their loyalty to the chairman and promised to work as a team to enable the country secure free, fair and credible elections come 2022.
“As we take this mandate, would like to inform the entire public that though it’s a wanting task we shall ensure that both the mother and the baby are safe after delivery,” said commissioner Nyang’aya.
The Commission has conducted Induction Programs to all the four new Commissioners that include corporate governance and Commission’s operations.
The knowledge and experience shared, according to the chairman, will familiarise the new team with the IEBC assignments and operations.
Team work, Chebukati said, was paramount for the success of holding next year’s elections with internal support of the secretariat to the satisfactory of those participating and their supporters.
After unprecedented resignations of four commissioners in the aftermath of the 2017 elections, the Commission has been operating with only three commissioners.
Among those who resigned in acrimony was Roslyne Akombe and went into self-exile in US before three others followed suit with assignment of other duties. Margaret Wanjala Mwachanya is now the Kenyan ambassador to Pakistan.