Mudavadi says govt underfunded IEBC deliberately

Friday March 18 2016

Amani National Congress leader Musalia

Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, who has accused the government of clawing back gains in the land sector through the Land Laws (Amendment) Bill, which he says is intended to scrap the National Land Commission. PHOTO | ROBERT NGUGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PETER LEFTIE
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Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi has accused the government of sabotaging the just ended voter registration exercise.

In a press statement, Mr Mudavadi said that the government had deliberately refused to give the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) the Sh2 billion it had requested for during the current financial year, resulting in the financial difficulties.

Mr Mudavadi dismissed President Kenyatta’s promise that the government would give IEBC more funds to enable it conduct a door-to-door voter registration exercise throughout the country terming it a gimmick to hoodwink Kenyans that it was committed to free and fair elections.

“Though belated, the President has woken up to reality I have been talking about. We know it is the Executive that deleted allocations to IEBC in the last Budget.  IEBC was saved by Parliament which allocated it an insulting Sh500 million instead of the Sh2 billion it had requested,” said the ANC leader.

DOOR-TO-DOOR CAMPAIGN

Speaking in Nakuru County on Wednesday, President Kenyatta said the government was committed to giving the electoral body extra funds to enable it conduct a door-to-door campaign nationwide.

He did not however specify how much the government was ready to give the agency to achieve its target of eight million new voters before the next General Election.

Mr Kenyatta further directed the National Bureau of Registration to speed up the issuance of national identity cards for the young people to participate in the 2017 poll.

But in his statement, Mr Mudavadi expressed scepticism regarding the president’s pledge since it is only Parliament that can allocate money to the commission through a supplementary budget.

“He has no money until Parliament re-allocates funds in the supplementary budget by which time IEBC will be starving and will have stopped the registration exercise,’ the Amani leader stated.

“The President must have known that to deny IEBC resources to fulfil its mandate is to undermine the democratic rights of Kenyans to elect a government of their choice,” added Mr Mudavadi.

He demanded that the voter registration which ended on Monday be extended given the President’s promise to allocate it more funds.