Donors hand Kenya polls team Sh2bn boost
Posted Sunday, June 24 2012 at 23:30
Donors have given Kenya Sh2.2 billion ($26 million) to finance next year’s elections slated for March 2013.
The money will help the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) bridge part of the huge deficit it is grappling with in order to fund a credible poll.
The Treasury, in the budget read on June 14, allocated the IEBC Sh17 billion although the body had requested Sh35 billion.
The new commitment is a record amount compared to the Sh860 million ($10 million) donors gave Kenya for the 2007 General Election.
The latest donation is meant to improve the supervisory capability of the electoral commission to avoid malpractices such as the ones that triggered the 2008 post-election violence.
IEBC chairman Isaack Hassan said: “Yes, the donors have confirmed this support.”
Previously, donors have been giving Kenya on average 10 per cent of the total elections budget committed by the government.
But the new commitment is 13 per cent of government commitment. It is, however, short of the $41.1 million support that the commission had asked from the donors.
Last week, Prime Minister Raila Odinga asked donors to provide more funds to enable the commission to conduct a credible General Election. (READ: Kenya PM seeks donor help over polls)
This is because additional funds are required to help the IEBC bridge any financial shortfalls that may arise.
The IEBC has previously described the Sh17.5 billion it was allocated by the Treasury as inadequate to conduct a credible election.
Both the Parliamentary Budget Committee and the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committees had objected to IEBC’s Sh35 billion, saying it was too high.
Finance minister Njeru Githae has also maintained that the Sh17.5 billion is “enough” for the electoral commission to conduct the polls.
“The money is enough and adequate for the commission to prepare for a fair and adequate and credible elections,” said Mr Githae.
This story was first published in this week’s issue of The EastAfrican